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Directory Week One: The launch, the tweaks and what directory listers say about its future

Why our free listings are a great deal and paid listings can be even better

Thursday, January 21, 2010 – 5:22 AM by Elizabeth MacBride
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What's to come in the RIABIz Directory? Job listings and other premium enhancements.

It’s been a big week at RIABiz. Last Friday, we launched the free RIABiz Directory, the best list of RIA services around. Thousands of searches have already been completed in the directory. And, we’re happy to say that more than 20 new companies have added themselves to our database.

Portland, Oregon-based Cornerstone PowerInvestmentTOOLS was one.

“The new, already-expansive vendor directory is a great addition to the information Riabiz.com provides its readers,” Angie Lyles, chief operating officer, told us. “We are very pleased to participate as a vendor for software and related services.”

Another reader, Phil Crosley, director of managed accounts at Post Oak Asset Management, a Houston-based advisor that runs a covered call strategy/managed account, sent us a note that encapsulates the distance the RIA business has traveled, and the miles it has yet to go.

Three-ring binder

“I remember in the early days, when I was at Invesco Funds Group, we kept advisor names in a three-ring binder and would send out duplicate confirms so they could manually break out capital gains and dividends.

“Even with advisor study groups the dissemination of quality information is … still lacking. I think your directory can really serve a useful purpose for not only RIA’s but also folks that work with advisors. Most of us that have worked in this segment of the financial services industry really take our fiduciary responsibility to clients seriously and believe we do sit on the same side of the table as the client.

If your directory can help all of us to be more competent in this regard, then you will definitely have a successful undertaking.”

Thanks to Lyles, Crosley and many others for their votes of confidence.

A handful of companies reached out to ask why they weren’t initially in the directory. The answer is that the initial 100 were cobbled together last summer, before RIABiz launched.

Ran out of time

It’s hard for an editor to admit, but we just ran out of time to keep adding to the list and to subject it to the kind of thoughtful appraisal that would have been ideal. In the ensuing months, we were putting our energies into the news on RIABiz rather than gathering more data for the directory.

We also knew that once we launched, we would make it easy for companies to add themselves to the directory. After just a few hiccups, we believe we’ve created a system that is easy to use.

You can add your company now by clicking here, or going to the directory home page, where you’ll see a green button up top.

Drop an e-mail

You can also edit any listing you create, and if you want to edit a listing that we put in, just drop an e-mail to Elizabeth@riabiz.com.

We’ve already had a few requests and suggestions, including this good one from a reader who asked to remain anonymous: “I would like to see some accountants/CPAs to maintain our books, pay our bills, file our tax returns. I haven’t found a good CPA since mine retired a couple of years ago.”

Dear anonymous: This sounds like a great idea to us. We’ve added a category for accountants.

Finally, a note about premium listings. We’ve had a handful of companies sign up for these listings, which we believe are a great value for service providers to RIAs. A premium listing gives you the equivalent of a mini-home page within the directory, for $150 a month or less. You’re able to reach our readers with your message when you answer these questions: What is the service or product you offer to RIAs? How do you differentiate your offering from competitors? What else would you like to say about your business?

Enhanced features

Look for enhanced features for these premium listings in the future, such as a section to post jobs or company news – and let us know if you have ideas.


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