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Friday, December 11, 2020

What Do FAs Read?

Reported by Lauren Corradi

Lexington, Massachusetts-based Advisor Perspectives was ranked the electronic newsletter most read by financial advisors, based on the annual financial advisor media survey conducted by Manhattan-based Erdos & Morgan.

Robert "Bob" Huebscher
Advisor Perspectives
The seventh annual Financial Advisor Media Outlook and Usage Study (FAMOUS) asked advisors which electronic newsletter they had read in the past month, and among 53 listed, Advisor Perspectives was ranked first, with readership 375 percent of the average publication and 42 percent greater than the second-place publication. Following Advisor Perspective was Financial Advisor (FA) magazine, and Investment News and the Wall Street Journal tied for third.

Further, Advisor Perspectives was the most-read newsletter among advisors 45-55 years old and those 55 years and older.

"We started this study in 2013 and we have been doing syndicated research for media market research since the mid 1980's. When I first joined the company, clients said there are a lot of studies about FA, but they tend to study on the performance of the FA, rather than their media consumption," David March, the chief revenue officer at Erdos and Morgan, tells MFWire.

"So we started in 2013, and the first step to any study is securing the right sample," March continues. 'We built the survey so it covers three different areas: We build a profile of the FA; where they work, how long they have been in the industry, their AUM. The second part looks at their familiarity with investment strategies, fund families, if they are more technical or more client-interaction. Then we get into the heart of the study which is media coverage. We look at print, broadcast, and digital, and we have about 53 different media brands that we are looking at."

"We look at the different types of devices that media is consumed on; a tablet, smartphone, work computer, home computer, if you are using an app, or their website," March explains. "Then, you are able to cross reference the profile questions by familiarity or usage of a fund family and you can zero in on which media brands are using which type of FA who are either recommending or familiar with specific fund families."

"The pandemic presented a unique challenge for our firm," Advisor Perspectives CEO Bob Huebscher stated. "We saw a surge in traffic, with 47% more unique visitors than last year. This study validates the enormous amount of effort from my team, which is unified in our goal to deliver the best possible content to the advisory profession."

Beyond newsletter rankings, the study also provides a profile of financial advisors including AUM, work setting, and the role of the FA in the client/FA relationship.

There is also a question on the study to find out if the respondent is more involved in creating the portfolio on the technical side or is more engaged as the client interface. This is used as a tool to segment the FA audience to aid targeted promotional efforts.

The study surveys more than 39,000 advisory firms and is typically conducted utilizing a combination of mail and on-line methodologies. Due to the pandemic, however, Erdos & Morgan had to forgo the mail portion as they are typically sent to advisors' offices.

The survey found that retirement planning is the most sought after financial advice among clients within the past six months at 94 percent, followed by financial planning (89 percent) and portfolio management (89 percent). 

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