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We Treat You like Family Our roots in full-service financial planning go back decades

Forest Asset Management (FAM) is a family of professionals who help clients make smart decisions with their money. We are a comprehensive wealth management firm located in Chicago’s near west suburbs. We serve individuals, families, and businesses with our deep knowledge in financial planning, tax, risk management, retirement planning, and investment advice. 

We make a personal commitment to every client and constantly educate ourselves to stay at the top of our field.  We manage our client’s financial lives utilizing exceptional resources and affiliations, which helps us achieve their goals.  

As a fee-only financial advisor, we accept no commissions or revenue sharing of any kind.   Our loyalty is to you, the clients, and not to companies promoting their products.  Your best interests are our top priority.

At Forest Asset Management, we know the financial decisions you make now will have major consequences on your and your family’s future plans. We take that responsibility very seriously. We guide you through your complex financial life and help you weigh the pros and cons of your particular situation. Let’s work together to cultivate your financial growth.

Our Values


Integrity

Our clients receive value-added services and solutions that span across all areas of financial planning.

Transparency

The advice we give is easy to understand, as we break down your complex problems into manageable parts.

Care

We have deep relationships with our clients, down to knowing their children and working on their behalf or in conjunction with their other trusted advisors.  

We noticed a need

And realized we were the solution

Financial Planning & Investment Management 


We started Forest Asset Management in 2006 because we saw a recurring issue among our CPA clients. We gave clients financial planning advice for years, but had no way to monitor a client’s progress. Further, the brokerage industry didn’t understand the nuances that tax efficient strategies play in overall wealth management. It’s not what you make, but what you keep after paying taxes. We established FAM as a way to create, implement, and monitor an investment strategy and comprehensive financial plan.

Since that time, FAM has taken root and grown beyond CPA clients. We help our clients make the most of their wealth through financial, investment, and tax advice as an independent investment advisor, as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP®).

Today, many small business owners rely on our firm to manage their personal assets as well as their company retirement plans. We serve many high net-worth individuals, established professionals, retirees, and younger active wealth accumulators.

We have the credentials and experience to help you in all aspects of financial planning. We are committed to our family of clients the way our clients are to theirs.


As sister and brother, we have worked together professionally for over 20 years. We have FAM as an acronym for our business name because we truly believe in family as key to our work.

We hold credentials as both Certified Public Accountants (CPA) and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS (CFP®). As CPA and CFP® credential holders, we are well positioned to help clients address their financial planning needs in an unbiased and knowledgeable manner. 

JoAnn May, CPA/PFS, MBA, CFP® Photo

JoAnn May, CPA/PFS, MBA, CFP®

Financial Planner
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JoAnn May, CPA/PFS, MBA, CFP®

JoAnn specializes in holistic financial planning, with an emphasis on retirement/IRA planning and utilizing tax-efficient investment strategies. She provides these services with a focus on how financial decisions play a part in her clients overall financial health.  After all, financial and physical wellbeing are related, and money stress can manifest its way into physical problems.

Prior to founding Forest Asset Management, JoAnn started her career as a Certified Public Accountant with KPMG followed by a management position at Trans Union. After years in the corporate accounting environment, JoAnn moved on to personal finance, specializing in tax-related issues at the firm Pesavento & Pesavento LTD, which is where she grew her passion for financial planning.  In 2006, JoAnn and her partner and brother, Mark Pesavento, started Forest Asset Management, to provide more in-depth financial services to their clients.

JoAnn is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and has an MBA in Finance from DePaul University.

Her professional affiliations include the American Institute of CPAs (AICPA), Illinois CPA Society, and the Financial Planning Association (FPA). She is a Master Elite Advisor with the Ed Slott Advisor Group, an organization of financial advisors dedicated to being leaders in the IRA industry. 

JoAnn’s hobbies and interests revolve around the great outdoors including pickleball, hiking, biking, and kayaking on local rivers. JoAnn and her husband Peter met in college and have been married since 1988. Peter owns and operates a nuts-and-bolts importer and distributor south of Chicago. Peter and JoAnn instilled a love for travel and learning about new cultures in their children, and they continue traveling together across the globe as a family. Their son Tyler, is a graduate of Miami University’s Farmer School of Business, and works with JoAnn as an Associate Wealth Manager at Forest Asset Management.  Their daughter Julia, graduated from the College of William & Mary in Virginia and is now a medical student at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago.  Last but not least, there's Luca, the family Yorkiepoo, who spends his days at the office sleeping under JoAnn's desk and greeting clients at the front door!

Mark S. Pesavento, CPA/PFS, MST, CFP® Photo

Mark S. Pesavento, CPA/PFS, MST, CFP®

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Mark S. Pesavento, CPA/PFS, MST, CFP®

With more than 40 years of experience, Mark concentrates his expertise in tax and business consulting.  A CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER (CFP®) since 1978, Mark has been coaching people on comprehensive financial planning and wealth management throughout his entire career. 

Mark and his wife Elaine started a CPA tax and accounting firm in 1976 before they merged and sold their ownership after 40 years. In 2006, Mark united with his sister, JoAnn, to build FAM into a firm that closes the gap in clients’ wealth management needs. Together, they focus on providing clients with the professional guidance and evidence-based investment solutions that help them achieve their goals. 

Mark’s personal approach to wealth management is to always treat people like family, and he is grateful to consider many clients his close personal friends. It is especially rewarding to Mark when he is able to serve the children and grandchildren of his longest-standing clients.

He has three sons – Jim, Bob and Andy. Jim, married with one child, earned his Ph.D. in biophysics with post-doctorate research at the University of California at Berkeley and now teaches at Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga. Bob and his wife are both CPA/ MBAs living in Geneva, Switzerland and working in the corporate world. Andy is getting married in September 2018 and has returned to the classroom studying computer information systems.  

Mark enjoys golfing, fishing, reading, traveling, and spending time outdoors at the family cottage in Fish Lake, Indiana. He also looks forward to every opportunity to spend time with his grandchild in California.

Tyler C. May Photo

Tyler C. May

Associate Wealth Advisor
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Tyler C. May

Associate Wealth Advisor 


Tyler is our newest team member at Forest.  Tyler's role is extremely client-facing. Tyler is in charge of onboarding new clients, directly assisting in client's everyday needs, monitoring account transfers, improving efficiencies, client reporting, and marketing.  In addition to this, Tyler is responsible for utilizing and administering new technology platforms in order to enhance the overall client experience.

Tyler was a student-athlete at Miami University and graduated from Miami's Farmer School of Business. At Miami, he majored in Finance, minored in Chinese, and earned a China Business Certificate.  Outside of the classroom, he played collegiate Division 1 roller hockey winning a Regional Championship and earning individual accolades.  Prior to joining FAM, he spent 3 years as a financial analyst at ConAgra Brands. Tyler’s skills, network, and experiences working for a Fortune 500 company will be integral to FAM’s future growth. Tyler has completed his Certified Financial Planning courses at DePaul University and plans to sit for the CFP exam in the near future.

In his spare time, Tyler enjoys playing hockey, golf, and stand-up paddleboarding.  

Life is Busy. We Help You Streamline, 

Organize & Simplify 

At Forest Asset Management, we have a very distinct, evidence-based approach to investments. We break down the financial planning process into manageable pieces so they don’t overwhelm and get ignored.

We get to know you and your family over time to understand your goals and financial situation. We start with a deep discovery meeting, followed by a series of meetings and calls. Once we have an agreed upon plan, we implement and monitor it and make necessary adjustments along the way. 

Our clients are busy professionals.  They work with us because they want to simplify and organize their financial lives in a clear transparent manner. They understand that financial planning is complex, and they want to work with someone they can trust to make the most of their hard-earned wealth.

Comprehensive Financial Planning

Customized to each of our clients

Financial Planning, Investments & Tax Planning

With our deep tax knowledge as CPAs, we at FAM understand the crucial tax consequences of the financial advice we give and believe effective tax planning is essential to successful financial planning.

Retirement planning and IRA distribution rules are always kept in mind when implementing an investment strategy especially during the spend-down years.  As your investment advisor, we strive to make decisions that make the most sense to your overall long-term plan.  That means planning for periods as long as 10-15 years.  This will produce real wealth accumulation for families for generations to come.  

Fee-Only & Fiduciary 

We refuse to accept any outside commissions for our work and our fees are paid only by our clients. In our industry, this reduces conflicts of interests and keeps our focus aligned with the client’s goals. Our wealth management fees are based on assets under management, commonly referred to as AUM. We feel AUM is a good proxy for a client’s financial complexity. Though not perfect, a greater net worth generally equates to a more complex financial life. This approach aligns our interests with yours and helps to preserve our independent advice. 

Our fees are tier-based with breakpoints at which your fees decrease on additional assets. In addition, we take a family approach to investing. Aggregating assets to determine your fees (while still managing each portfolio according to its distinct policies) enables us to provide favorable rates for your immediate family.

Employer Retirement Plans

As an employer, your retirement plan is one of the most critical benefits you offer your employees. You are providing a convenient way for them to save and “pay themselves first”. 

We review a lot of retirement plans and they have a common theme:


Participants lack the understanding of why they are saving and what their savings can grow to 20-30 years in the future.  


Participants don’t understand the impact high fees can have on their ability to save for a secure future. 


We believe participant education is one of the key factors to a successful retirement.  Through group educational meetings and one-on-one participant sessions, Forest has been able to guide participants through the industry jargon and help them make smart decisions regarding their plan assets.   

Our plan design is based on a fiduciary promise to you to provide a customized transparent solution to meet your needs as a business owner while still providing a cost effective and highly desirable benefit to your employees.

Our plans have always been designed with our clients’ best interest in mind, what is commonly referred to as the “fiduciary rule”.  We didn’t need a Department of Labor rule to mandate our actions.  It just made sense to focus on the client and not on the product.


Contact us to learn more



Fidelity affiliation for Forest Asset Management
An Independent Member of The BAM Alliance for Forest Asset Management
TD Ameritrade affiliation for Forest Asset Management



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Our fee schedule is based on assets under management (AUM).

Account ValueAnnual Fee
$200,000 to $499,9991.25%
$500,000 to $999,9991.00%
$1,000,000 to $1,999,9990.90%
$2,000,000 to $2,999,9990.80%
$3,000,000 to $4,999,9990.70%
$5,000,000 or greater0.60%
  
Minimum Quarterly Fee$625 per quarter


For example:   

  • Clients with $700,000 in AUM will be charged 1% annually, equating to $7,000 per year, billed $1,750 each quarter.
  • Clients with $1,200,000 AUM will be charged 0.9% annually, equating to $10,800 per year, billed $2,700 each quarter. 
  • Clients with $5,500,000 AUM will be charged 0.6% annually, equating to $33,000 per year, billed $8,250 per quarter.
  • If your assets are under $200,000 but you would like to use our planning services, our quarterly minimum fee is $625.  
Q: Who do you serve?

A: We provide our services to individuals, families, businesses, trusts, partnerships, nonprofit organizations, and retirement plans that wish to pursue long-term goals based on our strategic approach to managing wealth. At Forest, we use a sophisticated method of financial planning, investment management, tax efficiency, and personal relationship to help clients achieve their financial goals.

Q: Describe your broad services.
Q: You have a lot of letters at the end of your names, what do these mean?

A: Basically, it means that we have completed rigorous testing and attend classes and seminars each and every year to keep abreast with the constant changes in personal finance and tax law.

We are both CPAs, or Certified Public Accountants. To become a CPA you must pass a rigorous 2 ½ day exam, have completed an undergraduate degree in accounting and take at least 40 hours per year of continuing education. We are also both CFP®s, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERS. This designation requires another 2 day examination, 3 years of financial planning experience and 30 hours of continuing education every two years. Mark also has a Masters Degree from DePaul University with a concentration in Tax (MST) and JoAnn has a Masters Degree also from DePaul University with a concentration in Finance. We both are also Personal Financial Specialists or PFSs, which is the accounting industry’s equivalent of a CFP®.

Q: How do you charge for your services?
Q: Do you have a minimum portfolio size?
Q: What are your fees?
Q: What happens to my current holdings if I become a client?
Q: Do you trade and hold my assets for me?
Q: Describe your investment approach.
Q: What if I need a bond (fixed income) portfolio or other special holdings?
Q: I am contacting you because I have heard you offer access to Dimensional Fund Advisors (DFA) funds. How do I learn more about DFA? What is your relationship with them?
Q: You mention providing “value-added” services for clients. Can you give an example of what that means?

 

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(708) 447-7086 info@forestasset.com