Mark Gilbert


Reason Financial Advisors, Inc.

Financial Advisor

Mark Gilbert


Reason Financial Advisors, Inc.

Financial Advisor

As a fee-only financial planner, my focus is to offer unbiased financial advice to help you achieve your life goals. - Mark Gilbert, CPA/PFS, MBA

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

Mark Gilbert is a Naperville, IL fee-only financial planner. Reason Financial Advisors, Inc. provides comprehensive and objective financial planning to help clients organize, grow and protect their assets through life’s transitions. As a fee-only, fiduciary, and independent financial advisor, Mark Gilbert is never paid a commission of any kind, and has a legal obligation to provide unbiased and trustworthy financial advice.


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.

Mark Gilbert 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

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.

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

Ideal Clients

  • Retirees and Near Retirees
  • Growing Families
  • Business Owners and Executives
  • Sudden Money Situations
  • Novice Investors

Working Together

  • In-Office Meetings
  • Virtual Meetings
  • Clearly Defined Fees
  • No Product Sales
  • Complimentary Initial Consultation

Professional Designations & Affiliations

Contact Mark Gilbert

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Office Locations:

  • 1717 N. Naper Blvd
    Suite 200
    Naperville, IL 60563
  • 350 Pfingsten Road
    Suite 108
    Northbrook, IL 60062

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