Recent News

John Zachary, CFP® Earns Accredited CRC® Retirement Counselor Certification

Pathfinder Wealth Consulting is proud to announce that John B. Zachary, CFP® has earned the Certified Retirement Counselor® (CRC®) certification conferred by the International Foundation for Retirement Education (InFRE).

John Zachary joined Pathfinder in 2009 and is a Wealth Advisor at the firm. He specializes in developing financial plans and investment strategies for rising star professionals and their families, and career-minded clients nearing retirement.  Having obtained his CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ professional designation in 2012, he has acquired extensive knowledge and experience in comprehensive financial planning. The CRC® certification was the logical next step.

“For me, of all the industry designations available, the Certified Retirement Counselor® program was the perfect blend of learning complex retirement planning concepts, honing my communication skills, and identifying behavioral finance issues,” Zachary said.

Earning the CRC® typically requires 75 to 100 hours of preparation before sitting for a four-hour exam. In addition, certificants must meet specific education and experience requirements. Each certificant must also adhere to the CRC® Code of Ethics and commit to 15 hours of annual continuing education.

“Education is a core tenant of our firm and John’s service to clients is rooted in helping them make educated decisions,” said Pathfinder CEO and Wealth Advisor, Jason Wheeler, CFP®, AIF®, CLU®, ChFC®. “John’s own professional education further exemplifies that core tenant and how a lifetime learner can continuously build on the value he brings to clients and our team.  We’re not surprised, but certainly proud to see John’s latest accomplishment.”

The CRC® program uniquely enhances a professional’s understanding of retirement planning concepts and principles, while demonstrating their commitment to the retirement planning profession. The CRC® certification is accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA).  Independent third-party “program” accreditation signifies that CRC® certificants are an elite group of qualified retirement professionals among the array of retirement-related designations available today.

“At Pathfinder, continuing education is not about getting enough credit hours to maintain our licenses and designations, it about what we like to call, ‘sharpening the saw.’” Zachary said. “If we are not continually learning and staying up to date on industry trends & concepts, we’re not fulfilling our duty to clients. It is our role to be a partner and a coach to clients—to help them talk through complex financial issues and educate them on the countless choices available. It’s about not always being the good guy but having the tough conversations when needed that are vital to financial success.”

For more information about retirement services provided through Pathfinder Wealth Consulting, email John Zachary at [email protected], call 910.793.0616, or visit our website at

John B. Zachary Receives Wilmington 40 Under 40 Honor

Pathfinder is thrilled to announce that our very own John Zachary was selected for Wilmington's 40 Under 40. 

On August 8, 2019 the Wilmington Chamber of Commerce and StarNews Media announced 40 young professionals in the Cape Fear region as honorees for the inaugural 40 Under 40 class.  A panel of judges received more than 100 nominations from the public and individuals themselves. The panel included Natalie Engligh, President & CEO of the Wilmington Chamber; Sherry Jones, StarNews Managing Editor; Cleve Callison, retired station manager for WHQR; Wilma Daniels, president of Daniels Development Company; and Shane Fernando, executive and artistic director for the Wilson Center.

To be considered, nominees were required to be younger than 40 years old as of December 31, 2019; live or work in Brunswick, New Hanover or Pender counties; and display a committment to serving others in the community.

John is passionate about educating others and leads public and private presentations on financial literacy subjects to businesses, organizations and individuals through the community. In the office, John serves on Pathfinder's investment committee, the strategic planning committee and serves as a trainer and mentor to our next generation Financial Planning Associates, helping them to build their career paths. 

We are so proud of John's accomplishments at Pathfinder and in the greater Wilmington community. Congratulations John!



Jason T. Wheeler of Pathfinder Wealth Consulting Honored in Forbes’ Best-in-State Wealth Advisors List

(February 20, 2019, Wilmington, NC)  Pathfinder Wealth Consulting, a registered independent advisory and financial planning firm in Wilmington, NC, today announces that its CEO and Wealth Consultant, Jason T. Wheeler, CFP®, AIF®, CLU®, ChFC®, has been named to Forbes’ Best-in-State Wealth Advisors list for 2019. The list was published on, and a condensed listing is available in the current issue of the magazine.

Jason began his professional career in 1999 after graduation from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 1999 with a BS in finance.  His business partner, Rob Penn, hired him then and the two began their successful business journey working for two other firms as Financial Advisors before they formed Pathfinder Wealth Consulting in 2005.  You can find out more about Jason here.

Wayne Bloom, CEO of Commonwealth Financial Network®, Pathfinder’s partner firm and Registered Investment Adviser–broker/dealer, said, “Congratulations to Jason Wheeler on this well-deserved recognition by Forbes. It is wonderful to see a client-centric, independent advisor who is devoted to providing expert financial planning represented on this list. We appreciate the value Jason brings to our industry and our community, and we remain committed to providing the infrastructure and support Pathfinder Wealth Consulting’s thriving practice demands.”

“This is a team honor and Pathfinder is proud to receive it,” Jason said in response to the Best-in-State recognition. “We hire the best professionals that understand how to serve great clients and our values lead us. Transparency, integrity, responsibility and service guide our relationships, which secures and retains our clients trust.  They know we are fiduciaries in every sense of the word.  We have a culture of fun human interaction and professional development which means we enjoy advancing our firm for the benefit of our clients.  We strive to be a community asset through our growth and our engagement which helps our impact.  All of this together creates an organization that should make our clients, our state, and our team proud.”

The 2019 ranking of the Forbes’ Best-in-State Wealth Advisors1 list was developed by SHOOK Research and is based on in-person and telephone due-diligence meetings to evaluate each advisor qualitatively and on a ranking algorithm that includes client retention, industry experience, review of compliance records, firm nominations, and quantitative criteria (including assets under management and revenue generated for their firms). Overall, 30,000 advisors were considered, and 3,500 (11.6 percent of candidates) were recognized. The full methodology2 that Forbes developed in partnership with SHOOK Research is available here.

1This recognition and the due-diligence process conducted are not indicative of the advisor’s future performance. Your experience may vary. Winners will be organized and ranked by state. Some states may have more advisors than others. You are encouraged to conduct your own research to determine if the advisor is right for you.

2Portfolio performance is not a criterion due to varying client objectives and lack of audited data. SHOOK does not receive a fee in exchange for rankings.


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