Q3 2014 Rankings

Advisor Perspectives, a leading publisher serving financial advisors and the financial advisory community, has announced its Venerated Voices awards for commentaries published in the third quarter of 2014. Rankings were issued in three categories: The Top 25 Venerated Voices by Firm, The Top 25 Venerated Voices by Author and The Top 10 Venerated Voices by Commentary.

Leading the Top 25 Venerated Voices by Firm category was California’s Oaktree Capital Management, followed by Maryland-based Hussman Funds and Boston’s GMO.

Among individual commentators, the most-widely read was Jeremy Grantham of GMO, followed by Howard Marks of Oaktree Capital Management. Third place went to John Hussman of Hussman Funds.

The most-widely read commentary of Q3 2014 was The Ponzi Economy by John Hussman, published Sept. 22. In it, Hussman described the current economy as one in which debt is expanding more quickly than it can be repaid, which he called a “Ponzi Economy.” His explanation was that policies that discourage savings, promote debt-financed consumption and encourage the diversion of scarce savings have reduced productive capital. Hussman suggested policies that increase bank capital requirements, investment tax credits and job training credits, among others.

In second was Yes, This Is An Equity Bubble, also by John Hussman, published on July 28. He detailed the extent of the current equity bubble, saying that the major risk to current economic stability is not equity overvaluation but rather a large amount of low-quality debt issuance that is backed by equities. According to Hussman, all market peaks shared similar overvalued, overbought and overly bullish ideas that led to a shift in risk perception, which he said will happen again eventually.

Third place went to What "Smart Beta" Means to Us by Robert Arnott and Engin Kose of Research Affiliates, published on August 22. They discussed the various definitions of smart beta and analyzed current smart beta products against its abundance of definitions.

Advisor Perspectives’ website currently attracts more than 175,000 unique visitors per month, virtually all of them financial advisors serving high- and ultra-high-net-worth individuals. The company publishes economic and market commentaries that were submitted by fund companies, advisors and independent research firms. In Q3 2014, more than 590 such commentaries were published and made available through a daily newsletter, Research Perspectives, which the company emails to its subscribers. 

Venerated Voices™ rankings are based on the number of unique readers of each commentary, using data provided electronically by the third-party web analytics service WebTrends. The data were normalized to reflect the fact that usage of Advisor Perspectives’ website grew steadily over the course of the quarter. Any participant is eligible to receive a quarterly award. Each firm and author was assigned a relative score, with a score of 100 equal to average readership.

Advisor Perspectives was founded in 2007 and is based in Lexington, Mass. In addition to Research Perspectives, it publishes a widely read weekly newsletter, Advisor Perspectives, which contains original articles on the markets, the economy and practice management.

Advisor Perspectives will continue to provide quarterly updates to its rankings. The annual Venerated Voices™ awards will be released in January 2015.