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How We Add Value

There are thousands of advisors that just manage money.  Our advice is purposefully intended to add value beyond investment performance.  Certainly investment management is important, but our role extends past financial statements, to add value by educating, providing thought-leadership, sharing multi-disciplinary expertise, and, most importantly, being present and communicative.   

We Are Committed to Our Craft

An elite level of financial thinking

Both of our firms’ principals have achieved the Certified Financial Planner™ designation and earned Master’s degrees in Finance.  Combine that with over 40 years of experience advising institutional and individual clients as an investment adviser, CPA and tax advisor, and financial modeler/planner, and it is difficult to find another advisory team that has a similar combination of advanced certifications, education and practical expertise.


Most people think all advisors are ‘certified’, but this couldn't be further from the truth.  Employees of large broker dealers and insurance firms, typically called ‘financial advisors’, are often glorified sales professionals, with the only requirement being a few securities licenses that allow them to sell financial products.  On the other hand, it is estimated that only 15 percent of financial professionals have passed the rigorous education, examination, experience and ethical requirements to achieve the CFP® credential.  An even fewer amount are also CPAs.  An even fewer amount work with independent,

fee-only firms.  

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The Value of Independence

Client Service

Time spent with clients is one of the biggest differences between a boutique, independent firm and a large firm.  We invest in our clients.  We invest our time to educate and inform them, so they have an understanding of what we are doing and why.  We invest however long it takes to learn about what makes our clients tick and their expectations working with an advisor - and then we follow through on it.  We cannot control how the market moves, but we can work our tails off to be informative, always present and a client advocate.  Instead of clients feeling lost inside a big firm, we make them feel like the one and only.  Our size is our advantage.  


Open Architecture & Research

Picture a consortium of highly educated and experienced professionals and firms exchanging market research, strategies, free-flowing ideas and economic outlooks.  Now picture a firm with a group of talking heads deciding which research to publish, editing content to entice investors, and, even worse, the advisors who use it as their only source of information.  (Hint: we like the first one).  At McDonnell Capital Management, our independence allows us to remove any third-party conflicts and provide an open architecture investment and research platform.  That means our thinking is fueled by a marketplace of ideas (as opposed to one) and our investment solutions are not only unbiased, but also unlimited.  This also means that, because we are not compensated by a broker and/or fund company, we are free to select the most cost-effective investment solution in the marketplace. 

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One-hundred percent of our compensation comes directly from our clients, which ensures that our clients’ interests are our only interests.  An independent and fee-only structure is the only way clients can be assured that when we make a recommendation, it solely because it is in their best interest. 

No broker-dealers, no proprietary financial products, no commissions. 


Back story: 

Most large broker-dealers employ financial services professionals to broker and sell financial products.  The firm generates a proprietary investment solution based on a few criteria gathered from the client.  These investment solutions, although they may seem outside of the firm (non-proprietary), are ridden with hidden fees and contractual relationships with third party investment companies.  Often clients will pay the fund company, the broker dealer, and the advisor, all before their return is generated, resulting in difficulty calculating the actual total cost.  Advisors are compensated differently depending on the type of products they sell, and the ‘programs’/platforms they place clients inside.  By default, the firm entices advisors to put clients into certain solutions, likely regardless of appropriateness, because it pays more.  In addition, these advisors can be compensated by commissions, which can result in an unnecessary and imprudent recommendation to buy or sell something, again, so that the advisor makes more money.    


Instead, McDonnell Capital Management charges a fixed percentage of assets under management inclusive of all advisory services.  The result is

client-centered, customized solutions, with transparent, measurable costs.    

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Partner With a Fiduciary

A fiduciary owes a duty of loyalty to safeguard the interests of another, and is by definition the highest level of responsibility and care.  At McDonnell Capital Management, the role of fiduciary shapes our culture and business structure, ensuring each decision we make represents our clients' best interests and needs.  


Christopher J. McDonnell, CFP®, AIF®, Principal, has earned the prestigious Accredited Investment Fiduciary® designation from the Center for Fiduciary Studies™.  The AIF® accreditation is the nation’s leading program of instruction and assessment for those investment professionals assuming a fiduciary role.  Achieving and practicing with the designation signifies specialized knowledge of fiduciary responsibility and the ability to implement global fiduciary precepts that are substantiated by law.  Seeking the AIF® designation demonstrates leadership in the investment management industry, showing an unparalleled committed to the craft itself and, most importantly, the client. 


We do not accept any type of compensation from third-parties, fund companies or broker-dealers.  Our independent, fee-based structure ensures our clients receive the highest levels of transparency and objectivity.  Other firms, both large and independent ones, may claim objectivity or putting clients first.  These firms are often tied to sales incentives for products and funds, and relationships with third party firms that compensate the advisors differently depending on the client recommendation. It is rare to find a truly independent firm, not connected to any broker dealer or other corporate entity, that can act as a client fiduciary.  We are among the few.

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Investing involves risk and you may incur a profit or a loss. Please carefully consider investment objectives, risks, charges, and expenses before investing.

Advisory services are offered through McDonnell Wealth Management, LLC dba McDonnell Capital Management (”McDonnell Capital"), a Registered Investment Adviser.



14837 Harbor Dr (rear office entrance) 

Oak Forest, IL 60452


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