AdvisorHUB, a year-old gossip and news website for the brokerage industry, has become such a part of brokers' daily reading routine that some call it the "New York Post of financial news."

The website's founder, Andrew Parish, says the site has 200,000 registered users and gets half a million unique hits a month. It has posts that range from subjects like what the biggest brokerages are offering new hires to a rumor from readers alleging that Bank of America Corp's Merrill Lynch isn't throwing holiday parties this year.

The site doesn't generate any profits: it's free, and an app that Parish wanted to sell for $9.99 a month didn't work out. But unbeknownst to many readers Parish has collected detailed data about what brokers read on the site and tried to sell that information to major brokerage firms, saying they would be able to tell such things as whether a broker was looking for another job.

In presentations to Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch and UBS Wealth Advisors in July, Parish offered to sell the information for as much as $120,000 a month, according to sources who attended those meetings and a review of his presentation.

Parish told these firms that he had a scoring system -- from 1 to 10 -- based on what brokers were reading on AdvisorHUB that he claimed would predict adviser's moves, according to the sources and his marketing materials. He also offered to give "consideration" to coverage for any firm that bought the service, which sources said they understood to mean favorable articles.

In interviews with Reuters, Parish, 40, confirmed he had offered to sell the data. None agreed to buy, he said. He didn't rule out trying to sell the data again in the future and plans to launch a section on the site with some of the analytics about overall usage.

"Individual financial advisors are the geese that continue to lay golden eggs, and they want to talk about how well or how poorly they are being treated at their particular firms," Parish said. "Advisors are comfortable talking to us because we make them completely anonymous."