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Dramatically Simplifying Your Financial Life


Wealth is complex. Let us manage the details to simplify your life.

Financial Planning & Investment Management - Based in Chicago, Available Wherever

As an attorney, trader or other successful professional, you want to relish life today while preparing for a safe and satisfying tomorrow. You have an abundance of ideas. We take the time to listen – really listen – to help you achieve all that is possible for you. This is called our Cogent Conversation®.

Together, we’ll capture your stellar earnings and build durable wealth, connecting what you've worked so hard to accumulate with everything you want to accomplish in your life.

An Integrated Approach to Your Complex Wealth

We take into consideration tax efficiency, risk management, legacy goals and more, to help you invest, protect, spend and transfer your personal wealth. Coordinating a team of specialized professionals, we design specific solutions to address challenges and develop a Cogent Course of Action that is unique to you and your goals.

Click to get our report on how we help attorneys

Who We Help



Are you busy working in your everyday life building a career, family, and community? 

Do you find you’re having success in some areas but not in others?

Do you wish to capture your present opportunity for stellar earnings and build durable wealth around a plan based on what you want in life?

Are you someone who believes your future is brighter than your past?


Sketched ven diagram with "Goals & Dreams", "Resources," and shaded in the middle is "Your One Best Financial Life"

The more you earn & own, the more complicated life becomes.

With increased wealth and assets comes increased complexity, and that complexity often brings with it an environment of uncertainty and confusion. You need investment and wealth management solutions that will simplify your life and the financial decisions you have to make. 

Do you understand how to balance personal & professional risk?

You should be looking for a wealth manager who specializes in working with successful, highly-motivated attorneys and professionals who understand how your risk-taking personality (which serves you so well in your career) can act against you as you seek to preserve and enhance your personal family wealth.

If you are looking to restore a sense of clarity, confidence and capability when it comes to your financial life - look to The Cogent Advisor.

If this sounds like you, schedule a call with an advisor and have your Cogent Conversation® today.


A Fee-Only Registered Investment Advisor with a Fiduciary Duty To Our Clients

At The Cogent Advisor, our mission is to partner with successful attorneys and other professionals who are motivated to dramatically simplify their financial lives in this increasingly complex world, so that they may focus on the people they love and the activities that give them joy. 

We are a fee-only, Registered Investment Advisor firm in a fiduciary relationship with you. That’s a mouthful of terms, but stick with it, because they mean quite a bit to you and your wealth.

What Fee-Only Means For You:

  • As a Registered Investment Advisor, we are required by law to act with undivided loyalty to you, our client, in a fiduciary relationship. This includes disclosing how we are compensated and revealing any conflicts of interest. 

  • We are not employees or agents of a large, financial institution; we are not required to promote anyone’s proprietary products.

  • We accept no commissions or other incentives that may tarnish our dedicated advice to you.

  • Our sole source of compensation is the fully transparent fee you pay us for the wealth management services we provide. That’s it. We have no hidden agendas.

  • We invest the same way as our clients. 

Most of all, we are dedicated to championing your highest interests in everything we do. 

Objective by design. Boutique by choice.

It can never hurt to obtain a professional second opinion from an objective source. As a part of our complimentary Cogent Conversation®, we’ll hear what you have to say and explore with you: Where you are today, where you’d like to go, and how can help you Simplify Your Complex Financial Life.

Delivering personal financial advice with understanding, privacy and the utmost care.

We help intelligent, inquisitive, and motivated professionals convert their stellar earnings into durable wealth for themselves and their family by balancing personal and professional market risks. We work with a select number of entrepreneurs, professionals, pro-athletes and celebrities, helping them to navigate through critical life and financial transitions. 

Your Personal Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

We see each of ourselves as Personal Chief Financial Officer (CFO). To help identify, plan, prioritize and realize each client’s unique goals: career, family, community, charitable activities and other passions.

We accomplish our mission by:

  1. Holding Cogent Conversations® to discover and align your wealth to archive all that is possible.

  2. Delivering Personal CFO levels of client care and wealth management oversight.

  3. Building situation-specific financial plans based on essential, important and aspirations personal goals.

  4. Construct and nurture sophisticated yet easy to understand evidenced-based investment portfolios to achieve your goals.

  5. Collaborating with dynamic teams of expert professionals to address your challenges and concerns.

Fee-only financial planners serving clients in the greater Chicago area and nationwide.

Michael J. Evans Photo

Michael J. Evans

The Cogent Advisor
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Michael J. Evans

The Cogent Advisor

Michael Evans is a Wealth Manager who acts as a Personal CFO for successful families who are motivated to dramatically simplify their financial lives to attain all that is important to them. He is the founder of The Cogent Advisor, a fee-only, independent Registered Investment Advisory firm in Chicago.

A successful entrepreneur himself, Michael has a deep understanding of highly motivated clients and is passionate in helping them:

  • Take a holistic view of their lives
  • Capture stellar earnings & build durable wealth
  • Balance personal & professional risk

Michael’s wealth management philosophy was born when positioning his own family to capture the success of his 20-year career as a proprietary trader at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. He recognizes that the mindset needed to accumulate wealth is much different than the one necessary to preserve it - especially important for professionals, entrepreneurs, athletes and others whose careers rely on an individual’s unique abilities. Witnessing many fellow traders struggle with and in many cases watching them fail in their financial lives, he pursued his proclivity to protect and advance other’s financial well-being: he never wanted to see this happen to anyone again.

Michael founded The Cogent Advisor, a boutique wealth management firm in 2010. Michael studied in the heart of Chicago, one of the most dynamic business centers in the world, earning his BS and graduate certificate in Financial Planning from DePaul University's Driehaus College of Business. He currently serves on the DePaul University Finance Advisory Board and is a director of The Irish Fellowship of Chicago and board member of its Educational and Cultural Foundation.

Michael is first and foremost a family man; giving much time to his wife and their three children. He is further blessed with excess energy, which he channels to downhill skiing, cycling traveling and to any other outdoor adventure his curiosity leads him. 

Kelly Stanley, CFP® Photo

Kelly Stanley, CFP®

Wealth Advisor
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Kelly Stanley CFP®

Wealth Advisor

Kelly joined The Cogent Advisor in 2015 to contribute her distinct skill sets and a shared passion for engaging individuals from all walks of life in Cogent Conversations®. She brings our clients her extensive financial planning know-how, as well as her specialized experience at helping women achieve financial independence, especially during difficult transitions such as divorce or widowhood. “I especially enjoy helping clients connect their money with their life and confidently apply their wealth to living out their values,” says Kelly.



Prior to joining the Cogent Advisor, Kelly gained more than 15 years of experience in personal and corporate finance, including seven years as a financial planner for a Chicago advisory firm. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional, with an MBA from Saint Xavier University and a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She counts her parents as among her most important life mentors. Recalling how her father even used selling the family car as a teaching moment, she says, “Both my parents encouraged us to pursue education and become financially independent.”


Kelly enjoys getting involved in her community.  She co-founded and is the former president of Chicago's Southside Women's Business Alliance and is the former treasurer for A New Direction, a grassroots organization combatting domestic violence.  She is currently an active volunteer with her children's school and assists as needed with their extra-curricular activities. In her free time, Kelly enjoys traveling and is an enthusiastic photographer, an interest she inherited from her mother. She and her husband also enjoy attending their son’s and daughter’s sporting activities. Last but not least, Kelly values a healthy lifestyle, reserving time daily for varied fitness activities.

Allen Regan, CFP® Photo

Allen Regan, CFP®

Portfolio Advisor
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Allen Regan CFP®

Portfolio Advisor

Allen will primarily be working behind the scenes at The Cogent Advisor, helping us build and maintain our clients’ custom-crafted, globally diversified investment portfolios. 



Allen brings us – and our clients – a wealth of prior experience as an evidence-based portfolio and wealth advisor for two of our fellow BAM ALLIANCE member firms, including BAM’s affiliated advisor firm, Buckingham Asset Management. He also is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ practitioner with a bachelor’s degree in Finance.


As a family man with a beautiful baby daughter, Allen and his wife expand on The Cogent Advisor family in more ways than one. In his spare time, Allen enjoys spending time with friends and family, and considers any day on the water a day well spent.

Kelly Gosiewski Photo

Kelly Gosiewski

Client Relationship Specialist
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Kelly Gosiewski

Client Relationship Specialist

After working several years in the Financial Services Industry, Kelly graduated from the University of Akron with a B.A in Psychology.  She spent 11 years in the U.S. Military and six years working as a Director of Administration in the manufacturing industry before eventually returning to her roots in financial services.  

She now brings her experience in operations, accounting, benefits administration and recordkeeping to The Cogent Advisor Team where she enjoys navigating the paperwork maze of establishing and managing client accounts to ensure they have an easy, effective, and enjoyable experience.



When she’s not taming the paperwork dragon, you can find her spending time with family, embarking on creative adventures with her young children, and brandishing her culinary skills with friends. She is passionate about supporting her local business community where she served as the former Executive Director for a small town Chamber of Commerce. She continues to support the local community through involvement in local tourism groups, community development initiatives, and non-profit organizations.

How We Help You




Our Cogent Course of Action™ Simplifies Your Financial Life

We work with you to prioritize and address your most pressing issues. In time, we will help you take deliberate action, not only with your investments but across every aspect of your financial well-being. 

A well-defined process is vital to bringing discipline and accountability to our relationship with you. At The Cogent Advisor, we’ve developed a Cogent Course of Action that will help you connect all of your available assets with your highest aspirations. We know that it’s the independence -- not necessarily the dollars themselves that matters most. We will focus the Cogent Course of Action on five different areas:  

  1. Preserving lifetime wealth by making smart decisions

  2.  Minimizing income and estate taxes

  3.  Protecting earnings and guarding against unjust takings of your wealth

  4. Preserving your legacy and transferring wealth consistent with intentions

  5. Making charitable giving more meaningful for those who are philanthropically minded

Diagram outlining the 5 step process The Cogent Advisor uses for financial planning

Discovery meeting icon


At our discovery meeting, you will describe the details of your current financial situation, where you want to go, and the challenges that stand in your way. Then we'll go deeper still, into the realm of your critical values, relationships, and lifelong dreams. Your discovery profile becomes a touchstone for our ongoing actions.

Second opinion icon


We'll use the information we gathered during discovery to present a detailed diagnosis of your current financial circumstances, along with an overview of how we would structure your wealth management moving forward. We will show you how on-going advanced planning will lead you to financial independence.

Implementation icon


Once you become a client, we will begin to implement Your Cogent Course of Action. This includes your personalized Investment Policy Statement – a living document to relate your investment portfolio to your essential, additional and aspirational financial goals.

Advanced Planning icon


Wealth management … advanced planning … investment strategy. In past relationships, you may have experienced these as isolated, one-time acts. With us, they become the ongoing focus of Your Cogent Course of Action. We work with you to prioritize and address your most pressing issues. In time, we help you take deliberate action, not only with your investments but across every aspect of your financial well-being.

Ongoing progress meeting icon


We meet regularly, so that we may report to you on the progress you are making toward your goals, continue your Cogent Course of Action according to your advanced planning needs, and bring in specialized resources as appropriate.

Wealth Management

Perhaps more than anything, wealth is freedom. Freedom to more richly experience your one and only life. At The Cogent Advisor, we offer a fresh approach to wealth management by combining your planning parts -- your investments, your relationships and your advanced planning needs into a unified whole. 

Investment Management

We ground our investment management in the seasoned academic evidence on how capital markets have rewarded investors over the long-term for taking appropriate levels of market risk. Successful professionals and their families can and often should offset their heightened levels of career-time risks with cogently constructing personal portfolios. Academic evidence has demonstrated that much of investing is beyond control, especially when it comes to forecasting an essentially unknowable future.

How does evidence-based investing and traditional active investing differ? Take a look at this Infographic  to compare the two styles.


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Schedule a Call to Have a Cogent Conversation® Today


Are you ready to simplify your complex financial life?


The Cogent Advisor
233 South Wacker Drive
84th Floor
Chicago, IL 60606