Bridget Sullivan Mermel, CFP®, CPA

Ever since I was growing up in Mequon, Wisconsin, I have been fascinated with money
and how people earn it, invest it, and spend it. Nothing got my attention like the stock market contest my econ teacher ran.

When I went to college, I wanted to learn as much about money and business as I could, so I majored in accounting and marketing. I had to take a writing class; creative writing was supposed to be an “easy A, ” so I signed up. Unlike the other business majors in the class, I loved it. My avocation was born.

In 1997, I started a tax practice. At the same time, I was drawn to writing about personal finance and fascinated by how people handle their money. As my practice developed, I was increasingly turned off by the financial services industry, yet increasingly aware of the need that clients had for good personal financial advice. From my perspective as a CPA, much of the industry seemed to be geared toward working with the super-wealthy, selling products of questionable value, or promoting schemes that benefited the sales person more than the customer.

Then I found out about fee-only financial advising, particularly ACA (the Alliance of Cambridge Advisors.)
Fee-only advisors are upfront about what clients are paying, so there are no hidden agendas. I felt an instant recognition of being among like-minded people. I’ve since joined ACA as well as NAPFA (the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, another fee-only group) and have developed my own fee-only financial advisory practice. I love it.

Degrees and designations
BA in Accounting and Marketing from the University of Wisconsin, Madison
Masters in Liberal Arts from DePaul University in Chicago.
Certified Financial Planner ™
Certified Public Accountant

Other experience
I worked at Peterson & Company supporting high-profile litigation, as a manager, then district manager at Starbucks during their start-up phase, and supporting derivatives trading at O'Connor & Associates.

Certified Financial Planner
ACP (Alliance of Comprehensive Planners)
(Served as President and member of the Board of Directors)
NAPFA (National Association of Personal Financial Advisors)
FPA (Financial Planning Association)
Lakeview Chamber of Commerce
(Served as Treasurer and member of the Board of Directors)
Small Business Advocacy Council
Dimensional Fund Advisors

See my writing
FI Guide

For fun
I love tennis, music, and reading!

The growing Sullivan Mermel, Inc team includes...

Kate Elliott Scherlis has always been interested in listening to people's stories, in organizing processes, and in analyzing data - and synthesizing these connecting ideas into strategies to improve people's lives.

Originally from Los Angeles, she earned a BA from Harvard-Radcliffe College (magna cum laude in history), and an MBA from Stanford University. Kate spent 10 years marketing food products before starting a marketing and business consulting business and raising her two sons. After working with family members organizing and managing their financial affairs, she earned her Certificate in Financial Planning from Boston University, passed the CFP® exam, and founded Elliott Smith Associates, a Registered Investment Advisor practice in Boston, MA. She is also a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), the Financial Planning Association, and the Alliance of Comprehensive Planners.

Janet Newell is a former small business owner in the senior services industry where she assisted hundreds of seniors and their families through challenging transitions. She also has a strong financial background through education and experience in corporate banking. Janet loves making a positive difference in people’s lives and enjoys helping others meet their financial and personal goals. It is her love of helping people and strong interest in all aspects of financial planning that led her to holistic financial planning.

Janet earned a Certificate in Financial Planning from DePaul University and passed the CFP® exam. She earned a BS in Finance from Illinois State University and an MBA from DePaul University. She is a member of the Financial Planning Association and the Alliance of Comprehensive Planners.

Erica Heatwole CPA joined Sullivan Mermel, Inc. after years in the commercial lending. Dedicated, and well-organized, she has a background in customer service and problem solving.

Want to get in touch? Check out Contact

Fee-only Financial Planner in Chicago, Illinois | 773-404-9344