Zoe Financial review: A free advisor matching service

Zoe Financial is a free online service that can match you with a financial advisor based on your finances, goals, and preferences.

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Carrie PallardyContributing ReporterCarrie Pallardy is a contributing reporter at Policygenius, where she covers insurance and personal finance news. Her work has also appeared in the Chicago Tribune and Saving For College.

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A financial advisor can help you understand your finances, make better money choices, and achieve financial goals. There are a variety of financial advisors who specialize in all sorts of financial topics for you to choose from. But how do you get started? Enter Zoe Financial

Zoe Financial is a free online service that can match you with a financial advisor based on your finances, goals, and preferences.

The bottom line

Zoe Financial is a good jumping off point for people who have no idea how to start the search for a financial advisor. Answer a few simple questions and Zoe Financial will give you personalized recommendations. If you already have an idea of what you want in a financial advisor, you can use Zoe Financial to get more granular in your search.

The good

It’s free

Zoe Financial is a free matching service that uses an algorithm to give you a tailored list of advisors. It also shows how financial advisors price their services, but it does not reveal exact fees. You’ll need to match with an advisor to learn how much they charge.

If you find an advisor you like you can book a free 30-minute phone consultation. Some financial advisors outside of Zoe Financial’s network may offer prospective clients free consultations, but this isn’t always the case.

Zoe Financial also takes measures to protect you from paying a hiring fee. Rather, the advisors in its network pay a referral fee if they successfully match with a client.

Due diligence

Zoe Financial aims to take the guesswork out of finding trustworthy financial advisors. The matching service is a network of vetted fiduciary advisors who are evaluated based on their credentials, education, experience, and pricing. Zoe Financial also assesses financial advisors’ knowledge and communication skills.

You still have the opportunity to vet the advisors Zoe Financial recommends personally, but the matching service should help you avoid some of the major red flags that could pop up during your selection process.

Simple onboarding

You do not need to get into the nitty-gritty of your finances to get started with Zoe Financial. Once you click the “Find My Advisor” button on the homepage, you will be prompted to answer a series of simple questions covering your age, ZIP code, why you are seeking financial advice, occupation, annual income, and assets. A simple sliding scale allows you to give rough estimates of your income and assets.

Once you finish the initial questionnaire, Zoe Financial generates a list of vetted advisors who are a potential match for your needs. 

Easy comparison

Your personalized list of financial advisor recommendations allows you to make easy comparisons. Each advisor is presented with features including:

  • Client types: Each recommended financial advisor is listed with the types of clients they serve. Options may include young professionals, business owners, tech employees, or immigrants. Zoe Financial also highlights when an advisor is LGBTQ-friendly.

  • Distance: Your personalized list of financial advisors also lets you factor distance into your decision. While phone calls and virtual meetings are the norm right now and a convenient preference for many going forward, you have the option of picking someone local. Choosing someone nearby leaves the door open to the possibility of in-person meetings.

  • Pricing: Zoe Financial lists each financial advisor with their pricing structure, such as flat fee or assets under management (AUM).

  • Financial advisor details: You can also explore profile pages for each of the recommended financial advisors. The profile pages include photos, credentials, education, expertise, and even personal hobbies.

If you don’t think that any of the initial recommendations are a good fit for you, you can get more specific with your search criteria. 

The bad

Personal preference

One of the main downsides of the service will likely come down to personal preference. Some people may prefer doing more of the legwork on their own and searching for a financial advisor based on factors not easily defined by an algorithm like the one Zoe Financial uses. For others, a reference made by a friend or family member may hold more weight than a recommendation made by an online service.

Are financial advisors worth it?

With a glut of free financial information and advice online, does anyone actually need a financial advisor today? The answer, of course, depends on your personal inclination and goals.  

Free resources online certainly have their benefits but they are marketed to a large audience. Establishing a relationship with a financial advisor gives you access to advice personal to you. A financial advisor can make recommendations based on the specifics of your assets, risk tolerance, and goals.

Financial advisors provide a professional service, which means they need to be paid. How they are paid and how much will depend on the type of services they provide. For some people, the price can outweigh the benefits of working with a financial advisor.

The decision to work with a financial advisor or not is a personal one. Consider how a financial advisor could help you and determine if you consider the price worth the benefit.