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 local advisors and choose the one who best fits your needs.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Madison Investment Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$13,800,829,928||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|2||SVA Wealth Management Find an Advisor||$2,681,232,624||$250,000|| || |
|3||John F. Suby Wealth Management Find an Advisor||$1,292,713,303||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|4||Isthmus Partners Find an Advisor||$696,242,577||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|5||Resonant Capital Advisors Find an Advisor||$647,872,523||$5,000|| || |
|6||Thun Financial Advisors Find an Advisor||$573,936,816||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|7||Poehling Capital Management Find an Advisor||$275,580,756||$250,000|| || |
|8||RMR Financial Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$261,897,539||$250,000|| || |
|9||Financial Wealth Management Find an Advisor||$236,000,000||$300,000|| || |
|10||Mendota Financial Group Find an Advisor||$229,214,102||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Madison, Wisconsin
For this list, we only considered firms that are registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These financial advisors file paperwork annually, are required to act as fiduciaries and are under government oversight. If a firm had a disclosure or disciplinary issue, we eliminated it from the list. We also cut advisors that don’t manage individual accounts. The list below is arranged from most assets under management to least. All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
Madison Investment Advisors, LLC
At the top of our list with the most assets under management, Madison Investment Advisors, LLC specializes in managed account services. So this 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 Investment Advisors Background
Madison Investment Advisors, LLC 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 Madison, the firm has offices in Scottsdale, Arizona, and Toronto, Canada.
Madison Investment Advisors Investing Approach
Unlike some of the investment managers on this list, Madison generally steers clear from index strategies. Instead, it uses its own research and knowledge to seek investment opportunities that may have potential for stronger returns.
According to its website, its equity portfolios are built with companies that have a "wide competitive moat, attractive valuations." It generally constructs its fixed-income portfolios with “diversified positions of high-quality bonds, which allows us to actively manage interest rate and sector risk.”
SVA Wealth Management
Next is SVA Wealth Management, a firm which prefers that you have at least $250,000 in investable capital.
You can find SVA Wealth Management offices in Madison, Brookfield and Appleton in Wisconsin and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
The firm is large, with advisors who have a variety of professional credentials, including certified financial planner (CFP), certified trust and financial advisor (CTFA) and accredited investment fiduciary (AIF).
Fees at SVA are generally based on assets under management, but some advisors may earn commissions from third-party vendors. This is a conflict of interest but all advisors are bound to act in the best interest of the client.
SVA Wealth Management Background
SVA Planners, Inc, the predecessor to SVA Wealth Management, was founded in 1987, according to materials filed with the SEC. There have been several name changes over the years to bring the firm to where it is now. SVA is owned by SVA Financial Group, a subsidiary of Diversified Services of Wisconsin, which is owned by numerous shareholders of SVA Certified Public Accountants or an affiliated subsidiary.
This fee-based firm offers personal wealth management services, including investment management and financial planning, retirement services for individuals and businesses and a number of special services such as tax planning and financial planning for physicians. In addition to specializing in serving physicians, the firm has a university advisory group for education professionals and a female-only team dedicated to the “financial planning for savvy women” initiative.
SVA Wealth Management Investing Strategy
Some firms of this size only offer portfolios that consist of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). That’s not what you’ll find at SVA Wealth Management. The firm states “based on client objectives, the core holdings will be comprised of selected mutual funds, individual securities, ETFs and/or index funds. Each portfolio is enhanced with complementary assets to diversify the portfolio risk.” Advisors here follow the common sentiment that broad diversification is the best way to manage risk and market volatility.
Before creating your portfolio, your advisor will speak to you about your financial situation, tax concerns, time horizon, risk tolerance and cash-flow needs. Based on these discussions, your advisor then will create your investment policy statement, a document that captures your portfolio’s guiding investment strategy.
John F. Suby Wealth Management
John F. Suby Wealth Management has $315 million in assets under management and has four advisors. The company is fee-based, like several of the firms on this list. Clients at the firm must have at least $200,000 in investable assets.
The team at Suby has a number of certifications including certified wealth strategist (CWS) and certified public accountant (CPA).
Fees for investment management are based on a percentage of assets under management. Some advisors at the firm may earn commissions. This may pose a conflict of interest, but advisors must act in the best interest of the client.
John F. Suby Wealth Management Background
The firm’s namesake, John Suby, has worked in Madison’s financial industry for the past 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 Investing Strategy
You’ll find that the advisors at Suby try to match “efficient, diversified portfolios” with your investment needs and risk tolerance. As a new client, you’ll answer questions such as your projected retirement year, cash-flow needs, investment objectives and risk tolerance. The firm uses sub-advisers and third party managers for investment management responsibility. Your portfolio will mainly consists of mutual funds, ETFs and individual stocks.
The minimum account size at this advisor varies based on account type, but it is at least $2 million. The team, which serves clients across the country out of an office in Madison, Wisconsin, includes advisors who are chartered financial advisors (CFAs) and certified financial planners (CFPs).
As you may suspect from the high asset minimum, the firm primarily works with high-net-worth individuals and families. The firm is fee-only, meaning advisors do not earn commissions. Fees are generally based on a percentage of assets under management.
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.
Isthmus Partners offers portfolio management, investment advice, financial planning and institutional portfolios.
Isthmus Partners Investment Strategies
This firm has three main strategies for portfolio management: core equity, fixed income and international equity. Core equity has two sub-categories: large cap and small cap. Large cap targets 40 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 50 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.
Fixed income strategy invests in bonds, specifically U.S. Treasury and FDIC certificates of deposit (CDs), municipal bonds and corporate bonds. This portion of the portfolio is conservative and the risk is concentrated on the equity allocations.
International equity is the final strategy. This is the only strategy that uses mutual funds as the primary investment vehicle. Isthmus advisors don’t manage international stock allocations, instead, they select third-party money managers.
Resonant Capital Advisors
Resonant Capital Advisors has a minimum account size of $5,000, so it will likely be an option for most people. Clients of the firm are actually mostly high-net-worth individuals, despite this low account minimum. Institutional clients include pooled investment vehicles, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and insurane companies.
Fees are generally either hourly or based on a percentage of assets under management. Some advisors do earn commissions, though, which may pose a conflict of interest. All advisors must act in the best interest of the client, though.
Advisors at the firm have earned various certifications including certified financial planner (CFP) and chartered financial advisor (CFA).
Resonant Capital Advisors Background
Resonant Capital Advisors Investment Strategy
Thun Financial Advisors
Thun Financial Advisors does not have a minimum account size. The compensation model here is fee-only, rather than fee-based. Fee-only means that the firm earns compensation from management fees or hourly charges, and that’s it.
While Thun is based in Madison, the firm serves clients around the U.S. and the world. Advisors at the firm have earned certifications including certified financial planner (CFP) and chartered financial advisor (CFA).
Thun Financial Advisors Background
A relatively young firm, Thun Financial Advisors has been in operation since 2008. David Kuenzi, founder and sole owner, previously worked as a securities analyst and institutional broker for Chase Manhattan Bank, Deutsche Bank and other top-tier financial institutions. He is a certified financial planner (CFP) and speaks Russian and Spanish.
Services include financial planning, investment management, retirement planning, estate planning, education savings and expat compliance.
Thun Financial Advisors Investment Strategy
Thun Financial Advisors stands behind the investment tactics of diversification, strategic rebalancing, low expenses and tax deferral/minimization. The firm describes these tenets as the “four pillars of long-term investment success.”
The firm uses globally diversified exchange-traded funds (ETFs) as the main investment vehicle for your portfolio. The firm diversifies across asset classes, including bonds, stocks, commodities and real estate. The firm invests for the long term, which means advisors trade assets infrequently. Your exact portfolio blend depends on your age, income, risk tolerance, investment goals, cash-flow needs and a variety of personal finance factors. Your advisor will give you investment advice based on your personal situation.
Poehling Capital Management
Poehling Capital Management, a fee-only 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 certified financial planners (CFPs). Fees are based on a percentage of assets under management, and 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 10 years of experience in the financial services industry.
Services offered include investment management, financial planning and estate planning.
Poehling Capital Management Portfolio Management
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.
RMR Financial Advisors, LLC
RMR Financial Advisors, LCC (RMR) is an SEC-registered investment advisor focusing on holistic financial planning and investment management. The minimum account size is $250,000.
The team at RMR includes two certified financial planners (CFPs) and one chartered financial advisor (CFA).
RMR is fee-only, so your advisor won't receive sales commissions from vendors for recommending certain products. Fees for advising are generally based on a percentage of assets under management.
RMR Financial Advisors Background
RMR Financial Advisors has been in business since 2003. It is wholly owned by Erik Mikkelson. He co-founded the firm with Rich Mikkelson.
Depending on your needs, RMR can assist with the following:
- Portfolio and cash flow management
- Investment manager search and monitoring
- Retirement plan consulting
- Family office services
RMR Financial Advisors Investment Approach
RMR aims for a comprehensive investment policy statement for each client based on his or her individual financial situation and goals. Its overall investment management services can include the following:
- Active management of investment assets and ongoing monitoring of mutual fund managers
- Regular meetings to ensure goals in the investment policy statement are being met
- Appropriate adjustments to investment portfolio based on changes in financial life or personal objectives
Financial Wealth Management
This fee-based firm has a minimum account size of $300,000. Two certified financial planners (CFPs) work at Financial Wealth Management.
Every client at the firm is an individual, most of them are not high-net-worth. There are no institutional clients on the rolls.
Fees at FWM are generally charged hourly -- this differs from most advisors, who use a percentage of assets under management. Some advisors may also earn commissions for selling securities. This is a potential conflict of interest, but advisors must act in the best interest of the client.
Financial Wealth Management Background
Daniel Hyland is the sole owner of the firm and serves as president. He is a certified financial planner (CFP) and has worked in the financial planning and asset management industry for more than 35 years.
Services offered at FWM include retirement planning (including 401(k) plans), financial planning, business succession planning, insurance and asset allocation.
Financial Wealth Management Investing Strategy
The firm builds portfolios to reflect your “goals, priorities, investment preference” and tolerance for risk. FWM tailors its asset allocations to individuals, rather than use a model (template) portfolio. That means an advisor will consider your risk tolerance, taxation, investment preferences, time horizon (until retirement, etc) and investment objectives when constructing your portfolio.
The main method of analysis used by FWM is fundamental. This is the evaluation of investment securities based on the historical and projected financial performance. The firm mainly recommends no-load mutual funds and load mutual funds. However, accounts can include exchange-traded funds (ETFs), stocks, bonds annuities and real estate investment trusts (REITs).
For a look at more of the top advisors in Madison, use our advisor search tool. It links you with up to three advisors in your area based on your personal goals. From there, you can review their profiles and set up interviews before deciding to work with one.
Mendota Financial Group
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 mostly do not have high net worths. The only institutional clients are corporations. The firm includes two chartered financial consultants (ChFCs), one certified public accountant (CPA), one certified financial planner (CFA) and one 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 education and asset allocation.
Mendota Financial Group Investment Strategy
The main analysis methods used by advisors at this firm are fundamental (evaluating a security based on historical and projected financial performance) and cyclical (using the state of a price cycle).
According to the latest SEC data, around 50% of the firm's client assets are invested in mutual funds and 20% are in individual securities. Bonds and cash make up the rest.