How Long Before Financial Advisors Rating Site Gets Sued?

from the the-rating-game dept

Back in June, the launch of Avvo, a site for rating lawyers, was met with a lot of controversy. Lawyers aren't used to being rated as if they were any other good on the market, and it didn't take long before the site was sued by one lawyer unhappy with his ranking. Now a similar site is getting set to launch, except this time it will focus on financial advisors, another group which isn't used to much scrutiny. It's not clear whether or not this will prove particularly useful, but hopefully the site has some money socked away for legal fees, since it's only a matter of time before one disgruntled advisor sues after a bad rating.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2007 @ 1:12pm

    Place Your Bets!

    I give it a month.
    First

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Matt Bennett, Aug 29th, 2007 @ 1:26pm

    Here's the deal on financial advisors: Generically a bad idea. Most managed funds under-perform compared to the market at large and index funds. There are circumstances where you need one, but they don't apply to most people.

    Most people should just max out their 401k, and they'll be ok.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    D, Aug 29th, 2007 @ 1:47pm

    RE: Matt

    Financial advisors != fund managers.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Matt Bennett, Aug 29th, 2007 @ 2:15pm

    Re: RE: Matt

    Were you trying to say "/="?

    Anyway, I know that, but they sell funds. That's another thing: A financial advisor basically "Advises" the same way a used car salesmen "adivises" you on a mode of transportation.

     

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  5.  
    identicon
    D, Aug 29th, 2007 @ 2:29pm

    Re

    != is "does not equal"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Michael Schmitt, Aug 29th, 2007 @ 2:57pm

    Avvo still exists

    I just checked the website for the lawyer feedback and it is still up. There are some early adopters on there and those that are using the service have set themselves up with their own profile and get a bit of free advertising out of it. Looks like some of the snakes... I mean lawyers, might know how to use a bit of free promotion.
    (please don't sue for the snake comment) LOL

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Kril, Aug 29th, 2007 @ 3:04pm

    Re

    First, /= is from a math standpoint, != is from a programmers standpoint. So your both right, but either way.

    Second, sites like these are set up to report good/bad experiences. The point is to report those that have ripped you off or were fantastic to deal with. Its for consumers to share their personal experiences with the general public, or plain and simple, a more concentrated place for 'Word of Mouth' to do its job.

    As far as the site being sued, that is ridiculous, and only possible in the US. How can you sue someone for posting a personal opinion of a service? Is Freedom of Speech completely dead now???

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2007 @ 4:12pm

    Re: Freedom of Speech completely dead now???

    Lips sealed - nodding head up and down - hoping nobody is looking.

    The word "freedom" has been so overused and misused that too many of us don't know its real meaning.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 29th, 2007 @ 4:26pm

    Weak idea

    I think you'll find complaints but very few positive postings.

    Satisfied clients (patients, customers) don't go looking for ways to shout about their experiences; but dissatisfied ones do.

    Worse than that, there will always be some clients who will be unsatisfied due to unreasonable expectations.

    Some positives will come from lawyers planting posts under assumed names.

    I don't think the site will work out the way the owners think it will.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    RandomThoughts, Aug 29th, 2007 @ 4:51pm

    Re: Avvo still exists

    Michael, you actually could be sued for defimation, but technically I doubt that snakes can file lawsuits.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2007 @ 4:33am

    defamation? If I think you're an asshole then that's my opinion, asshole. :) One of the points to legally sue someone for defamation would be "a false statement of fact". If you make the site an editorial one then it's all opinion and you are off the hook.

     

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  12.  
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    Online Liability Blog, Aug 30th, 2007 @ 8:39am

    How Long Before Financial Advisors Rating Site Get

    Unfortunately, Joe, you're probably right that "it's only a matter of time before one disgruntled advisor sues after a bad rating." I thought the same when Avvo launched, and the same probably goes for TheFunded.com, recently profiled in the WSJ. See http://online.wsj.com/public/article/SB118644800916989977.html

    I suppose we should not be surprised when innovation (technological or otherwise) is met with litigation, but it’s still quite frustrating. Regardless, to the extent plaintiffs seek to hold these websites liable for statements posted by others, they’re likely in for an uphill battle.

    -Michael

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Yahoo, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 9:53am

    I looked at this site and it's a mess.... No control over input - - any broker can rate himself...... or have a buddy rate him. The questions are stupid ..... a bad broker could easily sucker a client into giving him a 100% rating. You can only see the 10 brokers that rated highest ..... none of the other rating are available. Of course it's the brainchild of a BROKER. Someone tried to give some suggestions and was told to leave the site.

    The good news is that almost no one is using this site.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Paul, Sep 7th, 2007 @ 10:45am

    Re:

    You bet:
    "the raw returns of equally weighted mutual funds (net of all expenses) for 1996 to 2002 were 6.626% for the investors working on their own and were 2.924% for funds provided by advisors."

    http://advisor.morningstar.com/articles/doc.asp?s=1&docId=4482&pgNo=0

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    you're wrong, Sep 20th, 2007 @ 9:29pm

    Re: Place Your Bets!

    oooppppsss!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Suzanne, Sep 20th, 2007 @ 9:32pm

    Re:

    I confessssss I left this message!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Anyone I want to be?, Sep 20th, 2007 @ 10:08pm

    Financial Advisors promote themselves anyway. They have friends and family refer them all the time; they even get their clients to refer them.

    On the flip side, there are those disgruntled clients who bash the advisor and tell others to stay away.

    Either way, its one sided depended on who is sharing their thoughts about the advisor. At least now the site allows you to see both sides.

    I looked at the site and it does need work. It’s lacking a professional appeal. What I did notice as apposed to the avvo site is the financial advisor one does not put any personal rating on the advisor, which means it is all user/client driven. (No different than this site, or any other that allows users to post their comments). So with that said, they are pretty safe. The avvo site was sued because the attorney put his softball awards up and it raised the score. The suit was not over the rating per say, but the faulty valuation lapse. Also, how can avvo say that an attorney is better based on the law school they attended? All that means is they attended a more prestige’s school, not that they’re a better attorney.

    The site does need some work, but at least investors can now see both sides.

    By the way, has anyone perfected internet users from signing up and posting. Yet be able to control the environment 100%. Nope! And this site is a prime example. Here on this subject a post is put up and calls someone an asshole, yet the site has no idea who did it?

    I found another site that has been in business for 5+ years and it lets your rate contractors. www.angieslist.com

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    nurse, Dec 1st, 2008 @ 5:35am

    Re:

    I looked at this site and it's a mess.... No control over input - - any broker can rate himself...... or have a buddy rate him. The questions are stupid ..... a bad broker could easily sucker a client into giving him a 100% rating. You can only see the 10 brokers that rated highest ..... none of the other rating are available. Of course it's the brainchild of a BROKER. Someone tried to give laptop AC adapters some suggestions and was told to leave the site.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    smithsan, Dec 18th, 2008 @ 1:11am

    As a result, Dimensional fund shares are not available directly to individuals but are limited to clients of a select group of fee-only financial advisory firms. The relationship between Dimensional and the independent advisor is based on shared views about how capital markets work and how best to provide clients with a successful investment experience.
    -----------
    smithsan
    Make Money

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    annonomous True Financial Advisor, Feb 9th, 2009 @ 9:20pm

    Re: Are you serious?

    No wonder there are so many financially illiterate young people

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2009 @ 9:42am

    Re: Place Your Bets!

    You were WRONG! Idiot!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2009 @ 9:47am

    Re: Re:

    To Nurse ...aka Susan...aka idiot! who goes around to every financial site acting like someone else.....I fiigured you would have at least got a life by now! Go pet your cats and stay off the financial websites. Better yet start one yourself...you seem to think your the expert on everything...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2009 @ 9:54am

    Below is the comment left by "aka Nurse" under the name Yahoo back on Sep 7th 07. Seems like the same idiot changning names by Yahoo Read the Nurse comment "by nurse - Dec 1st, 2008 @ 5:35am" then this one

    - Sep 7th, 2007 @ 9:53am
    I looked at this site and it's a mess.... No control over input - - any broker can rate himself...... or have a buddy rate him. The questions are stupid ..... a bad broker could easily sucker a client into giving him a 100% rating. You can only see the 10 brokers that rated highest ..... none of the other rating are available. Of course it's the brainchild of a BROKER. Someone tried to give some suggestions and was told to leave the site.

    The good news is that almost no one is using this site.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 27th, 2009 @ 9:56am

    How long before tech dirt hits the deadpool! Numbers not so good guys!!! http://siteanalytics.compete.com/techdirt.com/

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Ridor, May 5th, 2009 @ 6:45am

    Why should they be sued? It is the website owner personal choice.They tested the financial advisors and rate them. I thought everyone is allowed freedom of speech.

    ---------
    Palin
    How to make money

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Koe, May 30th, 2009 @ 12:40am

    Nice page

    Steel and aluminum scaffolding for construction is a very useful tool. How's China printing industry developed this years, who can tell us? China based injection molding services with low costs and supeior quality

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    fabeetle admin, Jun 8th, 2009 @ 9:16am

    fabeetle is giving it a try...

    This is the only conversation I have found around the topic of rating and reviewing financial advisors. I couldn't find it but my guess is that your talking about hotstocked.com. I agree, no quality control, bad layout, so...low adoption. There is a fundamental problem here though. Clients need more trustworthy resources to research and select financial advisors. FA's need more clients. We think we have figured out how to do this and also avoid any potential legal issues. As one of your posters said, opinions are safe. Check out http://www.fabeetle.com and give us your thoughts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    How long do I have to wait!, Mar 1st, 2010 @ 2:04pm

    Re: fabeetle is giving it a try...

    Ah, how long do I have to wiat till the site is done. I have been back so many times with the same homepage with no options. Not coming back again. Seems like the egg never hatched.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    fabeetle, Mar 18th, 2010 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: fabeetle is giving it a try...

    it's up. Launched it last friday.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    China Tent, Oct 9th, 2010 @ 12:35am

    Good article, Each and every point is good enough.Thanks for sharing with us your wisdom.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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