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Financial Advisors to Follow on Social Media

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For those of you who are regular readers here you know that I publish list posts very infrequently, so two in a row is a real rarity.  However both the nature of the list below and the fact that I am in and out of the office about equally this week convinced me to go this route.

BrightScope, a leading provider of independent financial information and research, just released their first Social Influence Rankings for Financial Advisors.

While I was astonished to be number three on this list, I am flattered to be included on a list that includes a number of people whom I admire and learn from.  This list includes Jim Blankenship, George Papadopoulos, and Russ Thornton who I’ve followed from the onset of my involvement in social media.

Josh Brown, Carolyn McClanahan, Neal Frankle, Jeff Rose, Jason Hull, Jude Boudreaux, Alan Moore, Sheri Cupo, and Tom Brakke are others who I follow on a regular basis.   I plan to become familiar with the rest of this list and learn from them as well.

If you are looking for good information about investing, financial planning, retirement, and related financial topics this list is for you.

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.

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Friday Finance Links October 19, 2012

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The Packers did a number on Houston last Sunday night; let’s hope they can keep it up against the Rams.  On Saturday we 08FTB UNM 2167root for USC, Northwestern, Northern Illinois, and whoever is playing Notre Dame.  So this week it’s go Brigham Young.

Here are some articles and blog posts that I suggest for your weekend personal finance reading:  

Personal Finance Blogs

Peter Anderson describes The Three Fund Portfolio: A Simple Diversified Investing Strategy at Bible Money Matters.

J.P. outlines The Best Reasons to Sell a Stock  at Novel Investor.

Joe describes a Roth Conversion Math Fail at Roth Mania.

Barb tells us to Save for Retirement Now at Barbara Friedberg Personal Finance.

Glen offers 5 Tips for Helping You Stick with Your Investment Strategy at Free From Broke.

Posts from Fellow NAPFA members

Lon Jeffries wrote Short Sale vs. Foreclosure at figuide.com.

Carolyn McClanahan wrote A Binder Full of Women And Why They Need Health Reform at Forbes.com.

Jim Blankenship guides us in Understanding Your Credit Score at figuide.com.

Other articles from around the web

Christine Benz shares Best Practices for Health Savings Accounts at Morningstar.com

Also at Morningstar.com Morningstar Names Best 529 College-Savings Plans for 2012.

Ian Salisbury tells us there is A price-cutting war in your 401(k) at marketwatch.com.

I took a week off from blogging for the US News Smarter Investor blog but here is a link to my author page where you can check out my past contributions.

Shout Out To: 

Josh Brown who announced that last Monday’s The Good Leads  post would be his last for the Wall Street Journal.  Josh has featured several posts from this blog and I really appreciate his support, as well as the great content links he has provided on a daily basis.  Josh is a regular contributor on CNBC and I really enjoy his blog The Reformed Broker.  I’m sure we will hear much more from Josh, his voice lends a great perspective to the financial world.

Here’s wishing everyone a great weekend.  

Photo credit:  BYU.edu

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Friday Finance Links – August 31, 2012

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It’s Labor Day Weekend and the college football season is starting, what more needs to be said? Here are some articles and blog posts that I suggest for your weekend personal finance reading:

Personal Finance Blogs

Barbara Freidberg shares her EXPERT FINANCIAL ADVICE; WHAT NOT TO DO WITH YOUR INVESTMENTS NOW.

Novel Investor discusses Options For Your 401(k) Rollover.  Important stuff to consider in today’s employment environment where it is likely that you will work for several employers over the course of your career.

Local mortgage broker Gene Mundt blogs It’s Back to School Time? Does your child Know the ABCs of Credit and Finance? 

Jordana Stein shares Understanding Politics:  How Democrats and Republicans Differ on Managing the Economy at Go Girl Finance.

Posts from Fellow NAPFA members

Tom Orecchio tells us why Now’s The Time To Refinance at Figuide.com.

Holly Thomas shares Budgeting Lessons From An 18 Year Old? at Figuide.com.

Other articles from around the web

Christine Benz illustrates A Sample Retirement Portfolio Using the Bucket Approach at Morningstar.com.

Rob Silverblatt discusses Paul Ryan’s Pet Mutual Fund Project at usnews.com.

Andrea Coombes tells us that Half of Americans die with almost no money at marketwatch.com.

I took a week off from my regular weekly contribution to the US News Smarter Investor blog, but you can get links to my prior posts at my US News author page.

Thanks to Nicole Coulter at RIA Central for her post Will 401(k) Participants Pay for Financial Advice? which is in part based on a recent post on this blog.

I also want to thank Josh Brown (The Reformed Broker) for linking to one of my posts this past Tuesday in his The Good Leads post for the Wall Street Journal.

Here’s wishing everyone a great weekend.

Photo credit:  Wikipedia

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Friday Finance Links August 17, 2012 – Anniversary Edition

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The big event this week is our 28th wedding anniversary tomorrow.  My still lovely wife, Kyung, and I will be heading to the city for dinner and perhaps other activities.  (photo of Kyung with two of Chicago’s finest during NATO weekend here in Chicago earlier this Summer during our unsuccessful quest to find some protesters)

Here are some articles and blog posts that I suggest for your weekend personal finance reading: 

Personal Finance Blogs 

Tom at Stupid Cents asks Are You Making Spending Decisions Based on Fear? highlighting some ways advertisers others use fear to get us to spend our money.

Ryan at Cash Money Life discusses Investing for Cash Flow – Building a More Diversified Investment Portfolio.  Hard to believe a guy who looks this young is so smart.

Ken Faulkenberry at AAAMP Blog looks at a strategy for the income portion of your portfolio in This is How to Optimize Your Income Asset Allocation Plan.

Fellow financial planner and blogger Jeff Rose says It’s Time for Another Movement – Life Insurance Style.  I couldn’t agree more. 

Posts from Fellow NAPFA members 

Eve Kaplan asks Could You Be Forced To Pay Your Parent’s Long Term Care Bill?

Richard Feight discusses the question Rent Or Buy?

Kimberly Howard provides some sound advice on Preparing Finances For A Potential Layoff. 

Other articles from around the web

Kimberly Palmer of U.S. News warns us to Beware of These Common Holes in Homeowners Insurance Coverage.

Chuck Jaffe discusses 6 money lessons for your college student at Marketwatch.com.

Robert Powell offers 11 reasons to leave your 401(k) behind when you leave a job at Marketwatch.com.  Some good ideas, however as Bob says everyone’s situation is unique.

For the third week in a row I’m including an article from Christine Benz on Long-Term Care 4 Best Practices When Self-Insuring for Long-Term Care.  I’m a big fan of Christine’s; her articles on Morningstar.com are always worthwhile reading.

In case you missed it here is a link to my latest post for the US News Smarter Investor Blog Your Takeaway for New 401(k) Fee Disclosures.    

Thank You

For the second week in a row to Josh Brown for featuring one of my posts in his  The Good Leads  post in the Wall Street Journal this past Tuesday.  Josh also blogs at The Reformed Broker which is a must read financial blog.

Here’s wishing everyone a great weekend.

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Friday Finance Links August 10, 2012

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We continue to enjoy all the great Olympic action on TV this week.  Tomorrow we are heading down to one of ourfavorite Chicago neighborhood festivals, Retro on Roscoe.

Here are some articles and blog posts that I suggest for your weekend personal finance reading:

Personal Finance Blogs 

Peter at Bible Money Matters provides some excellent insights in Attributes of An Olympic Athlete That Can Help in Your Financial Life.

How Much Life Insurance Do I Need? – Typical Coverage Amounts offers a solid framework from which to start this critical calculation via Money Crashers.

Ornella Grosz offers 7 Key Ways to Parlay Your Money Toward Your Success on her Moneylicious Blog.

Jim Wang at Bargaineering discusses the rebate checks that some of us may be receiving under the Affordable Care Act in Health Care Insurance Rebate Checks: 80-20 Rule. 

Posts from Fellow NAPFA members 

Jim Blankenship shares his expertise on the timing of Social Security Benefits in Wealth Defense:  When Should You Start Social Security Benefits? 

Micah Porter discusses Healthcare Costs in Retirement: Medicare Part D.  The cost of healthcare during retirement will continue to be a major expense item via Forbes.com. 

Other articles from around the web

Amy Hoak reveals 7 ways to prevent theft on campus at Marketwatch.com, this really hits home for us as the parents of two college students.

JP discusses 5 Insurance Policies that Your Family Doesn’t Need on the US News My Money Blog.

Baby Boomer Poll by AARP Finds Half Don’t Expect to Retire was of particular interest to me both as a financial planner and as a Baby Boomer, via Huffington Post.

Christine Benz of Morningstar followed up her great Long-Term Care article from last week with 40 Must-Know Statistics About Long-Term Care.

In case you missed it here is a link to my latest post for the US News Smarter Investor Blog Should I Care If My Mutual Fund Owns Facebook? 

Thank You

To Josh Brown for featuring one of my posts in his The Good Leads post in the Wall Street Journal yesterday.  Josh also blogs at The Reformed Broker which is a must read financial blog.

Here’s wishing everyone a great weekend.

 

Photo credit: hops_76

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Is Betterment Really a Better Idea?

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Betterment is an online investing service. Betterment touts its service as “Simple to Use. Sophisticated Investing.” They also say you can “Invest like an expert without the hassle.” Low fees ranging from 0.15% to 0.35% of net assets certainly seem attractive.

Here’s where it gets a little “less better.” For whatever reason, Betterment has seen fit to declare war on financial advisors. For the record I don’t view Betterment as my competition, but rather I resent what I see as misleading attacks that confuse the investing public.

Betterment also saw fit to quote a flawed study of brokers (mislabeled as financial advisors) by NBER as proof that Financial Advisors are Bad for Your Wealth. This post from their blog is in my opinion so full of holes that it could double as a piece of Swiss Cheese.

Don’t take my word for it, check out Mike Alfred’s post in Forbes Why Betterment, Wealthfront, and Other Online Investment Firms are Wrong about Financial Advisors. Or check out this post by Josh Brown who blogs as the reformed Broker Taking Betterment to School. Lastly this excellent post from Scott Bell at I heart Wall Street Et Tu, Betterment? says it all.

Sour grapes. Not at all. From my perspective say what you want about me or about financial advisors. Just be accurate. The folks at Betterment were anything but accurate in their broad brush approach to lumping financial advisors and brokers together.

They claim they were trying to call out bad advisors and toxic practices. In reality their approach was in my opinion a toxic practice. I suggested to them via Twitter that they consider a post discussing the differences between advisors and financial sales people. Perhaps they could educate people on how to determine if working with a financial advisor is right for them and if so how to choose one that fits their needs.

Online services like Betterment are clearly part of the changing landscape that will shape the future of the delivery of financial advice. I really want to like Betterment so that I can suggest it as an alternative to younger investors and to others for whom this type of service might be a good fit.

What troubles me though is that Betterment went ahead and published a post that was so full of inaccuracies. Was this a cheap attempt to bash advisors in order to drive business their way? Did they truly not understand why their post was inaccurate? Were they unaware of the flaws in the NBER study?

If the answer is yes to any of these questions it raises doubts in my mind as to the business maturity of the Betterment management team. Maybe their model is wonderful and they are a “better mousetrap.” At the end of the day, however, this episode will forever make them suspect in my mind.

 

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