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The Milwaukee Company: 

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Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason so few engage in it.

-Henry Ford

The Milwaukee Company's approach to portfolio management is founded in our belief that investment strategies directed by academic research and thorough examination lead to better long-term results than those that rely on personal judgments and ad-hoc predictions. 

Unlike market prognosticators who base their investment advice on their ability to predict the future and outsmart the market, our evidence-based investment approach is founded on academics, statistics and the historical record.

We enjoy close personal relationships with many of our clients and are committed to delivering the highest standard of best practices for all of our investors and their families. Always putting their interests ahead of our own, we derive great satisfaction from our efforts on their behalf while providing state-of-the-art financial services.

By limiting the number of clients, we serve, we are able to develop close personal relationships with all of them. It is these relationships, combined with our founder's 30+ years of experience as an estate planning attorney, that gives us the expertise needed to provide our clients with the wide range of advice and services required to manage family wealth in today’s complex world.

What Makes Us Different

Our Strategies

I'm a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.

-Thomas Jefferson

We believe that rules-based asset allocation strategies that utilize economic data and market influencing factors such as volatility, momentum, market trends, and the business cycle have the potential to generate superior risk-adjusted returns than a pure “buy and hold” approach.


Our Unique Evidence-Based Strategies:

Core Strategies

Systematic Market Beta (SMB)

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Classic Asset Allocation Rebalancing (CAAR)

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Satellite Strategies

Fixed Income Trend Strategy (FIT)

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Market Target Strategy (MTS)

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Sector Rotation Strategy (SRS)

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Targeted Risk Strategy (TRS)

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Tactical Stock Strategy (TSS)

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Dynamic International Strategy (DIS)

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Learn More About Which Strategies are Best for You

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Advanced Core-Satellite Portfolio Construction

The Milwaukee Company uses a core-satellite approach when selecting the strategies to be used to manage our clients’ investments.

Core strategies are focused on generating returns that correspond to those generated by the market as a whole (“market beta”), but with less volatility.

Satellite strategies focus on generating “alpha” (that is, outperforming market beta) by utilizing well-established drivers of stock and bond returns such as momentum, value, and quality.

Our approach helps us create client portfolios that reduce volatility, taxes, and costs, delivering portfolios with less volatility than is typical when passively investing in the stock and bond markets as a whole via unmanaged index funds.

Benefits of Our Approach

  • Enhanced diversification from investing in multiple strategies, each with its own unique risk-management methodology that blends a set of broadly diversified, low-cost index-tracking ETFs.
  • Improved after-tax returns by reducing capital gains.
  • Avoidance of the specific risks associated with owning stocks of individual companies.

What Makes Us Different?

Most core-satellite investment philosophies involve a passive, index-tracking core portfolio with a long-term perspective, combined with active, risky stock-picking strategies as satellites that focus on short-term results. 

We create our core-satellite portfolios by combining our internally-developed strategies in a manner that reflects each client’s unique investment goals and tolerance for risk.


About Us

Our Story

The only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.

- Vince Lombardi

When our founder, Andrew Willms was in high school, you could often find him at swim practice, tinkering on old cars and motorcycles, or talking about investments with his father, Dennis, who at the time was the principal owner of The Milwaukee Company, Inc., a regional investment firm and member of the New York Stock exchange. Dennis impressed upon Andy that wise investing comes from research, statistics and historical evidence, and that attempts to “outsmart the market” typically fail.


Andy graduated from law school with honors, earned a Masters of Law degree in estate planning, and was elected as a fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel. In 1990, Andy started his own boutique estate planning law firm, which quickly developed a nation-wide reputation for innovation in the field of trust and estates law.


Shortly thereafter, Andy realized that in addition to tax and estate planning, his clients (and the heirs of former clients) also needed help managing their investments. Unable to find anyone who was interested in providing rules-based, academically sound, investment strategies at a reasonable fee, Andy decided to establish his own investment firm, and The Milwaukee Company was reborn.

Eventually, The Milwaukee Company’s growth inspired Andy to devote all of his time to wealth management. To that end, Andy sold his interest in the law firm to his former partner, Maureen O’Leary. Working together they are able to provide expertise in a broad range of disciplines, including portfolio management, tax and estate planning.  Maureen and Andy call their collaboration T.E.A.M. Work.

   

Meet Our Team

The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime. 

- Babe Ruth


Our employees are the reasons why The Milwaukee Company has the resources and analytics to help clients achieve their financial and wealth-management objectives.

Andrew Willms, JD., LL.M Photo

Andrew Willms, JD., LL.M

Founder & CEO
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Andrew Willms, JD., LL.M

Founder & CEO


“The important thing is to know what you know and know what you don’t know.” Warren Buffet.


Andrew Willms is The Milwaukee Company’s President and Chief Executive Officer, with primary responsibility for the management of client investments. He has been providing investment advice to individuals, families, trusts, charitable organizations and family holding companies for over 20 years.   He is a registered investment advisor, and has been designated as Chartered Wealth Manager by the GAFM Global Academy of Finance and Management. 

Mr. Willms is also an attorney with over thirty years of legal experience in the areas of estate planning, charitable giving, corporate law, and taxation law.  He has been recognized by both Best Lawyers and SuperLawyers attorney ranking services as one of America’s top estate planning lawyers.

Andy is married with 3 children and one grandchild.  His interests outside of work include long distance running, car and motorcycle collecting, boating and snowmobiling.

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Shrey Patel

Chief Portfolio Manager
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Shrey Patel

Chief Portfolio Manager


“Luctor et emergo” (Latin motto of the Dutch province of Zeeland which translates to “I struggle and emerge”.)


Shrey Patel is the Chief Portfolio Manager of The Milwaukee Company whose primary responsibility is to design, implement, and execute investment strategies as well as manage client portfolios. He has been with the firm since 2014, serving under various capacities before assuming the current role in 2018.

Having earned both a Masters degree in Finance from IIT Stuart School of Business (Chicago) and a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Engineering, Mr. Patel brings an agile, research backed and an integrated approach to quantitative investment management. He also holds a Series 65 license.

Outside of work, Mr. Patel and his wife enjoy experimenting with new cuisines and travel, especially exploring national parks. His other hobbies include golf, tennis, and cricket.

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Seth Mitra

Portfolio Manager
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Seth Mitra

Portfolio Manager 


Seth Mitra is a portfolio manager with The Milwaukee Company.  As such he collaborates with our Chief Portfolio Manager (CPM) in connection with the management of client portfolios.  Seth also assists with the research, development, evaluation, and implementation of The Milwaukee Company’s proprietary investment strategies.  In addition, he oversees all client reporting activities and plays a key role in ensuring the firm remains in compliance with all applicable state and federal securities laws and regulations.

Seth is originally from Calcutta, India and he has lived in the UK, Ireland, and the US east coast before relocating to the Milwaukee area.  Seth holds a master’s degree in finance from Trinity College Dublin in Ireland and has previously worked in different roles within wealth and investment management prior to starting at TMC.  Outside of work, Seth enjoys reading non-fiction, travelling, visiting art and history museums, and going to baseball games.

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James Picerno

Director of Analytics
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James Picerno

Director of Analytics


James plays a lead role in the development of mathematical models used by The Milwaukee Company for strategy development and assessment, as well as risk management and stress testing of client portfolios.  A former financial journalist, he has been analyzing finance and macroeconomic topics since the early 1990s and is the author of three books on markets, the business cycle and using R computer code for data analysis. 

 

James is married and has two daughters. His interests include traveling, reading, photography and refining his computer-coding skills. He's also a musician and plays guitar and piano.

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Jake Willms

Quantitative Analyst
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Jake Willms

Quantitative Analyst


"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." — Benjamin Franklin 


Jake Willms is The Milwaukee Company’s Quantitative Analyst.  Jake attended Arizona State University and was a member of Barrett, the Honors College. He earned bachelor’s degrees in both finance and economics from the W.P. Carey School of Business, as well as a master’s degree in Finance.  In addition, Jake studied financial programming at DePaul University and earned a second master’s degree in Computational Finance. 

Jake writes computer code used by The Milwaukee Company to develop, analyze, and monitor our unique investment strategies.  In his free time Jake enjoys playing tennis, watching sports, and videogames. 

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Laura Zakrajsheck

Operations Manager
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Laura Zakrajsheck

Operations Manager


"Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the weeds that you plant" - Robert Louis Stevenson


Laura Zakrajsheck serves as The Milwaukee Company’s Operations Manager.  She is available to assist The Milwaukee Company’s clients with administrative account-related matters.  Laura also assists in matters pertaining to compliance; helping to ensure our firm meets or exceeds all federal and state mandated regulations and best practices.  She graduated from St. Norbert College with a bachelor of arts degree.

Laura has worked with Andy for over 20 years.  She began working with Andy as a paralegal and when Andy started to assist clients with their investments’ she split her time between the law firm and the investment side.  As Andy’s wealth management practice grew, Laura dedicated all her efforts to what is today known as The Milwaukee Company.

Outside of work Laura enjoys gardening, reading, and since the pandemic, puzzles.  She also enjoys spending as much time with her family as she can.

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Andrea Storey

Financial Administrative Assistant
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Andrea Storey

Financial Administrative Assistant


“The world would be a nicer place if everyone had the ability to love as unconditionally as a dog.” – M.K. Clinton


Andrea Storey is The Milwaukee Company’s Financial Administrative Assistant. As such, she assists with investment management services, the administration of client accounts, and client development. 

Andrea’s interests outside of work include fostering and volunteering through Rescue Gang, hiking, sewing, and taking last minute road trips with her dogs. She is an animal lover with 3 dogs of her own. Andrea also cares for fosters dogs while they await a new home through Rescue Gang, and frequently introduces them to her co-workers at the office.

Michael Willms Photo

Michael Willms

Intern
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Michael Willms

Intern


“The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.” Vince Lombardi


Michael Willms is an intern with The Milwaukee Company and is currently pursuing a finance degree at Marquette University. He was born and raised in Grafton, Wisconsin and graduated from Grafton High School in 2019. 

Mike’s interests outside of work include watching and participating in a variety of sports, including basketball and tennis. He is also an accomplished competitive video gamer, and while at Marquette has been the captain of the university’s Varsity League of Legends Esports team.







Our Approach

Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny should take a few pointers from the [actively managed] mutual fund industry. All three are trying to pull off elaborate hoaxes. But while Santa and the Bunny suffer the derision of eight-year-olds everywhere, [stock pickers] still have an ardent following among otherwise clear-thinking adults.

-Jonathan Clements

The Milwaukee Company has developed unique data-driven, rules-based investment strategies that strategically adjust allocations to asset classes and market sectors in response to changing market conditions. Our strategies are supported by decades of academic research and extensive testing. We believe that attempts to buy winners and sell losers are more likely than not to fail. By contrast, a globally diversified portfolio that is intelligently adapted and rebalanced through time to reflect prevailing conditions tends to generate superior risk-adjusted results over time.

Investment Approach

Risk Management

Benchmarking

Tax Management

Reporting

Enhance the Possibilities of Your Investments

Begin With a Consultation

Our Principles

I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work, the more I have of it.

-Thomas Jefferson


1.

We believe that investment decisions directed by academic research and extensive testing will lead to better long-term results compared to those that are driven by personal judgments and predictions.

2.

Our investment advice is focused on: (i) generating superior risk-adjusted rates of return, and (ii) preserving wealth.

3.

We understand the importance of teamwork, and collaborate with the attorneys at O'Leary-Guth Law Office, S.C. to provide a wide range of key concierge services to manage, grow and transfer wealth.

4.

We believe that it is critically important to tailor the advice we provide to match each client’s personal goals and circumstances.

5.

We recognize that even the best investment performance can be undermined if taxes are not kept in mind.  Therefore, we avoid trades that would result in excessive ordinary income taxes, and carefully manage capital gains taxes. 

Our Mission

The Milwaukee Company was established to provide disciplined, family-focused wealth management with integrity and transparency.


Disciplined

We utilize strategic asset allocation strategies that are rules-driven and validated by academic research.

Family-Focused

We help families preserve wealth for current and future generations through risk-managed investing, tax and estate planning, and education.

Integrity

We serve as a fiduciary to our clients. As such, we are obligated to place our clients’ interests ahead of our own.

Transparency

We report to clients on how their investments are performing by providing unbiased, robust benchmarks. We openly disclose our fees.

Discover Our Commitment to Our Clients

Here’s what sets us apart:

Fee-Only

As a fee-only investment advisor, we do not accept commission or third party-compensation of any kind.

Fiduciary Standard

Our recommendations are guided only by what we believe is in your best interest.

Research

Our advice is based primarily on evidence gleaned from academic research conducted by us and others, rather than personal opinions and predictions.

Analytics

We monitor many widely accepted capital market risk signals and economic indicators and strategically adapt the portfolios we manage to changing market conditions.

Consistent

We invest our personal assets in accordance with the investment principles that we recommend to you.

Personal

We enjoy close personal relationships with each of our clients, and have a deep understanding of their circumstances, goals, and concerns.

Thorough

When making recommendations we consider the impact our advice will have on your financial, tax and estate planning objectives.

Up Front

We will fully disclose any potential conflicts between our interests and yours, in the event one should arise.

Interested in Learning More?

Read Our Client Relationship Summary

How We Work

Our Process

While all the chatter and excitement is taking place about big stocks, big gains and three baggers, long-term success really depends on not losing -- not taking major losses.  

-Charlie Ellis

Step One

Introductory Meeting

This meeting allows us to develop an understanding of our client’s objectives, investment experience, and overall circumstances.  At your introductory meeting, we will explain The Milwaukee Company’s investment philosophy and strategies, introduce you to the team members that will be working on your behalf, and explain how our TeamWork suite of services can provide you with comprehensive wealth management, including tax planning and return prep, comprehensive estate planning, and legal counsel on a broad range of subjects.1

1 Legal services and tax preparation are provided O'Leary-Guth Law Firm, S.C which is independently owned and operated. Fees charged by and paid to O’Leary-Guth, S.C. for legal services are separate and distinct from the fees charged by The Milwaukee Company for investment advisory services.

Step Two

Investment Objective and Risk Tolerance Evaluation

We use the information obtained in the initial meeting, along with the results of investment objective and risk tolerance assessments, to develop an understanding of your investment objectives and position on the risk-return spectrum.

Step Three

Develop Your Investment Policy Statement

After receiving a prospective client’s feedback regarding our assessment of their investment objective and risk tolerance, we develop a personalized Investment Policy Statement (“IPS”) that describes how we proposed to manage your investments. The IPS also sets out the personalized proposed model portfolio we have created for you using our unique core-satellite methodology, for your approval.

Step Four

Implement Your Portfolio

When you become a client, The Milwaukee Company will see to the transfer of your existing investments to Fidelity, who serves as the custodian of our client accounts. When those transfers are complete, we will implement your IPS.

The Milwaukee Company is not an affiliate of, or compensated by, Fidelity, and does not confer with Fidelity regarding client portfolios.

Step Five

Managing Your Portfolio

Once your Fidelity account has been funded, we will use the investment strategies chosen for you to strategically adapt your portfolio to changing market and economic conditions. We will also keep a close eye on many widely accepted capital market risk signals and economic indicators for signs of exceptional conditions that may warrant strategic adjustments to your investments beyond those directed by our rules-based strategies.


Step Six

Reporting To You

The Milwaukee Company’s clients receive monthly account statements and trade confirmations directly from Fidelity Investments. In addition, The Milwaukee Company  provides clients with monthly activity and performance reports generated using Morningstar’s highly regarded portfolio reporting software. Both are readily accessible 24/7 via a secure web portal.

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Fee Structure

The Milwaukee Company’s current fee schedule for clients for whom we manage assets valued at greater than $1,000,000 is as follows:

Value of Investment Portfolio

Fee as a Percentage of Client Assets Under Management

First $1,000,000 0.75%
Next $1,500,000 0.60%
Next $2,500,000 0.50%
Next $10,000,000 0.40%
Next $85,000,000 0.35%

A flat fee of 0.90% is charged for clients for whom we manage assets valued in total at less than $1,000,000. We are not well-suited to assisting investors with investible assets of less than $500,000.


The Milwaukee Company does not charge a fee for cash or cash equivalents held in an account (except in those instances where a cash equivalent investment is a result of a strategic decision).

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Quizzes

For the most efficient and effective portfolio, an analysis of risk is just as important as the estimate of rates of return.1


Having a solid understanding of your investment objectives and tolerance for risk is essential for your investments to be managed in a way that you are comfortable with and that will help you achieve your financial goals.  The following quizzes help clarify your investment objectives and tolerance for risk. For the most accurate results, please take all three quizzes, starting with Financial Goals, then Investment Objectives, and then Risk Tolerance.

1 James B. Cloonan, Measures of Portfolio Risk and How You Can Apply Them, American Association of Independent Investors, July 2002.

Organize Your Investment Objectives

Financial Goals are your personal, specific life goals that you aim to accomplish through your investments, such as saving for college or building wealth for retirement.

Identify Your Investment Objectives

“Investment objective” refers to the purpose, goals and expectations that drives the decision to invest in publicly traded securities.

Discover Your Risk Tolerance

“Risk tolerance” refers to an investor's willingness to risk losses in an effort to generate returns from their investments.

Please note that the quizzes found on this site are not intended to provide comprehensive financial advice. It is also important to revisit your investment objectives and risk tolerance as your circumstances change. You should not take any action based on these quizzes before talking to a financial professional who is familiar with your situation.

Please note that the quizzes found on this site are not intended to provide comprehensive financial advice. It is also important to revisit your investment objectives and risk tolerance as your circumstances change. You should not take any action based on these quizzes before talking to a financial professional who is familiar with your situation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What Differentiates The Milwaukee Company from other investment advisors?

  • Our philosophy emphasizes the way portfolios are built and managed over stock picking. In short, we avoid swinging for the fences in favor of a higher batting average over medium and long-term horizons.

  • For the most part, our client portfolios are invested in low-cost exchange-traded funds that track well-established market indexes such as the S&P 500, the NASDAQ 100 Index, and Bloomberg US Aggregate Bond Index.

  • We have developed our own rules-based, systematic investment strategies that utilize economic data and market-influencing factors, such as volatility, momentum, market trends and the business cycle to manage our client’s investments.

What types of services does The Milwaukee Company Provide?

In collaboration with O'Leary-Guth Law Office, S.C., we offer our clients a comprehensive set of financial and legal services, including portfolio management, tax advice and preparation, and a large variety of legal services, including estate planning, probate and trust administration, corporate law and succession planning. We call this collaboration our TeamWork program.

What is The Milwaukee Company most proud of?

The unique, enduring relationships we have with our clients and their families. We have represented some of our clients for decades and many of our long-time clients’ children and grandchildren have become clients as well.

Where does The Milwaukee Company custody their client’s assets?

Fidelity Investments serves as the custodian of our client accounts, but we are not otherwise affiliated with Fidelity, and do not receive compensation from them.

What does The Milwaukee Company charge for its services?

We are a “fee-only” advisor.  As such, we do not receive commissions or compensation from third parties or as a result of the investments, we make on behalf of our clients. We also refrain from paying third-party portfolio managers to assist us with the management of our client’s investments. 

The Milwaukee Company’s standard fee schedule can be found here.

Does The Milwaukee serve its clients in a fiduciary capacity?

Yes.  As such, we have a legal obligation to:

  • Put our clients’ best interests before own;

  • Act in good faith and provide all relevant facts to our clients; 

  • Avoid conflicts of interest and disclose any potential conflicts of interest to our clients; and

  • Do our best to ensure the advice we provide is accurate and thorough.

How does The Milwaukee Company keep clients informed about their investments?

Clients receive monthly account statements directly from Fidelity Investments, which provide detailed information on the current positions held in the account, trading activity, tax information and the like.

The Milwaukee Company also provides clients with monthly activity and performance reports that we generate using Morningstar’s software.  Clients also receive an annual report that details account activity and performance during the prior calendar year.

How does The Milwaukee Company stay in contact with its clients?

Because we have a limited number of clients, we are able to  communicate with them frequently. In person, video and telephone conferences are common. We also send our clients a weekly market update, a monthly newsletter, and our founder, Andrew Willms is the host of The Market Commentator podcast.

Does The Milwaukee Company consult with their clients before making trades?

Our clients can choose (i) to approve all trades before they are made,  (ii) limit our authority to make rebalancing trades only without prior approval, or (iii) give us full investment authority, in which case we are allowed to make trades without prior approval. Regardless of what level of trading authority we are given, we routinely consult with our clients about how we are managing their accounts.

What is Systematic Investing?

Systematic investing is a data-driven investment approach that utilizes academic insights, dynamic asset allocation and rigorous testing to formulate rules based, evidence supported investment strategies.


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TMC Career Opportunities


Are you interested in joining a great team?


We are regularly looking to hire. If you are interested in applying, submit your resume and cover letter, via email, to firm@themilwaukeecompany.com.