Today’s constantly connected, socially savvy consumers – well equipped with search engines, online communities and easy access to outspoken peers – research nearly every major purchase and life decision. In an exclusive MoneyTips survey, we found that 44 percent of respondents go online to find answers to their questions about personal finance. However, adoption of social networks is lagging among professionals who impact American’s financial wellness; according to American Century Investments, while nine out of ten financial professionals report having at least one social media account, only 16 percent maintain a personal blog and a mere 4 percent participate in online communities.
At MoneyTips, we believe in the power of community to share knowledge and mobilize people far better than any individual can accomplish on her or his own. That’s why we are committed to building a community of experts that empowers American consumers to improve every aspect of their financial lives, free of charge. With this in mind, MoneyTips commissioned a study to identify the top 50 “social influencers” who have built lasting online connections with American consumers – engaging them and industry insiders on critical topics such as saving for college, ensuring a secure retirement, and managing debt. Put simply, we wanted to identify those professionals who best use social media to assist Americans in setting attainable financial goals, while adopting new behaviors to achieve them.
The study used the latest discovery and engagement tools to identify a broad range of influencers on subjects relating to Americans’ financial wellness, including more than 1,000 financial planners and advisors, wealth managers, CPAs, journalists, bloggers and authors. The tools used include LittleBird, GroupHigh, Alexa, Google search and various top lists created by industry insiders. The top 500 candidates were scored and ranked using the Socialized! proprietary formula designed to quantify their digital and social presence and influence. It takes into account a variety of factors including social footprint, popularity among industry insiders, engagement frequency and amplification, citations by influential writers and related items. Weights were then assigned to each factor to derive a ranked list of the top 30 and an unranked list of the top 50 influencers in wealth and personal financial wellness.
For the first time ever, this exclusive MoneyTips study reveals the top 30 social influencers impacting American’s financial lives.
Topping the list are three best-selling authors: Robert T. Kiyosaki (Rich Dad, Poor Dad), Dave Ramsey (The Total Money Makeover) and Suze Orman (The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous & Broke), all of whom have catapulted offline influence into online engagement. Twenty-two influencers are affiliated with traditional media outlets -- as show hosts, subject matter experts, journalists covering personal finance, editors or contributors. Mr. Money Mustache, a former software engineer and blogger named “Pete” who built his influence organically on digital networks, is the highest-ranking “digital native”.
Expanding our scope a little further, we proudly present the top 50 influencers impacting American’s financial wellness as well as two honorable mentions in alphabetical order. We have saved you the trouble of following everyone on the list.
Congratulations to all those who made the list below!
Of course, our ranking is not the final word on the subject but rather the beginning of a conversation. Who in the wealth and personal finance community do you believe belongs on the list? What role can community play in mobilizing people to improve their financial health? Please share your thoughts by tweeting us at @socialmoneytips.
- Tara Siegel Bernard, @tarasbernard - Personal Finance & Consumer Reporter, The New York Times
- Tom Brakke, @researchpuzzler - Principal, tjb research
- Josh Brown, @reformedbroker - CEO, Ritholtz Wealth Management; Contributor CNBC’s Fast Money/Halftime Report
- Brittney Castro, CFP®, @brittneycastro - Founder & CEO, Financially Wise Women
- Jean Chatzky, @jeanchatzky - Financial Editor, NBC’s Today Show; Columnist & Financial Ambassador, AARP
- Cathy Curtis, CFP, @cathycurtis - Investment Advisor & Financial Planner, Curtis Financial Planning, LLC
- Kimberly Curtis, CFP, @KimCurtisLegacy - President & CEO, Wealth Legacy Institute, Inc.
- Trevor Delaney, @AP_PersonalFin - Personal Finance Editor, The Associated Press
- Sam Dogen, @financialsamura - Personal Finance & Blog Network Founder, Yakezie.com; Founder & Blogger, FinancialSamurai.com
- Ebong Eka, CPA, @ebongeka - President, Ericorp Consulting, Inc.; Manager, Tax & Client Services, Levyti Consulting, Inc.
- Frederick P. Gabriel, @FredPGabriel - Editor, InvestmentNews.com
- Sheryl Garrett, CFP, AIF®, @SherylGarrett- Founder, Garrett Planning Network, Inc.
- Clark Howard, @ClarkHoward - Host, The Clark Howard Show; Personal Finance Columnist, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
- Rick Kahler, CFP, @RickKahler - President, Kahler Financial Group
- Michael F. Kay, CFP, @FinLifeFocus - President, Financial Life Focus, LLC; Contributor, Forbes, Psychology Today & Financial-LifeFocus.com
- Michael Kitces, MSFS, MTAX, CFP, CLU, ChFC, @MichaelKitces - Partner & Director of Research, Pinnacle Advisory Group; Publisher, The Kitces Report & Nerd’s Eye View blog
- Robert T. Kiyosaki, @theRealKiyosaki - Financial Education Advocate; Founder & Author, The Rich Dad Company
- Bob Lotich, @ChristianPF - Author & Founder, ChristianPF.com
- Keith D. Maderer, CFP, @kdmaderer - Director & Founder, SENIOR Financial and Tax
- Christian Magoon, @Christian Magoon - Founder & CEO, YieldShares & Magoon Capital
- Miranda Marquit, @MMarquit - Professional Blogger, AllBusiness.com
- Daisy Maxey, @DaisyMaxey - Personal Finance Columnist, The Wall Street Journal
- Carolyn McClanahan, MD, CFP, @CarolynMcC - President, Life Planning Partners, Inc.
- David Merkel, @AlephBlog - Principal, Aleph Investments, LLC
- J. Money, @budgetsaresexy - Founder, Rockstar Finance; Founder, BudgetsAreSexy.com
- Mr. Money Mustache, @mrmoneymustache - Founder & Blogger, MrMoneyMustache.com
- Jodi Okun, @Jodi Okun - Founder, College Financial Aid Advisors
- Helaine Olen, @HelaineOlen - Author, Pound Foolish: Exposing the Dark Side of the Personal Finance Industry; Contributor, Thomson Reuters & Pacific Standard
- Jennifer Openshaw, @jopenshaw * - Columnist, Marketwatch; Chair, Advisory Board, Consumer Action
- Suze Orman, CFP, @suzeormanshow - Host, The Suze Orman Show & Suze Orman's Financial Essentials; Contributing Finance Editor, O, The Oprah Magazine
- Kimberly Palmer, @alphaconsumer - Senior Editor, US News & World Report; Author, Alpha Consumer
- George Papadopoulos, CFP, CPA, @feeonlyplanner - President, George Papadopoulos, CPA/PFS, CFP
- Mike Piper, CPA, @MichaelRPiper - Founder & Blogger, ObliviousInvestor.com
- Dave Ramsey, @DaveRamsey - American financial author; Host, The Dave Ramsey Show ; Founder, The Lampo Group, Inc.
- Carl Richards, CFP, @behaviorgap - Director of Investor Education, BAM Advisor Services; Columnist, The New York Times
- Barry Ritholtz, @ritholtz - Founder & Chief Investment Officer, Ritholtz Wealth Management
- Jeff Rose, CFP, @jjeffrose - CEO & Founder, Alliance Wealth Management, LLC; Creator, GoodFinancialCents.com
- Charles Rotblut, CFA, @CharlesRAAII - Vice President & AAII Journal Editor, American Association of Individual Investors
- April Rudin, @TheRudinGroup - Founder & CEO, The Rudin Group Financial Services/ Marketing Communications; Blogger, The Huffington Post
- Chuck Rylant, CFP, @ChuckRylant - Teacher/Faculty Member, Allan Hancock College; Writer & Owner, C.J. Rylant Wealth Management
- Stephanie Sammons, CFP, @StephSammons - CEO & Founder, Wired Advisor, LLC; Social Media Advisor, Sammons Ventures, LLC
- Michelle Singletary, @SingletaryM - Personal Finance Columnist, The Washington Post
- Greg Skidmore, @gregskidmore - President, Belpointe Wealth Management Group; Founder & Chief Investment Officer, Belpointe Asset Management, LLC
- Ed Slott, CPA, @theslottreport - IRA Expert & Retirement Planning Educator, Ed Slott and Company
- Winnie Sun, @sungroupwp * - Managing Director & Founding Partner, Sun Group Wealth Partners
- Philip Taylor, CPA, @ptmoney - Founder, FinCon (PT Money Conferences, LLC); Founder, PT Money, LLC
- Manisha Thakor, CFA, @ManishaThakor - Founder & CEO, MoneyZen Wealth Management, LLC
- Penelope Wang, @PennyWriter - Editor-at-Large, Money
- Roger Wohlner, CFP, @rwohlner - Financial Advisor/Consultant, Asset Strategy Consultants
- Bill Winterberg, CFP, @BillWinterberg - Host & Technology Contributor, FPPad Bits & Bytes
- Pamela Yellen, @PamelaYellen - Founder & President, BankOnYourself.com
- Jason Zweig, @JasonZweigWSJ - Personal Finance Columnist, The Wall Street Journal