5 Best Financial Advisors in Milwaukee (2022)

If you’re looking for a Milwaukee Financial Advisor you’ve come to the right place! Now you’ll see below that someone who is a ‘financial planner’ is probably better for you and your finances, but I’m going to be honest here – roughly 6 times as many people are searching for ‘financial advisor’ on Google so let’s start with the difference between those two terms.

What’s the difference between a financial advisor and a financial planner?

Now I promised myself I would never start a blog, article, or talk by pulling a definition out of the Dictionary so thankfully we have Investopedia.com to the rescue:

“A financial planner is a professional who helps individuals and organizations create a strategy to meet long-term financial goals. Financial advisor is a broader term for those who help manage your money, including investments and other accounts.”

Did you see the difference? Anyone can call themselves a financial advisor (although honestly anyone can say they are a financial planner, too), but a planner is more focused on creating a strategy and has a process for you to make great financial decisions.

A financial advisor may be more focused on how great a particular product might be and is less likely to be focused on using a process to create a financial strategy for you.

How do I choose the best financial planner or advisor for me?

The first step to choosing a financial advisor is to really understand first what it is you’re looking for.

  • Do you need help with a specific issue, like a Roth IRA or term life insurance?
    • If so, then most any ‘financial advisor’ could help.
    • You would want to focus on finding someone who you feel comfortable with and explains finances to you in a way that helps you understand what you’re doing, why you’re buying it, and empowers you to learn more about your money.
  • Do you need a strategy to solve a particular situation in your financial life?
    • If you are looking to pay down student loans, or have company stock options, or are getting ready for retirement then you really need someone that specializes in your situation.
    • You would want to search for your situation on Google (like “retirement planning in Milwaukee”), review their website and during your interview of this particular advisor make sure to ask pointed questions about their expertise and the process they use to solve your particular financial situation.
  • Are you looking for a specific type of advisor?
    • Many people are looking for a ‘fee-only advisor’ or a ‘values-based advisor’ (especially around their Christian faith, or perhaps related to ESG investing).
    • Again, search Google for what you’re looking for (like “Christian Advisor” or “fee-only advisor in Milwaukee), review their website and during your interview ask them pointed questions about how they fit the characteristics you are looking for.

For more help on how to choose a financial advisor check out our guidebook, 3 Things You Should Know Before Choosing a Financial Advisor

Who are the best Milwaukee Financial Advisors in 2022?

Before I reveal my list it’s important to know how I came up with it. I’ve been a financial advisor for nearly 20 years and thankfully, through my membership in places like the Financial Planning Association of Wisconsin and the CFA Society of Milwaukee I’ve gotten to meet a lot of advisors, and different types of advisors.

The following are financial advisors and firms that I’ve met throughout the years who I feel stand out for their expertise and I broke them out by their specialty. In addition, each of the advisors on the list:

  • Acts as a fiduciary
  • Is not registered as a stockbroker salesperson
  • Has a minimum of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) designation
  • Focuses on the financial planning strategy vs. trying to beat the market with investments
  • Has a specialty in addition to general knowledge

*Please note that this is not a testimonial, endorsement, or ranking, but just my opinion. Inferences made are not based on client’s experience or endorsement of advisory services offered through Thrivent Advisor Network, LLC or other firms.*

In alphabetical order:

Cove Planning

Specializing in using socially responsible investments (SRI) to meet your financial goals.

If you’re looking for someone to work with you on an ongoing basis, to both take care of your financial planning and investment management needs then Ben Smith, with Cove Planning could be right for you.

Where Ben really shines is when you are trying to incorporate your goal of holding socially responsible investments (SRI) into your financial planning.

Cove Planning is an independent, fee-only firm that can incorporate socially responsible investing (SRI) strategies to align your investments with your long-term goals and personal values using Nobel-prize winning investment strategies.

Financial Services Group

Specializing in fee-only financial planning.

The wealth management professionals at Financial Services Group (FSG) encourage you to “Live your Great Life…Now” and their focus on balancing your current and future goals helps you get there. What makes FSG unique is their focus on ‘career asset management’ as well as their unique pricing structure. Many financial advisors are paid on how much money they manage for you and then focus only on the investment decisions.

FSG is a unique registered investment adviser in that they set their pricing based on a combination of your wealth and income. This means their focus is on helping you grow your net worth through smart financial decisions and on growing your income through advice on how best to progress your career, and even negotiate promotions and pay packages!

Hilltop Financial Advisors

Specializing in helping anyone, young and older, with student loans

Erik Kroll is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) professional with a passion towards helping people pay down their student loans. He started Hilltop Financial Advisors to help you free up time so you could do the things you love.

While focusing on helping professionals in their 20s, 30s, and 40s with their student loan repayment options and comprehensive financial planning, Erik realized that many of his clients’ parents had student loan obligations, too.

Erik started StudentLoansOver50.com to help those folks grow their wealth by paying off their student loans in a better way, retire sooner, and enjoy their golden years.

Simplicity Financial

Specializing in doctors, especially those starting out with large student loans

Simplicity Financial is a fee-only financial planning firm that works with Physicians, Fellows, and residents to develop a financial road map to achieve their financial goals.

Whether it be buying a house, paying off student loans, planning for retirement, or planning for a growing family, they work with clients to identify their financial picture and create a plan that aligns with their values through comprehensive financial planning, investment management and student loan management.

And where does Keil Financial Partners fit into the best Milwaukee Financial Advisors?

We’re so glad you asked!

Keil Financial Partners

Specializing in retirement planning, especially if you have a pension or stock in your employer.

At Keil Financial Partners, our financial professionals have a 5-step retirement plan to guide you through all the big decisions you’ll be making as you enter retirement. Oftentimes, the way you fill out your pension and Social Security form could make or break you tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars over your lifetime – and once its signed you probably can never change it again!

If you’d like guidance on your retirement, investment, and tax planning decisions, or have questions on your pension, social security, 401(k) and employer stock then one of our Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) planners would be happy to get you pointed in the right direction.

We hope this guide find the best financial advisor for you, whether you live in Milwaukee or anywhere else in the US.

Please use it as a starting point for your financial advisor search. Remember, first decide what problem you need to solve, then decide what type of advisor you are looking for and finally search for those types of advisors and ask them pointed questions on how best they can serve you.

Again, here are a few directories to help you get started:

And we very much encourage you to work with a CFP® advisor who has studied a 72 topic course of study and has agreed to the CFP Board’s standard of excellence. To verify your advisor is a CFP® professional visit Verify a Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) Professional.

By Jeremy Keil, CFP®, CFA

Jeremy Keil, CFP®, CFA is a retirement focused financial planner with Keil Financial Partners, and host of the Retirement Revealed blog and podcast.

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