Major cities such as Chicago offer a high density of financial advisor options. Here are five independent firms that are among the best catering to retail clients in the Windy City.

Basil Financial Group

Basil Financial Group is a fee-only financial advisory firm: It sells no products and does not receive any commissions. Rather, it charges its clients an annual fee, which covers any meetings and also grants clients full access to advice on financial planning, investing and taxes.  Lois Basil, the company's principal, is a Registered Investment Advisor who ran her own Chicago-based accounting firm for more than 13 years prior to starting Basil Financial Group.

Blueprint Wealth Advisors, LLC

Blueprint Wealth Advisors is an advisory firm that aggregates independent wealth advisors. This means that while each professional works under the Blueprint Wealth Advisors banner, clients have their own advisors. The company relies on over 50 years of combined experience to help its clients in a variety of wealth management areas, from estate to retirement planning. The company uses the Commonwealth Financial Network for research and as its broker/dealer; Commonwealth has received the J.D. Power and Associates "Highest in Independent Advisor Satisfaction Among Financial Investment Firms" award several times, most recently in 2018.

Crescendo Financial Planners

Crescendo Financial Planners is a fee-only financial planning and advisory firm and, therefore, it does not receive fees or commissions from third parties. Similar to Basil Financial Group, Crescendo Financial Planners charges an annual retainer for the full use of its services. Taking a holistic approach, the firm seeks to integrate all areas of a person's financial life, understanding that an individual's unique beliefs and attitudes impact specific financial decisions. The company considers improving its clients' financial literacy a key part of its services.

D3 Financial Counselors

D3 Financial Counselors is a company comprised of independent, fee-only financial planners, wealth managers and financial advisors. Since all of the company's officers and staff members are fiduciaries, no one receives compensation from third parties and all are obligated to put clients' interests first. The company has a strict focus on ethics, education and experience, using those core principles to add value to the plans it devises for its clientele, which ranges from individuals to small business owners to executives; medical professionals are a particular specialty of the firm's. Founded in 1997, D3 also has offices in Santa Fe; a 2018 merger with Savant Capital Management, a wealth-management firm headquartered in Rockford, Illinois, extended its reach into several additional locales around the state as well.

DeRose Financial Planning Group

Named for its founder, Karen DeRose, DeRose Financial Planning Group delivers holistic and practical financial advice, having provided experienced investment management for 22 years and two generations (Karen's two sons work with her). The company tackles such areas as education funding, succession planning, benefits packages and tax shelters for clients ranging from families to firms. Its E-Worth Manager system provides clients with their own websites, so they can track their investment portfolios, bank accounts and credit cards all in one place.