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Financial Advisor Media Outlook and Usage (FAMOUS) Study

The newest addition to the syndicated study family of Erdos & Morgan is the Financial Advisor Media Outlook and Usage (FAMOUS) Study.

Launched in 2013, this is the first syndicated study that looks at media consumption of Financial Advisors. Other studies within the professional investment community regarding Financial Advisors (FAs) tend to focus on their performance as it relates to investments. This annual study delivers a unique prospective by providing insights into the thought process and preferences of Financial Advisors with regard to media consumption and knowledge of ETFs and Fund Families.

The term investment advisor is a legal term and applies to individuals who are paid for giving advice about investing in securities and must be registered either with the SEC or the state securities agency where they have their principal business. The difference between financial advisors and brokers is that the financial advisors are bound by a fiduciary duty to their clients.

With the passage of the Dodds-Frank law, the rules for registration of financial advisors changed with more small to mid-sized firms, mostly those with less than $100 million under management, moving from SEC registration to state securities registration. Since RIA (Registered Investment Advisors) firms range in size from single person operations to multi-office many thousand employees, E&M tried to find a sample source that might best provide a representative sample of the entire investor advisor universe

After careful evaluation of several different sample sources, Erdos & Morgan selected the Uzurp database of Registered Investment Advisors (RIA). This was used as the initial sample source and the basis for projecting a total investment advisor population. This database was supplemented by tapping into a second Uzurp database, Registered Reps – Financial Advisors, which provided contact information for 18 of the largest RIA firms. The study is projectable to the approximately 560,000 registered Financial Advisors that have recommendation and/or decision making power within their firm. All of these individuals are located in the United States.

The study takes a comprehensive approach to measuring media brands across different platforms. There are approximately 30 different publications, 45 different websites, 6 different networks with over 30 individual programs and 25 social media platforms measured. For social media platforms, FAs were asked which, if any, they use professionally vs. personally. This study also evaluates mobile media as it relates to the use of applications (APPs) on smartphones and tablets.

In order to better understand these professionals, the study provides the profile of the Financial Advisor. This includes investment options, uses and knowledge of 16 types of ETFs and 29 different fund families, compensation models, level of independence within their firm, type of clients (high net worth, individual, institutional, etc.) and certifications.


Fund families included:

Alliance Bernstein, American Century Investments, American Funds, BlackRock, Dodge & Cox, Federated Investors, Fidelity, First Eagle Funds, Franklin Templeton, Goldman Sachs, The Hartford, Invesco, Janus, John Hancock Funds, JPMorgan, Legg Mason, Loomis Sayles, Marsico Funds, MFS Investment, Oppenheimer Funds, Pimco Funds, Principal Financial Group, Putnam Investments,  Russell Investments, State Street Global Advisors (SSgA),  TD Ameritrade, T. Rowe Price, Vanguard and Wells Fargo.


Media brands measured by network, print and/or digital platforms include:

Advisor Perspectives, Barron's, Bloomberg Businessweek, Bloomberg Markets, Bloomberg TV, Business Insider, CNBC, CNN, The Economist, Financial Advisor, Financial Planning, Financial Times, Forbes, Fortune, FOX Business Network, FOX News Channel, The fly on the wall, Google Finance, Harvard Business Review, Institutional Investor, Investment Advisor, InvestmentNews, Investor's Business Daily, The Journal of Financial Planning, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, MarketWatch, Morningstar Advisor, MSNBC, MSN Money, Motley Fool, The New York Times, On Wall Street, Pensions & Investments, Plan Adviser, PlanSponsor, Private Wealth, Rep., Research Magazine, Seeking Alpha, SmartMoney, The Street, Trusts & Estates, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Worth and Yahoo! Finance

Media consumption information can be utilized to cross reference the Financials Advisor’s knowledge and attitude towards specific fund families and types of EFTs. The media can be isolated by platform such as print, broadcast or digital. It can also be combined across platforms in order to obtain a comprehensive portrayal of the specific media brand.

FAMOUS℠ (Financial Advisor Media Outlook and Usage Study) Information Sheet (.pdf/1.40mb)