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Best Chicago, Illinois Financial Planners

Navigating the world of financial planning can be daunting—especially if you’re trying to secure your financial future. In Chicago, a wealth of top-notch financial planners are ready to help you achieve your goals. This guide will introduce you to some of the best financial planners in the city, complete with reviews, contact information, and essential details to make an informed decision.

What to Look For in a Financial Planner

Choosing the right financial planner is a critical step in ensuring your financial health. But what should you look for? First and foremost, it’s essential to find a planner with a strong educational background and relevant certifications, such as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). These credentials indicate a high level of expertise and commitment to the profession. Additionally, look for someone who offers a fee-only structure, ensuring their advice is unbiased and not influenced by commission-based products.

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When evaluating potential planners, consider their experience and areas of specialization. Some planners may focus on retirement planning, while others might excel in tax strategies or estate planning. It’s also beneficial to read client reviews and testimonials, which can provide insight into their communication style and effectiveness. Lastly, ensure the planner adheres to a fiduciary standard, legally obligating them to act in your best interests.

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Credentials to Look For

Credentials are a hallmark of professionalism and expertise in the financial planning world. The CFP designation is one of the most respected certifications, indicating that the planner has met rigorous education, examination, and experience requirements. Similarly, a CFA designation showcases a deep understanding of investment management and financial analysis.

Other important credentials include the Accredited Financial Counselor (AFC) and the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with a Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) designation. These certifications highlight a planner’s ability to handle comprehensive financial planning, including budgeting, debt management, and complex tax issues.

Professional affiliations with organizations such as the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) and the Financial Planning Association (FPA) are also positive indicators. These memberships often require adherence to ethical standards and continuous education, ensuring the planner stays updated with industry best practices.

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Top Financial Planners in Chicago

1. Lake Life Wealth Advisory Group

Patti Hughes leads the Lake Life Wealth Advisory Group, offering fee-only financial planning services. Patti’s approach is holistic, addressing everything from budgeting and debt repayment to retirement and estate planning. With a strong educational background and multiple certifications, including CFP and CPA, she ensures clients receive tailored, unbiased advice.

Contact Information

Yelp Reviews

Patti receives high praise for her comprehensive, client-focused approach. Clients appreciate her dedication to understanding their unique financial situations and goals, making complex financial concepts accessible and actionable.

2. The Mather Group

Founded in 2011, The Mather Group specializes in working with both high-net-worth and non-high-net-worth individuals. They offer a variety of services, including portfolio management, tax planning, and estate planning. Their fee-only structure ensures that clients receive objective advice tailored to their specific needs.

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Contact Information

Yelp Reviews

The Mather Group is lauded for its professional and personalized service. Clients highlight their transparent fee structure and the team’s dedication to creating long-term financial strategies that align with their life goals.

3. Zimmerman Wealth Management

Zimmerman Wealth Management, located in Evanston, Illinois, provides comprehensive financial planning and wealth management services. As a fee-only fiduciary firm, they are committed to acting in their clients’ best interests, providing personalized solutions for each stage of life.

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Contact Information

Yelp Reviews

Clients appreciate the firm’s comprehensive approach and the peace of mind that comes from working with a dedicated, knowledgeable team. The firm’s focus on conservative planning and long-term relationships is particularly valued.

4. Great Lakes Advisors

Great Lakes Advisors offers a range of investment strategies, including disciplined equity and fixed income. Their approach is tailored to deliver consistent performance over market cycles. Founded in 1981, they are a well-established firm with a commitment to conservative, client-focused investment strategies.

Contact Information

Yelp Reviews

Great Lakes Advisors is noted for its disciplined and conservative investment approaches. Clients value the firm’s stability and the expertise of its advisors in managing complex financial portfolios.

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5. Gresham Partners

Gresham Partners focuses on high-net-worth individuals and institutional clients. Their fee-based structure includes a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of their clients. The firm is known for its thorough investment strategy, tailored to meet the specific needs and goals of each client.

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Contact Information

  • Address: 333 West Wacker Drive, Suite 700, Chicago, IL 60606
  • Phone: (312) 327-5020
  • Website:
  • Social Media: LinkedIn

Yelp Reviews

Clients appreciate Gresham Partners’ personalized approach and the comprehensive nature of their financial planning services. The firm’s commitment to understanding each client’s unique financial situation is frequently highlighted.

Financial Planning for Different Life Stages

Financial needs evolve with each stage of life, from starting a career to planning for retirement. It’s crucial to choose a planner who understands these transitions and can provide tailored advice. For young professionals, this might involve budgeting, debt management, and saving for significant milestones like buying a home or starting a family. Mid-career individuals may focus on maximizing retirement contributions, investment strategies, and tax planning. Those nearing retirement need advice on asset allocation, estate planning, and sustainable withdrawal strategies.

Tables of Key Information

To provide you with a quick reference, here is a table summarizing the contact details and specialties of the featured financial planners:

Financial Planner Address Phone Website Specialties
Lake Life Wealth Advisory Group 205 N Michigan Avenue, Suite 810, Chicago, IL 60601 (312) 854-2070 Comprehensive financial planning
The Mather Group 353 N. Clark St., Suite 2775, Chicago, IL 60654 (312) 453-9600 Portfolio management, tax planning
Zimmerman Wealth Management 500 Davis Street, Suite 1005, Evanston, IL 60201 (847) 556-3200 Wealth management, fiduciary planning
Great Lakes Advisors 231 South LaSalle Street, Chicago, IL 60604 (312) 553-3700 Investment strategies, fixed income
Gresham Partners 333 West Wacker Drive, Suite 700, Chicago, IL 60606 (312) 327-5020 High-net-worth planning, institutional clients

Choosing a financial planner is a significant decision that can profoundly impact your financial well-being. By considering the credentials, experience, and client reviews of these top Chicago financial planners, you can find the right professional to guide you through your financial journey. Remember, the best planner for you will be one who understands your unique goals and can offer personalized, unbiased advice to help you achieve them.

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