Former Options Exchange Trader Launches Chicago-based Financial Advisory Firm

Don Zolfo, a native of Chicago, today announced the formation of an independent financial advisory firm – Midwest Investment and Business Advisors – based in his home city.

Zolfo spent almost three decades as a successful trader on The Chicago Board of Trade. He has 35 years of investing experience and taught derivative and advanced trading to financial experts from across the globe.

“It was the conversations of family members, close friends and associates that finally encouraged me to focus on financial advising and helping others with a systematic practice of wealth building,” he said. He joined another Chicago-based advising firm, where he worked for the past four years, quickly becoming a sought-after asset manager.

“The move made sense. As a trader, you must be sharp, driven, quick on your feet and confident. Those are the skills that investors seek to grow wealth. They deserve someone who knows the ins-and-outs of the business – someone who has the fundamental knowledge and investment expertise in the intricacies of how to successfully grow capital and reduce risk. Often, ‘name-brand’ firms employ salespeople who sell investment products. That’s not who I am,” he said. “I’m a fiduciary first and foremost. Helping people is what I love.”

His passion to share the knowledge he acquired from trading and teaching is what led him to founding Midwest Investment. “The successful people who turn to financial experts have earned the right to be treated with honesty and transparency. That’s one of our guiding principles at Midwest Investing. We explain the ‘hows and whys’ of the portfolio we build for you to ensuring you understand our costs – with no hidden commission fees, for example – we are truthful and upfront in all we do,” he said

Zolfo said the business philosophy of the new firm is reflected in its name. “For us, our Midwestern roots and values are the foundation of our business. Midwesterners are honest, trustworthy and friendly. And we work hard. When we ask a question, we truly want to hear the answer. So we listen. Our philosophy is simple. Honor those things that Midwesterners are appreciated for and let them be reflected in how we conduct ourselves with our clients every day,” he said.

The firm offers an array of services, including investment planning and management, wealth preservation, tax efficient investing, options income strategies, business succession planning and estate planning, among others.

 But it is Midwest Investment’s signature Wealth Builder Program that sets it apart from others. Zolfo said that in the next 10 to 15 years, it is estimated that about $62 trillion will be transferred from baby boomers to the next generation. “Because of our foundational wealth builder strategy, we have the unique ability to engage investors and business owners seeking a succession plan in mutually beneficial way. Additionally, we know that clients have different wealth building needs based on their objectives at different stages of their lives. Our Wealth Building Program is tailored to each of the stages of personal and business growth,” he added.

Midwest Investment is partnering with North Little Rock, Arkansas’s Sowell Management, a nationwide leader and pioneer in the Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) space, which was recently named by Barron’s as a Top 100 RIA. “Sowell is a powerhouse in the RIA space and will provides back-office services such as billing, account management and best-in-class technology to Midwest.”

Bill Sowell, CEO and president of Sowell Management, said Midwest Investment “is a firm that shares Sowell’s core principles of honesty and transparency and will be an asset to those looking for a respected firm for solid, reliable asset management. We are excited to be beginning this partnership with wealth managers who have such a high caliber of knowledge and experience,” Sowell said.

 Zolfo said Midwest Investment’s team also includes Fidelity Investments, one of the largest custodians of investment advisory assets. They will provide custodial, operational, practice management and trading support. “Together, we are able to provide clients five-star service, and we are excited to be doing it right here in Chicago,” he said.

Zolfo said he is a “Chicago man through and through.” He is passionate about travel and classic cars and is a wine master, having honed the skills from his grandfather who immigrated to the U.S. from Italy. “If you know me, you know I love my Italian heritage, my big family, New Orleans food and any beach anywhere,” he chuckled. Mostly, though, he appreciates community. His leadership in his church and with multiple local organizations has made him a community leader.

Midwest Investment and Business Advisors is located in New Lenox, Illinois.