Zoe's Vetting Process to Find Top Financial Advisors

Published January 12th, 2023 
Reading Time: 7 minutes
Written by: The Zoe Team

You should be able to trust that the financial advisors you’re considering to hire already “pass the test.” That’s why at Zoe, we have a process that ensures the first step you take when looking for an advisor, already accounts for the heavy work. We have people who understand this industry on a fundamental and practical level, and talk to the financial advisors you’re considering, to see if they are the best fit for you. 

You might be wondering what makes Zoe’s advisor network unique and why we’re proud to share we “reject 95% of advisors, so you don’t have to.” Zoe’s rigorous vetting process ensures you only work with top advisors nationwide. Why? Because that’s what you deserve. 

Before getting into the weeds of how our vetting process works, let’s start by thinking about the approach one would usually take when thinking about hiring a financial advisor. 

What Should You Look Out For?

When looking for an advisor, you should be mindful of various factors. From making sure they’re experts to thinking about the details that guarantee they’re the right advisor for you, there’s a lot to consider before hiring a financial advisor. 

You will most likely come up with an extensive list of qualities to look out for and ensure you’re getting the best of the best. When you are considering different candidates, chances are you’d ask the following questions:

  1. Credentials & Education: What certifications does the advisor have, and where did they receive their degree? What is their background like, and how can you know they received the best education?
  2. Experience: How many years of experience do they have? What are their success stories? How long do they work with their clients? 
  3. Unbiased and Transparent: Will they act in my best interest or theirs? What fees will they charge me, and how will I know exactly what I am paying for? 
  4. Investment: Can I assess their subject-matter knowledge to ensure I am working with the best? 
  5. Financial Planning: What does this experience look like? If I hire an advisor, how can I guarantee that working with them will be an additional benefit rather than something more to worry about?

If you’ve ever held job interviews, you know how this process goes and how many steps you must take to make sure you narrow your options to the best. When looking for a financial advisor, there are a lot of questions you have to ask and a significant amount of research you have to be confident about, to get the best advisor for you. 

You’re already thinking about millions of other things. You have events, children, grandchildren, executive meetings, and a dream retirement to think about, to name a few. The filtering process isn’t supposed to be your job. 

You should be able to trust that the initial options provided for you already “pass the test” and answer the previous questions with the right answers. That’s why at Zoe, we have a process that ensures the first step you take when looking for an advisor, already accounts for the heavy work. We have people who understand this industry on a fundamental and practical level, and talk to every advisor to see if they are the best. 

How Zoe Does It

The qualities you should look out for listed above are what we call, the five-step process at Zoe. To become a Zoe Vetted Advisor, individuals must meet specific criteria. 

Here is how we approach each tier to guarantee those who qualify at the end are high-caliber firms that you can trust to manage your wealth, knowing that they are among the best independent practices in the country. 

  1. The Credentials & Education of each advisor are confirmed and revised. Out of the advisors considered, 60% qualify from this filter. 
  2. Once their Credentials & Education are confirmed, Zoe reviews the advisors’ Work Experience. They must prove their commitment to the industry and knowledge expertise by achieving and maintaining credentials. We only work with advisors who have the CFP, CFA, or CPA. Additionally, we want advisors with experience who don’t use Zoe clients as their trial run. We require all advisors to have at least five years of industry experience before they apply to our network. 44% qualify from this filter. 
  3. Working with Unbiased & Transparent advisors is what gives you peace of mind that your wealth is being adequately managed and that you aren’t charged unnecessary fees. 34% qualify from this filter. 
  4. Wealth advisors’ knowledge and expertise, communication skills, financial and Investment process, and operational efficiency are assessed. After testing if they are the best in Investment, 12% of advisors qualify.
  5. Finally, the last filter has a 5% qualification, where we evaluate the overall client experience offered. We ensure advisors provide comprehensive wealth planning tailored to client’s needs and goals. Not all advisors help clients equally. One advisor may deliver excellent advice to investors, while another’s expertise could best fit retirees. Financial Planning should be all about your wants and needs. 

Only the top 5% of advisors nationwide make it to our network. Zoe Vetted Advisors are personable and client-centric in every decision.

What Else Do We Worry About So You Don’t Have To? 

There are several key characteristics we initially look for in advisors we partner with: 

  • They cannot be associated with a broker-dealer. We understand that broker-dealers aren’t inherently bad, but they have a different service model and incentive structure. We want advisors who put the clients first and align with client success rather than a company’s success.
  • The value of financial advisors is in financial planning and accountability in implementation. Therefore, we partner with advisors who lead with planning rather than leading with investment management. 

The Interview

All the advisors you will meet have already been interviewed beforehand. 

Assuming advisors meet all the requirements of the five-step process, we interview every advisor before they can be invited to join Zoe’s Advisor Network. Before they work with you, we make sure we can work with them. We want to hear firsthand how they work with clients. We focus this interview on six key areas:

  1. Investment Knowledge
  2. Investment Process
  3. Financial Planning Knowledge
  4. Financial Planning Process
  5. Operational Efficiencies
  6. Communication 

This interview and vetting process results in high-quality, delightful advisors. We ensure that every advisor we partner with has the knowledge and depth to service their clients, has the processes and structure to create a delightful experience for every client as they continue to grow, and has the soft skills necessary to help clients directly.

What You Should Know About Zoe Vetted Advisors

Professional and Personable

Clients tell us they want to work with a professional, so we include this characteristic in the vetting process. Unfortunately, while they may seem obvious, there are a lot of advisors who don’t embody this quality. Advisors should exude professionalism and be personable. Being a financial advisor is not a side business or a hobby. These advisors are true experts in the industry. 

Aptitude and Attitude

Advisors have the aptitude and attitude to service clients at the highest level. Proving great advice should be foundational. Aptitude is technical knowledge and the ability to educate clients on making the best decisions. We work with advisors with a growth mindset and a thirst for improving how people make financial decisions. 

Efficacy and Efficiency 

Time is limited, and it’s not worth wasting on a fluffy conversation without action. We partner with advisors who want to impact clients’ lives and be held accountable for their actions. There is value in leveraging technology to increase transparency, efficiency, and quality of information. We want to streamline your financial life so you can focus on other areas.

Are You Ready to Try Out Our Method?

Zoe’s mission is to connect our clients with the right financial advisor. Our selection method ensures that they only meet with professionals they can actually trust. It’s about you and making your experience as transparent and holistic as possible. We’re committed to delivering on our promise to move mountains that will help people grow their wealth with clarity and ease.

Disclosure: This blog is not investment advice and should not be relied on for such advice or as a substitute for consultation with professional accounting, tax, legal or financial advisors. The observations of industry trends should not be read as recommendations for stocks or sectors.

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