Blogs bring national exposure to investment manager
If all goes as planned, Bob and Josh Barone hope to use blog posts on major financial Web sites such as Forbes.com and TheStreet.com to build a national platform for their Reno-based investment management firm.
“We look at it as free advertising,” says Josh Barone, managing partner and, with his father, portfolio manager of Ancora West Advisors LLC.
But free advertising still takes a lot of work.
Each posting by Bob or Josh Barone runs about 2,000 words that’s about five times longer than the article you’re reading of carefully researched material densely packed with statistics.
Recent topics include the unsustainability of federal borrowing Bob Barone sounds repeated warnings on the likely effects of debt loans as well as Josh Barone’s early cautions of the problems that states such as California face with their municipal debt.
Those are topics designed to catch the interest of readers on sites such as Minyanville.com, an audience that’s likely to fit the profile of potential clients for Ancora West Advisors.
The firm currently manages about $82 million of money for its clients, most of them from the Reno area, and Bob Barone says Ancora West Advisors believes a national presence is an important stepping stone for the company’s growth.
And developing a reputation for national-class expertise, he says, opens doors to potential clients.
Abbi Whitaker, whose Reno-based ABBI Public Relations Inc. help Ancora West Advisors develop the blog-post strategy, says it’s worked because of the expertise of Bob Barone.
“You had better be darned good at what you do and have the credentials to prove it,” Whitaker says. “He really sold himself. It’s not always this easy.”
Placement of some of the columns, she says, took little more than a phone call to an editor.
Others Forbes.com, for instance required months of calls, hours of research into the needs of the Web site, and then more follow-up calls.
“That was a tough one,” Whitaker says.
The blogs don’t generate huge amounts of traffic, typically drawing 750 or 1,000 hits each.
But Bob Barone notes that the presence on Web sites helps generate calls from other media such as the Wall Street Journal and Bankrate.com that are seeking comments for articles, and those calls further spread the name of Ancora West Advisors.
Subject matter isn’t a problem “Every day brings a new crisis, a new development,” says Bob Barone but finding a big block of time to research and write can be challenging.
Weekend afternoons or long airline flights to the East Coast often are ideal times for writing, he says.
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