Buckingham signs up blogger Solin as adviser, investor advocate

CEO Birenbaum says firm has 'pantheon of thought leaders'

By Dan Jamieson

Jan 10, 2013 @ 3:16 pm (Updated 3:29 pm) EST

asset management, active management, blog, Solin

Buckingham Asset Management LLC's Adam Birenbaum is on a mission to save investors from the clutches of expensive active management.

His latest move was the hiring Tuesday of financial author and blogger Dan Solin as a wealth adviser and as director of investor advocacy at its turnkey asset management platform, The BAM Alliance, which runs $17 billion in passive strategies and supports 130 partner firms with front- and back-office services.

Mr. Solin joins other well-known BAM commentators Larry Swedroe, director of research, Carl Richards, director of investor education, and Jared Kizer, director of investment strategy, in rounding out BAM's investor education efforts, said Mr. Birenbaum, Buckingham's chief executive.

The lineup is “a pantheon of thought leaders not happening anywhere in the industry,” he said.

The firm serves up a variety of financial planning and money management topics on its website and encourages investors to use low-cost index funds.

Mr. Solin, author of the Smartest book series on investing topics, and a blogger with the Huffington Post and U.S. News and World Report, has long been an advocate of indexing.

Prior to joining BAM, he was a senior vice president at Index Fund Advisors Inc.

“You want people to read what you've written, and being affiliated with The BAM Alliance … gives me a much broader platform to get the message out,” Mr. Solin said.

Buckingham isn't shy in spreading its message.

Mr. Swedroe, for example, routinely criticizes active money managers.

“Only about 15% of individual investor assets are in index funds,” he wrote in a recent blog post. “That means the other 85% is playing the loser's game. Which one are you playing?”

The BAM Alliance bills itself as working to combine the science of investing with comprehensive wealth management.

Mr. Solin said many of his clients have been looking for more comprehensive services.

He will be working with high-net-worth clients, pensions and trusts at Buckingham.

The firm is perhaps the highest-profile affiliate of Focus Financial Partners LLC, a consolidator of RIA firms.

In recent years, Buckingham has made several acquisitions, the latest in September when it acquired Founders Financial Network LLC, with $600 million in client assets.