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Awards Criteria

401(k) Specialist

Nominations are derived from advisor-submitted questionnaires related to plan goals, objectives and the metrics used to evaluate each; documentation habits, knowing  statistics on participation rates, income replacement ratios, and savings; and all tools used to measure the preceding attributes. The selection process includes a background check.


Barron’s list of America’s best financial advisors is organized by state. The rankings are based on data provided by over 4000 of nation’s most productive advisors. Factors included in the rankings: assets under management, revenue produced for the firm, regulatory record, quality of practice and philanthropic work.


The rankings are based on an algorithm of qualitative and quantitative data for rating thousands of individuals on revenue produced, assets under management, compliance records, and industry experience. Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. is not affiliated with Forbes or R.J. Shook Research, OnWallStreet, Technical Analyst, Financial Times, Tip Ranks or other industry news and media publications.

The algorithm for Forbes/SHOOK’s America’s Top Next-Generation Wealth Advisors 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. Forbes/SHOOK Research is not affiliated with Oppenheimer & Co. Inc.

The Best-In-State Wealth Advisors list spotlights over 3,000 top advisors across the country who were nominated by their firms—and then researched, interviewed and assigned a ranking within their respective states.

Forbes Working Women

SHOOK Research considered wealth advisors who are mothers with at least one child living at home and under the age of 18. Ranking algorithm is based on qualitative measures derived from telephone and in-person interviews and surveys: service models, investing process, client retention, industry experience, review of compliance records, firm nominations, etc.; 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. Rankings are based on the opinions of SHOOK Research LLC. Neither SHOOK nor Working Mother receives compensation from the advisors or their firms in exchange for placement on a ranking.

Forbes Working Women Top 100 Women Wealth Advisors

We ranked analysts according to three different criteria to measure their 2021 performance – their success rate, in other words, the number of times a rating proved accurate after three months, their average returns per recommendation over a three-month time period, and the number of ratings they made. Analysts who give more ratings are more likely to rank higher

Financial Times

The Financial Times 401 Top Retirement Plan Advisors is an independent listing produced annually by the Financial Times (September 2018). The FT 401 is based on data gathered from advisors, regulatory disclosures, and the FT’s research. The listing reflects each advisor’s status in seven primary areas: DC plan assets under management (AUM), DC AUM growth rate, specialization in DC plans, years of experience, advanced industry credentials, compliance record and DC plan participation rate. This honor is not indicative of the advisor’s future performance. Neither the advisors nor their parent firms pay a fee to the Financial Times in exchange for inclusion in the FT 401.

Five Star Wealth Management Award

Presented to those how satisfy ten objective eligibility and evaluation criteria associated with outstanding work. Eligibility Criteria (required): Credentialed as an investment advisory representative or a registered investment advisor; actively employed as a credentialed professional in the financial services industry for a minimum of five years; favorable regulatory and complaint history review; fulfilled their firm review based on internal firm standards; accepting new clients. Evaluation Criteria (considered): One year client retention rate; five year client retention rate; non-institutional discretionary and/or non-discretionary client assets administered; number of client households served; and educational/professional designations.

Long Island Business News

Since 1998, Long Island Business News has taken nominations for various awards to recognize financial professionals for their outstanding performance as stewards of Long Island’s corporations, government and nonprofit organizations. Eligible professions include accountants, financial advisors, controllers, chief financial officers, and other financial professionals. Nominees should have a proven track record, and will be evaluated on their business accomplishments, mentoring, leadership, community involvement, volunteerism, and dedication to these pursuits over the past year.

National Association of Plan Advisors (NAPA) Top Defined Contribution Advisor

To qualify as a candidate for the award, an advisor must: manage at least $75 million in assets under management in Defined Contribution plans; and have Defined Contribution plan assets account for at least 20% of total AUM. Once an advisor applies, they score seach applicant on seven different factors to arrive at the final list. Those factors are: Defined Contribution assets under management (AUM); Growth in DC plan business; Specialization in Defined Contribution business; Years of experience; Industry certifications; Participation rate in DC plans. DC means Defined Contribution AKA 401(k) Plan.

On Wall Street

The Regional Advisors Under 40 ranking is based on production only of those advisors that were nominated for inclusion to the On Wall Street annual list.

Tip Ranks

By tracking and measuring the performance of over 50,000 financial experts, TipRanks is able to identify the top 25 experts within each sector who consistently outperform the markets. TipRanks developed a 3 tier unique proprietary formula to rank financial experts, taking into account the experts’ success rate, the average return per transaction, and statistical significance.

Tip Ranks Top Analysts in the World in 2021

We ranked analysts according to three different criteria to measure their 2021 performance – their success rate, in other words, the number of times a rating proved accurate after three months, their average returns per recommendation over a three-month time period, and the number of ratings they made. Analysts who give more ratings are more likely to rank higher.

Top Guns

The Informa peer group was created using the information collected through the PSN investment manager questionnaire and uses only gross of fee returns. PSN Top Guns investment managers must claim that they are Global Investment Performance Standards (GIPS®) compliant. These top performers are strictly based on quarterly returns.

Captivate International:

Responses were obtained via an online poll and phone interviews with select nominating respondents based on candidate competence, expertise and innovation, and then ranked and checked by an editorial team. A scatter graph was employed to plot scores and formulate winners and runners up for recommendation.

Trust & Estates Magazine

Nominations are based on various factors, including the novelty of the topic, the feedback we received from readers and the significance of the topic in the current estate-planning environment. We then sent out a survey, asking our subscribers to vote for their favorite articles in each category. We declared the nominees getting the top number of votes in each category as “Distinguished Authors.” In particular, the “Rising Star” category honors a new author to Trusts & Estates who shows the most potential to be a leading individual in the industry.

The Winner’s Circle®

The Winner’s Circle® is an organization independent of the firms involved and does not receive compensation from the over 100 participating firms or its affiliates, financial advisors or the media in exchange for ranking purposes. Each advisor on the annual Research Magazine list was filtered down from a national list from securities firms, banks, independent firms and more. The Winner’s Circle team vetted each Series-7 registered advisor through a host of quantitative and qualitative criteria, including assets managed, revenues, experience levels, acceptable compliance records and U4 forms, discussions with management and more. Because client portfolios vary and are typically unaudited, portfolio performance is not a criteria; instead, The Winner’s Circle focuses on customer satisfaction and client retention. Advisor is ranked on individual assets, or percentage of contribution to team; some individuals on list are not part of teams and assets reflect only their share. Different weightings are assigned to different types of assets. Ranking algorithm includes revenues produced, but is not published.

Smith’s Municipal

The All-Star award program recognizes the work done by municipal professionals from institutions, rating agencies, insurance companies, and commercial banks throughout the year. Nominations to the ballot are made by a committee made up of portfolio managers from ten investment firms. The electronic ballot is sent out to more than one thousand institutional investors of all sizes and types that are in a position to see the work output of nominees done across the entire spectrum of analysis.

The NAPA Top DC Advisor Team

The NAPA Top DC Advisor Team list highlights the nation's leading retirement plan advisor teams within firms, which operate in a single physical location, on the defined contribution practice specifically. Teams having at least $100 million in DC assets will be evaluated based on years in business, size of team, target market size, secondary markets served, total numbers of defined contribution plans under management; including number of participants covered, and total asset value of these plans over the trailing two years. Plans must be existing, long-term relationships, not short term or project or contract work of an interim nature. A component of social responsibility is considered.

Asian -American Award 

The Asian American Award is based on polls of chief investment officers, fund managers and investment analysts, and applicants must be Asian-Americans with successful achievements in the field of business. Requirements include: Applicant must be a permanent resident or U.S. citizen of Asian descent, be at least 21 years of age by December 31, 2019, and work for a company registered in the U.S. that has existed for a minimum of two years as of Dec 31, 2019. That company must have had gross sales and income exceeding $1 million in 2019, and applicant must provide a letter from a CPA certifying those facts. Approved applicant is required to attend the June 17th, 2020 dinner to receive the award.

Asia Money Polls Award

Voters are from fund management houses, insurance companies, pension funds, sovereign wealth funds, hedge funds and wealth managers from around the world. To qualify for the regional categories, firms, analysts and sales personnel need to receive votes from three or more sovereign countries/independent markets, where more than 40% of their votes come from investors based outside their home territory, to reflect that they are truly regional. To avoid any one institution having more influence than others of equal size, multiple responses are fractioned according to the total number received from that one institution. Each response was then weighted according to the institution’s approximate asset size (total unleveraged Asian equity funds under management) in Asia-Pacific (ex-Australia & Japan), in Australia or in Japan (depending upon the institution’s allocation of funds). This poll is not based on scientific or representative samples and the poll and other related information have been obtained from various opinion-based sources and have not been independently or professionally verified. Results are the opinions as of the date of participation and not statements of fact.