SOURCE: BrightScope

BrightScope

May 13, 2014 08:00 ET

BrightScope Announces Social Influence Rank for Financial Advisors

Most Influential Advisors Exemplify How to Use Social Media to Build a Powerful Personal Brand

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwired - May 13, 2014) - BrightScope (www.brightscope.com), a leading provider of independent financial information and investment research, today announced its Social Influence Rank for financial advisors and its inaugural list of the Top 100 Most Social Financial Advisors in the United States. By recognizing the top advisors with significant online influence, BrightScope hopes to encourage all financial professionals to bolster their digital presence. Consumers are increasingly using search engines and ratings services to inform key life decisions like selecting a financial advisor. Advisors with the highest visibility online stand to win an increasing share of all new business.

"It has been reported that nearly half of investors would like to interact with advisors online but they cannot find them. Social media has become a required communication tool and BrightScope wants to recognize advisors taking advantage of the impact a robust digital profile can have on an advisor's practice," said Mike Alfred, Co-Founder and CEO of BrightScope. "By shining a light on social media best practices within the financial services industry, BrightScope hopes more professionals will actively use all types of communications tools to benefit themselves and investors, especially in light of the SEC's recent guidance on social media."

The BrightScope Social Influence Rank aggregates information on advisors actively engaging with current and prospective clients using digital media channels and measures how their efforts stack up against their peers. For advisors who have not yet taken advantage of these channels, the Rank helps them identify top advisors like Josh Brown and Michael Kitces who are models of how to use social media to grow a successful advisory business and a personal brand in the marketplace.

"Providing effective financial advice fundamentally comes down to a relationship of trust between an advisor and their client, yet most financial advisors do not have the budget and resources to advertise and build a large, national brand of trust," said Michael Kitces, a partner and Director of Research for Pinnacle Advisory Group, and one of the Top Social Influencers on the BrightScope list. "Social media and blogging provide a unique opportunity in today's world to build a strong personal brand and establish trust with prospective clients, at a fraction of the investment of time and dollars that traditional market required."

BrightScope's 2013 Top Social Influencers in the United States:

Advisor Pages Profile - Blog - Twitter Handle

1. Josh Brown - The Reformed Broker - @ReformedBroker
2. Barry Ritholtz - The Big Picture - @ritholtz
3. Roger Wohlner - The Chicago Financial Planner - @rwohlner
4. Jason Hull - Hull Financial Planning - @hull_j
5. Michael Kitces - Nerd's Eye View - @MichaelKitces
6. Russ Thornton - Wealthcare for Women - @RussThornton
7. Charles Sizemore - Sizemore Insights - @CharlesSizemore
8. George Papadopoulos - George Papadopoulos on WSJ - @feeonlyplanner
9. Cullen Roche - Pragmatic Capitalism - @cullenroche
10. Jeff Rose - Good Financial Cents - @jjeffrose
11. Jim Blankenship - Getting Your Financial Ducks In A Row - @BlankenshipFP
12. David Merkel - The Aleph Blog - @AlephBlog
13. David Fabian - Investor Insights Blog - @fabiancapital
14. Ted Jenkin - Your Smart Money Moves - @oXYGenFinancial
15. Meb Faber - Meb Faber Research - @MebFaber
16. Alan Moore - Serenity Financial Consulting Blog - @R_Alan_Moore
17. Kimberly L. Curtis - Wealth Legacy Institute Blog - @KimCurtisLegacy
18. Ric Edelman - Edelman Financial Services Education Center - @ricedelman
19. Tom Brakke - The Research Puzzle - @researchpuzzler
20. Carolyn McClanahan - Carolyn Sue McClanahan on Forbes - @CarolynMcC
21. Tim Maurer - Tim Maurer Blog - @TimMaurer
22. Neal Frankle - Wealth Pilgrim - @NealFrankle
23. Wade Slome - Investing Caffeine - @WadeSlome
24. Sheri Cupo - SageBroadview Blog - @sage_cupo
25. Jude Boudreaux - Upperline Financial Blog - @HJudeBoudreaux

To view the complete list of the Top 100 Social Influencers in the United States, visit the BrightScope Blog at http://blog.brightscope.com/2014/05/13/top-social-influencers-2013/.

Advisors not listed can find out how they rank by visiting their Advisor Pages Dashboard on brightscope.com, or claiming their free profile to gain access to their Dashboard, and submitting details about their social media channels. BrightScope will then calculate their relative position among all other ranked advisors on the platform and display that number on their Dashboard. Advisors can claim and manage their individual or firm profiles at www.brightscope.com/advisor-pages/.

By aggregating hard-to-discover but publicly available information on advisors, BrightScope has created a free, easy-to-use database that is searchable from multiple dimensions. BrightScope's Advisor Pages™ features the data most critical to investors tasked with making an informed decision on which financial professional best meets their needs, including location, qualifications, amount and types of assets under management, area of specialty, legal disputes, formal complaints and more.

BrightScope obtains its data directly from publicly available sources, including required regulatory filings from the Securities and Exchange Commission. Financial advisors can augment these primary sources by claiming their BrightScope Advisor Page™. By analyzing and interpreting this data, BrightScope now provides unparalleled insight into the financial management industry.

About BrightScope
BrightScope is a financial information company that brings transparency to opaque markets through independent research and analysis. Delivered through web-based software, BrightScope data drives better decision-making for individual investors, corporate plan sponsors, asset managers, broker-dealers, and financial advisors. The BrightScope Rating™, developed in partnership with leading independent 401k fiduciaries, reviews more than 200 unique data inputs per plan and calculates a single numerical score which defines plan quality at the company level. In April 2011, the company launched BrightScope Advisor Pages™, the first comprehensive and publicly available directory of financial advisors designed to help consumers discover information and conduct due diligence on wealth management professionals. BrightScope also markets a suite of data analytics software products to Fortune 1000 companies, asset managers, broker-dealers, financial advisors, and other market participants. Public ratings for nearly 50,000 retirement plans as well as rating definitions, criteria and methodologies, and information on more than 680,000 registered financial advisors and nearly 33,000 active advisory firms are available for free at www.brightscope.com.