I can’t think of an article more useless to the average investor, because Joe Six Pack (drink!) is not in the position of being able to invest with any of these advisers. In fact, he’s probably suicidal from not being able to afford the new GI Joe with the Kung-Fu grip for his kid, and if his wife aint gonna make love to him, does getting into John Paulson’s new hedge fund really matter?
But let’s put that aside for now and dig in.
Have you ever met anyone that tells everyone who’ll listen that their cardiologist/dermatologist/mechanic/drug dealer is the best in New York? This is the Wall Street equivalent. So you can thank annoying people like that for giving lists like Barron’s Top 100 Financial Advisers, Barron’s Top 1000 Financial Advisers, Barron’s Top 100 Women Financial Advisers, Barron’s Top 100 Independent Financial Advisers, and Barron’s Top 100 Eskimo Financial Advisers a reason to exist.
And why can’t I just call them advisors, with an O, like I want to?
Unfortunately, Barron’s is robbing some otherwise-qualified
advisers advisors of priceless marketing by excluding the following 24 folks who switched firms:
|Christopher Aitken||Smith Barney||Merrill Lynch|
|Nick Bapis||Morgan Stanley||Hightower Securities|
|Richard Blosser||Morgan Stanley||UBS|
|Roger Carter||Morgan Stanley||Merrill Lynch|
|Robert Coleman||Morgan Stanley||Merrill Lynch|
|Rick Davidson||Credit Suisse||Morgan Stanley|
|George Dunn||Smith Barney||Convergent Wealth|
|Robert Dunn||Morgan Stanley||UBS|
|David Hou||Merrill Lynch||Luminous Capital|
|Michael Johnston||Citi Family Office||Merrill Lynch|
|Sanford Katz||UBS||Credit Suisse|
|Gregory Kern||Bank of America||Deutsche Bank|
|Kevin Knobloch||JP Morgan||Wachovia|
|Steve Levine||Credit Suisse||UBS|
|Kenneth Moffet||Morgan Stanley||Hourglass Capital|
|Andrew Perry||Deutsche Bank||UBS|
|Peter Rukeyser||Morgan Stanley||UBS|
|Mark Sear||Merrill Lynch||Luminous Capital|
|Dean Trindle||Merrill Lynch||Morgan Stanley|
|Lori Van Dusen||Citi Institutional||Convergent Wealth|
|Alexander Williams||Morgan Stanley||UBS|
|Eric Yamin||Morgan Stanley||UBS|
|Richard Zinman||Smith Barney||Credit Suisse|
According to the article “Barron's keeps such advisers off the list for a year, to see how their accounts shape up at the new firm.”
That statement strikes me as a bit odd, because Barron’s also says “Investment returns aren't an explicit criterion, because advisers aren't required to file audited statements. But honest advisers operating on this scale tend to have strong returns -- that's how they get and keep so many clients.”
So if returns for these advisors aren’t monitored, why even worry about how their accounts “shape up at the new firm?” These are relatively high-powered operators, often managing billions of dollars, so if they retained their clients during their switches to new firms, then why couldn’t they stay on the list?
Isn’t getting and keeping clients what counts?
I’ll say this: Leaving troubled firms like Citigroup (C) is a sign that folks like Lori Van Dusen and Michael Johnston probably care quite a bit about their clients, who’ve learned over the past year that financial services is one area in life where size doesn’t matter.
I could also rant about the conflicts of interest involved in letting firms nominate their own advisors, but I’m too tired, I’m too old, I’m too f*cking blind.
Besides, what do you care? You don’t have enough money to work with any of these advisors anyway.