Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Madison, Wisconsin
If you're looking for a financial advisor, narrowing down your options and choosing an advisor can be difficult. That’s why SmartAsset did the work for you, researching the top candidates in Madison, Wisconsin and assembling essential info about the top firms. You can also use our financial advisor matching tool to get connected with advisors who serve your area and choose the one who best fits your needs.
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|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Madison Investment Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$19,427,234,565||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|2||Baker Tilly Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$3,099,817,158||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|3||John F. Suby Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$2,380,713,436||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|4||Resonant Capital Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$840,115,168||$5,000|| || |
|5||Isthmus Partners, LLC Find an Advisor||$952,505,865||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|6||Madison Partners Find an Advisor||$432,911,122||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|7||Walkner Condon Financial Advisors LLC Find an Advisor||$459,235,563||$500,000|| || |
|8||WEA Financial Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$446,229,963||No set minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set minimum
|9||Mendota Financial Group, LLC Find an Advisor||$339,124,911||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|10||Poehling Capital Management, Inc. Find an Advisor||$381,270,957||$250,000|| || |
What We Use in Our Methodology
To find the top financial advisors in Madison, we first identified all firms registered with the SEC in the city. Next, we filtered out firms that don't offer financial planning services, those that don't serve primarily individual clients and those that have disclosures on their record. The qualifying firms were then ranked according to the following criteria:
- AUMFirms with more total assets under management are ranked higher.
- Individual Client CountFirms who serve more individual clients (as opposed to institutional clients) are ranked higher.
- Clients Per AdvisorFirms with a lower ratio of clients per financial advisor are ranked higher.
- Age of FirmFirms that have been in business longer are ranked higher.
All information is accurate as of the writing of this article. This list may include firms that have a business relationship with SmartAsset, in which SmartAsset is compensated for lead referrals. Such relationships have no impact on our rankings, and firms are included and ranked based strictly on the above criteria.
Madison Investment Advisors, LLC
Madison Investment Advisors, the No. 1 firm in Madison, is by far the oldest and largest financial advisor on our list. Madison specializes in managed account services, so it may be a more suitable firm for individuals who seek a strategically managed investment portfolio as opposed to general financial planning advice.
Madison provides these services on a wrap-fee basis. Account minimums for its equity portfolio management are generally $500,000 while the minimum for its fixed-income portfolio is typically $1 million.
Madison has a massive client base primarily made up of individuals without a high net worth. However, the firm also works with a substantial number of high-net-worth individuals, as well as banking institutions, retirement plans, charitable organizations, government entitites, insurance companies, businesses and other investment advisors.
The firm has a large team of advisors that includes 33 chartered financial analysts (CFAs), as well as two certified financial planners (CFPs). This firm can receive compensation from securities transactions of its in-house funds, making it a fee-based firm. While this can lead to a conflict of interest, Madison is a fiduciary and must always act in its clients' best interests.
Madison Investment Advisors Background
Madison Investment Advisors is a wholly owned subsidiary of Madison Asset Management, LLC, which in turn is a subsidiary of Madison Investment Holdings, Inc. The parent company has been in business since 1974.
Today, Madison Investment Advisors is privately held and its employees are shareholders. In addition to its headquarters in Wisconsin, the firm has offices in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Toronto, Canada.
Madison Investment Advisors Investment Strategy
The firm's core expertise lies in active bond management (including corporate, government, and municipal bonds), risk managed equity management (primarily common stocks), and customized multi-asset portfolios.
When it comes to equity strategies, Madison is a bottom-up stock picker focused on high-quality consistent growth companies that trade at reasonable valuations. For fixed income, Madison employs a top-down investment process that prioritizes capital preservation through active management.
Some clients receive asset allocation recommendations that include a wide range of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). To be recommended to clients, an investment must meet certain objective criteria, including performance, expenses, volatility and other factors.
Baker Tilly Wealth Management, LLC
Baker Tilly Wealth Management is another large firm based in Madison with billions of dollars in assets under management. The firm does not have a specific minimum investment required of new clients, and it works primarily with individuals. High-net-worth individuals make up the largest portion of the firm's client base, with non-high-net-worth individuals coming in a close second. The firm also maintains advisory relationships with government entities and retirement plans.
Outside of its Wisconsin offices, Baker Tilly has advisors stationed in 16 other states, as well as Washington, D.C. The firm even has an international presence, with offices in Australia, the Cayman Islands, Chile, Germany, Singapore, Dubai and the U.K.
Certain advisors who work at Baker Tilly have the ability to receive commissions from insurance policy sales to clients. While this can induce a potential conflict of interest, the firm's fiduciary duty requires it to act in clients' best interests no matter what. This fee structure is different from a fee-only firm, which only collects payments from advisory clients, not third parties.
Baker Tilly Wealth Management Background
Baker Tilly Wealth Management was technically founded in 2013. However, the firm is owned by parent company Baker Tilly U.S., LLC, which has been in business since way back in 1931. Today, the firm is run by executive managing director Alec Abbott.
Baker Tilly's services can be divided into two main categories: consulting and portfolio management. The former is focused on clients' various financial planning needs, like retirement planning, tax planning, estate planning, education planning, insurance needs analysis and divorce planning. Portfolio management is obviously centered around investing and building a personalized portfolio for you.
Baker Tilly Wealth Management Investment Strategy
As soon as you become a client of Baker Tilly Wealth Management, the firm will build an investment policy statement for you. This will detail exactly what type of investor you are, how much risk you're willing to incur, what your time horizon is and more. Based on these insights, your advisor will construct you an investment strategy and asset allocation. Then, your advisor may allocate your assets to mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), model portfolios, as well as individual debt and equity securities. The firm may also recommend the use of a third-party managers or private placements.
Just because your assets are invested doesn't mean your Baker Tilly advisor will stop looking at your portfolio. In fact, the firm consistently monitors client portfolios, making adjustments on an as-needed basis. These changes could be induced by market conditions or your changing needs.
John F. Suby Wealth Management, LLC
John F. Suby Wealth Management, the next firm on our list of the top practices in Madison, is a fee-only financial advisor that mainly works with individual clients. The firm also serves high-net-worth individuals, retirement plans, charitable organizations and businesses.
The team at Suby features a certified wealth strategist (CWS) and two certified public accountants (CPAs). Fees for investment management are based on a percentage of assets under management. The firm also charges hourly and flat fees for consulting.
However, as a fee-only firm, John F. Suby Wealth Management does not sell securities or insurance for commissions. Instead, its compensation comes solely from the fees that clients pay for advisory services. There is no set account balance minimum.
John F. Suby Wealth Management Background
The firm’s namesake, John Suby, has worked in Madison’s financial industry for more than 40 years. He has been a certified public accountant since 1972, and at Suby Wealth Management, he focuses on estate planning and business succession planning.
The firm is part of a larger company called The Suby Group, which offers financial planning, tax preparation and planning, retirement planning, restaurant and business bookkeeping services and corporate financial planning. You can find Suby Group offices in Madison, Wisconsin and Rockford, Illinois. Suby Wealth Management offers investment management and monitoring, retirement planning, estate plan review and financial statement review to clients
John F. Suby Wealth Management Investment Strategy
You’ll find that the advisors at Suby look to match “efficient, diversified portfolios” with your investment needs and risk tolerance. As a new client, you’ll answer questions focused on your projected retirement year, cash-flow needs, investment objectives and risk tolerance. The firm uses sub-advisors and third-party managers for investment management. Your portfolio will mainly consists of mutual funds, ETFs and individual stocks.
Resonant Capital Advisors, LLC
Despite a low minimum account size of $5,000, Resonant Capital Advisors mainly works with high-net-worth individuals. This fee-based firm also serves individual clients below the high-net-worth threshold, as well as pooled investment vehicles, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and insurane companies.
Fees are generally charged either hourly or based on a percentage of assets under management. At least one advisor can earn commissions, though, which may pose a conflict of interest. But as fiduciaries, Resonant advisors must act in the best interest of their clients.
Advisors at the firm have earned various certifications including certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial consultant (ChFC) and chartered financial advisor (CFA).
Resonant Capital Advisors Background
Resonant Capital Advisors Investment Strategy
Isthmus Partners, LLC
Isthmus Partners, a fee-only firm, is the No. 5-rated advisor in Madison. The minimum account size for clients varies based on account type, but it starts at $2 million. As you may suspect from the high asset minimum, the firm primarily works with high-net-worth individuals and families. However, Isthmus also has non-high-net-worth individuals, retirement plans, charities and businesses as clients.
As a fee-only firm, Isthmus advisors do not earn commissions. Fees are generally based on a percentage of assets under management.
The team, which serves clients across the country out of an office in Madison, includes advisors who are chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and certified financial planners (CFPs).
Isthmus Partners Background
In 2014, David Hackworthy, Victor Rodriguez, Frank Gambino and Joel McNeil founded Isthmus Partners after working together for over a decade. They remain the owners of the firm, along with Jeremy Baier.
Isthmus Partners offers portfolio management, investment advice, financial planning and institutional portfolios.
Isthmus Partners Investment Strategy
This firm has two main strategies of portfolio management for individual clients: a large cap core equity counseled portfolio and a small cap core equity counseled portfolio.
Large cap targets 35 to 45 large-capitalization U.S. stocks that have a market cap greater than $2 billion at the time of initial purchase. This strategy uses the S&P 500 Index and is managed with tax efficiency in mind. Small cap core equity will generally contain 55 to 65 small-capitalization U.S. stocks with a market cap between $100 million and $2 billion. The benchmark for small cap core equity is the Russell 2000 Index.
The firm may also invest in:
- Mutual fund securities
- Exchange-traded funds
- Fixed income securities
- Municipal securities
- Corporate debt obligations
- Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
Madison Partners, the No. 6 firm on our list of top advisors in Madison, is a fee-only practice that primarily works with individual clients below the high-net-worth threshold. However, the firm also serves high-net-worth individuals.
As a fee-only firm, Madison Partners and its advisors do not sell securities or insurance. As a result, the firm's compensation comes solely from the fees that clients pay for advisory services, not third-party commissions. Those fees are based on a percentage of a client's assets under management.
Madison Partners, which does not impose a minimum account size, has three advisors on staff who hold the certified financial planner (CFP) designation. Another member of the team is an accredited asset management specialist (AAMS).
Madison Partners Background
Madison Partners is a relatively young firm, having first opened its doors for business in January 2020. The practice registered with the SEC as an investment advisor in March 2020. The firm is owned and operated by Shane D. Kieler and Mark P. McFarland, who both serve as co-CEOs.
Madison Partners specializes in wealth management, an offering the combines portfolio management and financial planning. The firm also provides retirement plan advisory services, which may include vendor analysis, plan participant enrollment tracking, investment oversight and other options.
Madison Partners Investment Strategy
Madison Partners works closely with each client to identify their investment goals and objectives, assessing both their risk tolerance and overall financial situation. The firm then uses this information to design an investment portfolio that consists of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and/or mutual funds. Advisors may also incorporate individual stocks, bonds, alternative investments and other types of assets into a client's portfolios.
When it comes to selecting individual securities for clients, the firm relies on both fundamental analysis and technical analysis. While the former involves analyzing economic and business indicators to determine the intrinsic value of a company, the latter focuses on past market data and trends.
Walkner Condon Financial Advisors LLC
Walkner Condon Financial Advisors is a fee-only firm that requires a minimum account size of $500,000. As a result, a substaintial portfolio of its client base comprises high-net-worth individuals. However, a majority of Walkner Condon clients fall below the high-net-worth threshold. The firm also works with charitable organizations.
The firm's relatively small staff includes three certified financial planners (CFPs), a chartered financial analyst (CFA) and a certified exit planning advisor (CEPA).
Walkner Condon Financial Advisors Background
Walkner Condon was founded in 2011. The firm's principal owners are Clinton Thomas Walkner, Nathan Michael Condon and Jonathon Thomas Jordan.
Services that the firm offers include portfolio management services, the selection of other advisors, financial planning and pension consulting. Its ongoing portfolio management services are based on the individual goals, objectives, time horizon, and risk tolerance of each client, and may include investment strategy, personal investment policy, asset allocation, asset selection, risk tolerance and regular portfolio monitoring.
Walkner Condon Financial Advisors Investment Strategy
The main strategies that Walkner Condon advisors use are modern portfolio theory (maximizing a portfolio's expected return for a given amount of risk, or minimizing risk for a given level of expected return) and long-term trading. A majority of assets under the firm's management are invested in exchange-traded equity securities.
WEA Financial Advisors, Inc.
WEA Financial Advisors is a fee-based firm that has no set account minimum for clients. While clients at WEA Financial Advisors are primarily individuals, the firm also has a small number of pension and profit-sharing plan clients.
Because certain employees are registered insurance agents and/or registered representatives of an affiliated broker-dealer, the firm is classifed as fee-based.
The firm has several advisors who hold financial certifications, including the certified financial planner (CFP) and chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC) designations.
WEA Financial Advisors Background
WEA Financial Advisors was founded in 2007. The firm is a wholly-owned subsidiary of WEA Member Benefit Trust, which is a trust created to provide products and services to active, members of the Wisconsin Education Association, WEA Tax Sheltered Annuity 403(b) account holders, as well as employees of various entities affiliated with the Wisconsin Education Association.
Services that the firm offers (to these types of eligible clients named above) are portfolio analysis, retirement income projections and retirement income analysis. It also offers personal investment accounts as well as WEA Model Portfolios.
WEA Financial Advisors Investment Strategy
In order to execute the services named above, the firm will prepare a special Morningstar report and use the information from that report plus data collected from the client to assess the client's current situation and make further recommendations.
Before opening a personal investment account (PIA), a client will also complete an Investor Suitability Profile Questionnaire. The advisor uses this completed risk profile assessment to help the client select one of the following model portfolios: ultra conservative, conservative, moderately conservative, moderate, moderately aggressive or aggressive. Clients may also select a PIA model portfolio that does not match their own personal tolerance for risk. All PIA model portfolios solely comprise pre-screened mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
Mendota Financial Group, LLC
Mendota Financial Group is a fee-only firm that does not have a set account minimum. Fees for investment management are based on a percentage of assets under management while financial consulting fees are charged on a fixed basis.
Clients at Mendota are nearly all individuals and most do not have high net worths. The only institutional clients are corporations. The firm includes professional designations such as chartered financial consultant (ChFC), certified public accountant (CPA), certified financial analyst (CFA) and certified financial planner (CFP).
Mendota Financial Group Background
Mendota was founded in 2005. The principal owners are Kurt Ahrens, Daniel Gresch and Matthew Goetzke. Services at the firm include wealth management, financial consulting and sub-advisory services.
Mendota Financial Group Investment Strategy
Mendota advisors primarily use fundamental and cyclical methods of analysist to evaluate investments. Fundamental analysis takes into account the historical performance of an investment, as well as its projected performance, while cyclical analysis involves determining the desirability of an security based on its price cycle or the price cycle of similar securities.
Poehling Capital Management, Inc.
Poehling Capital Management, a fee-based financial advisory firm, requires a minimum of $250,000 for core discretionary investment management services. If you have less than that amount, PCM can give you recommendations for no-load or load-waived mutual funds.
The advisory team at Poehling includes one certified financial planner (CFPs). While fees are based on a percentage of assets under management, clients are mostly individuals, the majority of whom do not high net worths. The only institutional clients are charitable organizations and corporations.
Poehling Capital Management Background
Thomas Poehling, president and chief investment officer, owns the firm. He has more than 25 years of experience in the investment industry. Patrick Poehling serves as the COO and vice president of the firm. He has more than two decades of experience in the financial services industry.
Services offered through Poehling include investment management, financial planning and estate planning. Poehling manages client portfolios either on a discretionary and non-discretionary basis.
Poehling Capital Management Investment Strategy
Pheling Capital Management uses model portfolios for managing client assets. Each model portfolio is a template for a certain set of criteria. This means you’re matched to a model portfolio based on a variety of factors, including risk tolerance, investment objectives, income, retirement timeline and cash-flow needs. The firm invests in large-capitalization companies and other assets for diversification. The firm prefers publicly traded equities, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual fund, fixed income and option contracts.