Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Financial advisor help their clients with a wide range of financial services, including investment management and financial planning. If you're looking for an advisor in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, SmartAsset created the list to help you pick a financial advisor that best aligns with your needs. You can also use SmartAsset's free advisor matching tool to get connected with local advisors.
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|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Johnson Wealth, Inc. Find an Advisor||$7,968,761,778||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|2||Wipfli Financial Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$3,393,341,503||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|3||Sadoff Investment Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,473,943,668||$1,000,000|| || |
|4||Diversified Management Find an Advisor||$1,363,628,668||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|5||Northern Oak Wealth Management Find an Advisor||$868,147,758||$100,000|| || |
|6||KLCM Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$857,576,139||$500,000|| || |
|7||Riverwater Partners LLC Find an Advisor||$749,142,810||$1,000,000|| || |
|8||Next Generation Wealth Management Find an Advisor||$459,319,665|| |
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|9||McCarthy Grittinger Financial Group Find an Advisor||$354,677,186|| |
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|10||Operose Advisors LLC Find an Advisor||$338,960,974||$300,000|| || |
What We Use in Our Methodology
To find the top financial advisors in Milwaukee, 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.
Johnson Wealth, Inc.
Topping our Milwaukee list with the most assets under management is Johnson Wealth Inc., formerly known as Cleary Gull Advisors.
This firm has been in operation for more than 30 years. It generally recommends minimum investable assets of $1 million, but does not require it. For a separately managed account, though, you’ll need at least $200,000. Johnson is a fee-based firm, and certain advisors may earn commissions from selling insurance products. However, the firm has a fiduciary duty always to act in its clients' 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
Johnson 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 purchased by Johnson Financial Group on June 1, 2016.
Johnson Wealth Investment Strategy
The firm manages investments on a discretionary or non-discretionary basis. Discretionary accounts are typically assigned to a portfolio model, and trades are executed in mass when there is a strategy change. Alternately, you can have a portfolio manager oversee your account. The firm may invest discretionary accounts in mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), fixed income securities and non-traditional (complementary or alternative) investment vehicles. It may also retain a third-party money manager.
For accounts managed on a non-discretionary basis, the firm uses a third-party technology platform that provides due diligence and a curated menu of private equity, private credit and hedge fund investment opportunities. These opportunities are offered to certain high-net-worth and business clients.
Generally, the firm's investing approach is long-term and based on asset allocation.
Wipfli Financial Advisors, LLC
Wipfli Financial Advisors, LLC (WFA) offers financial planning, investment advisory services, retirement planning and insurance solutions. The SEC-registered investment advisory firm's client base is mostly individuals, including high-net-worth individuals. The firm also serves couples, families, business entities, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates and charitable organizations in the U.S.
While the firm doesn’t require a minimum investment for its emerging investor program, it does impose a minimum annual fee of $5,000 for standard investment advisory services. Its retirement plan may have no or varying minimum fees.
Wipfli Financial Advisors Background
WFA was formed in 1999 under the name of Hewins Financial Advisors. WFA is now wholly owned by Wipfli Financial, LLC. This latter firm is owned by the accounting firm Wipfli LLP.
WFA offers three different investment advisory programs to individuals: Standard Investment Advisory Services, Avid Investor Services (designed as a digital investment advisory experience for individuals, couples and families) and Retirement Plan Services. 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. You can receive either investment advisory or financial planning services on a stand-alone basis or as a bundled program.
Wipfli Financial Advisors Investing Strategy
Mainly informed by Modern Portfolio Theory, WFA's investing strategy emphasizes diversification and a long-term focus. The investment committee, which is led by its chief investment officer and includes one WFA principal and two independent contractors who are seasoned investment professionals, develops model portfolios and implements them using mutual funds, third-party asset managers' private investment funds and other investment vehicles. The firm does not utilize tactical or market-timing strategies, though third-party managers and funds may.
Sadoff Investment Management, LLC
Sadoff Investment Management, LLC develops investment portfolios tailored to clients' individual circumstances and financial outlook. To open an account, you’d need a minimum initial investment of $1 million. The firm primarily works with high-net-worth individuals. But it also offers its services to individuals who do not have a high net worth, couples, retirees, IRA accounts, 401(k) accounts, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, foundations, endowments, corporations and other business entities.
Sadoff Investment Management Background
Sadoff has been providing investment advisory services since 1978. The three-person advisory team does not seem to include any certified financial planners (CFPs) on board according to its website, but keep in mind that Sadoff prioritizes investment management. So financial planning isn’t a relatively large aspect of its business.
Founder Ronald Sadoff 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 Investing Strategy
Sadoff offers its investment management services only on a discretionary basis. Once it builds a client's portfolio based on risk tolerance and goals, it will monitor and rebalance the portfolio as required by changes in market conditions and the client's financial circumstances. In evaluating securities, Sadoff uses charting, fundamental, technical and cyclical methods of analysis. Generally, it recommends investing in:
- Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
- Corporate debt securities
- Municipal securities
- Money market funds
- U.S. government securities
Diversified Management has headquarters in Milwaukee’s historic Third Ward - and an office in North Scottsdale, Arizona. It's one of the fee-only firms on this list, meaning advisors' compensation comes only from client fees - and not from client fees and sales commissions from vendors.
Account minimums vary based on account types. For example, you need at least $500,000 to become a client, though Cream City Services clients do not have this requirement. Most of the firm's clients have high net worths, which is defined as having at least $1 million in investable assets.
Diversified Management Background
Mark Homan founded this firm in 1993. All DMI advisors must have at least one of the following professional certifications: certified public accountant (CPA), certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial analyst (CFA), certified investment counselor (CIC) or charted life underwriter (CLU). The firm requires this certification to ensure that its advisors are trained in financial planning.
Michael Schmidt serves as the president and chief compliance officer. He’s been with the firm since 1996 and owns about 25% of the company.
Diversified Management Investing Strategy
Diversified Management will consider "everything” before making its recommendation. This means getting your full financial picture before designing your investment portfolio.
Your asset allocation will be based on your risk tolerance, cash flow needs, financial goals, time horizon and current assets. Advisors prefer meeting with clients at the end of each calendar quarter to review objectives and go over investment reports.
The firm primarily uses fundamental analysis to evaluate securities. The company also uses Morningstar Advisor Workstation and Charles Schwab Advisor Services for information.
Northern Oak Wealth Management
Founded in 1976, Northern Oak Wealth Management (NOWM) is one of the oldest firms on this list. The registered investment advisor is an employee-owned, fee-only firm. With an account minimum of $100,000. Many individual clients in its client base do not have a high net worth. Generally, the firm offers services to individuals, retirement plans, pensions, profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations as well as other business entities and institutions
Northern Oak Wealth Management Background
President and Chief Investment Officer David Becker joined the firm in 2001 and is a part owner. He's also is a chartered financial analyst (CFA).
Chairman Mark Zellmer is also part owner and serves as a portfolio manager. He began his investment career in 1982 and has worked in financial services ever since.
Northern Oak Wealth Management Investing Strategy
This firm uses model portfolios. What this means is your financial goals, risk tolerance, cash needs and retirement timeline are taken into account to determine the pre-set asset allocation that best aligns with your objectives. This differs from customized portfolios, which are designed for clients with those factors in mind.
NOWM offers several strategies, including the following:
- Income Roadmap, a strategy that uses equities, fixed income and alternative assets to help you achieve a flow of income.
- Select Dividend Growth Strategy is an equity-oriented income product that invests in common stocks of large companies with above-average earning growth.
- Equity Growth Strategy is invested in exchange-traded funds (ETFs), and follows a core/satellite investment strategy.
- Fixed Income Strategy is for clients that need income in a tax-efficient manner.
- Enhanced Sector Strategy 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.
KLCM Advisors, Inc.
In business since 1993, KLCM Advisors, Inc. offers investment management services on a discretionary basis. It manages portfolios as separate accounts. The client base includes both individuals who do and do not have high net worth.
The firm generally requires a $500,000 minimum investment, but it may waive the minimum at its discretion.
KLCM Advisors Background
James Kitzinger founded the firm and currently serves as president. He owns the firm along with Carl Fuda, vice president; Mark Sailer, chief compliance offer; and Katherine Licau, a research analyst. Kitzinger is certified public accountant (CPA) and chartered financial analyst (CFA). Sailer and Licau are also CFAs, while Fuda as well as Kitzinger have MBAs.
In addition to individuals, KLCM offers it services to pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations and other business entities.
KLCM Advisors Investing Strategy
The firm offers three main investing strategies: value equity, fixed income and balanced (value equity and fixed income). For its value equity investing, it says it looks for opportunities with "limited risk and substantial upside over a two to three-year time horizon." When reviewing securities for its fixed income investments, the firm looks for issuers with "sound revenue sources, reasonable leverage and a track record of profitability in most years." Analysts also apply traditional credit analysis, taking into consideration the capacity, collateral and quality of each issue.
Generally, the firm uses fundamental analysis when evaluating securities.
Riverwater Partners LLC
Riverwater Partners provides services to individuals, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations and other business entities. With an investment of $1 million, many of its individual clients have a high net worth. The firm may waive the minimum at its discretion though.
The services the practice offers are: financial planning, consulting and discretionary investment management services.
Riverwater Partners Background
Adam and Laura Peck founded the firm in 2016. Adam Peck had been a partner and portfolio manager at Heartland Advisors while Laura Peck formerly practiced law in Miami. Today they have majority stake in the firm and serve as chief investment officer and chief compliance officer, respectively.
The firm has several staff members, including two partners (a certified financial planner and a certified employee benefit specialist), a chief mindfulness officer (who is a chartered financial analyst as is Adam Peck), analysts and managers.
Riverwater Partners Investing Strategy
Riverwater Partners will design and implement a portfolio based on the client's profile and goals. It generally considers as investments stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), government-issued securities and other securities. Alternately, it may recommend third-party money managers or their model portfolios.
When evaluating investments, the firm uses charting, fundamental, technical and cyclical methods of analysis.
Next Generation Wealth Management
Next Generation Wealth Management is a fee-only firm that serves both individuals who have a high net worth as well as those who don't. It also works with businesses, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, partnerships and corporations. Individuals need at least $250,000 in assets to open an account, though the firm may waive the minimum at its discretion.
Next Generation Wealth Management Background
David Braaten and David Massart co-founded Next Generation Wealth Management after each had worked on Wall Street for 20 years. The 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 certified financial planners (CFPs) and a certified investment management analyst (CIMA).
Next Generation Wealth Management Investing 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. If you have at least $250,000 to manage, your portfolio is custom-made.
The company uses fundamental, technical and cyclical analysis when evaluating securities. The company also uses passive and tactical allocation strategies.
McCarthy Grittinger Financial Group
McCarthy Grittinger Financial Group, aka MG Financial Group, is a fee-only firm that primarily offers investment management services on a discretionary basis. It includes financial planning at no additional cost. It also offers stand-alone financial planning and may provide guidance on tax, retirement, insurance and estate planning.
Of its clientele, the firm serves individuals, including high-net-worth individuals, as well as corporations.
McCarthy Grittinger Financial Group Background
The firm gets its name from its founder, John McCarthy, and from Scott Grittinger, who joined the firm in 2003. McCarthy has since retired, selling his stake to Grittinger, who has majority ownership - and Matthew Miler and Jacqueline Schneider.
The firm's team includes professional designations of certified financial planner (CFP) and certified public accountant (CPA) - and may provide tax prep services for certain clients.
McCarthy Grittinger Financial Group Investing Strategy
The firm will construct well-diversified portfolios mainly using open-end mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and U.S. Treasury debt. Its investment committee monitors and performs due diligence on investment options. Its primary sources of information include, but are not limited to, financial newspapers and magazines, research subscriptions, annual reports, prospectuses, public filings and company press releases and fund company notifications.
Operose Advisors LLC is a fee-only firm that primarily offers investment management services to a variety of clients, including individuals, high-net-worth individuals, families, trusts, businesses, foundations, retirement accounts and retirement plans. The firm requires a minimum initial investment of $300,000. The firm may waive this minimum at its sole discretion.
Operose Advisors Background
Founded in 2017 by Nicholas C. Bauer, Operose Advisors is principally owned by Bauer through his interest in the firm's holding company, Beulah Holdings LLC.
The firm offers services such as advisory services, consulting services and financial planning services. The firm's team represents a variety of professional expertise and accrediations, including chartered financial analyst (CFA)
Operose Advisors Investing Strategy
Advisors at Operose Advisors begin with each client's existing portfolio to understand the current asset allocation and what strategies will best serve client needs. Firms will invest in vehicles including but not limited to open-end and closed-end mutual funds; ETFs and other public and private investment vehicles; and separate accounts. Sometimes vehicles may include derivatives such as options and futures.
Strategies involve qualitative and quantitative analysis, based on criteria including but not limited to fund/strategy performance, management team, assets under management, volatility, turnover and expenses.