When Special Care Is Needed: The Special Needs Trust It May Be Time for a Financial Checkup

Meet Our Team

Laurie Ellis-McLeod

Founder, Owner & CEO of AERIE Preferred Financial Group

Shuhan Liu

Intern & Graduate Student in Accounting at UW-Madison

Benjamin Rogan

Intern & Senior at UW-Madison Majoring in Personal Finance

Our fee-based firm offers personal wealth management services, including investment management and comprehensive financial planning, retirement services for individuals and businesses and specialized services such as social security income planning, long term care strategies, and tax planning.  In addition to specializing in serving business owners, the firm has long focused on holistic planning and is dedicated to creating customized financial strategies designed to help individuals to protect their wealth while maximizing retirement income.

Everything we do at AERIE is about challenging the status quo~ We believe in thinking differently!

What sets us apart? Expertise, Relationships, Vision.

    • As an independent financial firm- We are passionate about changing your experience of retirement income planning, estate and trust planning, custom wealth services, and full-circle financial planning
    • As the founder- I believe everyone has the right to excellent advice and help when it comes to preserving their financial legacy and future
      • Since inception, AERIE has been on a mission to change the way you think and feel about your wealth building process
    • Transparency & Trust are the way we develop lasting relationships with our clients
      • You will realize these benefits over and over working with us!

How Do We Help?


  • Dedicated to assisting with retirement strategies of all types
    • 401(k)s, Roth IRAs, Long Term Care, Tax Planning, & Social Security, Income planning, Estate Financial Planning;
  • Coordinating retirement accounts with other assets to:
    • Increase growth and preserve wealth
    • Facilitate tax-efficient transfers of wealth to next generations
  • Tax-efficient strategies for business owners and executives for retirement investing

What sets AERIE and Laurie apart from the pool of financial advisors out there?

  • Unique set of qualifications and education
    • M.A., Ph.D., AIF, & RFC
  • Locally owned with no big-company interests to fulfill
    • Able to offer an impressive variety of products and services
  • Client specialization
    • Baby Boomers, business owners, women, seniors

Laurie’s true uniqueness comes with her compassion. In addition to regularly mentoring interns since founding her practice, Laurie donates her time and resources by teaching and hosting seminars on multiple financial topics throughout the year. Combining this compassion with her education, experience, and Midwestern values, AERIE assists clients and businesses with developing their own plans for success in retirement. This process starts by simply assessing your current situation and identifying your goals, without sales pressure or product-hype. The advice you receive will increase your opportunities while mitigating risks.

As your Independent Advisory firm, We want to make a positive difference in your life by helping you make informed decisions about your money so that you can pursue your goals, avoid costly mistakes, and fulfill personal values. 


"Your Financial Future

~ Your Life's Legacy."

Proud Member of The National Ethics Association 

We are committed to maintaining the highest standards of integrity and professionalism in our relationship with you, our client.

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BBB Accredited Business

Our A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau displays our trustworthiness and our commitment to satisfying the needs of our clients.

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IARFC Member

As a member of the International Association of Registered Financial Consultants, we are trained to help our clients wisely "spend, save, invest, insure and plan for the future to achieve financial independence and peace of mind."

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Educational Seminars Regularly Offered:

Retirement Basics for Everyone
Investment Fundamentals
Social Security and How to Optimize Your Benefit

Estate Planning and Your Finances
How Secure is Your Nest Egg In The New Retirement?
Retirement Essentials for Women
Your Retirement $ Are Not Stuck For Life
Girl$ Just Want To Have Fund$

Conference Teaching:
Smart Money Women Conference 2014, Madison WI

Regular Presentations at UW-Madison, area Assisted Living and Independent Living Communities, Madison Area Libraries, Dane Co area Senior Centers.

Please Contact Us to plan your next Educational Financial Seminar! (608.556.5411)


We create strategies tailored to your goals.

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Without obligation to any specific company we put your needs first. We work for you.

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We enjoy building trusted relationships that span generations.

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We are licensed to sell Insurance Products in the following states:
Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Tennessee, Wisconsin.

We are registered to sell Securities in the following states:
Georgia, Illinois, Minnesota, Tennessee, Wisconsin.

Make Smart Choices with your Madison Business

Find my book, Make Smart Choices with your Madison Business on Amazon today! Make Smart Choices with your Madison Business is filled with valuable insights from business owners and other professionals in Madison. So check it out and enjoy their stories, their knowledge, and their passion in these interviews.

Find it here!

Intern Reflections

"Interning at AERIE Preferred Financial Group was a valuable and rewarding experience. My internship has given me the opportunity to see so much more about the Wealth Management and Financial Planning field than what I am able to learn in the classroom and gain hands-on experience in maintaining a financial statement for both budgeting and tax purpose. The supportive environment Laurie created within the organization helped me grow both personally and professionally." - Yudan Ding, former intern at AERIE.


"I would like to say thank you so much for everything you have done to teach me about your career and the financial planning industry overall. This was the perfect first step of my career and I couldn’t thank you enough for that…. you did an amazing job of answering any questions I had and going deep into explanation with your answers so I learned more than I was expecting. You also gave me exposure to all the different aspects of the career (accounting, marketing, account paperwork, online software, etc.) which was great experience that I am sure to use in my career." - Emily Samuels, former intern at AERIE.


"Establishing trust and confidence is imperative in this industry and are the values sought-out most by the best financial institutions. Laurie embodies these qualities and learning these skills at AERIE Preferred is what subsequently landed me my position in investment banking" - Andrew Hipke, former intern at AERIE.


"What struck me most about my experiences at AERIE was the hours in relationship development with other professionals and clients. Anyone I spoke to had high regards for Laurie and knew she cared about them and their financial well-being" - Matthew Petrosky, former intern at AERIE.

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