I thought I’d begin by reading a poem by Shakespeare, but then I thought, Why should I? He never reads any of mine.
— Spike Milligan

Hi, hey, hello — welcome to Top Financial Advisor! I’m your humble author, Robert Seaton, but before we get to me, I’d like to tell you a little bit about this website and why it exists.

Top Financial Advisor has one mission: to help you make more money. That’s it. 7% of the world’s GDP, around 6 trillion dollars (sometimes more), trades hands every day. This website is here to help get you a (bigger) piece of that action.

There are a lot of different ways that we can do that, and one of the one’s that I’m most passionate about is injecting sanity into financial discussions. I’m sure there are honest financial advisors out there, but you sure as hell won’t find them on television or on the New York Times Bestseller list.

Self-proclaimed finance gurus smile for the camera and tell the audience that they’re pretty sure — no, certain! — that gold is about to take off and that you need to get in on it now or you’re going to miss out. Oh, and conveniently, if you do have any gold jewelry you want appraised, this guy happens to run an appraisal service. What a coincidence!

I can’t stand these people. They stand up and proclaim that they know what the market is going to do, that they know how the world works, and then everyone just forgets about it. No one pays any attention to whether or not their forecast was correct — what kind of track record do financial TV personalities have? I don’t know. No one is publishing this stuff, but whatever it is, it can’t be good.

Maybe the most compelling empirical example of this come’s from Philip Tetlock’s Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?, which found that even the crudest statistical techniques were more reliable than the typical so-called political expert, and that television personalities tended to be the worst performers.

I’d bet that what holds for political experts holds for financial experts — that is, that most of them have no expertise to speak of.
Or consider the following thought experiment: imagine that we rounded up a random sampling of financial analysts and placed them in a room, and then we gave them what they believed were today’s stock prices.

Except, really, we fabricated them, pure fakes — do you think any of them would notice? Would anyone say, “Wait, Exxon can’t be up. There’s a drought in the Middle East?”

I doubt it.

So, if you share my feelings, or just want to make more money, you should join the rest of us by subscribing via email. (Plus, I’ll throw in a free copy of my book.)


About Robert Seaton

Headshot of Robert Seaton Like I mentioned before, my name is Robert Seaton, and I’m the chief editor and founder of Top Financial Advisor (which is really just a pretentious sort of way of saying that I write most of the stuff here).

I do a lot of different things. I write, draw, run, speak, analyze data, and code. I’ve worked as a software consultant for a search engine that you may have heard of, and my analytical focus is maybe my most distinguishing personality trait: I love data. (Although, I will admit, there’s a part of me that wants to tell you right here that, like every female food blogger ever, my smile is my best feature.)

My passion for all things financial is not so much a conscious decision as it is part of my genetic code, passed from my great-grandfather to my grandparents to my father to me. It might go back even farther than that, but I haven’t dug that deep.

When I was growing up, my parents were sorta religious, or at least the professed to be, but it didn’t take too long before I realized that the real gods they worshiped were not that Jesus fella, but the markets.

And now I’m using these skills to illuminate money and how to make more of it and, so don’t miss out on extra income: subscribe via email.


About Austin G. Walters

Me-Starved-Rock-3My name is Austin G. Walters, I’m co-founder and editor of Top Financial Advisor, and Computer Science student at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urbana.

I would describe myself as an optimization and data guy. I have worked at Capital One automating whole departments, at a medical billing office building databases, and write about algorithms, optimizations, and data regularly on my blog. Now, with Top Financial Advisor, I am working on ¢entiment, a sentiment analysis algorithm.

Finance has been a big part of my life, my father is a corporate tax accountant and felt it was important for me to learn the essentials of finance, tax, and management. That being said, I somewhat feel like J.P. Morgan, who spent his childhood learning how to balance bank accounts. When I was young my father would sit with me saturdays explaining investing, stocks, and how to manage spreadsheets. When I was older I continued reading, learning, and experimenting.

My current project for Top Financial Advisor is ¢entiment, or sentiment analysis, sharing my investment knowledge, retirement planning, and more.

My goal while with Top Financial Advisor is to use my skill set to guide you through the red and into the black, bringing financial success to your life.