Women’s Choice Award® Financial Advisor
2019 Women’s Choice Award® recipient
“The Women’s Choice Award embodies the highest standards of excellence. I feel honored to be part of this tradition of empowering women. Hunt Country Wealth Management is dedicated to helping people make good financial decisions, and women’s financial planning issues is a vital and specific focus in our firm. Thank you so much for this recognition.” Chris Merchant, CFP® Founder, Hunt Country Wealth Management
Today women hold more than half the wealth in the United States and own 40% of America’s privately held businesses, and there’s more to come. Baby boomers stand to inherit $10 trillion in the next few years, and women will get the bulk of it as they outlive their fathers, brothers and husbands. The women’s market is strong and getting stronger, as the greatest wealth the world has ever seen settles into the hands of baby boom women. Yet this affluent market is underserved: Only 20% of women investors have a financial advisor, but 70% would like to work with one.
• The Women’s Choice Award® for Financial Advisors and Firms was created by WomenCertified Inc. in an effort to identify advisors that women can trust.
• The Women’s Choice Award® Financial Advisor Program is the only recognition program that acknowledges well-qualified advisors who are committed to the women’s market and effectively serve women clients.
• Advisors who qualify for the Award must go through an extensive evaluation process using 17 objective criteria including credentials, experience and a favorable regulatory history, among other factors. In addition, and to augment the evaluation process, the advisor is required to submit letters of validation, substantiating their good standing at their current firm.
• The Women’s Choice Award is the premier recognition award for advisors who provide quality service to their female clients.
• Women’s Choice Award® Financial Advisors and Firms represent less than 1% of financial advisors in the U.S. As of February 2016, of the 783 considered for the Women’s Choice Award, 122 were named Women’s Choice Award Financial Advisors/Firms.
Selection Criteria and Disclosure:
The Women’s Choice Award® Financial Advisor Program by WomenCertified Inc. is a recognition program for advisors who provide quality service and strong commitment to their female clients.
Advisors who qualify for the Award are evaluated using 17 objective criteria: 1) Clientele are at least one-third women or male-female couples; 2) Accepting new clients; 3) Actively employed as a licensed or credentialed professional in financial services for a minimum of three years; 4) Credentials include an IAR (Investment Advisory Representative), a FINRA-registered advisor/broker, 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; 5) Must be in compliance with regulatory requirements of the SEC, state securities regulators in states where they do business, and self-regulatory bodies; 6) Must be in good standing with the standards of the firm with which they are affiliated; 7) Must have a favorable regulatory and complaint history and who sign an affidavit to that effect*; 8) Must not have been subject to a regulatory action that resulted in their license being suspended or revoked, or payment of a fine; 9) Must not have been convicted of a felony; 10) Must not have filed for personal bankruptcy in the past ten years; 11) Assets under management; 12) Number of clients (households) served by the advisor; 13) The advisor’s client retention rate over a three-year period; 14) How many firms the advisor has been associated with in the past ten years; 15) The advisor’s education and professional designations; 16) Educational programs and events provided for clients; and 17) The advisor’s record of community service. In addition to the criteria and to augment the evaluation process, the advisor is required to submit letters of validation from senior representatives at their respective firm or broker dealer and/or they may have completed a survey of the advisor’s clients to obtain client feedback regarding service and practices. The first 10 criteria are required, while the last 7 are considered in determining qualification. *A favorable regulatory and complaint history is defined by WomenCertified, Inc. as 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, and no suspension or revocation of license as the result of a regulatory action.
The award may not be representative of any one client’s experience. The award is not indicative of the advisor’s future performance. Financial advisors do not pay a fee to be considered or placed on the final list of Women’s Choice Financial Advisor Award®, though they may have paid a basic program fee to cover the cost of comprehensive review and client survey.
About Women’s Choice Award
WomenCertified Inc., home to the Women’s Choice Award, awards businesses, brands and services based on high recommendation ratings by female consumers. The Women’s Choice Award represents the collective voice of women so they can help each other identify businesses that deserve their loyalty and referrals. To learn more, visit www.womenschoiceaward.com.