Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Wisconsin
There are many financial advisors to choose from in the state of Wisconsin, which is why SmartAsset pulled together this list of the top financial advisor firms in "The Badger State." We detail information about each firm, including their advisory certifications, minimums, services, fee structures and more. For a more automated approach, use our free matching tool to get paired with up to three financial advisors who serve your area.
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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||Johnson Wealth, Inc. Find an Advisor||$8,804,222,393||$1,000,000|| || |
|3||Annex Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$4,595,179,081||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|4||Orgel Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$6,606,699,000||$1,000,000|| || |
|5||Heck Capital Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$6,674,670,715||$1,000,000|| || |
|6||Wipfli Financial Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$4,979,403,438||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|7||North Star Asset Management, Inc. Find an Advisor||$2,701,808,655||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|8||Baker Tilly Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$3,099,817,158||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|9||Nicolet Wealth Management Find an Advisor||$1,456,224,984||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|10||Pegasus Partners Find an Advisor||$2,289,431,155||No stated account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo stated account minimum
What We Use in Our Methodology
To find the top financial advisors in Wisconsin, we first identified all firms registered with the SEC in the state. 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
Madison Investment Advisors takes the No. 1 spot on our list of the top financial advisors in Wisconsin. The firm bears the same name as the city it's headquartered in: Madison. It's also by far the largest firm on our rankings, both in terms of assets under management (AUM) and client base. The firm's team of advisors works almost exclusively with individuals with and without a high net worth. Other clients of the firm include charities, retirement plans, businesses, insurance companies, banks, government entities and other investment advisors.
In order to become a client of Madison Investment Advisors, you'll need to meet certain minimums. For individuals, $500,000 is needed for equity portfolio management, whereas $1 million is the minimum for fixed-income portfolio management. Institutional clients must meet a much higher $5 million minimum, though. The firm's wrap fee programs have no specified minimums.
As you might expect from a firm of Madison's size, its advisors hold a wide range of certifications. These include chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and certified financial planners (CFPs). However, it's important to note that Madison can receive compensation from 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 has been in business since 1974. The firm is a subsidiary of Madison Asset Management, LLC, which is itself a subsidiary of Madison Investment Holdings, LLC. Outside of its home office, the firm has branches in Mequon, Wisconsin, Scottsdale, Arizona and Toronto.
The services at Madison are extremely investment-centric. In fact, the firm specializes in portfolio strategy construction, which it does from scratch based on independent research. The firm also offers a handful of financial planning services.
Madison Investment Advisors Investment Strategy
The firm's primary expertise is in active bond management, risk managed equity management and customized multi-asset portfolios.
As for equity strategies, Madison is a bottom-up stock picker focused on high-quality companies with consistent growth that trade at reasonable valuations. For fixed income, Madison utilizes a top-down investment process that emphasizes 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.
Johnson Wealth, Inc.
Johnson Wealth is the runner-up on our list, as well as the No. 1 firm in Milwaukee. This fee-based firm typically recommends that clients have a minimum of $1 million to invest, but will set up a separately managed account for clients with $200,000. The firm works with individiuals, high-net-worth individuals, trusts, charitable organizations, government entities, other investment advisors, corporations and businesses.
As a fee-based firm, certain advisors may earn commissions from selling insurance products. This can create a conflict of interest, because advisors have a financial incentive to recommend certain products over others. However, the firm has a fiduciary duty to always to act in its clients' best interests.
Johnson Wealth Background
Johnson Wealth can trace its history back to 1987, when its predecessor businesses were originally founded. In 2018, the firm changed its previous name, Cleary Gull Advisors, Inc. The firm is owned by Johnson Financial Group, which is a multi-industry financial services company.
Investment management remains the primary services offered at Johnson Wealth. It does this on both a discretionary and non-discretionary basis. The firm also provides insurance and retirement planning services.
Johnson Wealth Investment Strategy
Johnson Wealth tailors the portfolio it creates for you to your exact situation and needs. Factors that go into this process include your long- and short-term goals, risk tolerance, time horizon, tax status and quantity of investable assets. After these items come to light, the firm will build a plan aimed to help you reach your objectives.
The investments that will live in your portfolio will vary based on the aforementioned factors. However, Johnson Wealth is known to invest in some combination of mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), common stock, fixed income securities, alternative securities, real estate investment trusts (REITs), closed-end funds and more.
Annex Wealth Management, LLC
Fee-only Annex Wealth Management is located in Elm Grove, Wisconsin. The firm is extremely individual-centric, as its client base is dominated by individuals. In fact, it works with over four times as many non-high-net-worth individuals as their high-net-worth counterparts. The firm has a number of retirement plan clients as well, in addition to charities, government entities and businesses.
There is no set account minimum for becoming a client of Annex Wealth. The firm's staff has a number of advisory certifications, including the certified financial planner (CFP), accredited investment fiduciary (AIF), certified divorce financial analysts (CDFA), certified investment management analyst (CIMA), chartered financial consultant (ChFC) designations and more.
Client-paid fees are Annex Wealth Management's sole source of revenue, making it a fee-only firm. Advisors do not earn commissions for recommending insurance or financial products.
Annex Wealth Management Background
Annex Wealth Management was established in 2001 by founder Dave Spano, who remains its owner. Beyond its headquarters, the firm also has offices throughout the state in Pfister, Appleton, Lake Country, Mequon, Madison, Naples and Libertyville.
Rather than focus on investing, Annex takes a more holistic approach to its services. While this includes investment management, it also integrates various types of financial planning, like retirement planning, estate planning, tax planning, cash flow projections and more.
Annex Wealth Management Investment Strategy
Annex Wealth Management's investment philosophy consists of four main steps: asset allocation, asset selection, investment management and rebalancing. The first two require ample planning, as the firm builds client portfolios based on their personal needs. This could include their risk tolerance, time horizon, income needs, goals and more.
Once your portfolio is built and your assets are invested, the firm will continually manage your strategy. This could potentially involve introducing new securities into your portfolio that continue to align with your situation. As your portfolio ages, the firm will also rebalance your assets, which involves bringing your portfolio back to its original asset allocation despite what imbalances its returns may have caused.
Orgel Wealth Management, LLC
Orgel Wealth Management, the No. 4 practice in Wisconsin, is a fee-only firm, which means the entirety of its compensation comes from client-paid fees rather than outside commissions. The firm is headquartered in Altoona, and it's one of the largest firms on our list. In most cases, prospective clients will need at least $1 million in investable assets to work with Orgel. However, the firm may be willing to reduce this requirement.
The client base at this firm mainly comprises individuals, both with and without a high net worth. Retirement plans, businesses and charities are also clients of Orgel. The team of advisors who manage these clients' funds include chartered financial analysts (CFAs), certified financial planners (CFPs), certified divorce financial analysts (CDFAs) and more.
Orgel Wealth Management Background
Orgel Wealth Management was established in 2013 by founder Mark Orgel. Orgel still owns part of the firm, along with six other principals: Samir Murty, Mark Boser, Benjamin Kanz, Troy Mertens, Aaron Reynolds, and Evan Nelson. No one person owns more than 25% of the business.
This firm divides its services between investment management and financial planning. The former involves building clients portfolios according to their needs. On the other hand, financial planning can include tax planning, budgeting, education expense planning, retirement planning, estate planning and more.
The firm also runs a secondary office in Minnetonka, Minnesota.
Orgel Wealth Management Investment Strategy
In order to remain in line with your personal situation, your advisor at Orgel Wealth Management will meet with you to discuss your goals and other factors before determining the best investment strategy for you. This can include going over your risk tolerance, time horizon, income and liquidity needs, investment preferences and more.
When it's time to invest your money, Orgel will primarily look to invest for the long term. Of course, if you have shorter term objectives, the firm may also adjust it's overarching philosophy to fit your needs. In general, the firm invests in mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), individual stocks and bonds, as well as cash. The firm may also allocate your assets to private investments, such as private debt, private equity, hedge funds, and real estate investment trusts. Investment decisions are not limited to any specific security or product.
Heck Capital Advisors, LLC
In order to become a client of Rhinelander-based Heck Capital Advisors, you'll need at least $1 million in investable assets. This minimum is negotiable though, which is why the firm technically works with more individual clients below the high-net-worth threshold than those above it. Charities, retirement plans and businesses flesh out the rest of Heck's client base.
This fee-only firm has received a handful of industry awards, including being named the top family advisor team in America by Research Magazine. The firm's team of on-staff advisors also holds a number of certifications, like certified investment management analyst (CIMA), accredited investment fiduciary (AIF), chartered financial consultant (ChFC), chartered financial analyst (CFA), chartered life underwriter (CLU) and more.
Heck Capital Advisors Background
Heck Capital Advisors has been in business since 2007. The firm, which is owned and operated by Kenneth Heck and David Heck, also has branch locations in Milwaukee and Minneapolis.
Like many other firms on this list, Heck Capital Advisors' services are focused around investment management and portfolio creation. The firm also provides financial guidance, though, in relation to topics like retirement, taxes, education planning and more.
Heck Capital Advisors Investment Strategy
Heck Capital Advisors builds clients portfolios based on what's important to them. For example, the firm will take into account both your long- and short-term goals, such as retirement or saving up for a house, respectively. Beyond that, the firm will incorporate your risk tolerance, time horizon, income needs and more into the exact investments that are made in your name.
Once the above factors are clear, your advisor will formulate an asset allocation for your portfolio. This will dictate what types of investments your portfolio will comprise, with specific choices being made due to their inherent risks and return upsides.
Wipfli Financial Advisors, LLC
Wipfli Financial Advisors (WFA), which also ranks as one of the top financial advisor firms in Milwaukee, primarily works with individual clients, with and without a high net worth. The firm also serves retirement plan, businesses, charities and a single alumni association. If you're interested in becoming a client of Wipfli, you'll need to meet some requirements. While each program technically has its own minimums, most clients will adhere to a $5,000 minimum annual fee.
WFA has a large team of advisors spread out across multiple states. Advisors hold a number of financial certifications, including the certified financial planner (CFP), accredited investment fiduciary (AIF), chartered financial analyst (CFA) designations, among others.
This is a fee-only firm, so WFA advisors do not earn commissions when recommending certain products and services.
Wipfli Financial Advisors Background
WFA has been around for over two decades, having been founded in 1999. The firm is owned by Wipfli Financial, LLC, which is owned by Wipfli, LLP, an accounting and consulting firm. WFA is also partially owned by multiple members of its leadership team. Wipfli has multiple secondary offices across nine different states.
Clients of Wipfli have access to a plethora of customizable investment management services. Financial planning services are also available alongside these investment offerings. The firm specifically focuses on financial planning for individuals, families, business owners, executives, healthcare professionals and foundations.
Wipfli Financial Advisors Investment Strategy
The basis for any client-advisor relationship at WFA is the specific needs of the client. Your advisor will determine what kind of investor you are before investing any of your money. In fact, they'll speak with you about various factors, such as your current financial situation, taxes, income needs and long-term goals. Based on this information, your advisor will formulate your time horizon and risk tolerance.
The firm places a heavy emphasis on asset class diversification and investing for the long term. WFA has a investment committee that develops model portfolios using modern portfolio theory, which states that a portfolio can be constructed to produce the highest return for a stated level of risk.
As your portfolio earns returns, your advisor will keep an eye on its changing complexion. As your original asset allocation shifts due to market performance, the firm will rebalance your portfolio to get it back to its original plan.
North Star Asset Management, Inc.
North Star Asset Management in Neenah has a client base made up primarily of invidividuals, including those with a high net worth. The firm also works with retirement plans and charitable organizations.
North Star doesn't have a minimum needed to access its services, which makes it technically accessible to anyone. However, the firm does generally charge a minimum annual fee of $6,000 for investment advisory services and at least $3,000 per year for its Comprehensive Managed Portfolio Service.
This fee-only firm has a sizable team of advisors. These advisors hold various professional certifications, including the chartered financial analyst (CFA), certified public accountant (CPA) and certified financial planner (CFP) designations.
North Star Asset Management Background
Founded in 1996, North Star is a completely independent firm. This means that it's entirely owned by its in-house employees, with no outside companies or intermediaries involved at any level. The firm's leadership team is headed by chairman Kenneth Brusda and Michael Flesch.
If you're a client of North Star, you'll receive a combination of investment and financial planning services. The firm personalizes its portfolio and financial plans according to you and your family's individual needs. Financial planning can cover retirement planning, cash flow projections, charitable gift planning, tax reporting and more.
North Star Asset Management Investment Strategy
As we state above, North Star will build an investment portfolio plan specifically for you. This involves meeting with your advisor and discussing your plans for the future, as well as what assets you currently have available to you. Based on these findings, you and your advisor will agree on a time horizon, risk tolerance and other factors, which will dictate your portfolio's construction.
This firm has a wide range of potential securities it's willing to consider for clients' portfolios. These include common and preferred individual stocks, ETFs, mutual funds, municipal bonds, corporate bonds, money market funds, options, certificates of deposit (CDs) and U.S. government bonds.
Baker Tilly Wealth Management, LLC
Baker Tilly Wealth Management, formerly known as Baker Tilly Financial, is a large financial advisor firm based in Madison. The firm does not have a specific minimum investment required of new clients, and it works quite heavily 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, retirement plans, corporations and businesses.
Certain advisors who work at Baker Tilly have the ability to receive commissions from insurance policy sales to clients, making it a fee-based firm. 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.
Baker Tilly Wealth Management Background
Whiel Baker Tilly was founded in 2013, the firm is owned by parent company Baker Tilly U.S., LLC, which has been in business since 1931. Today, the firm is run by executive managing director Alec Abbott.
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.
Baker Tilly's services can be separated into two distinct categories: consulting and portfolio management. The former is focused on clients' financial planning needs, including 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
When you become a Baker Tilly client, the firm will build an investment policy statement for you. This will detail investor profile, your risk tolerance, time horizon and other factors. Based on these insights, your advisor will design an investment strategy and asset allocation for you.
Adviors typically allocate client 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.
Nicolet Wealth Management
Pegasus Partners, the final firm on our list of the top advisors in Wisconsin, is also the No. 1 firm in Mequon. This fee-only practice previously required a minimum account size of $5 million for new clients, but no longer imposes this minimum.
As for the firm's client pool, high-net-worth individuals outnumbe their non-high-net-worth counterparts two-to-one. The firm has a few other clients, namely charities, retirement plans, corporations and businesses. The staff at the firm includes professionals who hold the certified public accountant (CPA), chartered financial analyst (CFA) and certified financial planner (CFP) designations.
Pegasus Partners Background
Pegasus Partners was founded by a trio of employees in 2015. More specifically, its originators are CEO Todd Krieg, president and chief investment officer (CIO) Matt D'Attilio and director of wealth management services Bill Wernecke. The firm is entirely employee-owned, though Krieg holds the most shares.
This firm focuses on offering comprehensive wealth management services. This focuses on both financial planning and investment management, with the former relating to retirement planning, trust and estate planning, benefit plan advice, charitable gift planning, business planning and more.
Pegasus Partners Investment Strategy
In an effort to ensure your needs are met, advisors at Pegasus Partners will take into account your personal needs and situation when crafting a portfolio for you. This involves reviewing your personal risk tolerance, time horizon, income and liquidity needs, as well as your short- and long-term goals. Based on these factors, the firm will formulate an investment policy statement (IPS) that specifically details your investor profile.
When creating a custom asset allocation plan for your portfolio, your advisor will first pick what types of securities are best suited for it. This involves doing a deep dive into various investments' performance histories, total assets, expense ratios, volatility, turnover ratios and more.