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Editor's Letter: September 2019

The Wealthies, by the numbers.

Sometimes it seems like I serve two masters.

For one, this magazine and all the work we do at is meant to bring news, information and, perhaps, some fresh ideas to you, financial advisors. 

But we spend a lot of time interacting with the businesses and individuals that want to get in front of you. It’s the nature of the media business. 

Often, these are commercial arrangements—sponsored content, advertisements, webinars. For our editorial team, it’s usually public relations folks representing clients that have something to offer financial advisors and want to get that word out. Our job in editorial is to vet the news, try to find the truth behind it and help advisors understand what is really going on in the business—the good and the bad.  

It’s one reason why I really value our Wealth Management Industry Awards—known as the Wealthies. They help me get an objective view of the best industry initiatives from companies in the ecosystem of supporting financial advice. Initiatives that help financial advisors build stronger practices and better help clients toward their optimal outcomes. Our panel of judges (all thanks to them) takes the view of the advisor (in fact, more of the judges this year are former and current practicing advisors) and asks which of these services, tools, platforms or “intellectual capital” would be most useful to you and your clients.

This edition will come out just a few days before the awards ceremony where we name the winners. Consider the numbers to get a sense of the scope of work being done for advisors.

This year, we have 665 nominations from 262 companies. That compares with 637 nominations from 238 companies last year. 

Of those 665 nominations, our judges sifted the pile down to 287 finalists from 166 companies across 71 categories. (Lest you think the judges aren’t doing their jobs, note that less than half of the submissions we received were named as finalists. When we say it’s an achievement just to be named a finalist here, we aren’t kidding.) Last year, there were 236 finalists from 155 companies. 

While the dinner is nice, the real value here for advisors is the guide to all the finalists across all categories. It will be published online close to the time of the event, so keep an eye out for it. I think it’s the best snapshot available of all the current work being done to support this industry. I don’t know of anything else like it—and it’s free. You may find some new vendor or tool you want to do business with, or you may just want to see the state of the ecosystem. It’s heavy on technology, which should not be a surprise, but you’ll also find investment strategists, new thinking around client acquisition and business processes, and new tools to help you run your businesses and offer more comprehensive services to your clients. 

If you find there something that helps you create better financial outcomes for your clients, we will consider it all a success. 

As always, feel free to reach out to me with any tips or suggestions at [email protected].

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David Armstrong


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