John Ehardt is a financial life coach — beyond giving investment advice, he seeks to help individuals create solid financial futures. As both a CFP® (CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™) and a CPA (Certified Public Accountant), John takes a comprehensive look at his clients’ entire financial situation to make sure they are on the right track. John’s tax background is very helpful in positioning a client’s portfolio to minimize taxes both now and in the future.
John began his career in 1986 as a CPA with the Detroit office of Arthur Andersen & Co.; he embarked on this venture after graduating with an accounting degree from Western Michigan University. In 1991, he decided that financial advising was his true calling and migrated to IDS/American Express. Soon afterward, he became a CFP®. In January of 2000, John and two of his partners (Jim Olesnavage and Tod Taylor) left American Express and joined LPL Financial; their goal was to be more independent in the products and services they could offer their clients. Their new company, Advanced Financial Group, Inc. (AFGI), was formed then and continues today with seven partners and five full-time staff. John is president of the company and currently works with over 250 clients located in many states — most of his clients reside in Michigan.
What John appreciates most about working with LPL Financial—the largest* independent broker-dealer in the United States—is LPL’s independence. John says, “They aren’t pushing us to put our clients into their proprietary products, because there are no financial products manufactured by LPL. No products, no ties, they aren’t beholden to anyone.” LPL reinforces this idea, stating, “We believe in empowerment through guidance and collaboration.” LPL brings support, collaboration, and guidance – instead of pressuring clients into proprietary financial products. Clients’ needs are genuinely the first priority for John and LPL.
Regarding the AFGI office setting, John deems it familial and mutually supportive: “We are here for one another. If I’m not in the office, there is someone in the office who can back me up. If I can’t be reached, clients will be able to talk with one of our highly qualified staff members or another financial advisor in the office. Nine times out of ten, when you call the Advanced Financial Group office, you will be put in touch with a person who can answer your question or provide you with the help you need on the spot.”
Although the AFGI office is based in Traverse City, John services all of Michigan and is licensed in over twenty-eight states. As of right now, much of John’s financial planning clientele is based in Detroit and Grand Rapids, and he frequently travels downstate to visit with his clients. John works with a wide variety of clients, but he focuses on clients that are ages 45 and up and who are very focused on achieving a successful retirement.
John lives on Spider Lake just outside of Traverse City, MI with his wife Robin, two daughters Nicole & Danielle (Dee), and dogs Lexi & Taco. John is involved with a number of things including being a Eucharistic Minister and past member of the Pastoral Council at Christ the King Catholic Church. He is past President of the School Advisory Board for GTACS (Grand Traverse Area Catholic Schools) as well and past Chairman of their Technology Committee and currently serving on their Finance Committee & Capital Campaign Committee. John is a past board member of TAGS (Traverse Area Girls Softball), and recent retiree as a 15-year volunteer for East Bay Township as both an EMT and Firefighter. John’s personal hobbies include: downhill skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, hunting, mountain and road bicycling, inland lake and big lake boating, and riding his 2003 Harley Davidson Heritage Springer.
John invites all interested parties to call today at (800) 968-0983 to schedule a complimentary consultation.
*As reported by Financial Planning magazine, June 1996-2017, based on total revenue.