Best Financial Advisors Methodology

The Women’s Choice Award is a mission-driven organization to connect women to the best products, services and healthcare facilities for themselves and their family.  In a national survey, when we asked women how to best support her busy lifestyle the answer was clear: Simplify her life by identifying the best products and services, which would allow her to spend less time researching and struggling over choices in today’s cluttered marketplace and more time focusing on what really matters.  We do the homework for her so she can focus on what matters knowing she is choosing a thoroughly vetted advisor that caters to the women's market.  The Women’s Choice Award is the first and only recognition program for well-qualified advisors who are committed to the women’s market and serving women clients.  We have been proud to bring this program to the financial industry since 2013.

Award Criteria

The Women’s Choice Award® Financial Advisor Program recognizes and distinguishes financial advisors and firms who are committed to the women’s market and to serving women clients, and who qualify based on a 17-point criteria. These include:

  1. Advisor is accepting new clients.
  2. Actively employed as a licensed or credentialed professional in financial services for a minimum of three years.
  3. Credentials include an IAR (Investment Advisory Representative), a FINRA-registered advisor/broker, affiliated with an RIA (Registered Investment Advisor), a CPA (Certified Public Accountant), CFP® (Certified Financial Planner), PFS (Personal Financial Specialist), or a licensed attorney practicing in financial services.
  4. Must be in compliance with regulatory requirements of the SEC, state securities regulators in states where they do business, and self-regulatory bodies.
  5. Must be in good standing with the standards of the firm with which they are affiliated.
  6. Must have a favorable regulatory and complaint history and who sign an affidavit to that effect:

-No more than three customer complaints filed against them with any regulatory authority

-No individual contributions to a financial settlement regarding a filed customer complaint

-No suspension or revocation of license as the result of a regulatory action

  1. Must not have been subject to a regulatory action that resulted in their license being suspended or revoked, or payment of a fine.
  2. Must not have been convicted of a felony.
  3. Must not have filed for personal bankruptcy.


In addition, in determining whether an advisor has the tools and experience to serve women’s financial needs, the following criteria are also considered:

  1. Assets under management
  2. How many firms the advisor has been associated with in the past ten years
  3. The advisor’s record of community service
  4. The advisor’s client retention rate over a three-year period
  5. Number of clients served by the advisor
  6. The advisor’s education and professional designations
  7. Educational programs and events provided for clients

In addition to a review of the advisor’s qualification questionnaire, we conduct a screening through a FINRA ‘check’, SEC ‘check’ (where applicable), and CFP Board ‘check’ (where applicable), as well as a general background check through search engines.

In addition to the qualification questionnaire, we require a letter of validation from at least 2 senior executives at the individual’s firm/broker dealer as a character reference. These letters augment the regulatory history review, and further confirm a good standing and recommendation from senior officials.

Any unfavorable answers to items 1-9 above in the methodology will be reviewed closely and are grounds for disqualification.

Program Disclaimer:

The Women’s Choice Award® Financial Advisor program was created by WomenCertified Inc., the Voice of Women, in an effort to help women make smart financial choices. The Women’s Choice Award Financial Program is based on 17 objective criteria associated with providing quality service to women clients such as credentials, experience and a favorable regulatory history, among other factors. Financial advisors do not pay a fee to be considered or placed on the final list of Women’s Choice Award Financial Advisors, though they may have paid a program fee to cover the cost of their marketing materials. The inclusion of a financial advisor within the Women’s Choice Award Financial Advisor network should not be construed as an endorsement of the financial advisor by WomenCertified Inc. or its partners and affiliates and is no guarantee as to future investment success.