Our Founder

Michael J. Evans

I grew up in Chicago—and loved making the most of what a great city can offer. My marketing and finance classes at DePaul University led me to a fulfilling and financially successful 22-year career as a professional trader at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange.

I enjoyed it immensely, yet I often wondered and found myself concerned with what this would lead to for me and my family. Cognizant that few traders had longevity, I remained committed to making the most of this fantastic opportunity.

However, to overcome the investing challenges we all face, I also developed a passion for personal finance. As I continued to pursue my trading career, I spent a decade researching and exploring finance theory and personal wealth management strategies.

In late 2009, I knew it was time to focus my career on personal financial advising. I left the exchange and founded Cogent Strategic Wealth to serve high-achieving professionals like myself.

I had become disillusioned by what I saw coming out of Wall Street: Big banks and insurance companies were pushing bad investment advice and products. It was apparent that too many common practices, such as pushing products, encouraging harmful investment behaviors, and overly complicated or hidden fees, aren’t in a client’s best interest.

“It was my objective in founding Cogent Strategic Wealth to build a firm I would personally hire if I were looking for a financial advisor.” —Michael Evans

It can be challenging to avoid bad investment advice and poor financial planning information. I love guiding families who seek an objective, trustworthy advocate. It is my dream job to be a financial advisor, seeking to understand you and develop a plan tailored to your exact needs and aspirations.

I get great joy when I inspire and elevate successful individuals to define success and help them achieve it. For the rest of my life, I will be fascinated and motivated by spending my days engaged in discussion and conversation with talented, successful, and ambitious professionals.

Those who appreciate what we do together and those that reciprocate are some of my favorite people. I enjoy the one-on-one relationships I have developed with my clients. Many have become great friends.

Success should be a reward - not an obstacle

Your ambitions and struggles are unique, so our wealth solutions go beyond the conventional – they reflect your needs and wants.