Four Alliance of Comprehensive Planners Members Recognized on AdvisoryHQ’s List of Top 13 Fee-Only Financial Advisors in Chicago


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 Four Alliance of Comprehensive Planners Members Recognized on AdvisoryHQ’s List of Top 13 Fee-Only Financial Advisors in Chicago

The Alliance of Comprehensive Planners (ACP) is proud to announce that four members – Elizabeth Buffardi, Crescendo Financial Planners; Sheila Padden, Padden Financial Planning; Bridget Sullivan Mermel, Sullivan Mermel Inc.; and Lois Basil, Basil Financial Group – were named as some of the top financial planners in Chicago by AdvisoryHQ. The four firms were ranked third, eighth, tenth, and thirteenth, respectively. All four women have been active members in ACP, with Mermel being the longest-running member since joining in 2007. ACP is America’s leading community of independent fee-only financial planners committed to success through their ethics and innovation.

“I am thrilled to be selected as one of the Top 13 Fee-Only Financial Advisors in Chicago and especially pleased to share this honor with three of my ACP colleagues,” Padden said. “It feels good to be acknowledged personally and as a group of practitioners that firmly believe in fee-only financial planning and in the fiduciary standard whereby we put our clients first.”

ACP is a not-for-profit community of financial planners. Formerly the Alliance of Cambridge Advisors, ACP was started in 1995 by one of the financial planning industry’s mavens, Bert Whitehead. New members complete the ACP Success ProgramTM that has been created by and improved by the members over the past twenty years. The ACP Success ProgramTM is a turnkey training comprised of self-study materials, virtual classrooms, and in-person group instruction that helps advisors start a comprehensive fee-only financial planning practice. The training alone garners more than 30 Continuing Education credits for both the CFP, NAPFA, and NASBA.

“It feels great to be included on the list,” Mermel said. “When I started my firm in 1998, I sensed that people were fed up with so-called advisors who really just wanted to sell them products of dubious value. Joining ACP and adopting the retainer business model allows me to be upfront about my fees and the value that I offer to clients. Thanks, AdvisoryHQ!”

ACP supports the idea of transparency and the highest fiduciary standard in the financial planning industry. ACP believes the more informed consumers are about how financial planners are handling their money, the better the outcome for their financial future. To learn more about ACP’s Canon of Ethics and to read the Pledge to Clients, please visit  


Alliance of Comprehensive Planners is a not-for-profit association of fee-only financial advisors who evaluate clients’ entire financial picture, providing the most comprehensive outlook for their financial well-being. Members are trained in the ACP SystemTM, an extensive program based on the highest ethical standards and most innovative practices in the financial planning community. All members maintain the CFP® or CPA/PFS (or equivalent) designation. Founded in 1995, ACP is the number one source for education and mentoring in the best practices of fee-only financial planning.