Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Northbrook, Illinois
Are you looking to work with a financial advisor in the Northbrook, Illinois area? We can help you choose one. We took the time to research firms in Northbrook, reviewing company records and filings from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to gather details on the top firms in the city. If you don’t have a financial advisor yet, finding one doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three vetted financial advisors who serve your area, and you can have a free introductory call with your advisor matches to decide which one you feel is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
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|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Relative Value Partners, LLC Find an Advisor||$2,225,902,334||$1,000,000|| || |
|2||Arthur M. Cohen & Associates, LLC Find an Advisor||$783,676,994||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|3||Asset Management Group, LTD Find an Advisor||$423,762,190||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|4||Miramar Capital Find an Advisor||$503,391,254||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|5||Mendel Money Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$263,971,227||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|6||Trifecta Capital Advisors Find an Advisor||$407,291,874||$1,000,000|| || |
|7||Estate & Trust Advisors Find an Advisor||$205,765,399||$500,000|| || |
|8||Oak Wealth Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$211,200,000||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|9||Main Street Investment Advisors Find an Advisor||$160,000,000||$250,000|| || |
|10||Catalyst Wealth Management Find an Advisor||$139,570,000||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
What We Use in Our Methodology
To find the top financial advisors in Northbrook, 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 obtained through public records and is updated annually after the firms’ form ADV filing. 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. SmartAsset is not a client of the aforementioned firms, and did not receive compensation for including any of the firms on the aforementioned list.
Relative Value Partners, LLC
Relative Value Partners (RVP) is a fee-only wealth advisory firm established in 2004. The overwhelming majority of the firm’s clients are high-net-worth individuals, but it also works with non-high-net-worth individuals, retirement plans, charitable organizations, insurance companies, coporations and businesses. To become a client, you’ll need at least $1 million in investable assets.
For investment management services, the firm customarily charges fees based on a portion of your AUM. Rates range from 0.5% to 1.25%. Where your exact percentage falls within that spectrum will depend on the market value of your assets and what assets you’re investing in (the higher your account balance the lower the fee percentage).
Advisory certifications at the firm include the certified public accountant (CPA) and certified financial planner (CFP) designations.
Relative Value Partners Background
Relative Value Partners was created in 2004 by Robert H. Huffman III, Maury L. Fertig, Gregory K. Neer and Catherine C. Goel. It is wholly owned by Focus Operating, LLC, which itself is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Focus Financial Partners, LLC. RVP is managed primarily by Huffman, Fertig, Neer, Goel, David McGranahan and Rebecca Deaton.
The firm provides portfolio management as its primary offering. Additionally, the firm may offer certain clients financial planning, wealth management or consulting services.
Relative Value Partners Investment Strategy
Relative Value Partners starts each investment process by sitting down with the client and establishing some key information like their current assets, investing goals, tax situation, risk tolerance and time horizon. From there, the firm will determine what combination of asset classes is most appropriate.
When analyzing securities, the firm relies on a blend of fundamental and cyclical analysis. Fundamental analysis is the practice of examining overall financial and economic factors alongside a company or fund’s basic information in order to gauge its value. Cyclical analysis involves analyzing the relationship between market cycles and prices to forecast future price movement.
The firm primarily invests client assets in debt, equity and preferred securities, in addition to closed-end funds and exchange-traded funds.
Arthur M. Cohen & Associates, LLC
Arthur M. Cohen & Associates is a fee-only firm that’s been in business since 1989. Its client base consists mostly of high-net-worth individuals, with a handful of non-high-net-worth individuals, too.
As a fee-only firm, Arthur M. Cohen & Associates does not collect any third-party compensation, like commissions, for recommending securities or insurance. For investment management services, the firm uses a negotiable fee schedule based on a percentage of your AUM. Rates can range from 0.75% to 1%. Financial planning fees will be charged either as a fixed fee of at least $500 or as an hourly rate between $200 and $400. The firm doesn’t impose an account minimum.
Arthur M. Cohen & Associates Background
Arthur M. Cohen & Associates first opened its doors in 1989. The firm’s principal owner is its founder, Arthur M. Cohen. Cohen also serves as the firm’s only advisor.
The fee-only firm offers discretionary and non-discretionary investment management services, on top of financial planning and consulting.
Arthur M. Cohen & Associates Investment Strategy
When analyzing securities, the firm typically relies on fundamental analysis. Fundamental analysis is less concerned with price movements and cyclical trends, focusing instead on a company's fundamental operating statistics like revenue and profitability.
Before making any investment decisions, the firm first seeks to establish a specific time horizon for the portfolio by figuring out each client’s time until retirement. With that information in hand, along with the client’s goals and risk tolerance, the firm will determine how much of the portfolio should skew toward growth securities and how much should lean toward more risk-averse investments.
Asset Management Group, LTD.
Asset Management Group is a fee-based firm with a client base made up of non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals. There is no minimum account size at this firm. Asset Management Group also offers services to business entities, corporate pension and profit-sharing plans, Taft-Hartley plans and charities.
As a fee-based firm, some advisors may earn commissions for certain transactions on top of the advisory fees you pay, and this could create a conflict of interest. However, the firm has a fiduciary duty to always act in your best interest.
The firm has several advisors, one of whom is a certified financial planner (CFP).
Fees for investment advisory services typically range between 0.1% and 1.5% of your assets under management (AUM), although the firm may negotiate a different rate with you. For stand-alone financial planning or consulting services, the firm charges either a $1,500 fixed fee or a $300 hourly fee.
Asset Management Group Background
Asset Management Group was first established in 1990 by Glenn A. Movish. Movish owns 100% of the firm’s shares and acts as its chief investment officer (CIO).
The firm provides investment management, financial planning and consulting services to its clients. Investment management services are typically offered on a discretionary basis, though the firm will occasionally recommend the use of third-party money managers.
Asset Management Group Investment Philosophy
Asset Management Group centers its investment philosophy around a number of core principles. These include:
- Markets are efficient over time
- You can’t successfully “time” the market over the long term
- Asset class selection is more important than individual security selection
- Risk can be controlled in part by global diversification and modern portfolio theory (MPT)
As a firm, Asset Management Group is known to invest in a diversified mix of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, equities and fixed income securities. It may also use independent money managers.
The firm understands that different clients will have different financial situations, so it tailors its investment strategy to each client’s risk tolerance, liquidity needs and time horizon. The firm takes these factors into account and uses them to create an asset allocation and investment strategy that’s best equipped to produce risk-adjusted and tax-efficient returns over the long term.
Miramar Capital is firm that’s been doing business since 2017, making it one of the youngest firms on this list. It provides fee-only advisory services to individuals and high-net-worth individuals, as well as businesses, retirement plans and charitable organizations.
The firm doesn’t have a minimum investment requirement, but it generally deals with clients with at least $1 million in investable assets.
Fees for investment management services tend to fall between 0.8% and 1.6% of your assets under management (AUM). This fee will usually cover financial planning services too, unless specified otherwise in your agreement with the firm. Advisors at Miramar Capital do not receive third-party compensation when recommending certain products and services to their advisory clients.
Miramar Capital Background
Miramar Capital was founded in 2017. The firm is co-owned by Max Wasserman and Bob Kalman, who also serve as senior portfolio managers.
The firm provides a range of services, such as investment advisory, financial planning, investment management for retirement plans and non-investment consulting.
Miramar Capital Investment Strategy
Miramar Capital is focused on achieving long-term investing success for its clients. The firm constructs individualized asset allocations to optimize the chances for this success. It provides each client with a diversified portfolio that’s tailored to their return requirements, risk tolerance, timeline until retirement, tax considerations and any legal restraints.
The firm believes that portfolio returns are driven in large part by earnings growth and dividends, so it looks to invest in equity securities that consistently offer each of these over the long term. It also looks to add value and hedge against risk by investing in fixed-income securities, like bonds. The firm may use options transactions from time to time, as well.
Mendel Money Management, LLC
Mendel Money Management has been an investment advisor in Illinois since 1989. Its clients include non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, as well as retirement plans, charities, corporations and businesses.
Mendel Money Management charges its clients advisory fees as a percentage of their AUM between 0.5% and 1%. Where you fall within that range will depend on the market value of your account. The firm doesn’t specify an account minimum, but it does charge a minimum annual fee of $1,000. Financial planning services are usually included in this fee, unless you and your advisor negotiate otherwise.
As a fee-only firm, Mendel advisors do not receive commissions from third-party firms for recommending securities or insurance products. The advisory team at Mendel features three chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and one enrolled agent (EA).
Mendel Money Management Background
Mendel Money Management was formed in 1989 by Barry Mendel, who continues to serve as the firm’s president and principal owner. Bradley Mendel, Mark Burka and Lauren Orr round out the firm’s staff.
Mendel provides discretionary investment management and financial planning services to its clients. The latter offering may include investment planning, retirement planning, estate planning, charitable planning, education planning, corporate and personal tax planning, corporate structure, real estate analysis, mortgage/debt analysis, insurance analysis and other services.
Mendel Money Management Investment Strategy
When analyzing securities, Mendel relies on a blend of fundamental and cyclical analysis. Fundamental analysis is the practice of examining overall financial and economic factors alongside a company or fund’s basic information in order to accurately surmise its value. Cyclical analysis involves analyzing the relationship between market cycles and prices to forecast future price movement.
The firm tailors its investment strategy to each client rather than applying a blanket strategy for everyone. This means the firm will take into account each client’s personal investment objectives, comfort with risk, preferences, time horizon and cash flow needs when it considers the best possible investment strategy and asset allocation.
Mendel create portfolios using a combination of individual equities, bonds, no-load mutual funds, load-waived mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, and/or other investment products.
Trifecta Capital Advisors
Trifecta Capital Advisors is a small fee-only financial advisor firm that provides comprehensive financial planning and investment management services to individuals and families. All client assets are handled on a discretionary basis, meaning it does not need to get approval from a client before making a move in his or her portfolio.
The firm's maximum advisory fee is 1.25% of assets under management (AUM), and the minimum account balance is $1,000,000, though that may be negotiable. Its earlier minimum account balance was $500,000.
Trifecta Capital Advisors Background
Jeff Berman, Sue Oleari and Paul Tromp, all of whom worked together in the Chicago Wealth Management Region of BMO Private Bank, founded Trifecta in 2022 as a registered investment advisory firm. Both Berman and Oleari are Series 65 licensed. Tromp is a certified financial planner (CFP) and a certified public accountant (CPA).
The firm launched in March 2022 and after nine months had approximately 90 clients.
Trifecta Capital Advisors Investment Strategies
Trifecta distributes assets among cash, individual stocks, bonds, exchange traded funds (ETFs), options, mutual funds and other public and private securities or investments. It generally invests client’s cash balances in money market funds, FDIC-insured certificates of deposit, high-grade commercial paper and government-backed debt instruments.
Charles Schwab acts as custodian for client assets.
Estate & Trust Advisors
Estate & Trust Advisors (ETA) is a small firm that’s been doing business in Northbrook since 1997. The majority of its clients are non-high-net-worth individuals, but it works with some high-net-worth individuals and retirement plans as well.
ETA is a fee-based firm, meaning certain advisors may earn commissions for selling insurance products or conducting certain securities transactions, on top of the fees that advisory clients pay. This creates a potential conflict of interest, but the firm must always act in the best interest of its clients due to its fiduciary duty.
The firm generally has a minimum account size of $500,000. For portfolio management services, ETA usually charges a percentage of your AUM between 0.8% and 1.5%. Financial planning fees are often included in these rates, although the firm may charge a separate fee for especially complex services. The firm charges a non-negotiable, annual fee of $3,750.
ETA has one certified investment management analyst (CIMA) on staff.
Estate & Trust Advisors Background
ETA, which was established in 1997, is principally owned by Mark J. Schwartz. Schwartz also serves as the firm’s president. Jordan Jacobs, the firm's senior vice president, owns the second-largest stake in the business.
ETA provides discretionary and non-discretionary portfolio management services to its clients. While it doesn’t offer stand-alone financial planning services, the firm may occasionally offer financial planning to its portfolio management clients.
Estate & Trust Advisors Investment Strategy
ETA invests in actively managed mutual funds, stocks, bonds and exchange traded funds (ETFs) when creating clients’ portfolios. However, it may consider other alternative investments from time to time. The firm creates globally diversified portfolios to help protect against risk from any single market.
The firm’s primary investment strategy is strategic asset allocation, meaning it combines a range of asset classes in its portfolios. The exact allocation will be customized to each client’s risk tolerance, liquidity needs and time horizon.
Oak Wealth Advisors, LLC
Oak Wealth Advisors has been providing investment advice to clients in the Northbrook area since 2008. Its client base is made up of a mix of individuals with and without a high net worth. Oak Wealth Advisors is a fee-only firm, so there are no conflicts of interest stemming from commission-based transactions.
Oak Wealth has a stated minimum annual fee of $5,000, but it does not have a minimum account size. If you have a lower net worth, this annual fee could make the firm’s services cost prohibitive for you.
Fees for investment management services are based on a portion of your assets under management (AUM). Rates can vary from 0.2% to 0.9%, depending on the market value of your assets. Financial planning services can be included in the aforementioned fee, or the firm may charge a fixed fee of $5,000 for stand-alone financial planning.
Oak Wealth Advisors Background
Oak Wealth Advisors was founded in 2008 by Michael Walther. Walther is the firm’s managing member, president and one of two advisors. He is a certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial analyst (CFA) and certified public accountant (CPA).
The firm provides financial planning services to its clients, along with discretionary investment advice and investment management services. Financial planning can cover retirement planning, cash flow planning, wealth transfer planning, charitable giving planning, risk management, education savings planning and planning for families with special needs.
Oak Wealth Advisors Investment Strategy
Oak Wealth will generally invest its clients’ assets in no-load mutual funds and exchange traded funds (ETFs). Oak Wealth Advisors prioritizes strategic asset allocations for each client’s portfolio, making sure that they contain a diverse array of asset classes and securities within each asset class. The firm will typically only engage in trading to rebalance client portfolios. Otherwise, the firm makes investments with the intent to hold them for many years.
The firm doesn’t provide advice or recommendations for individual stocks and bonds, as it believes that mutual funds and ETFs will better serve the investor over the long term. This is because these securities help keep transactional costs low, all the while making global diversification easier to achieve. With that said, each portfolio will be tailored to the client’s preferences, risk tolerance and investment goals.
Main Street Investment Advisors
Main Street Investment Advisors (MSIA) financial advisory services and portfolio management primarily to high-net-worth individuals. As a fee-only firm only earns money from client payments; there are no third-party commissions earned by the firm's advisors when they sell a financial product such as an annuity or other type of life insurance policy.
Fees range from 0.50% to 1.00% on an annual basis.
Main Street Investment Advisors Background
The firm was founded in 2017 and became SEC-registered in 2018. Alexander L. Ross joined the organization in 2018 and is now, along with Wayne F. Carr, an owner and managing principal of the organization.
Main Street Investment Advisors Investment Strategies
MSIA's approach begins by assessing a client's investment goals and objectives, any restrictions and their financial position now and the client’s view toward the future financial condition tax considerations.
The firm focuses on large capitalization companies that have a significant competitive position within a specific industry because such companies should have the potential for an increase in security price because of a low relative valuation to their peers or a potential for a change in price due to a strategic corporate change.
To that end, MSIA invests in equity securities, fixed-income securities, mutual funds, exchange traded funds (ETFs), master limited lartnerships and options. The firm also utilizes a conservative option strategy, with prior client approval, that is intended to enhance income returns and provide a partial hedge over time.
Catalyst Wealth Management
Catalyst Wealth Management, a fee-based practice, is the ninth and final firm on our Northbrook list. Catalyst serves individual clients above and below the high-net-worth threshold, as well as retirement plans and pooled investment vehicles. The firm requires clients have at least $1 million in investible assets to receive investment advisory services and $5 million for estate planning services.
As a fee-based firm, Catalyst advisors may collect third-party commissions when recommending certain financial products. This creates a conflict of interest, since advisors have a financial incentive to recommend certain products over others that may be more appropriate. These commissions are in addition to the fees that clients pay the firm for its services. Despite the potential conflict of interest that third-party compensation can create, the firm's fiduciary duty requires it to act in your best interests.
Although Catalyst is a small firm, its advisors hold a number of professional certifications:
- Certified financial planner (CFP)
- Charterd financial consultant (ChFC)
- Chartered life underwriter (CLU)
- Charterd retirement planning counselor (CRPC)
Catalyst Wealth Management Background
Catalyst Wealth Management, whose legal name is Schmidt Advisory Services, Inc., was established in 1993. The business operated as a state-registered investment advisor until 2008 when it switched its registration to the SEC. Catalyst, which is principally owned by firm president Sanford Schmidt, began doing business under its current name in 2019.
The firm's primary service offering is portfolio asset management, although it also provides estate planning and financial planning, as well as private fund recommendations to qualified clients.
Catalyst Wealth Management Investment Strategy
The firm tailors its investment strategies to its clients' objectives, goals, tolerance for risk and other personal and financial circumstances. Using these inputs, the firm will invest a client's assets into a combination of stocks, bonds and cash. Catalyst may also refer its clients to unaffiliated third-party managers who specialize in the management of equities and fixed income securities.
When investing client assets, the firm may employ both long- and short-term purchases, as well as trading and the use of margin.