This past January, Jack Lynch, our director of advertising sales, and I were at a trade show and watching what has become a growing phenomenon: copies of CPA Wealth Provider were flying off the racks and tables at this show and subsequent various accounting conferences and shows around the country--more so than any other publication. We also noticed that we were getting tons of responses from readers as to how well they liked the magazine. And, I was receiving inquiries upon inquiries from the leading experts in financial planning looking to contribute articles for the magazine. By the same token, Jack was being asked about advertising in this publication because of its enormous reach into the accounting/financial planning community. Of course, all this is coupled with what has been happening today in the financial planning area and the fact that CPAs are literally flocking to financial planning especially now that the Baby Boomers are hitting retirement age. Furthermore, we realized that no one seemed to have produced a ranking of assets under management (AUM) of CPA/financial planning firms, at least not that we were aware. So, we embarked on putting together such a ranking. Keep in mind that AUM is a term originally employed by financial services companies in the mutual fund and money management or investment management business to gauge how much money they are managing. Many financial services companies used this as a measure of success and comparison against their competitors; in lieu of revenue, they had total assets under management. A survey was sent out and the response was staggering. Responses poured in. We had, of course, two criteria for consideration: They must be a CPA firm that has a financial planning practice, even as a subsidiary or affiliate, and the financial planner in the office must hold a CPA credential. In the top list are 11 firms that are in “The Billion Dollar Club” while another 41 firms are in “The $100+ Million Club.” Then there are those in the eight-figure category listed as “Rising Stars.” Not content with just a ranking, we delved beneath the surface and unearthed what affiliations each firm had, such as broker/dealers, wire-houses, financial services companies, and the like. Going even deeper, the survey reveals the financial planning products that each firm recommends in basic categories such as IRAs, 401(k)s, mutual funds, life insurance, bonds, 529 plans, to name a few. We believe the information in our charts, pie charts, graphs, and the like will shed some important light on this burgeoning field of financial planning. So then, here you are. CPA Wealth Provider, the leading national publication for CPAs involved in financial planning, is now presenting the first-ever ranking of CPA/Financial Planning firms by Assets under Management in its October issue. We expect this to be an annual event so if you didn’t turn in your survey form for this one, 2008 is right around the corner. And, if you would like a complimentary copy of the publication, just let me know.
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