Matthew Barnard


Sullivan Mermel, Inc.

Financial Planner

Matthew Barnard


Sullivan Mermel, Inc.

Financial Planner

As a fee-only financial planner, my focus is to offer unbiased financial advice to help you achieve your life goals. - Matthew Barnard, CFP®, EA

Fee-Only financial planner located in Chicago, IL, serving clients locally and across the country

Matthew Barnardis 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, Matthew Barnard is never paid a commission of any kind, and has a legal obligation to provide unbiased and trustworthy financial advice.

Matthew Barnard joined Sullivan Mermel in 2020.  Matthew became a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ in 2015.

Matthew first acquired an interest in comprehensive fee-only financial planning while in high school.  His interest was cemented when he interned at a financial planning firm and tax practice in Urbana, while in college. He enjoys the puzzle-solving aspect of the work, as well as the satisfaction of seeing clients become more comfortable with their financial lives.  Before joining Sullivan Mermel, Matthew developed his financial planning knowledge by first working for a multinational brokerage firm and 401(k) provider, and later in the home office of a regional insurance company.

Starting in 2019, Matthew began to volunteer for the CFP Board of Standards.  He has created individual questions for the exam and has served as a subject matter expert while reviewing existing questions.  He also serves as a mentor through the CFP Board for individuals that are in the process of fulfilling the requirements of the exam.

Matthew holds a bachelor’s degree in Consumer Economics with a focus in Financial Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Matthew also holds a master’s degree in Personal Financial Planning from Texas Tech University.

Matthew and his wife, Deena, live in Norwood Park. They enjoy watching the Cubs, trying out new food venues, and exploring the city with their two dogs.

Matthew Barnard 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.

Our values



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
  • 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

  • National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA)
    Matthew Barnard 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.

  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
    Matthew Barnard 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.

  • Alliance of Comprehensive Planners
    Matthew Barnard 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.

  • XY Planning Network
    Matthew Barnard 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.

  • Enrolled Agent with the IRS (EA)
    Matthew Barnard is an Enrolled Agent (EA) with the IRS

    An enrolled agent is a federally authorized tax practitioner empowered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers before the Internal Revenue Service. Enrolled agent status is the highest credential awarded by the IRS.

Contact Matthew Barnard

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Office Locations:

  • 3744 N Southport
    Chicago, IL 60613

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