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I was named one of the Best Financial Advisors in Chicago

I am honored to be named one of the best financial advisors in Chicago by https://www.moneyunder30.com/best-financial-advisors-in-chicago.  Below is the article that was recently published.

The Best Financial Advisors in Chicago (And You Don’t Need To Be Rich To Use One)

Written by

Mary Beth Eastman|

Modified date: July 3, 2020

Sometimes, you just need an expert to help you make the big decisions. I’ve rounded up the eight best financial advisors in Chicago, so you can hire a pro and stop worrying.
Sometimes you need a little guidance — especially when it comes to your money. After all, mistakes can cost you your financial future.

If you happen to live in Chicago, you not only have access to deep-dish pizza and Chicago Cubs games, but you have access to some of the best financial advisors in the country.

Here are eight of the best financial advisors in Chicago to help you forge the path ahead.

AdvisorBest for
Mindful Money Financial CounselHolistic financial planning and advice
Basil Financial GroupIntegrated advice on retainer
The Planning CenterGetting organized
Garrett Investment AdvisorsNo minimum fee
Lake Life Wealth Advisory GroupComprehensive approach
Crescendo Financial PlannersIntegrated financial advice
Mentor Capital ManagementInvestment management
DeRose Financial Planning GroupFamily planning

Mindful Money Financial Counsel

  • Contact: (312) 846-1437 or info@mindfulmoneyfinancial.com.
  • Services offered: Student loan paydown techniques, investing, retirement, tax optimization, general financial optimization.
  • Asset requirements: Mindful Money Financial Counsel does not have investment minimums.
  • Typical fees: Initial planning fees start at $600; a written plan of normal complexity is $3,600. You can sign up for a Wealth Builder membership, which is $60 per month and hourly support is $300 per hour.

Whether you’re looking for small tweaks or a complete game plan, Mindful Money Financial Counsel is ready to help you. This Chicago-based firm operates on a fee-only basis, so you know their advice is objective and not based on whether they’ll get a commission by signing you up for something you may not need. Plus, their approach is holistic and there are no investment minimums.

You don’t have to sign over any of your money to them, and you can lean on them as much or as little as you need: hire them for a one-time session, or keep them on year after year to help shape your finances as life progresses.

Basil Financial Group

  • Contact: (773) 697-9528 or Lois@BasilFinancialGroup.com.
  • Services offered: Risk management, taxes, estate planning, portfolio analysis, investment allocation, retirement planning, education planning.
  • Asset requirements: Basil Financial does not list an account minimum required.
  • Typical fees: Basil Financial Group are fiduciaries, meaning they are bound to advise in your best interest — not theirs. They operate on a fee-only basis, so you don’t have to worry that they are trying to sell you something so they can earn a commission.

Basil Financial Group is a Chicago-based firm that offers integrated financial planning services, including planning, investments, and taxes.

Basil Financial Group takes a holistic approach as well, so that all your decisions affecting your finances work seamlessly together.

The Planning Center

  • Contact: (888) 333-6986.
  • Services offered: Asset and debt management, cash flow management, investments, asset preservation, taxes, retirement planning, philanthropy, estate planning.
  • Asset requirements: None listed.
  • Typical fees: The Planning Center is a fee-only, fiduciary firm.

At The Planning Center, which has offices in Chicago as well as New Orleans, Tulsa, Fresno, Quad Cities, Twin Cities, and Anchorage, you have access to 232 combined years of experience. The Planning Center’s team gives you a safe place to discuss your finances and figure out your goals. 

Garrett Investment Advisors

  • Contact: (910) FEE-ONLY.
  • Services offered: Retirement planning, portfolio review, cash flow management, housing decisions, insurance, estate planning.
  • Asset requirements: Veo Financial doesn’t advertise a minimum investment level, but does say they’re happy to advise clients who want to control their own investments in addition to those who want to turn it all over to an expert.
  • Typical fees: For a one-off session, expect to pay about $420-$630. Retiree resource planning typically starts at $1,050 and a full portfolio review can be $2,220 and up.

Garrett Investment Advisors connects clients with fee-only, fiduciary financial planners in offices across the country. Leisa Aiken, founder of Veo Financial Counsel, is a member who operates out of Chicago proper. Veo Financial Counsel offers a range of services to fit your budget and your needs.

Lake Life Wealth Advisory Group

  • Contact: (224) 286-1625 or patti.hughes@lakelifewealthadvisorygroup.
  • Services offered: Setting budgets, student loan debt, allocating assets, saving for college, retirement planning, insurance review, tax planning, portfolio management.
  • Asset requirements: None listed.
  • Typical fees: Lake Life is a fee-only, fiduciary advisor, earning no commissions on their recommendations and putting your best interests first. Annual retainer fees range from $3,000 to $20,000, depending on net worth, services needed, and other factors.

Patti Hughes of Lake Life Wealth Advisory Group is a fee-only financial planner who serves clients both Chicago-based and nationwide. She provides comprehensive financial planning services to clients in all financial situations.

Crescendo Financial Planners

  • Contact: (630) 446-0114 or info@crescendofinancialplanners.com.
  • Services offered: Tax-saving strategies and planning, charitable giving, asset allocation, risk management, estate planning, portfolio analysis, cash flow management, education funding.
  • Asset requirements: None listed.
  • Typical fees: Crescendo is a fee-only firm, and they offer no-cost consultations so you can see if their services are a good fit for you.

Actually located in Oak Brook, IL, just outside the city, Crescendo Financial Planners believes your investment portfolio is just part of the picture. They too take a holistic approach to your finances, helping you plan all the different parts of your financial life so they integrate effectively.

Mentor Capital Management

  • Contact: (630) 530-1191 or info@mentoradvisers.com.
  • Services offered: Tax planning, employee benefit plans, investment management, saving for education, saving for a home.
  • Asset requirements: None listed.
  • Typical fees: Mentor Capital is fee-only. Fees for investment management range from 0.5% for very large portfolios to 1% for smaller portfolios. Financial planning fees depend on the complexity of your situation but will be spelled out at your initial meeting.

Mentor Capital Management offers comprehensive financial planning services and investment advice. Founder and principal John S. Davis is a NAPFA-registered Certified Financial Planner and has been helping people grow their money since 1991.

DeRose Financial Planning Group

  • Contact: (773) 380-8523 or Karen.DeRose@lfg.com.
  • Services offered: Retirement planning, education planning, wealth protection, estate planning, multi-generational planning.
  • Asset requirements: DeRose does not require any minimum income or net worth to work with them.
  • Typical fees: DeRose charges a flat fee, which is quoted at your initial meeting. It may depend on your net worth and the complexity of your financial situation.

DeRose Financial Planning Group is a holistic firm serving the greater Chicagoland area. They were founded by Karen DeRose, CFP, CRPC.

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Summary of the best financial advisors in Chicago

AdvisorHelp withContact info
Mindful Money Financial Counsel• Student loan pay down
• Investing
• Retirement
• Tax optimization
• General financial optimization
564 W Randolph St. Suite 200 Chicago, IL 60661

(312) 846-1437
Basil Financial Group• Risk Management
• Taxes
• Estate Planning
• Portfolio Analysis
• Investment Allocation
• Retirement Planning
• Education Planning
4040 N. Lincoln Avenue
Chicago, IL 60618

(773) 697-9528
The Planning Center• Asset and debt management
• Cash flow management
• Investments
• Asset preservation
• Taxes
• Retirement planning
• Philanthropy
• Estate planning
303 West Erie Street
Suite 311
Chicago, IL 60654

(312) 664-4090
Garrett Investment Advisors• Retirement planning
• Portfolio review
• Cash flow management
• Housing decisions
• Insurance and Estate planning
Leisa Aiken
Veo Financial Counsel
Chicago, IL

Lake Life Wealth Advisory Group• Setting budgets
• Student loan debt
• Allocating assets
• Saving for college
• Retirement planning
• Insurance review
• Tax planning
• Portfolio management
200 West Madison
Suite 2100
Chicago, IL 60606

(224) 286-1625
Crescendo Financial Planners• Tax-saving strategies and planning
• Charitable giving
• Asset allocation
• Risk management
• Estate planning
• Portfolio analysis
• Cash flow management
• Education funding
110 Oak Brook Road
Oak Brook, IL 60523

(630) 446-0114
Mentor Capital Management• Tax planning
• Employee benefit plans
• Investment management
• Saving for education
• Saving for a home
257 N. West Ave.
Suite 205
Elmhurst, IL 60126

(630) 530-1191
DeRose Financial Planning Group• Retirement planning
• Education planning
• Wealth protection
• Estate planning
• Multi-generational planning
8755 West Higgins Road Suite 200
Chicago, IL 60631

(773) 380-8523

How I came up with this list

This list of top Chicago financial planners was created to focus on the needs of young professionals.

Companies focused on only high-net-worth individuals did not make this list, in order to be more inclusive of all incomes and backgrounds. I also wanted to make sure each company abided by the following:

They are Certified Financial Planners

All of the advisors on this list are Certified Financial Planners (CFP), a designation that lets you know that they will be focused on your bottom line — not theirs.

They are fee-only

I excluded brokers that sell by commission to focus on fee-only advisors. With commission-based brokers or advisors, you may be pressured into an investment or other product because they stand to benefit from the commission. With fee-only advisors, you pay a flat rate no matter what their recommendations include.

They accept all income levels

There is no sense in recommending a financial planner that caters only to high-net-worth individuals, because many times people at the start of their careers still need financial advice, even if their income hasn’t caught up to their plans yet.

Although all material has been double-checked against published information, you should take special care to make run your selection through FINRA’s BrokerCheck system for the most up-to-date information. FINRA is the regulatory agency dedicated to protecting investors and can tell you if a broker is legally registered to be able to sell securities or give investment advice. You can also check FINRA’s Barred Individuals list if you are curious about your broker.

What questions should you ask a financial advisor?

No matter who you choose, it’s important to ask a few key questions before you commit to hiring a financial planner.

  • Are you certified?
  • Are you a fiduciary?
  • How do you receive compensation for your services? 
  • What is your fee structure?
  • Are you a member of any financial planner associations or membership groups? 
  • What is your education or background?
  • Do you require a minimum income or asset level?
  • Do you require an ongoing commitment, or can I hire you for a one-time consultation?
  • What is your investment philosophy?

What are the costs of hiring a financial advisor?

Hiring professional help isn’t free. Understand what the typical costs and expenses are in hiring a financial advisor so you know what to expect when you hire them.

You’ll be able to schedule an initial consultation, which is a time for you to “try out” the advisor and see if you like them as well as get a feel for whether there is a personality fit. Use this time to ask them questions about their philosophy, their methods, their fee structure, and everything else pertinent to your situation.

After that initial consultation, expect the advisor to charge an hourly fee for their advice and assistance, usually at a rate of a couple of hundred dollars. Some may be more, some may be a little less. Ask them for a declaration sheet, which should disclose their rates, fees, and other charges. 

A typical, comprehensive financial plan from a certified financial planner should cost about $1,000 or $2,000, but an exceptionally complex financial situation could cost more.

When it comes to managing your investments, an advisor will typically charge a percentage of the assets under their management: usually about 1%. That is an incentive for them to help you grow your wealth, because the more returns you receive, the more they are paid. So if you have $100,000 invested, they would take $1,000 as a fee.


With everything going on in your life, it just might be time to bring in the big guns to help you get organized and move closer toward your financial goals. If you’re a Chicagoan ready to hire a financial advisor, start with our list above and narrow down until you find someone who’s the right fit for you and your situation. 

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About the author

Total Articles: 3

Mary Beth Eastman

Mary Beth Eastman is a freelance financial writer and editor. She has a degree in journalism from Bowling Green State University and enjoys spending her free time hanging with her ornery rescue dogs and making crafts.

If you would like to schedule a call to  see if I can assist you with your financial planning needs, please contact me