Bridget Sullivan Mermel
CFP®, CPA, MA
Sullivan Mermel, Inc.
Fee Only Financial Planner Located in Chicago, IL and Serving Clients Nationwide
Bridget Sullivan Mermel is a Chicago, IL fee-only financial planner. Sullivan Mermel, Inc. provides comprehensive financial planning, including retirement and education planning, tax planning and Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) to help attorneys, retirees, and near retirees organize, grow and protect their assets through life’s transitions. As a fee-only, fiduciary, and independent financial advisor, Bridget Sullivan Mermel is never paid a commission of any kind, and has a legal obligation to provide unbiased and trustworthy financial advice.
Bridget Sullivan Mermal is a fee only financial advisor at Sullivan Mermel, Inc located in Chicago, IL.
Ever since I was growing up in Mequon, Wisconsin, I have been fascinated with money and how people earn it, invest it, and spend it. Nothing got my attention like the stock market contest my econ teacher ran.
When I went to college, I wanted to learn as much about money and business as I could, so I majored in accounting and marketing. I had to take a writing class; creative writing was supposed to be an “easy A, ” so I signed up. Unlike the other business majors in the class, I loved it. My avocation was born.
In 1997, I started a tax practice. At the same time, I was drawn to writing about personal finance and fascinated by how people handle their money. As my practice developed, I was increasingly turned off by the financial services industry, yet increasingly aware of the need that clients had for good personal financial advice. From my perspective as a CPA, much of the industry seemed to be geared toward working with the super-wealthy, selling products of questionable value, or promoting schemes that benefited the sales person more than the customer.
Then I found out about fee-only financial advising, particularly ACP (the Alliance of Comprehensive Planners.) Fee-only advisors are upfront about what clients are paying, so there are no hidden agendas. I felt an instant recognition of being among like-minded people. I’ve since joined ACP, XY Planning Network (XYPN), as well as NAPFA (the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, another fee-only group) and have developed my own fee-only financial advisory practice. I love it.
Degrees and Designations
BA in Accounting and Marketing from the University of Wisconsin, Madison
Masters in Liberal Arts from DePaul University in Chicago.
Certified Financial Planner ™
Certified Public Accountant
I worked at Peterson & Company supporting high-profile litigation, as a manager, then district manager at Starbucks during their start-up phase, and supporting derivatives trading at O'Connor & Associates.
I love tennis, music, and reading!
And...nerdy as this sounds, I enjoy getting the word out about fee-only financial planning to a broader audience. Check out my articles on Money.com or subscribe to the Youtube channel I started with John Scherer, Friends Talk Financial Planning.
Bridget Sullivan Mermel is a Member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors
The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) is a leading professional association of Fee-Only financial advisors - highly trained professionals who are committed to working in the best interests of those they serve.
NAPFA members live by three important values:
- To be the beacon for independent, objective financial advice for individuals and families.
- To be the champion of financial services delivered in the public interest.
- To be the standard bearer for the emerging profession of financial planning
We are unique because.
We are dedicated to innovative financial planning. We help people connect money and meaning to create fulfilling lives. We translate this mission and vision by:
Taking a comprehensive approach. That means that we do tax planning and tax preparation, not just investments.
We also advise on retirement planning, insurance, mortgages, cash management, and estate planning. Most financial advisors don’t advise on taxes--likely your single largest expense. Most advisors don’t strategize about your principal residence-- likely your single largest investment. Many advisors don't want to help you understand the tradeoffs involved about when to retire or how pay for college. We want to make sure you understand. That helps you reach your goals.
Being up-front about fees. We work in a small niche of the industry known as “fee-only.” We don’t hide my fees. We don’t take referral fees, commissions, loads, sales charges, or a fixed percentage of your assets. You pay us directly, so you will never wonder how much we're making off of you, as a client, or if our motivation for a recommendation is self-interest.
Pledging the highest standard of care in the industry. That means we put client interests ahead of our own and disclose any potential conflicts of interest that might arise. Many, if not most, other advisors owe this level of care to the brokerage or insurance company they work for. That means they pledge to put the interest of that insurance company or brokerage house ahead of yours.
Learning, Growing & Improving
We offer a two ways of working together:
1. A Financial Strategy Session to answer your 3 biggest questions;
2. An on-going retainer which includes methodically going over every area of your finances, including recommending and implementing investments as well as preparing and filing your taxes.
Fee-Only, Fiduciary, Independent: Three Important Criteria to Consider When Choosing a Financial Advisor.
- Comprehensive Financial Planning
- Retirement Income Planning
- Investment Management
- Tax Planning
- Retirees and Near Retirees
- Growing Families
- Business Owners and Executives
- Sudden Money Situations
- Novice Investors
- In-Office Meetings
- Virtual Meetings
- Clearly Defined Fees
- No Product Sales
- Complimentary Initial Consultation
Professional Designations & Affiliations
Bridget Mermel is a NAPFA-Registered Financial Advisor
The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) is a leading professional association of Fee-Only financial advisors—highly trained professionals who are committed to working in the best interests of those they serve.
Bridget Mermel is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional - Click for Verification
CFP® professionals are held to strict ethical standards to ensure financial planning recommendations are in your best interest. What’s more, a CFP® professional must acquire several years of experience related to delivering financial planning services to clients and pass the comprehensive CFP® Certification Exam before they can use the CFP® designation.
Bridget Mermel is a Member of the Alliance of Comprehensive Planners (ACP)
Alliance of Comprehensive Planners (ACP) is the community of tax-focused financial planners that operate under the retainer model. Passionately dedicated to superb client service, ACP planners’ only source of income is client retainer fees – not commissions. With an ACP planner, you can be confident you’re getting experience, knowledge, research, and most importantly, advice that is tailored just for you.
Bridget Mermel is a member of The Financial Planning Association® (FPA®)
FPA® is the largest membership organization for CFP® professionals in the U.S. and supports high standards of professional competence, ethical conduct, and clear, complete disclosure when serving clients.
Bridget Sullivan Mermel is a Member of the XY Planning Network
The XY Planning Network is the leading organization of fee-only financial advisors who are focused on working with Generation X and Generation Y clients. Our mission is to connect consumers with best-in-class financial advisors who specialize in working with clients just like you.
Sullivan Mermel, Inc. has access to Dimensional Funds
Dimensional Fund Advisors is a leading global investment firm that has been translating academic research into practical investment solutions since 1981. Guided by a strong belief in markets, the firm builds and implements strategies to help clients pursue higher expected returns. An enduring philosophy, strong client commitment, and deep working relationships with the academic community underpin Dimensional’s approach to investing and form the foundation for new strategies.
Contact Bridget Sullivan Mermel
3744 N. Southport Avenue
Chicago, IL 60613