New RIA uses social media to boost access rather than penny stocks

Trader Talk

A financial advisor aiming to use social media as a means of increasing access to quality advice dropped his broker-dealer and launched a fee-only RIA to fulfill his vision.

Andre Jean-Pierre of Aces Advisors plans to turn his sizable following on Twitter and Clubhouse into leads for the New York-based RIA and a powerful alternative to personal finance influencers he finds to be often unlicensed and lacking in basic knowledge. Jean-Pierre left Advisor Group’s Woodbury Financial Services and formally registered the RIA with the SEC in July.

An 11-year industry veteran and former wirehouse broker with Morgan Stanley, Jean-Pierre gained the distinction of getting the first purple dot from Twitter as a member of the beta group of live streaming audio hosts using its Spaces function. He also began his weekly Clubhouse sessions last year after noticing influencers peddling penny stocks or even outright pump-and-dump schemes. Frustrated by their wide reach, he’s using the social media platforms to ensure “access to the information and access to the services that are blocked off from people of a certain demographic,” he said.

Andre Jean-Pierre, Aces Advisors

Fee-only financial advisor Andre Jean-Pierre of Aces Advisors launched his RIA after leaving Advisor Group’s Woodbury Financial Services.

Andre Jean-Pierre

Since he no longer saw the value of working with a BD and worried he couldn’t leverage social media as effectively as part of any other firm, Jean-Pierre decided to open the independent RIA. In its early stages, the firm has less than $10 million in client assets.

“I want to grow deliberately,” said Jean-Pierre, who is Black and Haitian American. “I’m really trying to focus on people of color who can’t get that kind of personal attention and people who understand their personal situation outside of just the numbers.”

Representatives for Advisor Group declined to comment on Jean-Pierre’s exit, noting a policy against discussing moves by individual practices or enterprises.

Jean-Pierre has 12,000 followers on Twitter and nearly 2,000 on Clubhouse, and he recently used Revue’s service on Twitter to start a newsletter called #InTheBLAQ. The newsletter revolves around “personal finance, culture, creators & sports in the Black and Brown community,” according to his profile.

A former Division-1 football star at Stony Brook University who grew up in the Flatbush area of Brooklyn and Irvington, New Jersey, he said he’s eager to find more clients who represent the “first generation of wealth from the inner city” who may be “a high earner and it doesn’t feel like it because they have to support so many people.”

Jean-Pierre’s Clubhouse sessions began drawing about 500 people during the GameStop saga in January, and he found that around 100 attendees would reach out with questions afterward.

“What we’re seeing right now is a lot of people connecting their professional lives with their social media lives,” Jean-Pierre said. “We understand business, we understand compliance, we understand the regulatory scrutiny behind it. So we can meld together those two lives.”

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