Success Story: Rohlik Financial Group

This firm provides a wealth of knowledge and education to help clients plan their financial future. And they do it while maintaining a family-like atmosphere.

The team at Rohlik Financial Group helps to manage group retirement plans as well as individual wealth. Top row: Annie Furst, Brent Rohlik and Rachel Stoneberg. Bottom row: AJ Natter, Whitney Hoogland and Andy Irlbeck.

Brent Rohlik runs his business the same way he runs his life. “With hard work, integrity and faith,” he says.

These values, which he learned from his family while growing up on a farm in southern Minnesota, are the same values he tries to bring to his business, Rohlik Financial Group (RFG).

With 20 years of experience in investment advising, Rohlik combines both education and transparency to maximize clients’ interests.

Rohlik recently bought Palmer Klaas Financial Group, 4615 E. State Street, and now runs RFG’s Rockford operations out of this office.

“Once I met with Palmer and got to know him personally and his business model, it was quickly evident that this was going to be a great acquisition for us,” Rohlik says. “Our ethics and morals are in line and he ran a very ‘clean,’ compliant business, which makes this an easy transition for both parties.”

Rohlik worked in the insurance industry after college, and in 2009, saw his entrepreneurial dream come full circle when he started Rohlik Financial Group, LLC. The firm manages group retirement plans for several companies along with individual wealth management. RFG specializes in 401(k), 403(b), 457 and 529 plans, as well as individual insurance, brokerage accounts, annuities, mutual funds, IRAs and other investment needs.

“What sets us apart from others is that we have carved out a niche with our service model,” Rohlik says. “We are committed to ‘hands-on’ service, meaning that we are present at the companies we serve. Each month we meet in person with company employees to go through their statements, answer questions and offer advice on the products we manage.”

Providing education is one of the biggest ways in which RFG serves its clients.

“We really help our clients understand, ‘What is a 401(k)?’ and ‘How does the concept of matching funds work in my company?’ ‘What types of investments or mutual funds should I invest in at what age?’ We take a hands-on approach to our clients’ questions and concerns,” Rohlik says.

The eight RFG advisors are also expected to take a personal approach with clients. As the company grows – RFG now has offices in both Rockford and Minneapolis – Rohlik likes to maintain a family-like feeling among the staff, and this close-knit attitude extends to customers as well.

“We offer an 800 number that is tied in to both of our offices, so our clients talk to the same people on a regular basis. That way, our clients really build a relationship with their advisor and our advisors get to know their clients,” he says.

“I’ve never had any turnover in my company – it’s all people I know and trust who work for Rohlik Financial. This is very important, because I want our clients to know that they can trust us and we will put their needs above anything else.”

Navigating the uncertain waters of financial planning during the past 20 years has given Rohlik a unique perspective on the business.

“I started in this business in 2000, right before a huge market correction. Then I started RFG in 2009, right after another huge market correction, and we’re in another one of those periods now. I’ve been in the financial planning business for over half my life, I’ve been through some big ups and big downs, and I understand the market and what people are most concerned about.”

During a global pandemic, this knowledge particularly comes in handy. Rohlik notes that the performance of financial markets differs depending on what’s happening in a nation’s economy.

“A pandemic affects the market differently than a financial crisis or a banking crisis. We know these market corrections are going to happen, so we plan for them and we manage people’s financial portfolios accordingly. For each of our clients, we take into consideration their age, risk tolerance and ultimately their goals for investing before making our recommendations.”

One of the biggest changes Rohlik has seen during his tenure as an investment advisor is technological advances, which overall make RFG’s services more available to clients. With offices in two states, Rohlik can videoconference with clients at either location, which increases the business’s accessibility. He still prefers face-to-face contact, but the option to connect remotely adds value to clients.

Just as evolving technology has enhanced RFG’s business model, adopting an attitude of lifelong learning has helped Rohlik stay up-to-date with the latest market trends.

“When I started my company in 2009, I thought I knew about everything there is to know. Five years later, I realized I had learned even more, and today I realize that I’ve learned more beyond five years ago,” Rohlik reflects. “I think a good investment advisor is always learning more about the business and finding innovative ways to help their clients.”

Rohlik credits continuing education and mentors in his field for keeping him up-to-date and educated on the best ways to serve his clients.

“Educating myself in the business of wealth management is like learning the game of golf,” he says. “I love to golf, but I’m not a great golfer. I try to golf with great golfers, so I can pick up some pointers along the way.

“Stick to what you do well, be the best at it, and look for opportunities to expand your skills and knowledge. This is when growth happens,” Rohlik adds.

He acknowledges that financial planning can be a daunting task even for the most educated consumer.

“Many people feel intimidated, bewildered and overwhelmed at the thought of how to invest their money.,” he says. “Unfortunately, many people just do not want to deal with having to decide how to invest their savings. I would encourage those who are feeling this way to call us, meet with one of our advisors to get a better sense of what we can offer, and allow us to take some of the anxiety out of investment advising.”

“We’re here to help people. I feel good about what we do because I know we’re helping people navigate where and how to allocate their money,” Rohlik adds. “We base our business model on honesty, trust, customer service, education and transparency in the products we provide. I’m very proud that we are able to help our clients achieve their financial goals.”