‘Reformed Broker’ Gadfly Joins BrightScope as Social Media Advisor

Downtown Josh Brown of blog and Twitter fame to launch his ‘Backstage Wall Street’ book this month

Joshua Brown on the cover of Research magazine's March issue. Joshua Brown on the cover of Research magazine's March issue.

Joshua Brown, the angry former broker who’s made a name for himself online by saying out loud what most people in the finance industry just think to themselves, has joined the advisory board of 401(k) plan analytics firm BrightScope.

BrightScope has asked Brown–a well-known financial advisor and blogger with 19,211 Twitter followers at last count on @ReformedBroker–to help bring more transparency to the world of finance. Brown, a vice president of investments at New York-based wealth manager Fusion Analytics, will help BrightScope position its Advisor Pages as the go-to platform for FAs looking to take advantage of the accelerating migration of advisors to social media.

Advisor Pages also offers investors a way of learning more about an advisor’s background, much like LinkedIn.

The announcement of Brown’s addition to Brightscope’s board coincides with the March 30 launch of his book BackstageWall Street, described as “part plea, part mea culpa, part screed” and an unmasking of some of the finance industry’s less-than-honest sales tactics, which harm the average investor.

“I am excited to join the BrightScope Advisory Board and work closely with the team on bringing new information and transparency to the financial industry,” said Brown in an uncharacteristically subdued statement. “BrightScope is quickly becoming the most important industry-specific social media platform for financial advisors.”

BrightScope, headquartered in San Diego, has gained a reputation for its independent 401(k) and target-date plan ratings and defined-contribution investment research. Much of that reputation has come from online media reports of the firm’s research findings.

“Josh Brown’s extraordinary insight and impact on the financial services market has made him one of the most respected names in the space today,” said Mike Alfred, CEO and co‐founder of BrightScope, in a statement. “His participation as a member of BrightScope’s Advisory Board will open new doors to help grow the company and solidify our leadership position in the industry.”

In addition to his work as “The Reformed Broker,” Brown serves as a regular contributor to The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, Forbes, Christian Science Monitor, Business Insider, StockTwits and CNBC. He began his career at a regional broker-dealer and gradually worked his way up to branch office manager, the youngest supervisor in his firm's history.  During the financial crisis of 2008, Josh began to question the brokerage model and eventually broke away and converted to an entirely fee-based practice.

Read more about Josh Brown in Breaking Ranks: Former Broker Turns Bomb Thrower at AdvisorOne.com

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