Thomas Alf


Clerestory Advisors, Inc.

Financial Advisor

Thomas Alf


Clerestory 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. - Thomas Alf, CFP®, CPA

(651) 209-2610

Fee-Only Financial Advisor serving Twin Cities MN area.

Thomas Alf is a Mendota Heights, MN fee-only financial planner. Clerestory 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, Thomas Alf is never paid a commission of any kind, and has a legal obligation to provide unbiased and trustworthy financial advice.

Tom got his start in accounting and business as a CPA, controller and CFO before moving into financial planning.  He discovered the corporate world was not a good fit for him.  He wanted to help people, not corporations, improve their financial well-being.  To earn his CFP® designation, he decided to pursue financial planning at the Carlson School of Management.

When the firm was founded over fifteen years ago, Tom chose the name Clerestory because financial planning, like architecture is an equally analytical and creative process.  He feels passionately that client interests always come first.  Clients appreciate informed, unbiased guidance during the decision making process.  Clerestory provides true comprehensive planning which is far more than just managing investments. 

Tom and his wife, Karen, have lived in St. Paul since graduating from the University of Illinois, Champaign/ Urbana.  They both enjoy an active lifestyle of biking, walking, swimming and travel, especially visiting their adult children.  Their oldest, Liz, her husband and two dogs, moved back to the Twin Cities in the summer of 2017 after working remotely for Clerestory the prior two years.   Liz’s passion is helping others whether they are the high school science students she taught for the past nine years or helping Clerestory clients.  Their son David works in Los Angeles as an architect for a large architecture firm.  His passion is designing buildings and photography.

Tom finally talked his wife Karen into getting a dog in early 2017.  Miss Maya, a one year tri black Australian Shepherd who keeps us all on our toes, demanding attention and providing many laughs.   



B.S., Accountancy, University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

Professional Credentials
Certified Public Accountant
Certified Financial Planner

Professional Associations
National Association of Personal Financial Advisors
Minnesota Society of Certified Public Accountants

Thomas Alf 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

Clerestory Advisors have your best interests at heart. We take our fiduciary responsibility to you seriously and will never accept any referral fees or compensation for the purchase of financial product. We are fee-only advisors serving your needs with no conflicts of interest.

At Clerestory, the relationships we build with our clients are lasting. Taking the time to get to know you and what you want to accomplish in life is important to us. Our clients tell us that:

  •  We bring order to their financial life - We help them develop financial/life goals; and provide a summary of their assets, investments, cash flow, insurance coverage and estate plan needs.
  • We help them follow through on financial commitments - We meet regularly to track progress on retirement/college savings goals, maintain a diversified investment portfolio and keep wills, trusts and power attorney documents up to date.
  • We bring outside, objective insight to help them avoid emotionally based money decisions - For example, staying in the stock market during market downturns, starting a new business or deciding whether to buy a second home.
  • We help them anticipate and prepare for life transitions - While life transitions are unique to each client, we often help plan for life after full time work, disability or death of one spouse or making a career change.
  • We help educate them around financial issues and decisions needed to succeed and reach their goals - We find many clients want to better understand the implications of wills, trusts and beneficiary designations, when to take social security benefits or perhaps, when to exercise company stock options.

We work with you, not just for you, to help you reach your financial and life goals. We encourage your input, ideas and participation as we both continually refine and work towards the vision of how you want to live your life.

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
  • Cash Flow 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)
    Thomas Alf 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.

  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
    Thomas Alf 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.

Contact Thomas Alf

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Office Locations:

  • 750 Main Street
    Suite 215
    Mendota Heights, MN 55118

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