Frequently Asked Questions

What is an investment manager?

An investment manager is a professional to whom you delegate investment authority within your unique guidelines, toward your financial objectives.  It could be a private investment firm, with which you develop a close personal and business partnership, where you have a rigorously researched, tailor-made portfolio of individual securities.  Or it could be an advisory firm that offers a collection of mutual funds that are off-the-rack, impersonal investment vehicles put together through computerized methods.

Who needs an investment manager, and why?

  • Individuals – who have accumulated or inherited wealth and wish to preserve it, create an income from it, and/or pass it on to heirs.
  • Companies – which offer participation in retirement plans (pension, profit-sharing, 401(k)) as a significant employee benefit.
  • Nonprofit organizations – which need to fund grants and ongoing operations through an endowment or charitable contributions.

These individuals, families, officers, directors, trustees, and their advisors need money management because they don’t have the time, interest, education, experience, or temperament to manage their own investments.

When do I need an investment manager?

If your assets are unmanaged, undermanaged, or you are dissatisfied with your current advisor’s service and/or results, you need an investment manager NOW.

What is Warnke/Nichols and its mission?

Warnke/Nichols is an independent privately-owned investment management firm that provides oversight of customized equity and balanced accounts on a fee-only basis.  Bill Warnke, CFA and Steve Nichols, CFA, business associates since 1979, are the co-owners of the firm and fully responsible for all investment decisions.  The two principals are CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) charter holders, earned through years of rigorous study and investment management experience.

The Company’s mission is to provide individual and corporate clients with satisfactory long-term investment results consistent with preservation of capital, through the consistent application of a value-oriented investment approach.

How does Warnke/Nichols manage money?

We manage investments through separate private accounts holding carefully chosen stocks and/or fixed income securities in accordance with each client’s unique objectives, guidelines, and tolerance for risk.  We DO NOT manage mutual funds, funds-of-funds, annuities, partnerships, or any other “packaged products.”

We manage investment capital as though it was out own which we manage in the same fashion as our clients’ money.  We “eat our own cooking.”

We manage money with the prudence, patience, discipline, and skill that will yield satisfactory long-term investment results over time, with an eye toward safety of principal.

How are you compensated?

Warnke/Nichols is compensated by taking a nominal annual percentage fee based on your portfolio’s market value.  It is a situation in which the money manager’s financial interests are directly aligned with yours, unlike a stock broker, financial “advisor” or planner whose fees and/or commissions are often derived by selling investment products that could create a serious conflict of interest.  

Your annual fee pays for continuous oversight and management of your account(s); quarterly appraisals and commentary about your investments; and unlimited ability to meet with or talk to us about your situation.

To what extent do you take care of invested assets?  Are you licensed or registered?

Warnke/Nichols is a “fiduciary,” which is defined as “a person or organization that acts on behalf of another person or persons to manage assets.  Essentially, a fiduciary owes to that other entity the duties of good faith and trust.  The highest legal duty of one party to another, being a fiduciary requires being bound ethically to act in the other’s best interests.”  –Investopedia)

Warnke/Nichols is registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940.  For more information, visit or refer to our investment brochure, SEC Form ADV, Part 2..  Messrs. Warnke and Nichols are long-time Chartered Financial Analyst charter holders.  For more information on the prestigious CFA designation, visit

What is your track record?

We’re prohibited from advertising our historical investment record, but we do provide past performance of a composite of our managed accounts on a case-by-case basis upon request.

Why should Warnke/Nichols be your investment manager?

We will choose the appropriate investments using our proven value approach, to GROW your retirement nest-egg over time.  Your portfolio(s) will have a margin of safety because you’ll own financially sound companies acquired at bargain prices to PRESERVE your capital.  We’ll review your investments in person or off-site as often or as little as you like, and give you the personal attention and service you deserve.

How do I open a business relationship with Warnke/Nichols?

Carefully consider our philosophy, people, process, and performance to see whether our value-oriented approach makes sense in your situation.  Contact us to open an account and initiate an Investment Advisory Agreement.  We will welcome you as a long-term business partner!