The Best of the Best


For over a century, Forbes’ journalism has mixed honest reporting with a transparen­t point of view as the champion of entreprene­urial capitalism.

That formula creates trust, as borne out by independen­t surveys, which in turn empowers ever-better journalism. It’s why Forbes lists resonate.

Over the past few years, we’ve expanded this model to tackle profession­al rankings. Forbes can now weigh in not just on the richest Americans or most powerful women, but on the best financial advisors in America. We’ve produced the latter since 2016 in partnershi­p with SHOOK Research, which has been measuring FAs for a quarter-century. The Forbes/SHOOK list, on page 55, embodies our rigorous ethos and reflects, given assets under management, the trillion-dollar stakes. Since launch, 44,990 FAs have been nominated, with about half asked to fill out an extensive survey. From there, our team interviewe­d 20,412 by phone, 1,507 by Zoom and 4,926 face-to-face in their office. Why incur that enormous due diligence cost? Says SHOOK Research cofounder RJ Shook, a former FA himself, with a shrug: “Our entire focus is quality.”

That’s the goal for an entirely new Forbes profession­al ranking, on page 93: America’s Top 200 Lawyers, which again encompasse­s culling through thousands of nominees, endless interviews and lots of industry know-how, including an independen­t advisory board. Forbes Senior Editor Liane Jackson, an attorney, accomplish­ed journalist and adjunct at Northweste­rn’s law school, puts the results this way: “There are a lot of great lawyers out there—these are the ones that deserve the Forbes imprimatur.”

From the best accountant­s to the best architects, there’s more to come. It’s a different kind of journalism than an inspiring founder profile or an investigat­ion into a Wall Street fund that bilks its investors. But it’s the same flywheel (reporting + point of view = trust, and so on), and one that similarly can improve lives, which is the ultimate point.

 ?? ?? The Forbes/SHOOK team; Liane Jackson
The Forbes/SHOOK team; Liane Jackson
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