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Why Josh Brown Is Wrong About Twitter

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

Last month, the prolific blogger, Tweeter and CNBC host Josh Brown blogged that he “would never invest money with someone who isn’t on Twitter.” Josh got be as well known as he is by saying provocative things, sure, but his rationale for this one is actually pretty interesting.


Josh’s main point is that Twitter serves as a place where ideas are exchanged, and any financial advisor worth his salt should be willing to go on the record and put forth concepts there that can be debated publicly. I don’t think Twitter is the right place to do that, but I can see what he means-- most scientific work must endure peer review, and yet that’s not really the case for money managers.


The fact is that it’s not in most investors’ best interest to work with the wealth manager who gets the most likes on their social media. In fact, it’s probably not a great idea for most investors to choose their advisor off of any list of the “best” financial advisors because those lists’ main criteria is generally the size of the advisor’s book. …It’s not that we don’t enjoy those accolades when we get them, even if that’s the basis, but it’s really not that helpful for an investor who’s in the process of selecting an advisor.


To go with the advisor with the most assets under management is inherently problematic because even clients who are legitimately wealthy can still get lost in the shuffle and not get the attention they deserve. I mean, if you’ve got a $20 million portfolio, are the guys who manage a billion dollars really keeping their eyeballs on your investments at all times? Clients’ portfolios may not be as finitely dialed-in to their personal financial plan as they otherwise could be, and their advisors may not be as in-tune to the nuance of their own personal investment priorities and life events.


There are so many lists of “best financial advisors” that it’s fair to say that some are better than others. So, you have to be critical-- and exponentially more so on Twitter. There’s so much garbage on there that it has become a difficult platform from which to evaluate content. I see Twitter as more of a social mess than a sensible forum for peer review, but Josh is right that it’s important for credible financial advisors to go on the record in this day and age. I post articles like this on my company’s website, and I’ll even post links to them on our social media. But I don’t live on Twitter. …I’m a market contrarian and a mean reversionist; I don’t really care what most of the people on there have to say anyway.

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