Investment People

Steven R. Nichols, CFA


Co-founder, Warnke/Nichols Ltd., 1993-present
Firstar Trust Company, 1985-93
Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co., 1983-85
M&I Investment Management Corp., 1978-83


Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charter conferred August 1982; CFA Institute: long-standing member; CFA Society Milwaukee: Past-President and former Director


UW-Whitewater, 1978, BBA-Finance
Brown Deer High School, 1974

“One of the most rewarding parts of my job is helping people retire comfortably.  I believe that after years of hard work and saving, people should be able to have the resources to become financially independent.

“As an investment analyst, portfolio manager, and student of financial markets for over 40 years, I have helped individuals and businesses preserve and grow their invested capital.  My investment approach is based on proven principals pioneered by Benjamin Graham – scholar, author, teacher, philosopher, investment analyst, and successful investor – who began his illustrious career on Wall Street in the early 1900s.  Graham believed that investments should be acquired with a large Margin of Safety.

Confronted with a challenge to distill the secret of sound investment into three words, we venture the motto, MARGIN OF SAFETY.

Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor, Chapter 20, “Margin of Safety: The Central Concept” 1949

“Among other interests, I am a fan of, and still play, baseball.  When you think of it, baseball and investment success are clearly related:  both endeavors require a relentless emphasis on fundamentals; they require the discipline to wait for a “fat pitch;” and they require error-free defense.

“That is the attitude I bring with me when I walk in the office every day.  I have found that it works – for me and for those who have entrusted their financial futures to me.”

William R. Warnke, CFA


Co-founder, Warnke/Nichols Ltd., 1993-present
M&I Investment Management Corp., 1979-93
Marine Investment Management Company, 1976-79
Bituminous Casualty Co., 1973-76


CFA charter conferred August 1979; CFA Institute: long-standing member, Has served in various volunteer roles with CFA Institute; CFA Society Milwaukee: Past-President and former Director


UW-Madison, 1972, MBA-Finance, Investments and Banking
UW-Whitewater, 1971, BBA-Finance
Weyauwega High School, 1967

“Freedom from financial worries can make all the difference in a person’s life.  Freedom to make choices, to travel or follow one’s passion after a lifetime of hard work is a goal shared by virtually everyone.

“We started our money management business to help clients attain that freedom.  It requires a disciplined and sound investment philosophy to create the foundation they need to gain financial independence.  Throughout the past nearly 50 years in investment management, I have experienced nearly every type of market condition.  Through it all, I have helped clients grow their portfolios at satisfactory rates, while emphasizing safety of their hard-earned principal.

“I have taken my cues, and acted upon my passion for financial integrity, from wise men who came before me.  One notable, John Templeton, was a highly principled, humble man who is still known as one of the most successful investors in modern times. 

“I also believe it is important to study market history and understand the many factors that drive markets.  My historical perspective, which drives my philosophy, comes from none other than Mark Twain.

History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.

Mark Twain