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Wealth accumulation

Would you be surprised if I told you 4 out of 5 investors have more risk in their portfolios than they are aware of? Despite all of our advances in technology, the majority of people still invest based on their gut, hunches, and emotionally-driven decisions. Take this quick quiz related to portfolio size, top financial goals, and what you are willing to risk for gains. Then I will pinpoint your exact risk number and we can make sure your risk number matches your investments.

Take the Riskalyze quiz


Retirement planning

Get a free report on how long we can help your assets last in retirement. The report gives a high-level introduction to “drawdown” planning, which is the process of generating retirement income from your assets. It includes an illustration of how combining your Social Security income with a tax-efficient withdrawal strategy can make your money last longer. Finally, it demonstrates how important it is to take a holistic approach to all of your retirement assets when planning your withdrawal strategy.

Try Retirement Quickstart


Do you really know how much you pay your financial advisor year after year?

How about how much you pay for your investment products?

Are your investments as tax-efficient as they can be?

Have you ever felt you really are not in control of your investment portfolio?

Forward Thinking Wealth Management

Before you read all about my firm and my approach, please take a minute to watch the video explaining why motto is - Accumulate Wealth, Not Fees.

Forward-Thinking Wealth Management, LLC, is a full-service, fee-only  financial planning firm focused on three areas: Mid Career Professionals, People Nearing Retirement, and Physicians.  I specialize in these areas because these are the clients I can bring the most value to and enjoy working with the most.

I am located in Akron, Ohio, and work virtually with clients across the country.  I created my firm based on a solution to what I know is a broken system where nearly every client pays based on a faulty assumption that advisors have the ability to control the market.   My clients pay me a flat annual fee of $4,800 based on my value as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™.  As a CFP®, I help clients manage their entire wealth management picture.

My firm’s philosophy is based on the fact if you take control of three things you can actually control you will significantly increase the odds of successful investing.  1. Control the fees you pay your advisor, 2. Control the fees you pay for investment products, and 3. Minimize the tax impact of your portfolio.

Take a look around this website to get a better feel for FTWM and my unique approach.  If you are a forward-thinking person who wants to get back in control of your future, click on the Let's Chat button so we can schedule some time to talk.

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Dan Johnson, CFP®

I have a very different background than most financial planners.  After finishing grad school at The Ohio State University I spent over a decade working for local cities in west Michigan in city management focusing on economic development.  Eventually my wife and I wanted to move back to the Akron, Ohio area to raise our family and I made the shift to working in the financial services industry.  I spent roughly a decade working first at Merrill Lynch and then at a small investment firm in the greater Akron area before deciding to launch my own firm.  I also spent several years being trained to help families who have loved ones with special needs to create comprehensive plans that go well beyond simply looking at their finances. 

I currently live in Akron, Ohio with my wife and two sons.  Outside of work I am a member of The John Glenn College of Public Affairs Alumni Board at The Ohio State University. I am also a member of the Julie Billiart of St. Sebastian Parish Board, which is a Catholic grade school for children with special needs.  I am also a board member at the Village of St. Edwards Nursing Home. During my free time, I spend as much time as possible with my family, which mostly seems to involve me driving my sons to and from various activities such as cross-country and swimming practices.

At Forward-Thinking Wealth Management, the entire practice revolves around my clients, first and foremost. I am one of few Certified Financial Planners™ in the country who charges a flat annual fee of $4,800 regardless of the asset size of my client. When working with my clients I focus on:

Complete Fee Disclosure

Comprehensive Financial Planning 

Coordination with a Team of Experts

A Long-Term View and "Big Picture" Approach

My virtual practice allows for more flexibility in communicating with my clients. Through on-going meetings, I work directly with you to develop a comprehensive, long-term financial planning relationship, that ultimately meets your goals and needs.


My business model is based on a solution to what I believe is a broken system where nearly all advisors are paid on a commodity we do not control – the stock market. 

My philosophy is based on the fact if you can control three things you dramatically improve the odds of successful investing. 1. Control the fees you pay your advisor. 2. Control the fees you pay for investment products. 3. Minimize the tax impact of your portfolio.

Forward Thinking Wealth Management (FTWM) is an independent, fee-only wealth management firm. This means I do not receive commissions or revenue-sharing from outside sources. I am compensated by clients and work closely with their team of advisors, such as attorneys, CPAs and insurance professionals. 

Who I Work With

New physicians finishing up residency or fellowship are usually barraged by a slew of sales pitches about whole life and disability insurance policies.  These may be necessary, however, what about important decisions on student loan repayment options, 401k enrollment, proper estate planning, tax management and more?  


Established physicians may be trying to stay on top of their ever growing 401k plans, which they max out annually, and doing their best to minimize their taxes year after year.  Plus, they are similar to other mid-career professionals in making sense of Roth IRAs options, college savings, estate planning, risk management and more.


Unlike insurance salespeople masquerading as financial planners, I am not paid by selling commission-based products.  As a fee-only CFP®, I focus on helping physicians make sense of their whole financial lives by charging based on my value and experience.  Whether you are now paying more in taxes your first year as a physician than you made in all your years as a resident or are getting ready to hang up your white coat it is time to get an opinion focused on you.

The biggest fear is retirement is simple – running out of money before you run out of life.  In my opinion, the most important and often overlooked factor in determining whether you will have a successful retirement is having a firm grasp on your spending in retirement.  Other important decisions that need to be made are when to start Social Security, what types of accounts to draw from and when, making sure Required Minimum Distributions are being followed and more. 


I work with my clients who are retired to develop retirement strategies with the goal of making their money last longer.  All strategies are personalized and there is no one true solution to a successful retirement.  While they may enjoy the endless invitations to "free" dinners to learn how all about "personal pensions," they realize there may be financial planners out there who are not motivated by commission-based products.

What I Do

My approach is simple—I focus on your entire financial life where investments are just one part of the whole financial picture. 

My role as a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ is to look at your entire financial life, including items such as debt, risk mitigation, education, retirement planning, estate planning, taxes, and more. This also means I will work with the rest of your team (CPAs, Attorney's, etc) to manage your complete financial picture.  This might include frequent conversations on your behalf to ensure we coordinate successfully. 


  1. A long-term approach to investing

  2. Controlling the taxes and fees you pay

By disclosing all fees and providing low cost investment products, you will have a better chance of earning success over time because you will control your costs. I always take in to account your complete financial picture, including where you are now and where you want to be in the future, not just what is happening in the world at this moment.

This approach allows me to constantly keep the focus on your long-term goals, and the result is a financial plan where investments are just one part of that plan. 


  • Debt Management
  • Retirement Planning
  • 401k Advice
  • Educational Goals
  • Gifting
  • Tax Management
  • Estate Planning
  • Liability Coverage 

Whatever your unique goals, I build a comprehensive financial plan that suits your needs. Through my Flat Annual Fee, I help clients control the fees they pay to advisors, investment products, and taxes. I am dedicated to not only strenghtening the financial planning relationship, but also improving the client's retirement picture. 

Fees matter.

My investment philosophy is centered on controlling the fees you pay an advisor, controlling the fees you pay for your investment products, and controlling for taxes as much as possible. 

  • I use low-cost, actively managed mutual funds and ETFs for qualified accounts.
  • For taxable accounts I utilize an outside money manager who provides the best tax-managed investment service I have seen in my career.  As of the beginning of 2016, their large cap fund has not had a capital gain in 16 years!
  • The only fee due to Forward Thinking Wealth Management from clients is a flat-fee of $4,800 annually,regardless of asset size. 


Why One Flat Fee

The Scenario

A few years ago I heard the story of a conversation between a client and advisor.

Client - "I pay you 1% on the $200,000 of my assets you manage, right?"

Advisor - "Correct.  That 1% is $2,000 annually."

Client - "I am getting ready to retire and you want to manage my $800,000 401k balance at the same 1% fee.  This would increase the fee I pay you 5x from $2,000 to $10,000 annually.  Explain to me in detail how you will increase my service 5x."

Advisor - "I really don't have an answer for that."

Fortunately, I can easily answer this question and my clients appreciate knowing exactly what they are paying for.

My mission is pretty simple: help you take control of your financial life by controlling the fees and taxes you pay and not being taken advantage of by others in the “financial advising” community. In my humble opinion, there have been too many advances in this industry for clients to continue to pay an average of 2.25% of their assets every year because “this is how it has always been done.”

My clients understand there has to be a better arrangement for a financial planning relationship. They focus on the big picture and know that controlling their fees and taxes is one of the most important factors in a successful financial life.


Below are my recent Insights, which I write and deliver via email twice a week.  I am sure no other advisor writes articles like mine.



Contact Me

A fee-only financial planner based in Akron, Ohio