Awards and recognitions by unaffiliated rating services, companies, and/or publications should not be construed by a client or prospective client as a guarantee that he/she will experience a certain level of results if TFO Wealth Partners, LLC is engaged, or continues to be engaged, to provide investment advisory services; nor should they be construed as a current or past endorsement of TFO Wealth Partners or its representatives by any of its clients. Rankings published by magazines and others are generally based exclusively on information prepared and/or submitted by the recognized adviser. Moreover, with regard to all performance information contained herein, directly or indirectly, if any, users should note that past results are not indicative of future results.
Data as of 6/30/22. Forbes America’s Top Wealth Advisors and Best-in-State Wealth Advisors ranking was developed by SHOOK Research and is based on in-person, virtual, and telephone due diligence meetings to measure best practices, client retention, industry experience, credentials, review of compliance records, firm nominations; and quantitative criteria, such as: assets under management and revenue generated for their firms. Investment performance is not a criterion because client objectives and risk tolerances vary, and advisors rarely have audited performance reports. SHOOK’s research and rankings provide opinions intended to help investors choose the right financial advisor and are not indicative of future performance or representative of any one client’s experience. Past performance is not an indication of future results.
Research Summary (as of April 2023)
We don’t want 300,000 nominations so we set thresholds to minimize the quantity we receive:
- 39,007 nominations received, based on high thresholds and qualifications
- 22,243 invited to complete online survey
- 17,546 telephone interviews
- 3,557 in-person interviews at advisors’ locations
- 1,361 web-based interviews
The Research Process
SHOOK scours the financial services industry—banks, brokerages, custodians, insurance companies, clearing houses and others for nominations. SHOOK accepts advisors who meet pre-determined minimum thresholds and acceptable compliance records. As of this date, SHOOK has received over 39,000 nominations—advisors who meet SHOOK’s thresholds. SHOOK invited 22,243 of these nominees to complete an online survey.
Unlike other advisor rankings, SHOOK is not a “robo-ranker”. Numbers such as production and assets don’t tell the whole story, especially when much of the data is self-reported. SHOOK Research creates rankings of role models—advisors that are leading the way in offering best practices and providing a high-quality experience for clients. A focus on both quantitative and qualitative factors imperative.
SHOOK Research is the only rating firm that interviews advisors via telephone and in person at advisor’s location.
- 7 years as an advisor
- Minimum 1 year at their current firm, with exceptions such as acquisitions
- Advisor must be recommended, and nominated, by their firm
- Completion of online survey
- Business that is conducted with individuals is evaluated
- Acceptable compliance record
- Weightings assigned for both revenue and production data
- Assets under management—and quality of those assets—both custodied and a scrutinized look at assets held away (although individual numbers are used for ranking purposes, we publish the entire team’s assets)
- Client-related data, such as retention
- Portfolio performance is not a factor (audited returns among advisors are rare, and differing client objectives provide varying returns)
- Telephone, virtual, and in-person meetings with advisors (telephone interviews are required; if an in-person meeting cannot be accomplished, exceptions are considered in which the interview will occur after a ranking has been published)
- Advisors that exhibit “best practices” within their practices and approach to working with clients
- Compliance records and U4s: Some “dings” can be overlooked such as firm or product failure beyond the scope of an advisor’s due diligence. The older a ding, the less we look. Since there are many gray areas, the SHOOK team is willing to listen to a firm that is willing to stand behind the advisor with written support from leadership.
- SHOOK measures client “impact,” a proprietary indicator that measures the difference advisors make in the lives of their clients.
- Advisors that provide a full client experience: service model; investing process; fee structure (higher % of fee-based assets earns more points); breadth of services, including extensive use of firm’s platform and resources (e.g. liabilities); credentials (years of service can serve as proxy); use of team & team dynamics; community involvement; discussions with management, peers, competing peers; telephone, virtual, and in-person meetings
The following conditions will be considered to lessen weightings of infractions:
- Infractions that are denied or closed with no action
- Complaint arose from a product, service or advice initiated by a previous advisor or another member or former member of team
- Length of time since complaint
- Complaints related to product failure not related to investment advice such as limited partnerships or adjusted-rate securities
- Complaints that have been settled (must be proven) to appease a client who remained with the advisor for at least one year following settlement date
- Complaints that are proven to be meritless
- Actions taken as a result of administrative error or failure by firm
Once an advisor’s compliance rating falls into a tenable category, the following conditions must be met:
- An advisor’s rating must be among SHOOK’s highest qualitative measures including in-person interview
- Letters of recommendation from firm must be submitted
The algorithm is designed to fairly compare the business practices of a large group of advisors based on quantitative and qualitative elements. Data are weighted to ensure priorities are given to dynamics such as preferred “best practices,” business models, recent business activity, etc. Each variable is graded and represents a certain value for each measured component. These data are fed into an algorithm that measures thousands of advisors against each other.
SHOOK is completely independent and objective and does not receive compensation from the advisors, firms, the media, or any other source in exchange for placement on a ranking. SHOOK is funded through conferences, publications and research partners. Since every investor has unique needs, investors must carefully choose the right advisor for their own situation and perform their own due diligence. Rankings are based on the opinions of SHOOK Research, LLC and not indicative of future performance or representative of any one client’s experience; the firm’s research and rankings provide opinions for how to choose the right financial advisor. Portfolio performance is not a criterion due to varying client objectives and lack of audited data. Remember, past performance is not an indication of future results.
For more information and complete details on methodology, go to SHOOKresearch.com.
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