The best publications for financial advisors

There’s no shortage of news and opinion about the wealth management industry.

As an advisor, you’re spoiled for choice. There are trade publications, online broadcasts, magazines, webcasts, podcasts, newsletters, online forums, industry organizations, personalities and even media from companies to follow.

You can’t read all of them daily, but hopefully, this subjective compilation can help you become better informed about resources for the wealth management industry. 

This first segment focuses on the primary news sources of industry information. There are sources worth checking out in every category of news/insights provider. (Note: We focused on reporters covering the industry, rather than those covering client issues like personal finance.)

News

Trade publications are journalism parlance for news outlets dedicated to covering a specific industry. Every industry has trade publications, even long-haul truckers (There’s a top seven publication list just for that industry alone!) Naturally, wealth management has several trade pubs, a mix of long-standing titles and relative newcomers. 

You’re going to be informed about industry news by reading any one of these outlets, but there are varying degrees of differences between them all. Depth and originality of coverage, as well as features, awards and ranking lists separate some from others.

Here’s a list in alphabetical order of the publications (including some “mainstream” business news publishers) offering wealth management industry coverage.

AdvisorHub

www.advisorhub.com

What began as an online forum for advisors to gossip about career moves, compensation and scandal transformed into a news site in 2016, bringing on board two of the field’s most industrious journalists, Mason Braswell and Jed Horowitz. Horowitz has retired, but Jake Martin from CityWire has joined Braswell and the publication’s scoop-driven reporting is as strong as ever, often beating out much bigger mainstream outlets also covering the industry. Its publisher and CEO, Tony Sirianni, is also a well-known personality in the RIA world. AdvisorHub doesn’t shy away from controversial coverage, however, so getting its attention is either going to be good for you and your firm or not a good thing at all. Remember, you can’t expunge a news article. The publication has branched out into other content areas, but wirehouses -- particularly recruiting and comp -- are still their main coverage areas of strength.  

To follow:
Mason Braswell
Jake Martin
Tony Sirianni

Cost:
Free to subscribe, email registration required for newsletters

Barron’s/Barron’s Advisor

https://www.barrons.com/advisorcenter

There’s plenty of prestige in being named to Barron’s top wealth management rankings. Not only does it carry absolute peer recognition, it’s become an index of success: Once you’re on it, expect to not only hear from prospective clients but also potential recruits and vendors offering services too. Another reason to pay attention to Barron’s is that it is one of the few publications you and your clients are reading for investment and market insights. You’ll look smart knowing what article your clients might bring up in a conversation. After some painful layoffs a few years back, the publication is ambitiously deepening its industry coverage again. It features a revamped Barron’s Advisor, which launched as a  sub-site.

To follow:
Greg Bartalos
Andrew Welsch
Cheryl Winokur Munk

Cost:
$9.99 per month for a 1-year digital subscription. Corporate rates for a firm of 10 or more

CityWire RIA

https://citywireusa.com/registered-investment-advisor/

CityWire, which launched in 2016, has taken the lead as the go-to B-to-B site for breaking M&A news. Ian Wenik is the site’s top reporter and industry executives have made it a habit to come to him when they want to let their views be known. Worth signing up for the free newsletter that regularly publishes exclusives and industry alerts. CityWire also publishes a monthly glossy that is attractive, simple, and aggregates content. The website could beef up its content and staff more but does an excellent job with features such as a special report of the top 50 growing RIAs around the country.

To follow:
Ian Wenik
Alex Rosenberg
Amelia Garland

Cost:
Free to subscribe, email registration required

CNBC

https://www.cnbc.com/financial-advisors/

In your office (remember those?), you’ve probably got one TV set on CNBC. But beyond the daily news reporting, it has an online presence worth checking out. CNBC keeps a financial advice subsite that is meant for the retail investor. You’re not going to find a lot of industry news here, but it does provide a useful look at the issues your clients are probably thinking about. (Exception: Kate Rooney’s fintech and wealth tech coverage has produced a number of scoops). Prospects will also seek out CNBC as it does its own top 100 financial advisors ranking as well. All publications covering wealth management will publish op-eds by advisors, but this is one outlet worth pitching. There are a number of well-known industry leaders who are regular contributors to CNBC. Getting an opinion article published on its site then -- or making an on-air appearance -- would be a small win for your firm, a chance to show off your thought leadership to peers and prospects alike.

To follow:
Jim Pavia
Darla Mercado
Andrew Ross Sorkin
Hugh Son
Kate Rooney
Michael Santoli

Cost:
Free to browse the website, email registration required for newsletters

FA Magazine

https://www.fa-mag.com/

Among the handful of trade publications covering the wealth management industry, I find Financial Advisor to be among the most utilitarian. The publication does not offer a lot of deep reporting or breaking industry news. Still, it does publish a fair amount of content geared toward advisor practice and investment strategies and trends. One of the website’s more useful features is its continuing education centers for advisors, which gather all the certifications you’d want to apply.

To follow:
Christopher Robbins
Evan Simonoff

Cost:
Free to subscribe, email registration required

Family Wealth Report

www.familywealthreport.com

Family Wealth Report is a London-based B-to-B geared for family offices and wealth managers in the U.S. with high and ultra-high-net-worth clients. Accordingly, it’s expensive, charging $995 for a subscription to get behind its paywall. But you can view the homepage for free and headlines give you a sense of important stories for that market. It brings a unique perspective to advisor technology coverage since it’s tech geared for the family office. And AdvisorEngine content contributor Charles Paikert is the publication’s chief U.S. correspondent. His bi-monthly analytical and enterprise stories about RIAs are linked to his Twitter feed. These articles are removed from the paywall for all to read and are worth checking out.

To follow:
Charles Paikert
Tom Burroughes

Cost:
$995 annual subscription

Financial Planning

https://www.financial-planning.com/

Full disclosure, I used to be an editor here. I’m proud of the work my former colleagues are doing covering the industry, even though the publication has gone through a slew of tough changes since the onset of the pandemic. Financial Planning has won several journalism awards and it carries on the in-depth work that earned them those accolades. No other trade publication is still attempting the ambitious long-form narrative, whether in articles or blogs, such as Tobias Salinger’s award-winning series on systemic racism in financial services. Another of FP’s interesting strengths is that it can pull in coverage from a series of sister publications covering other aspects of the financial industry, so you can get a sense of how a trend is crossing over from banking into wealth management, for instance. But quality isn’t free: it’s also one of a handful of industry publications with gated content, meaning that you’ll have to have a subscription if you want to read a good portion of its articles. FP lacks a strong video and live media broadcast element compared to some of its competitors, so if you like to watch rather than read, there are other choices. It still doesn’t have a marquee advisor conference, though that is tough to develop in the current environment. Also, some of its advisor research at times has been openly challenged by industry observers.

To follow:
Ryan Neal
Tobias Salinger
Lynnley Browning
Andrew Shilling

Cost:
$988 annual subscription (introductory price), six-month and one-month subscriptions available. Corporate subscriptions are also available.

InvestmentNews

https://www.investmentnews.com/

InvestmentNews, known among advisors as simply IN, remains the most popular industry trade publication. Crain Communications sold IN several years ago but new ownership has kept key veterans, including Mark Schoeff and Bruce Kelly, whose coverage of Washington and IBDs, respectively, are best in class. Under new leadership, IN has expanded and redesigned its online presence. Also reflecting its new direction, the publication has launched a series of virtual conferences -- again a challenging feat in a screentime-burnout world. Its industry awards, such as the 40 under 40, are still industry lists that advisors vie to be named to, and the print copies become keepsakes. IN embraces video and it produces some entertaining segments as well as podcasts. IN has an experienced staff and often brings expertise and analysis to reported stories. I can’t speak to the depth or relevancy of its research since it is subscriber-only, but they have organized it into streams that would be appealing for marketers and competitive analysis, and their reports are less expensive than other offerings from research institutions. Overall, it should be on your daily news surf. 

To follow:
Mark Schoeff
Bruce Kelly
Sean Allocca
Mary Beth Franklin
Jeff Benjamin

Cost:
Multiple subscription offers. For access to its online and print news publications, it is currently $129 for 12 months.

RIABiz

https://riabiz.com/

If you’re looking for wealth management inside baseball, RIABiz is your Phil Rizzuto. The online-only site’s coverage is focused on deeply diving into the moves, the strategies and the politicking behind the content you’ll read elsewhere. For that reason, the publication is an acquired taste. If you’re not an insider, I can see how its coverage would strike you as Byzantine. Brooke Southall’s team expects you to know the importance of the executives they write about, the technology transformation happening in the backend of the largest custodians, the egos propelling the latest M&A deal, etcetera. I think you could cut about 2,000 words from their epic write-ups about one executive’s move and still tell the whole story, and maybe most folks only read a third of the way through those posts anyways. The site’s no-frills look could use an update too. Still, I’m glad a publication like RIABiz exists to do the deep coverage it does. Subscribe for free to its newsletters and pick the articles you want to read. It never hurts to learn more about industry players and the lingo.

To follow:
Oisin Breen
Brooke Southall
Lisa Shidler

Cost:
Free to browse the website, email registration required for newsletters

RIA Intel

https://www.riaintel.com/

A couple of years back, Institutional Investor put out a search for someone to launch a brand-new RIA-focused publication and hired former Barron’s editor-in-chief Greg Bartalos. Bartalos in turn hired reporter Michael Thrasher and the duo made the pub into a credible competitor in the B-to-B space. (Bartalos is now back at Barron's). The site has a New York Magazine-style template that’s snazzy to look at. Hats off to Thrasher for basically doing the work of five reporters all the while; I’m glad to hear the publication, under new leadership, is going to bring some additional resources to beef up its coverage. The content has run a bit thin at times for my taste, so I look forward to seeing more deeply sourced analysis from the brand.

To follow:
Michael Thrasher
Holly Deaton

Cost:
Free to browse the website, email registration required for newsletters

ThinkAdvisor

https://www.thinkadvisor.com/

ThinkAdvisor is similar to some of the publications on this list in that its parent, American Legal Media, produces industry coverage with few resources. But ThinkAdvisor does have a stellar staff of veteran reporters, including editor Janet Leveux and Bernice Napach, and it has managed to survive in a competitive market regardless. Its redesigned website is relatively easy to navigate. It also has a print magazine product. As an advisor, you have an opportunity to find an industry platform to share your voice and thought leadership. ThinkAdvisor is one of those platforms to consider.

To follow:
Jeff Berman
Michael Finke

Janet Leveux
Bernice Napach

Cost:
Free to browse the website, email registration required for newsletters

WealthManagement.com

https://www.wealthmanagement.com/

Do you hate pop-ups and/or full-screen ads? Your first online experience with this publication might be tough then. But it's still advertising, not subscriptions, that keep the lights on at most publications. Once you peel away the intrusive wrappers, there is a solid industry journalism outlet underneath. Again, the publication has seen its share of editorial and ownership shakeup. But it’s fair to say its new ownership (global publisher and events firm Informa) will push more resources to its growth. This is one of the trade publications I recommend advisors check out. It’s self-aware of the amount of coverage generated by the competition and strives to provide unique takes on the news. Like some of its competitors, it has a print offering, videocasts, podcasts and newsletters. Among WM’s standout features are its annual industry award galas, particularly the Wealthies, which recognize the best advisor tech.

To follow:
David Armstrong
Dianna Britton
Davis Janowski 
Samuel Steinberger

Cost:
Free to subscribe, email registration required

Also:

Bloomberg & Reuters

https://www.bloomberg.com/wealth
https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/wealth

Chances are, if you are reading any of the trade publications, you’re going to see bylines from either of these news wire services. But that can be selective and not the entirety of what these services produce in terms of industry coverage. Worth bookmarking their respective websites to check out. Bloomberg also delivers a great magazine, but it’s easy to fall behind on your reading due to volume.

To follow:
Suzanne Barlyn
Misyrlena Egkolfopoulou
Jason Grotto
Anna Irrera
Mark Miller
Sabrina Willmer
Sridhar Natarajan
Ben Steverman

Cost:
If you are subscribed to any trade publication, you will likely see reporting from Bloomberg or Reuters. Otherwise, Bloomberg charges $290 a year for a digital subscription. Reuters does not gate its online content, but email registration is required for newsletters.

ETF / Bitcoin publications (various)

All of the publications mentioned above cover every aspect of the advisor industry, including investment products. But given the importance of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) to the modern portfolio, especially those serving small accounts, it is worth subscribing to a newsletter from one of the dozens of publications that specifically cover these funds, such as ETF.com. The same goes for Bitcoin. If you aren’t at least conversant in digital currencies, you’re going to date yourself with clients. Read up at Coindesk for authoritative coverage.

To follow:
Marc Hochstein

Cost:
Coindesk and ETF.com are free to subscribe, email registration required. 

Journal of Financial Planning

https://www.financialplanningassociation.org/learn/journal

The peer-reviewed publication published by the FPA provides a contextual analysis of the daily issues in the news. Valuable for the industry research the industry organization releases. It also hosts a practice management blog and recently added a publication for new financial planners.

To follow:
Dan Moisand

Cost:
Varied membership fees by type. https://www.financialplanningassociation.org/membership

NAPFA

https://www.napfa.org/
https://www.napfaadvisor-digital.com/napfm/Store.action

The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors publishes its own monthly magazine, in addition to a blog and numerous learning resources for its fee-only advisor members. There are always interesting research studies available and insights to be gleaned from this professional organization.

To follow:
Karla McAvoy
David J. O’Brien

Cost:
Annual dues are $249, plus a one time non-refundable processing fee of $75. 

The Journal of Wealth Management

https://jwm.pm-research.com/

Another peer-reviewed journal focused on portfolio strategies -- high-level reading for those serious about understanding the ongoing evolution of theory and practice in investment management.

To follow:
Jean Brunel

Cost:
For access, email registration required

Morningstar

https://www.morningstar.com/
https://www.morningstar.com/insights/categories/big-picture

The investment research firm is technically not a trade publication, but much of its expert content is better absorbed by financial professionals than the average investing public. You’re already using its ratings to help you research funds and fund managers, but there’s also market commentary, analysis and even practice management features for advisors on its website. Also, check out some of the podcasts and social media feeds of its top research practitioners for personal insights.

To follow:
Ben Johnson
Karen Wallace
David Blanchett

Cost:
Morningstar Premium memberships can be had for $29.95 a month, $199 for an annual membership, $349 for two-year and $449 for a three-year membership.

The Wall Street Journal & Financial Times

https://www.wsj.com/news/markets/wealth-adviser
https://www.ft.com/us-economy

You’re in financial services; you should have a subscription to The Wall Street Journal. The WSJ’s Wealth Adviser is its subset of coverage dedicated to financial advice professionals. There’s a lot more market information to be accessed with subscriber access. You can opt for real-life newspaper delivery, but I think the digital version is a far better option. Pair this with a subscription to the Financial Times to get the authoritative global business outlook. You are, after all, invested in China somehow. I would, however, opt to get the FT newspaper even though it has a great digital experience. There’s just something about the look and feel of that smooth salmon-colored paper peering out of your saddle leather satchel on the morning train. Oh yes, they have their own RIA rankings too. But you know that. 

To follow:
Josh Azar
Telis Demos
Loren Fox
Liz Hoffman
Akane Otani
Jennifer Williams-Alvarez
Michael Wursthorn
Jason Zweig

Cost:
Various subscription offers. For a digital subscription plus delivery of its Saturday newspaper, the WSJ is offering monthly pricing of $20.49. The FT also offered a number of subscription options. For a premium digital subscription, the cost is $612 annually.


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This blog is sponsored by AdvisorEngine Inc. and CRM Software LLC. (“AdvisorEngine”) The information, data and opinions in this commentary are as of the publication date, unless otherwise noted, and subject to change. This material is provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered a recommendation to use AdvisorEngine or deemed to be a specific offer to sell or provide, or a specific invitation to apply for, any financial product, instrument or service that may be mentioned. Information does not constitute a recommendation of any investment strategy, is not intended as investment advice and does not take into account all the circumstances of each investor. Opinions and forecasts discussed are those of the author, do not necessarily reflect the views of AdvisorEngine and are subject to change without notice. AdvisorEngine makes no representations as to the accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made and will not be liable for any errors, omissions or representations. As a technology company, AdvisorEngine provides access to award-winning tools and will be compensated for providing such access. AdvisorEngine does not provide broker-dealer, custodian, investment advice or related investment services.  AdvisorEngine and Junxure are registered trademarks of AdvisorEngine Inc.

Suleman Din

Suleman Din

Suleman Din is AdvisorEngine's Advisor Intelligence Lead. Previously he oversaw technology coverage for American Banker and Financial Planning. At Financial Planning, Din launched ReinventWealth, the first newsletter dedicated to covering the evolution of digital wealth management and helped establish its INVEST conference. Previously, Din was a contributing editor to Knowledge@Wharton, the online business journal of the Wharton School of Business, and reported for the Newark Star-Ledger, where his coverage of the Asian tsunami in 2004 earned him a finalist nod for the Livingston Awards.

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