Advisor Craig Johlfs Ranked No. 43 in Colorado on Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Advisors List

Congratulations to Craig Johlfs
Craig S. Johlfs, CFP®
Johlfs Financial Group, Greenwood Village, CO

Total assets under management: $300 million
Team at-a-glance: 5 licensed advisors, 2 support staff, 3 branch offices

His group and approach: Johlfs Financial Group is a team of advisors providing comprehensive financial planning designed to improve, optimize and balance clients' financial situations. The team emphasizes strategy over product; fiduciary stewardship is comprehensive in its process and keeps it objective in its recommendations. Johlfs Financial Group takes pride in relationships with clients and with the organic growth that powers much of the evolution of the practice. The team wants to take the complexity and frustration out of the picture so clients can be confident in their personalized financial plan. Financial planning, optimized.

About Craig: Craig started his practice from scratch in early 2007. He identified with Waddell & Reed, Inc.'s client-centric approach and emphasis on comprehensive financial planning. He also appreciated the extensive support and mentorship provided to new advisors. “I don't think I would be in the industry if it wasn't for some great mentorship from key field leaders over the years,” he says. As the industry changed, Waddell & Reed's business model evolved and grew as well, giving advisors broader access and greater control. Through mentorship, Craig has been able to develop a consistent and strategic action plan. To this day, he still follows a similar system. Craig became a financial advisor because he believes in the power of planning, positive habits, and self progress that ultimately is the path to financial freedom.

“Over the years, I have had opportunities to leave the firm but stayed because of the culture, support from the back office, advisor comradery and relationships with leaders in our local field offices,” he added. “Today, I'm proud to be partnered with a firm that is, and always has been, in it for the right reasons: Client-centric financial planning and stewardship in asset management within a supportive yet independent environment. Waddell & Reed provides advisors with the opportunity for DBA creation, giving them control over their individual and team branding. For those who don't know Waddell & Reed, or may think they do based on the past, I recommend getting to know the way the firm does business today. It's a new model, one I like to call Waddell & Reed: redefined.”

What's next for Johlfs? At the moment, Johlfs says he’s having a lot of fun toggling between being a CFP® practitioner, a business owner, and an investor. He’s shaping the practice to be a premier independent practice by constantly improving its model and continuously identifying ways to improve and optimize what it’s focused on.

His firm: Waddell & Reed, Inc. has a storied history as one of the oldest firms in the industry, dating to 1937, and one of the first firms to highlight financial planning as a profession beginning in the 1970s. Today, Waddell & Reed, Inc. is affiliated with parent firm Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. (NYSE: WDR).

While history continues to define its heritage and distinctive, familial culture, the firm has worked decisively in recent years to dramatically change and update its business model. Waddell & Reed affiliated financial advisors continue to emphasize personalized financial planning as a core tenet of the client/advisor relationship, as they have for decades. This has allowed regulatory requirements to blend seamlessly into its client-centric business model.

What's new is the way in which the firm fully emphasizes the freedom advisors have to manage their businesses, including building client relationships, determining their practice model and brand identity, and having access to a full-service, open-architecture platform.

This is supported daily through advisors’ ability to activate key support and expertise from an agile home office team. The result is a wealth management partner that works with and advocates for advisors. Through this model, Waddell & Reed has created a differentiated, independent model for skilled advisors.

This is perhaps most evident in the broad product selection now available in an open-architecture environment. Waddell & Reed offers a range of different advisory products that give advisors and their  clients access to nearly 5,000 mutual funds from more than 100 different families, along with a wide universe of ETFs and other general securities.

In the midst of this evolution, what hasn't changed is Waddell & Reed's dedication to advisors and their clients — a stewardship that the firm takes very seriously.

Craig exemplifies the passion and purpose Waddell & Reed values as a firm. His inclusion on the Forbes Best-In-State Wealth Advisor list is an immense source of pride firm-wide and a hard-earned achievement.

Investing involves risk, including the potential loss of principal, and there can be no guarantee that any investment or financial strategy will be successful.

The Forbes ranking of Best-In-State Wealth Advisors, developed by SHOOK Research, is based on an algorithm of qualitative criteria, mostly gained through telephone and in-person due diligence interviews, and quantitative data. Those advisors that are considered have a minimum of seven years’ experience, and the algorithm weighs factors like revenue trends, assets under management, compliance records, industry experience and those that encompass best practices in their practices and approach to working with clients. Portfolio performance is not a criterion due to varying client objectives and a lack of audited data. The awards are not based on any client experience and are not indicative of the advisor’s future performance. For 2020 there were 32,000 nominations received, based on high thresholds and qualifications, 7,556 invited to complete an online survey, 11,864 telephone interviews, 2,336 in-person interviews. Neither Forbes nor SHOOK receive a fee in exchange for rankings. For more complete information visit