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Top Financial Advisors in Appleton, WI

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Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Appleton, Wisconsin

Choosing your financial advisor is like choosing a life partner. You want to get it right the first time. There are a lot of factors to consider, but fortunately, the fundamentals – such as assets under management (AUM), services and investment strategy - are publicly available. It’s a lot of work, though, to dig out all that information on everyone. So we’ve done it for you. Start your search with this list of the top financial advisor firms in Appleton, Wisconsin. Then use SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching tool to personalize your search.

Rank Financial Advisor Assets Managed Minimum Assets Financial Services More Information
1 Kerntke Otto McGlone Wealth Management Group Kerntke Otto McGlone Wealth Management Group logo Find an Advisor

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$362,107,572 None
  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)

Minimum Assets

None

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
2 Sumnicht & Associates, LLC Sumnicht & Associates, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$ 300,102,190 $500,000
  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of other advisers (including private fund managers)
  • Advice on matters not involving securities

Minimum Assets

$500,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of other advisers (including private fund managers)
  • Advice on matters not involving securities
3 Winch Advisory Services, LLC Winch Advisory Services, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$ 290,862,880 $500,000
  • Financial planning services 

  • Portfolio management 

Minimum Assets

$500,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services 

  • Portfolio management 

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4 The Appleton Group, LLC The Appleton Group, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$ 179,080,000 $200,000
  • Financial planning services 

  • Portfolio management 

Minimum Assets

$200,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services 

  • Portfolio management 

5 Endowment Wealth Management, Inc. Endowment Wealth Management, Inc. logo Find an Advisor

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$158,154,231 None
  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of advisers (including private fund managers)
  • Advisory consulting services

 

Minimum Assets

None

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of advisers (including private fund managers)
  • Advisory consulting services

 

6 ASC Wealth & Retirement Advisors, LLC ASC Wealth & Retirement Advisors, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$ 124,311,177 None
  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services

Minimum Assets

None

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
7 Avaii Wealth Management, LLC Avaii Wealth Management, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$ 114,786,235 None
  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of advisers (including private fund managers)

Minimum Assets

None

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of advisers (including private fund managers)
8 Verus Investment Advisory Group, LLC Verus Investment Advisory Group, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$ 111,488,684 None
  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Investment consulting

Minimum Assets

None

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Investment consulting

How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Appleton, Wisconsin

For this list, we only considered financial advisor firms in Appleton that are registered fiduciaries with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We removed from consideration any advisory practices that have a disclosure or disciplinary issue or whose individual accounts make up less than half their client base. The top eight firms are listed here, sorted by AUM, from highest to lowest.

Kerntke Otto McGlone Wealth Management Group

Kerntke Otto McGlone Wealth Management Group

Kerntke Otto McGlone Wealth Management Group (KOM) is the largest advisory firm in Appleton, Wisconsin, with more than $362.1 million in AUM. Its four partners are all certified financial planners (CFPs). They are fee-only financial planners, which is to say they do not receive commissions for sales.

The firm primarily serves individuals and high-net-worth individuals. The vast majority of accounts are discretionary, which means clients give KOM the power to make trade decisions for them. KOM also offers its services to pension and profit sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations and business entities. There is no minimum balance to open an individual account.

Kerntke Otto McGlone Wealth Management Group Background

KOM was founded in 2007. Its advisory team is made up of managing partner James McGlone, senior partner Jason McGlone, senior partner Claus Kerntke and senior partner Richard Otto.

The firm’s services include financial planning, investment advice, tax management, retirement income strategies and estate planning.

Kerntke Otto McGlone Wealth Management Group Investment Strategy

KOM takes a goal-based investment approach, targeting clients’ objectives rather than market benchmarks. It tailors its services to each client and will allow them to impose parameters such as specific investment choices and sectors. Generally speaking, though, it provides advice on:

  • No-load (i.e., no trading fee) and load-waived (i.e., trading fee waived) mutual funds
  • Exchange-listed securities (i.e., stocks)
  • Securities traded over-the-counter (i.e., stocks)
  • Fixed income securities (i.e., bonds)
  • Closed-end funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
  • Foreign issues
  • Warrants
  • Corporate debt securities (other than commercial paper)
  • Commercial paper
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Municipal securities
  • Variable life insurance
  • Variable annuities
  • U.S. government securities
  • Options contracts on securities and commodities
  • Interests in partnerships investing in real estate and oil and gas interests
  • The firm does not offer advice on futures contracts on tangibles and intangibles

Sumnicht & Associates, LLC

Sumnicht & Associates, LLC

Sumnicht & Associates is a boutique family wealth manager. The team includes one certified financial planner (CFP), one certified public accountant (CPA) and two chartered financial analysts (CFAs). (Advisors may have more than one professional accreditation.) Together they manage more than $300.1 million in assets.

The fee-based firm has a small client base of fewer than 150 individuals. They’re a mix of high-net-worth and non-high-net-worth individuals. The former’s assets greatly outweigh the latter’s: $265 million to $20 million. That said, the minimum amount to open an account is $500,000, though Sumnicht & Associates may accept smaller accounts on a case-by-case basis.

Sumnicht & Associates also has institutional clients. Accounts are discretionary and non-discretionary.

Sumnicht & Associates Background

CEO Vernon Sumnicht founded the firm in 1988. Its principal owner is Sumnicht Holdings (which, in turn, is owned by Vernon and Debra Sumnicht). The other owners are David Hackney, managing director, and Charles Self, chief investment officer.

Through its chief owners, Sumnicht & Associates is affiliated with iSectors, a registered investment advisor. The two entities share personnel and back-office, administrative and capital resources.

The boutique firm offers a full range of family wealth investment services including financial counseling, investment management, insurance counseling, tax planning, trust and estate planning, retirement planning, intergenerational wealth planning, family governance issues, control and succession issues, family foundations, charitable giving strategies and education of future generations.

Sumnicht & Associates Investment Strategy

Sumnicht & Associates primarily uses ETF-based allocation models managed by its affiliated iSectors registered investment advisor. These models are a collection of proprietary investment strategies. The firm may also recommend mutual funds and institutional money managers.

In general, clients approve the initial allocation recommendation and subsequent changes. Rebalancing happens after an annual meeting with advisors. It may also happen within the investment vehicle when deemed appropriate.

Winch Advisory Services, LLC

Winch Advisory Services, LLC

Though Winch Advisory Services manages only $10 million less than Sumnicht & Associates, for almost $290.9 million in total AUM, Winch has more than six times the number of individual clients (814 vs. 133). Its larger staff of 20 advisors reflects this difference. They include a certified financial planner (CFP), a chartered financial analyst (CFA), a certified public accountant (CPA), a chartered market technician (CMT) and an enrolled agent (EA) with the IRS.

The fee-only firm serves mostly non-high-net-worth clients, though also has some high-net-worth clients. It states that it “prefers” accounts to start with at least $500,000, but may accept smaller accounts. All accounts are discretionary.

Winch Advisory Services Background

CEO Christina Winch launched Winch Financial Services in 1981 and founded Winch Advisory Services in 2004. She is the sole owner. Her son Sam Winch is president and two other Winches are on staff.

The firm offers investment advice for what it calls “all seasons” of clients’ lives. It provides financial planning, tax and budgetary planning, business planning, estate planning, portfolio management and consulting services including retirement savings plan portfolio review. It launched a mutual fund in 2011.

Winch Advisory Services Investment Strategy

Winch Advisory Services identifies client goals – maximum capital appreciation, growth, income or growth and income – and allocates investment assets accordingly. It also takes other factors like life situation and tax consequences into account. Clients may impose restrictions on investment choices (type or industry sector) that the firm deems reasonable.

The firm does not limit its recommendations to any specific product, service or provider. It generally provides advice on:

  • Exchange-listed securities
  • Securities traded over the counter
  • Foreign issuers
  • Warrants
  • Commercial paper
  • Corporate debt securities (other than commercial paper)
  • Certificates of deposit
  • Municipal securities
  • Variable life insurance
  • Variable annuities
  • Open- and closed-end mutual fund shares
  • U.S. government securities
  • Options contracts on securities
  • Interests in partnerships investing in real estate, oil and gas interests and equipment leasing

The Appleton Group, LLC

The Appleton Group, LLC

The fee-only Appleton Group has almost $179.1 million in AUM. The small, privately held practice has four advisors who include two accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs).

Unlike the bigger firms, The Appleton Group has corporate and other business clients that represent about 28% of the assets it has under management. Its individual client base numbers less than 125, most of whom are non-high-net-worth individuals. The minimum balance to open an account is $200,000. All accounts are discretionary.

The Appleton Group Background

The Appleton Group was founded in 2002 by CEO Mark Scheffler. He owns the majority of the firm, though there are two minority owners. Also, Chief Operations Officer Karen Anderson has a small stake.

The firm offers advisory services to individuals, families and trusts as well as to pension and profit sharing plans, other advisors, and foundations and charities. For private clients, it can offer guidance on financial planning, Social Security and pension elections, tax planning and reporting, retirement income needs analysis, intergenerational wealth transfer planning, estate planning, Roth conversions and more.

The Appleton Group Investment Strategy

Like a growing number of advisors, The Appleton Group bases its investment strategy on ETFs. It does this because they are low in cost and highly liquid, while offering broad diversification. The firm has what it calls core strategies and focus strategies. The first break down further as:

  • Risk-accepting strategies – traditional portfolios offering exposure across multiple market styles: growth and value, large and small cap, domestic and international, etc. They are periodically rebalanced.
  • Risk-managed strategies– portfolios that protect against volatility and prolonged market downturns, using its proprietary clearTREND engine.
  • Hybrid strategies – portfolios based on age and adopt more risk-managed strategies as the client gets older. They are rebalanced regularly.
  • The Appleton Group also offers what it calls focus strategies, which are portfolios that prioritize such things as social impact or dividends.

Endowment Wealth Management, Inc.

Endowment Wealth Management, Inc.

Fee-based Endowment Wealth Management has approximately $158.2 million in AUM. With offices in Appleton, Wisconsin; Milwaukee, Wisconsin and Chicago, Illinois, its team of six advisors includes two certified financial planners (CFPs), two chartered financial analysts (CFAs), three certified public accountants (CPAs) and one chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA). (Advisors may have more than one professional accreditation.)  

This small, privately held firm serves a mix of high-net-worth and non-high-net-worth individuals. It also has pension and profit sharing plan clients. Most of its accounts are discretionary, though some are non-discretionary. There is no minimum required to open an account, though those with less than $100,000 may be advised to move their balance to www.MyRoboAdviser.com.

Endowment Wealth Management Background

Endowment Wealth Management was founded in 1996. Currently, two officers have ownership stakes: CEO and President Robert Riedl and Vice President Prateek Mehrotra. Wealth Advisor Wendy Orth also owns shares. The rest are held by trusts and other entities.

The firm provides financial planning and investment guidance to individuals, business leaders, real estate investors, philanthropic families, trusts and endowment and retirement plans. What is different about this advisor group is that it manages eight private funds: EWM Alternative Investment SPV-Series 1, Series 2, Series 3, Series 4, Series 5, Series 6; and EWM Special Purpose Vehicle-ADE and FF. All but two are closed to new investors.

Endowment Wealth Management Investment Strategy

As its private funds might suggest, the firm thinks beyond stocks and bonds to hedge strategies, private equity and real assets. It seeks to maintain a mix of growth, income and risk-managed investments, depending on the client’s situation and objectives. It does this through liquid investments (primarily stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, etc.), private placements (private equity, hedge funds, private debt, etc.) or a combo of both.

Endowment Wealth Management may advise clients to implement the following:

  • Active management-dynamic or tactical asset allocation – a manager or team actively oversees investments, using research, experience, judgment and/or an algorithm
  • Long-term purchases – securities bought to be held for at least a year
  • Margin transactions – securities bought with borrowed money
  • Options – contracts that give the buyer the right to buy or sell a specific asset at a particular price by an expiration date
  • Option writing – the selling of an option
  • Passive investing/indexing – buying stocks that track a particular index
  • Short selling – borrowing stocks and selling them with the expectation that the price will go down when you have to buy the stocks to return them
  • Short-term purchases – securities bought to be sold within 30 days, generally
  • Strategic asset allocation – long-term investing strategy that does not involve active trading

The firm points out that tax efficiency is not its primary concern, so clients should consult their tax professional on an ongoing basis.

ASC Wealth & Retirement Advisors, LLC

ASC Wealth & Retirement Advisors, LLC

At fee-only ASC Wealth & Retirement Advisors, there are two professionals managing $124.3 million in assets. One of them, founder James Allan, has nearly four decades of experience as an investment advisor. The other is a specialist in 401(k) plans and other qualified retirement plans.

The small firm has a mix of high-net-worth and non-high-net-worth clients, with a focus on healthcare professionals and small business owners. Accounts are discretionary or non-discretionary. There is no technical minimum requirement to open an account, though accounts tend to be $500,000 or more.

ASC Wealth & Retirement Advisors Background

Compared to the other firms on this list. ASC Wealth & Retirement Advisors is young, founded in 2015. Its owner and president, James Allan, though, has many years of experience providing financial advice, as mentioned earlier. Before ASC, he co-founded Allan Haugner & Hunt, Inc., an investment advisory firm that served Wisconsites for 23 years.

ASC primarily serves individuals, families and business owners. It offers retirement planning, education planning, short- and long-term goal planning, analysis of 401(k) and other outside accounts and investment management. It also provides consulting help to business owners on their employee retirement plans.

ASC Wealth & Retirement Advisors Investment Strategy

ASC primarily bases its investment strategy on mutual funds, specifically no-load or load-waived ones. It prefers them because they are less volatile than stocks and ETFs while being very liquid.

When developing the appropriate asset allocation for clients, ASC may use outside analytical tools. These programs examine investments using such criteria as:

  • Fund objectives and investment styles
  • Superior performance relative to asset peer groups over a number of years
  • Asset size providing liquidity and maneuverability
  • Consistent fund management
  • Relatively low expense ratios

Avaii Wealth Management, LLC

Avaii Wealth Management, LLC

The unusual name, Avaii, is Latin for life plan. Though the firm launched only in 2018, it has almost 114.8 million in AUM. Its team of advisors include three investment advisory representatives (IARs), two chartered financial consultants (ChFCs) and one certified financial planner (CFP). (Advisors may have more than one professional accreditation).

The ratio of non-high-net-worth to high-net-worth clients is nearly 5 to 1 (232 to 50), though the latter’s assets are nearly equal in size. Accounts are only discretionary. There is no minimum requirement to have your investments managed by Avaii.

Avaii Wealth Management Background

As stated earlier, Avaii was founded last year. Its three owners - president Christian Doule, vice president Jeff Rainer and director of investments and planning Joel Blattner - came from another firm.

Avaii serves individuals, families, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, businesses and retirement plans. It offers customized financial planning, asset management, tax-reduction strategies, retirement cash flow management and insurance products.

Avaii Wealth Management Investment Strategy

Like most advisors, Avaii seeks to construct portfolios based on client objectives, circumstances, risk tolerance and time horizon. It primarily invests in mutual funds, ETFs and stocks.

In developing portfolios for its clients, the firm may use these standard strategies:

  • Fundamental analysis - evaluating securities using company data including revenues, earnings and profit margins
  • Cyclical analysis - evaluating the impact of cycles of the market including inflation risk and market risk.
  • Behavioral finance - using psychology-based understanding of investor behavior to explain their decisions and market outcomes.
  • Modern Portfolio Theory (MPT) – implementing the understanding that rather than just picking individual stocks, investors can create diversified portfolios that will deliver optimal returns given their particular tolerance for risk.
  • Asset allocation - balancing risk and return according to client objectives, time horizon and more.
  • Diversification - spreading risk across different market sectors, asset classes and companies to maximize return.

Verus Investment Advisory Group, LLC

Verus Investment Advisory Group, LLC

Verus Investment Advisory Group manages almost $111.5 million in assets. The fee-only practice has one advisor, Tom Suttner, who is a certified financial planner (CFP) and chartered financial consultant (ChFC). The firm’s name also comes from Latin: verus means true.

Verus clients are a mix of high-net-worth and non-high-net-worth individuals. Most accounts are discretionary. There is no minimum balance to open an account.

Verus Investment Advisory Group Background

Verus was founded in 2009 by Tom Suttner, who is the sole owner of the firm. Previous to that, he started Suttner Financial Group.

The small firm primarily serves individuals, though it does also have pension and profit sharing plan clients. It provides financial planning, investment management, retirement strategies, tax planning and estate planning. 

Verus Investment Advisory Group Investment Strategy

Verus has designed eight model portfolios to suit client objectives, risk tolerances, account sizes and more. These portfolios mostly invest in no-load or load-waived mutual funds, and some individual stocks, bonds and ETFs.

The firm will rebalance and shift holdings as it deems necessary, which may have tax implications. It does this on a discretionary basis for its investment management clients, who receive quarterly reports and an annual review (in person or over the phone) of their accounts. Clients can request more frequent reporting.

How Many Years $1 Million Lasts in Retirement

SmartAsset's interactive map highlights places where $1 million will last the longest in retirement. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any city to learn about cost of living in retirement there.

Least
Most
Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities. Using that calculation, we determined how many years $1 million would last in retirement in each major city.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors throughout the country. We then applied cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research to adjust those national average spending levels based on the costs of each expense category (housing, food, healthcare, utilities, transportation and other) in each city.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%, reflecting the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. Finally, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would last in each of the cities in our study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research