Broker Check

Awards & Associations

Congratulations Craig, #43 in Colorado!

This year’s Best-In-State Wealth Advisors list spotlights more than 4,000 top advisors across the country who were nominated by their firms—and then researched, interviewed and assigned a ranking within their respective states and markets. Each advisor—selected by SHOOK Research—is chosen based on an algorithm of qualitative and quantitative criteria, including:interviews, experience and compliance records. 

His Group and Approach: Johlfs Financial Group is a team of advisors providing comprehensive financial planning designed to improve, optimize and balance clients' financial situations. We emphasize strategy over product, fiduciary stewardship, are comprehensive in our process, and objective in our recommendations. Johlfs Financial Group takes pride in the relationships with their clients and that organic growth powers much of the evolution of the practice. The team wants to take the complexity and frustration out of the picture so clients can be confident in their personalized financial plan. Financial planning, optimized.

About Craig: Craig started his practice from scratch in early 2007. He identified with Waddell & Reed, Inc.'s client-centric approach and emphasis on comprehensive financial planning. He also appreciated the extensive support and mentorship provided to new advisors. I don't think I would be in the industry if it wasn't for some great mentorship from key field leaders over the years, he says. As the industry changed, Waddell & Reed's business model evolved and grew as well, giving advisors broader access and greater control. Through mentorship, Craig has been able to develop a consistent and strategic action plan. To this day, he still follows a similar system. Craig became a financial advisor because he believes in the power of planning, positive habits, and self-progress that ultimately is the path to financial freedom.

Over the years, I have had opportunities to leave the firm but stayed because of the culture, support from the back office, the advisor comradery and relationships with leaders in our local field offices, he added. Today, I'm proud to be partnered with a firm that is, and always has been, in it for the right reasons: Client-centric financial planning and stewardship in asset management within a supportive yet independent environment. Waddell & Reed provides advisors with the opportunity for DBA creation, giving them control over their individual and team branding. For those who don't know Waddell & Reed, or may think they do based on the past, I recommend getting to know the way the firm does business today. It's a new model, one I like to call Waddell & Reed: redefined.

What's next for Johlfs? At the moment, I'm having a lot of fun toggling between being a CFP® practitioner, a business owner, and an investor. We're shaping our practice to be a premier independent practice by constantly improving our model. Continuously identifying ways to improve and optimize is what we're focused on.

His Firm: Waddell & Reed, Inc. has a storied history as one of the oldest firms in the industry, dating to 1937, and one of the first firms to highlight financial planning as a profession beginning in the 1970s. Today, Waddell & Reed, Inc. is affiliated with parent firm Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. (NYSE: WDR).

While history continues to define its heritage and distinctive, familial culture, the firm has worked decisively in recent years to dramatically change and update their business model. Waddell & Reed affiliated financial advisors continue to emphasize personalized financial planning as a core tenant of the client/advisor relationship, as they have for decades. This has allowed regulatory requirements to blend seamlessly into its client-centric business model.

The Forbes ranking of Best-In-State Wealth Advisors, developed by SHOOK Research, is based on an algorithm of qualitative criteria, mostly gained through telephone and in-person due diligence interviews, and quantitative data. Those advisors that are considered have a minimum of seven years’ experience, and the algorithm weighs factors like revenue trends, assets under management, compliance records, industry experience and those that encompass best practices in their practices and approach to working with clients. Portfolio performance is not a criterion due to varying client objectives and a lack of audited data. The awards are not based on any client experience and are not indicative of the advisor’s future performance. For 2020 there were 32,000 nominations received, based on high thresholds and qualifications, 7,556 invited to complete an online survey, 11,864 telephone interviews, 2,336 in-person interviews. Neither Forbes nor SHOOK receive a fee in exchange for rankings. For more complete information visit

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Craig Johlfs, CFP® was recently recognized as one of the 200 fastest-growing advisors in the U.S. by 

The 2019 Thrive Award was compiled by measuring the percentage revenue growth over the previous three years. Average revenue growth of the top 200 list was three times the industry average, as calculated by McKinsey & Company's PriceMetrix.

"The Thrive Awards is unlike any other recognition program," said editor-in-chief David Armstrong. "It recognizes advisors who are on the way up—those who have proven themselves skilled and ambitious by virtue of three solid years of revenue growth. Why revenue growth? We believe it's one of the key metrics that demonstrate advisor success in providing services of real value to clients and prospects—and vital to building a sustainable business for the future. The 2019 Thrive Awards list is a publicly visible tribute to that success." 

To qualify for the annual 2019 Thrive Awards list, applicants had to be based in the U.S., offer financial services to individual clients, and have a minimum revenue of $100,000. Applications were accepted from individuals, teams, and companies of all types and sizes—including solo advisors, ensembles, practices, family offices, registered investment advisor and Independent broker-dealer reps. Craig Jolfs paid a $90 application fee to participate. Waddell & Reed is not affiliated with and the award is not representative of any client experience and is not a guarantee of the advisor’s future revenue performance.

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This award recognizes 40 local professionals under age 40 for their business success and community contributions. With nearly 500 nominations submitted for 259 individuals, the 2018 award highlights 40 winners chosen by the 2017 winners. The award is not representative of any client experience and is not a guarantee of the advisor’s future revenue performance.



MDRT is an independent membership association of insurance and financial services professionals. Membership is based on annual sales production requirements and other factors. Craig qualified for the MDRT in 2017 and 2018. For more information regarding membership requirements, please visit

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TOP ADVISORS' FORUM - 2017, 2018, 2019

Top Advisors’ Forum attendees are selected by Waddell & Reed based on their sales performance across a variety of product types. In addition to gaining valuable information about investment process, products and services, advisors also learn from and exchange ideas with fellow top advisors.

“This group of individuals has excelled not only in serving their clients’ investment needs and building trust with them, but also in serving their communities,” said Thomas W. Butch, former chairman and president of Waddell & Reed, Inc.


The Advisor Medalist recognition awards are presented annually by Waddell & Reed to 250 advisors and are based on an analysis of investment, insurance and financial planning sales generated by the advisor.

“The Advisor Medalist honor reflects the advisor’s steadfast dedication to their clients, their community and the Waddell & Reed family,” said Shawn Mihal, president of Waddell & Reed, Inc.

Among the Advisor Medalist program’s many important advantages, members are able to tap into enhanced business-development resources for better serving their clients. These benefits range from a series of professional development opportunities to expedited business processes.

CHAIRMAN'S CABINET - 2017, 2018, 2019

Craig has been named to Waddell & Reed’s 2019 Chairman’s Cabinet, one of the highest honors for its financial advisors. Presented annually, the recognition is bestowed to the firm’s most productive financial advisors based on an analysis of sales activity generated by the advisor. This is the third year that Craig Johlfs has earned this honor.


The Circle of Champions meeting is an opportunity to gain insight to company initiatives, garner education about practice management and industry trends, and most importantly, partake in opportunities to network with other successful advisors.

The award is presented annually by Waddell & Reed and is based on an analysis of investment, insurance and financial planning sales generated by the advisor.

CREST - 2014-2019

Waddell & Reed's Crest Award is among the highest honors for financial advisors affiliated with the company. Symbolizing performance excellence, the award is bestowed to the most productive financial advisors affiliated with the firm based on an analysis of investment, insurance and financial planning sales. This year, 127 financial advisors out of Waddell & Reed’s national network of financial advisors have qualified for the Crest Award.


Craig Johlfs has joined the FPA of Colorado, which promotes universal acceptance of the value and necessity of the financial planning process. The Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) is the largest membership organization for CFP® professionals in the U.S. and also includes members who support the financial planning process. Working in alliance with academic leaders, legislative and regulatory bodies, financial services firms and consumer interest organizations, FPA® helps connect our members through a variety of unique and compelling ways.

FPA® members strive to adhere to the highest standards of professional competence, ethical conduct and clear, complete disclosure to those they serve. FPA® membership consists of CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals, educators, financial services professionals, students and more. FPA® is compensation neutral and represents those from diverse backgrounds and business models. FPA’s unique network of nationwide chapters encourage professional development and networking on a local level.

Waddell & Reed is not affiliated with the Denver Business Journal, MDRT, the Financial Planning Association® (FPA®) of Colorado or any other entities referenced.  01/20