We have quite a bit packed into this issue. From advice on investments and practice management issues to risk tolerance and investor expectations. But the one theme that runs through it all is this: It's time for advisors to step up their game and ask the tough questions.

For our cover story, we did a round of interviews with industry experts on retirement issues facing bank advisors. And the common theme from these experts was the need for advisors to talk more with clients. And not just to be chatty, but specifically to solicit the right kind of information.

Joe Coughlin of the MIT Age Lab summed it up best when he said that advisors need to pry more than ever into clients' personal issues—like disease and the cost of treatment—topics that advisors aren't accustomed to discussing with clients.

It is also up to you to let your clients know that they may need to taper their lifestyle expectations after they retire, or even work longer before retiring. This all comes to light in our cover story.

This month's FrontLines section addresses investors' risk tolerance and investment expectations. The central question discussed is on how much cash investors should have in their portfolios.

All of this requires more meaningful conversations with clients. So start talking. And don't forget to listen.

When it comes to hard advice on investments, Bob Doll from BlackRock weighs in with his insights. In a nutshell, he's bullish on the U.S. But you can read his words, and get more detail, in our Outlook article.

And did you hear the one about the SEC attorney who walked into a bank? In one of our more fun offerings of the magazine, a Washington-based advisor talks about his Beltway client base. And guess what? All those pros in Washington are clueless about their own finances. And the punch line to that SEC lawyer joke (if you can call it that) is that she's never read a prospectus. And if she's never read a prospectus, I'll bet that most of your clients haven't either.

So, again, the need is there for you to enhance the communication with clients.

This month we also feature four pages of photos from our Top Program Managers Awards dinner last month. The event, which celebrated the best the banking industry has to offer, took place at Bobby Van's Steakhouse in lower Manhattan—the site of the original bank vault of J.P. Morgan & Co.

While the location was unique and fun, the keynote (from former New York City Mayor, the Honorable Edward Koch) was an even bigger treat. Suffice it to say that those in attendance will not soon forget it.

So, enjoy this issue of Bank Investment Consultant and send me your comments at lee.conrad@sourcemedia.com.