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Regulation and Compliance > Federal Regulation > SEC

Spectrem Millionaire Corner Launches Advisor Ratings

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Want to know how your clients would rate you? Spectrem Millionaire Corner will now survey them for you.

For $500, Spectrem will survey an advisor’s clients. Advisors receive a detailed report of the data and a “Client-Centric Advisor” badge to display on their site. Advisors can post the results on their site as long as they specify where the ratings come from. The advisor also gets an advertisement on the Spectrem site.

Spectrem posts the survey results in Millionaire Corner’s Best Financial Advisors serch listings.

Importantly, advisors cannot influence or review the ratings.

Spectrem rolled out the service after the SEC’s IM Guidance Update 2014-4 in late March on the use of testimonials and social media. 

The SEC said testimonials and ratings of advisors were acceptable as long as they were hosted on a third-party site the advisor had no ability to control. This stipulation is intended to prevent potential fraud if an advisor were to use client testimonials in his advertisements.

“We are pleased that the SEC has realized the value that a service like this provides for investors,” Catherine McBreen, president of Millionaire Corner, said in the statement.

“Our research shows that advisors often believe they know what their customers want, but research with the customers shows otherwise. This will be an invaluable tool to bridge that gap and benefit both investors and advisors.”

In January, Spectrem Millionaire Corner started soliciting advisor ratings from clients. Ratings are obtained through monthly research based on the key factors that investors consider when hiring or firing an investment advisor or investment advisor representative and are published under the Best Financial Advisors portion of the Millionaire Corner website. 

Investors participating in the research are asked for the name of their investment advisor or representative and answer several questions on their satisfaction with and likelihood of recommending that advisor. 

All ratings are posted without any review or editing by the advisor, Millionaire Corner said in a statement.


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