The first round of search and screening is focused on the business model. The advisor and the advisor’s practice must meet all 7 Advice-Only criteria (see What Is Advice-Only?). Failing any one of the criteria disqualifies the advisor from consideration. Most advisors fail the screening at this stage.
Among the candidates who pass, because many of you still want face-to-face meetings, the first priority is given to local and in-state candidates. Advice-Only advisors are primarily registered at the state level. The laws allow them to take a limited number of out-of-state clients, but past a certain number (thresholds vary by state), they will have additional registration and reporting requirements. Having intimate knowledge and experience with state and local taxes and programs also makes a local or in-state advisor more effective in advising you.
Among out-of-state advisors, priority is given to those advisors who most closely match your specific requests. For instance if you want someone who work more with millennials I will try to find you such a candidate even though they are out-of-state.
Finally if there are more than 3 qualified candidates, I narrow them down subjectively based on the advisor’s experience, education, and the fit between you and the advisor’s client profiles.
Similar to how a recruiter works, I bring qualified candidates to you. You still have to interview them and decide which advisor you will work with, or none at all.
At this time, for lack of data, I can’t judge the quality of the advisor’s work. Due to the nature of personal relationships, public reviews of financial advisors are practically non-existent (see Why There Will Never Be A Successful Financial Advisor Review Site In The Foreseeable Future). Over time, to the extent you share with me privately your experience in interviewing or working with the advisor, I will incorporate the feedback into my search and screening.