Financial Literacy

Sound priorities guide financial planning services

 Having a superior knowledge in finance doesn’t make you the best advisor, but combine that knowledge with superior listening skills and now you have a winning combination.

Some advisors tend to focus on numbers or specific services and forget to listen to what clients are telling them. Listening to and accurately interpreting a client’s needs is a skill that is an absolute necessity for advisors.

Joseph A. Miceli places such a high priority on listening to his clients, that face-to-face meetings are the norm at Miceli Financial Services, Inc. And, right from the start, Miceli’s goal is to put people at ease.

“The first thing I tell clients when we sit down is that I have not scheduled another meeting to follow my meeting with them. I let them know that their meeting is very important to me, and so is their time, and I’m not going to rush them out of the office,” said the president and CEO of the Bartlett, Illinois-based firm he started in 2010.

Clients are further reassured as Miceli explains that the firm’s disciplined approach, financial models, and specific tools used to create customized solutions for them are bolstered by academic research from Dimensional Fund Advisors – a global investment management firm founded on finance science and who offers equity and fixed income strategies to financial advisors, consultants, and institutional investors.

Another top priority at Miceli Financial Services is client education, because so many people are unsure of or intimidated by financial terms and concepts. Miceli endorses that financial literacy should be a part of classroom curricula that starts for students in grade school and continues through high school and college.

“It would help prepare students for when they enter the workforce and have to start making their own investment decisions,” he said. “The more educated you are, the more informed you are, the better decisions you can make.”

“Our philosophy in working with our clients is based on an educational approach. I look at myself more as a teacher than anything else. We are helping them design a philosophy through patient in-depth conversations which allows us to offer a holistic approach to financial and insurance planning,” explained Miceli. “We listen very intently to our client’s needs. Once that is completed, we design a creative solution, and then we go through the implementation process.”

3While there is a plethora of information available on the internet about financial matters, Miceli said that people will still need to consult with a financial advisor to ensure their investments are consistent with their goals.

“I think we will see more interaction with technology regarding investing, especially with the millennials, but I believe clients will still want to have authentic conversations with advisors, because we offer more than a transactional approach to investing. We are a combination of a life coach, educator, planner and consultant as we teach clients how to navigate through the complexities of the investment world,” said Miceli.

While Miceli wears all those advisory hats, he understands that his first priority is acting as a fiduciary on his clients’ behalf.

“When someone is managing the assets of another person and therefore takes on a relationship of trust, confidence and/or legal responsibility, they must put the clients’ best interest ahead of their own resulting in objective planning recommendations,” said Miceli, offering his definition of a fiduciary.

“It all goes back to education. If we can present financial information in a way that’s practical and understandable, it will be more relatable to their current investment decisions. It needs to be presented in a way that they can connect the information to their goals and dreams, and they can visualize it. If we can demonstrate a clearer way to navigate through all the complexities of investing, I believe clients will be much more engaged in the process – and we try to make it as much fun and as engaging as possible,” said Miceli.

Miceli, a two-time scholar athlete and a graduate of The Ohio State University, is living his dream since he opened the doors of Miceli Financial Services, and he said he works passionately with clients to help solve their needs.

“It was always a vision of mine to open my own wealth management firm. We went back to our roots to build the practice with hard work, integrity, and a fun family atmosphere,” explained Miceli, acknowledging how his Italian parents and grandparents encouraged education, a strong work ethic, and integrity as he and his siblings were growing up.

Calling his entire team, a “super powerhouse,” Patricia Schod, Santrissa Pitts and Jaclyn Luif, Miceli said, “We continue to grow our business at an annual growth rate year-over-year of 15 percent. Through organic growth and acquisitions, we have built Miceli Financial Services into a solid wealth management firm. We are currently managing 115 million of client assets and work hard to service them.”

Recently, Tania Vasquez has taken on the role of Vice President of Operations for the firm in anticipation of further growth and expansion.

In 2015, Joseph R. Miceli, the eldest of Miceli’s four sons joined his father and the rest of the staff to continue to build a robust, service-focused wealth management firm. Michael A. Miceli is studying business, along with Nicolas J. Miceli who is obtaining a Masters in Accounting and Taxation and then followed by Anthony V. Miceli, all designated to join the firm. The following year, Joseph A. Miceli earned Executive Council status, distinguishing Miceli as a top producing financial advisor with Cetera Financial Specialists.

“We pride ourselves on our red-carpet service with our clients. They are our number one priority,” Miceli said.

For more information on Miceli Financial Services, Inc., visit:

Joseph A. Miceli is a Financial Advisor, with securities offered through Cetera Financial Specialists LLC, member FINRA/SIPC and advisory services offered through Cetera Investment Advisers LLC. Cetera entities are under separate ownership from any other entity. His office is at 260 E Army Trail Rd, Suite F, Bartlett, IL 60103 and he can be reached at 630.372.2291.


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