Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
When it comes to your money, you want to find the very best people to manage it. After all, it’s your financial future we’re talking about. With so many options these days, it can be hard to choose. Fortunately, we did most of the work for you. After hours of research, we created a list of the top 10 financial advisors in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You can also use our advisor pairing tool to find an advisor who’s the right match for you.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Wipfli Financial Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$3,210,518,719||None|| || |
|2||Johnson Wealth, Inc. Find an Advisor||$2,705,445,986|| |
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|3||Sadoff Investment Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,372,502,041||$1,000,000|| || |
|4||Diversified Management Find an Advisor||$1,069,226,589|| |
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|5||Northern Oak Wealth Management Find an Advisor||$785,454,769|| |
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|6||Oarsman Capital Find an Advisor||$460,125,131|| |
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|7||Next Generation Wealth Management Find an Advisor||$282,174,874|| |
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|8||McCarthy Grittinger Financial Group Find an Advisor||$268,027,664|| |
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|9||Hogan Financial Find an Advisor||$254,918,362|| |
Minimum fee $10,000
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Minimum fee $10,000
|10||Kyle Financial Services Find an Advisor||$231,141,333|| |
No strict minimum but generally those with $500,000 or more
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No strict minimum but generally those with $500,000 or more
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
For this list, we only considered financial advisor firms in Milwaukee that are registered fiduciaries with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We removed from consideration any firms that did not have clean records, didn’t employ financial planners or didn’t manage individual accounts. The top 10 firms are listed here, ranked from the most assets under management (AUM) to the least.
Wipfli Financial Advisors, LLC
Wipfli Financial Advisors, LLC (WFA) is an SEC-registered investment advisory firm that works primarily with high-net-worth individuals. This means the average client has a net worth of at least $1.5 million.
And while the firm doesn’t specify a minimum initial investment required to open an account, it imposes a minimum annual fee of $5,000 for standard investment advisory services. WFA offers financial planning, investment advisory, retirement planning and insurance solutions to its clients.
Wipfli Financial Advisors, LLC Background
WFA was formed in 1999 under the name of Hewins Financial Advisors, LLC. WFA is now wholly owned by Wipfli Financial, LLC. This latter firm is owned by the accounting firm Wipfli LLP.
WFA offers four different investment advisory services to individuals. Based on your needs and financial situation, WFA can devise a personalized investment policy statement that outlines your asset allocation and investment objective.
In addition, the firm offers individual financial planning services on topics ranging from budgeting to retirement and estate planning.
Wipfli Financial Advisors, LLC Resources
When it comes to financial planning, WFA utilizes its proprietary tools and resources. For instance, the firm deploys MyStoryboard to help clients improve their financial wellness. This interactive tool considers how different moves can impact certain aspects of your financial life based on your individual situation. The firm uses this tool, other resources and its own expertise to make recommendations.
You can receive either investment advisory or financial planning services on a stand-alone basis or as a bundled program.
Johnson Wealth, Inc.
Topping our Milwaukee list with more than $2.2 billion in assets under management is Johnson Wealth Inc., formerly known as Cleary Gull Advisors.
This firm has more than 40 advisors and has been in operation for more than 30 years. You’ll need at least $200,000 to become a client. Johnston is a fee-based firm, which means advisors can earn commissions from selling you certain products, such as insurance or mutual funds. However, the firm has a fiduciary duty to always act in your best interests.
One of Johnson's differentiating factors is its airline pilot program, not seen elsewhere on this list. Members in the MyJFG Pilot Program can get help with wealth management and retirement planning.
Johnson Wealth Advisors Background
Johsnon Wealth is an SEC-registered investment advisory firm that's part of a large network called the Johnson Financial Group. It provides its services to high-net-worth families, individuals, trusts, not-for-profit hospitals and senior living organizations, and more.
The firm was formerly known as Cleary Gull Advisors before being purcahsed by Johnson Financial Group from Cleary Gull Holdings Inc. on June 1, 2016.
Johnson Wealth Investment Strategy
As far as investment philosophy goes, the firm generally prioritizes diversified portfolios driven by professionally managed and passive strategies. However, it also utilizes a valuation framework to screen securities.
Based on your risk appetite and financial goals, it may invest your assets in the following:
- Real estate
- Hedge funds
The firm’s investment management team conducts independent research to make investment decisions. In addition, the firm provides its clients with tools like 401(k) calculators and publications on the basics of investing.
Sadoff Investment Management, LLC
Sadoff Investment Management, LLC, is the only firm on this list that focuses primarily on investment management services. So if you’re seeking an advisor to professionally manage a diverse investment portfolio for you based on your needs, this may be the firm for you.
Sadoff aims to develop an investment portfolio tailored to your individual circumstances and financial outlook. To open an account with the firm, however, you’d need a minimum initial investment of $1 million. According to documents the firm has filed with the SEC, Sadoff works primarily with high-net-worth individuals. This sector fills most of its individual client base. But it also extends its services to corporations, charities and profit-sharing plans.
Sadoff Investment Management, LLC Background
Sadoff has been providing investment advisory services since 1978. Despite its three-person advisory team, the firm currently has more than $1 billion in assets under management. There are no certified financial planners (CFPs) on board. But keep in mind Standoff prioritizes investment management. So financial planning isn’t a large aspect of its business.
Nonetheless, members of its staff have held major leadership positions and have vast experience in financial services. Founder Ronald Sadoff, for instance, has been in the industry since the 1970s. He previously worked as an institutional investment and research strategist. Michael Sadoff served as senior financial analyst at Green Tree Financial Corporation.
Sadoff Investment Management, LLC Investing Approach
Standoff aims to build and manage an investment portfolio based on your individual financial standing and long-term goals. But it generally recommends you invest in the following securities if it deems it appropriate.
- Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
- Corporate debt securities
- Municipal securities
- Money market funds
- USA government securities
The firm states: “Generally, to a lesser extent, we may also recommend mutual funds, foreign issues, convertibles, closed-end funds, preferred's, commercial paper and certificates of deposit. Each client has different needs and different tolerance for risk, so not all investments may be appropriate.”
With more than $1 billion less in assets under management, Diversified Management rests among our top five firms in Milwaukee. The firm is also one of the few fee-only firms on this list, meaning advisors only make money from a set management fee rather than from commissions for selling products. You need at least $500,000 to become a client, and most of Diversified Management's clients have what’s considered a high net worth or one that clears the $1.5 million threshold.
The company has six advisors and has offices in Milwaukee’s historic Third Ward, as well as North Scottsdale, Arizona.
Diversified Management Background
Mark Homan founded this firm in 1993. He is a certified public accountant (CPA) and a certified financial planner (CFP). The company is a strong proponent of certifications; all DMI client advisors are CFPs. This is not a requirement by the government, but rather a requirement by DMI to ensure its advisors are well-educated in financial planning. The company also has an enrolled agent (EA), which is an advanced tax designation.
Michael Schmidt serves as the president and chief compliance officer. He’s been with the company since 1996 and owns about 25% of Diversified Management.
DMI is a member of the Financial Planning Association, the National Association of Estate Planners and Councils, Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants and Association of International Certified Professional Accountants.
Diversified Management Investment Strategies
DMI will “consider everything” before recommending anything. This means getting your full financial picture before structuring your investment allocation. Your advisor will aim for strong results and long-term financial security.
Your investment plan will be based on your risk tolerance, cash flow needs, financial goals, time horizon and current assets. DMI advisors prefer meeting with you at the end of each calendar quarter to review your your objectives as well as go over your investment reports.
DMI primarily uses fundamental analysis to evaluate investment opportunities. The company also uses Morningstar Advisor Workstation and Charles Schwab Advisor Services for information.
Northern Oak Wealth Management
Northern Oak Wealth Management (NOWM) is an employee-owned fee-based firm. The company manages more than $700 million, and has an account minimum of $100,000. Most of the firm's individual client base consists of people who fall below the threshold of high-net-worth.
Founded in 1976, NOWM is one of the oldest firms on this list.
Northern Oak Wealth Management Background
Northern Oak Wealth Management has operated as a registered investment advisor since 1976. The company is completely employee-owned.
David Becker joined the firm in 2001 and is the president and chief investment officer. He is a part-owner and is a chartered financial analyst (CFA).
Mark Zellmer is part-owner, chairman and portfolio manager of the firm. He began his investment career in 1982 and has worked in financial services ever since.
Northern Oak Wealth Management Investing Approach
This firm subscribes to model investment portfolios. What this means is your financial goals and risk tolerance (as well as cash needs and retirement timeline) are used to put your money in a pre-set model portfolio that best aligns with your objectives. This differs from fully customized portfolios, which is what firms such as Cleary Gull offer. Instead, your money will be put into a specialized product.
NOWM offers Income Roadmap™, a strategy that uses equities, fixed income and alternative assets to help you achieve a flow of income. Select Dividend Growth Portfolio is an equity-oriented income product that invests in common stocks of large companies with above-average earning growth. Equity Growth Portfolio is invested in exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and follows a core/satellite investment strategy. Fixed Income Portfolio is for clients that need income in a tax-efficient manner. The last portfolio choice is Enhanced Sector Fund. This portfolio consists of industry-specific and sector-based ETFs (but may also include stocks). The goal of this fund is to outperform the S&P 500.
Oarsman Capital, a fee-based firm in operation since 2000, has 11 investment advisors and more than $400 million in assets under management. The firm has a minimum fee of $100,000 to become a client, making it as expensive as Northern Oak Wealth Management, but less expensive than Diversified Management. You can find Oarsman Capital offices across Wisconsin, including locations in Milwaukee, Ephraim, Prairie du Sac, Brookfield and Appleton.
Oarsman Capital Background
Robert Phelps, Alan Purintun and Gerald Nackers founded Oarsman Capital in 2000. Phelps is the main principal of the firm and has worked in financial services since 1986. He has been designated a chartered financial analyst (CFA) since 1997.
Purintun has managed investment portfolios for high-net-worth individuals since 1994. Purintun was an intelligence officer with the CIA for six years prior to becoming an investment manager. He has an MBA from Dartmouth and an undergraduate degree from Yale. He’s also a chartered financial analyst (CFA).
Nackers has more than 30 years’ experience as a financial markets professional. He’s an accredited asset management specialist. Nackers specializes in corporate retirement plans.
Oarsman employs one other CFA and a total of three certified financial planners (CFPs).
Oarsman Capital Investment Management
If you have less than $500,000 to invest, you’ll be put in the Oarsman Blueprint platform for investment management. This is most similar to a robo-advisor, where your money is managed digitally by algorithms. Your portfolio will consist of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and is automatically rebalanced.
Those with at least $500,000 will have customized portfolio management. The company’s core equity portfolio generally holds 40 to 50 individual common stocks. Your portfolio will be broadly diversified and built with the intention of long-term investing.
Advisors may also add ETFs and some income-producing bonds or bond funds to your portfolio. Less than 15% of the portfolio will hold hybrid securities (such as REITs, natural resource funds and high-yield bonds).
Next Generation Wealth Management
Next Generation Wealth Management requires at least $250,000 in assets for new clients, which is the third-highest minimum of any advisor on this list.
The firm has four advisors and offers investment management, financial planning, relationship management and strategic partnerships. Next Generation Wealth Management has more than 200 clients and over $200 million assets under management.
Next Generation Wealth Management Background
David Braaten and David Massart co-founded Next Generation Wealth Management after spending 20 years apiece working on Wall Street. These Midwest natives returned to Wisconsin and founded the firm in 2005.
Massart serves at the president of the firm. Braaten is still co-owner of the firm but doesn’t have a day-to-day presence at Next Generation Wealth Management.
The rest of the team consists of one certified financial planner (CFP) who also is a certified investment management analyst (CIMA).
Next Generation Wealth Management Investment Process
When you work with Next Generation Wealth Management, you’ll be guided through a six-step investment process with your advisor. You’ll discuss investment recommendations “with emphasis on asset allocation, investment selection/evaluation and portfolio risk management.” The firm will create your portfolio using multiple asset classes, including ETfs, mutual funds, hedge funds and separate account managers.
You won’t have model portfolios to fit your financial objectives into, such as Northern Oak Wealth Management (No. 6). Instead, your portfolio is custom-made to meet your financial goals, as long as you have at least $250,000 to manage.
The company uses fundamental, technical and cyclical analysis when evaluating securities in which to invest. The company also uses passive and tactical allocation strategies.
McCarthy Grittinger Financial Group
McCarthy Grittinger Financial Group, or MG Financial Group for short, is one of the few firms on this list that don't have an account minimum. That means clients with any amount can get started with this firm (though $250,000 is generally the lowest amount that makes sense due to its fee structure).
The firm's seven-person team features five certified financial planners (CFPs).
McCarthy Grittinger Financial Group Background
John McCarthy founded the firm in 1995. In 2003, Scott Grittinger joined the firm, eventually buying McCarthy’s ownership shares in 2014. Grittenger serves as the managing partner and majority owner. He has more than 25 years experience in financial services and is a certified financial planner (CFP).
Matthew Miler and Jacqueline Schneider are minority owners of the firm. Miler is a certified public accountant (CPA) and CFP and has worked in financial services since 2002. Scheider is also a CFP and has worked in the industry for over 17 years.
McCarthy Grittinger Financial Group Investment Philosophy
MG Financial Group helps clients “identify, evaluate and achieve their financial goals.” After doing so, advisors will make investment recommendations that follow the investment theory of asset allocation. This means a well-diversified portfolio that has multiple types of investments including open-end mutual funds, ETFs and U.S. Treasury debt.
The ETFs and mutual funds that MG Financial Group advisors recommend are generally those that invest in U.S. stocks, foreign stocks, fixed-income securities, U.S. government securities, corporate debt and municipal securities.
Hogan Financial is another Milwaukee financial advisor firm with a client base of mainly high-net-worth clients. Paula Hogan was founded the firm more than 20 years ago. She still serves as the CEO.
The company is on the small side, with just seven employees on the advisory team. But unlike most of the firms on this list, Hogan is a fee-only advisor.
This is a harder standard to meet for monetary compensation. To become a client, you’ll likely need at least $1 million for the $10,000 minimum annual fee to make sense.
Hogan Financial Background
Paula Hogan founded the firm in 1992 with the vision of “the ideal advisory relationship: personal, professional, and deeply respectful of the clients hopes and dreams.” Hogan was an early adopter of the fee-only business model, where advisors get paid from serving clients, not selling products. Hogan is a certified financial planner (CFP) and certified financial analyst (CFA) and is the majority owner, CEO and chief compliance officer of the firm.
Clint Wonder became a shareholder of the firm in 2017 and serves as the COO. Wonder is a CFP and certified public accountant (CPA) with the personal financial specialist designation (PFS).
Hogan Financial Investment Philosophy
Hogan Financial advisors consider your overall willingness and ability to take financial risk when constructing your portfolio. This includes considering cost and tax efficiency as well. With those factors in mind, advisors seek to gain exposure to global markets and diversify allocations.
Each portfolio’s strategy is distinctive and based on client financial objectives, income needs and time horizon. Often, advisors will recommend index type funds, but individual securities, funds and annuities are also used.
Kyle Financial Services
Kyle Financial Services is the oldest firm on this list, having been in business since incorporation in 1976. The firm has two employees who act as the main investment advisors, making it one of the smallest on this list.
While Kyle Financial Services materials state that there’s no fixed minimum investment requirement, the firm also notes that it targets clients with at least $500,000. That said, more than 90% of the company’s business comes from high-net-worth clients, which generally indicates a net worth of at least $1.5 million. The firm has clients in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, Florida, California and Oregon.
Kyle Financial Services Background
The firm was incorporated in 1976 and is owned by Susan Bischoff, Julie Averill, Nancy Kasten, Wendy Eldridge and Robin Kyle.
Kevin Ellis serves as the president. He is a certified financial planner (CFP) and certified public accountant (CPA) with more than 30 years of financial services experience.
Kyle Financial Services employs two additional CPAs, including a CPA with the personal financial specialist (PFS) designation.
Kyle Financial Services Investment Philosophy
Advisors at this financial advisor firm adhere to the following investment tenets: asset allocation, broad portfolio diversification, systematic rebalancing and being mindful of high expenses and taxes. Kyle Financial Services has “concluded that the most important decision an investor faces is the asset allocation decision.” This means how your portfolio is divided among stocks and bonds and cash. Each person is different, based on their time horizon and tolerance for risk.
The firm, like many other financial advisors, follows modern portfolio theory. This theory emphasizes the importance of diversification for the best risk/return ratio. Your portfolio will mainly consist of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
For access to more of the top advisors in Milwaukee, use our financial advisor matching tool. It connects you with up to three advisors in your area. The tool also allows you to compare their qualifications and even set up interviews before deciding to work with one.