Mark  Gilbert

Mark Gilbert


Reason Financial Advisors, Inc.

(630) 807-9009

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Fee-Only Financial Advisor located near Chicago with offices in Northbrook and Naperville, serving Cook, Lake & DuPage counties in Illinois and clients across the country


  • Fee-Only Financial Services
  • Comprehensive Financial Planning
  • Free Initial Consultation
  • Investment Management
  • Retirement Planning
  • Education Planning
  • Elder Care Issues
  • Estate Planning
  • Insurance Analysis
  • Charitable Giving and Trusts
  • Planning for Business Owners
  • Cash Flow and Budgeting


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1717 N. Naper Blvd
Suite 200
Naperville, IL 60563

350 Pfingsten Road
Suite 108
Northbrook, IL 60062

Fee-Only & Fiduciary

The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) is the country's leading association of fee-only and fiduciary financial planners.

Mark Gilbert is a Chicago area Fee-Only Financial Planner with offices in Northbrook and Naperville serving Cook, Lake & DuPage counties in Illinois. Reason Financial Advisors, Inc. specializes in providing objective financial planning and investment management to help clients build, manage, and protect their assets through life's transitions. Mark Gilbert is a NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor and a Certified Public Accountant / Personal Financial Specialist.


Mark earned a bachelor’s degree in Accountancy from the University of Illinois in 1981, where he graduated with high honors. He passed the Certified Public Accountant examination in 1982. In 1983, he received his MBA in Finance from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business.

In 1999 Mark was awarded the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ (AICPA) Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) designation to signify his education and experience in the field of personal financial planning. Since 1997, Mark has earned an average in excess of 40 hours annually of continuing professional education in the discipline. This includes the Certified Financial Planner™ certification professional education program offered by the College for Financial Planning.


Mark has more than 25 years of professional experience in finance and accounting. Prior to joining Reason Financial Advisors in 2007 as a principal, he was a financial planning manager and vice president with the registered investment advisory firm affiliate and trust department of a major Chicago bank. From 1997 to 1999, he was an owner and vice president of another fee-only financial planning firm in Northbrook, Illinois. His professional career includes positions as the executive director of a municipal deferred compensation retirement plan covering more than 9,000 participants, as well as treasurer and controller of national and international privately held professional service firms based in Chicago.

Professional and Civic Memberships:

Mark is a member of the AICPA, the AICPA Personal Financial Planning section, and the Illinois CPA Society (ICPAS.) He currently chairs the Investment Advisors/Personal Financial Planning Member Forum Group of the ICPAS, whose mission is to provide informal technical training, hands-on business education and networking opportunities for Illinois CPAs in the personal financial planning and investment advisory community. He also serves on the ICPAS’ Committee Structure & Volunteerism Task Force, which is charged with oversight of the Society’s member involvement structure, operations and related issues. He previously served on the ICPAS Consulting Services Executive Committee and the board of the Fox Valley Chapter of the ICPAS.

Mark is also a current board member and past treasurer of Kingswood Academy, a private elementary school located in Darien, Illinois.


Reason Financial Advisors believes that clients should be fully aware of all costs when shopping for financial advice. So, it’s important to understand the three ways that clients can pay for financial planning services.

  • Commission only: An advisor receives a commission for the sale of a product, based on the dollar amount of the sale.
  • Fee Based: An advisor charges a fee, perhaps to write a financial plan, plus receives a commission for any products sold to implement the plan.
  • Fee-Only: An advisor bills a client for services provided, but receives no other form of compensation from any third party.

At first sight, Fee Base might sound like Fee-Only. But it is not; Fee Based can include products that give your advisor a commission.

Because not all products carry the same commission schedule, a bias may prompt a commission only or fee based advisor to sell products that give him or her a higher payout. A combination of commissions, incentives, rebates, and other types of soft dollars can easily lead an advisor to recommend a product based on what’s in his or her best interests, rather than yours.

This is why Reason Financial Advisors offers services on a fee-only basis and does not receive commissions for any insurance or investment products we recommend. We work for our clients, not a brokerage firm, insurance company or bank. We also do not pay any referral fees to someone who recommends our services, nor do we accept any fees from other professionals we recommend to our clients.

Here some of the dangers that you avoid by using our fee-only approach

On November 17, 2003, the Washington Times reported that a major brokerage firm was fined $50 million by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for various mutual fund abuses. The article stated “the firm had a select group of mutual fund companies pay it substantial fees for preferred marketing of their funds. Moreover, to encourage the sales force to recommend the purchase of those particular funds, the brokerage house paid more to individual registered representatives and branch managers on sales of those funds’ shares.”

On December 21, 2004, the Wall Street Journal reported that a major brokerage firm agreed to pay $75 million to settle regulatory charges brought by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the National Association of Securities Dealers and the New York Stock Exchange. According to the article, the firm “steered investors to seven preferred mutual-fund groups, without telling the investors that the firm received hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation from those funds.”

On February 23, 2005, the Wall Street Journal reported that the National Association of Securities Dealers fined two large brokerage firms for “giving preferred sales treatment to mutual funds offered by certain fund companies in exchange for brokerage commissions and other payments.” One brokerage firm that is owned by a major national bank was fined $570,000, while the other firm paid a $275,000 fine.