CFP®, CPA, MA
Sullivan Mermel, Inc.
Fee Only Financial Planner Located in Chicago, IL and Serving Clients Nationwide
We are financial planners who work with people in a comprehensive, or holistic, way. We help our clients gain confidence, get organized, and go forward with clarity so they can achieve big goals.
We especially enjoy working with attorneys,small business owners, near retirees, and clients interested in socially responsible investing.
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.
We practice in a small niche of the industry called fee-only, which focuses on giving un-biased advice. We don't take commission, get kick-backs, or sell products. We have no hidden agendas. Our focus is on giving our clients the best comprehensive advice possible.
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Bridget Mermel is a Member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors
The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA) is the country’s 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
What makes me unique?
I take a comprehensive approach. That means that I do tax planning and tax preparation, not just investments.
I 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.
I am up-front about what you are paying me. I work in a small niche of the industry known as “fee-only.” I don’t hide my fees. I don’t take referral fees, commissions, loads, sales charges, or a fixed percentage of your assets. You pay me directly, so you will never wonder how much I’m making off of you, as a client, or if my motivation for a recommendation is self-interest.
I pledge the highest standard of care in the industry. That means I put client interests ahead of my 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.
What makes me tick: guiding personal principals
It’s my goal to be connected, engaged, and authentic with other people and the world around me. That means that I try to understand the deep essence of things, communicate and share. And maintain a sense of humor!
I strive to achieve balance. When I’m healthy, secure, and creative, I’ve found it rubs off my clients. This gives me extra incentive to take care of myself. Likewise, I believe that my clients should take care of themselves--and I want to help.
I believe that how you make your money, how you spend your money, and how you save your money can be a path for personal growth, not just a daily drudge. Money can teach.
I believe financial planning is a process we engage in together. Planning your finances is not a one-time event, or a time for a professional to regurgitate your information, fancying it up with graphs and bar charts. I work with you for the long haul, always checking to make sure that your plans are still most effective.
I strive to improve and grow. Don’t get me wrong, I’m doing pretty much everything I can think of now to make client experiences great. But I don’t have it all figured out.
What happens when we meet
First, I listen. You’ll be able to talk about your feelings and history so that the emotional and spiritual aspects of money are acknowledged. Financial advice is useless if it’s incompatible with your personality, lifestyle, or values.
Then I educate. I explain the financial theory and background that you need to make decisions. You ask questions and I listen some more.
Finally, you make decisions. In light of what we’ve talked about together, we work through your specific situation and you make the decisions that are right for you. I pride myself in offering advice that you will actually take because it feels right to you at every level.
Fee-Only, Fiduciary, Independent: Three Important Criteria to Consider When Choosing a Financial Advisor.
- Comprehensive Financial Planning
- Retirement Income Planning
- Investment Management
- College Education Planning
- 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 the country’s 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.
Sullivan Mermel, Inc. has access to Dimensional Funds
The Dimensional approach focuses on academic research that isolates the factors that tend to outperform the broad market over long time periods and the risk characteristics that can be eliminated from a portfolio. While indexes are simply measures of an asset class, DFA funds aim to efficiently capture the excess returns of an asset class without taking uncompensated risk—and at a low cost.
Contact Bridget Mermel
3744 N. Southport Avenue
Chicago, IL 60613