Who We Are

Steve Nichols, CFA


Co-Founder, Co-Owner, 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 principles 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 still a baseball fan. 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 an error-free defense.

That is the attitude I bring with me when I walk into the office daily. I have found that it works – for me and for those who have entrusted their financial futures to me.

— Steve

Bill Warnke, CFA


Co-Founder, Co-Owner, 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.

History doesn’t repeat itself, but it rhymes.

Mark Twain

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.

— Bill

Andy Ramer, CFA


Co-Owner, Warnke/Nichols Ltd., 2022-present
Fiduciary Management, Inc., 2002-2022
Bufka & Rodgers, LLC, 1997-2002


CFA charter conferred 2000
Long-standing member of the CFA Institute
Member of the CFA Society of Milwaukee


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1997, BS-Finance
Rolling Meadows High School, 1993

My parents immigrated to the U.S. to pursue a better life, one where they would have the opportunity to reap the fruits of their labor.  It is with great responsibility that I am now entrusted by our clients to, first and foremost, preserve the wealth that they themselves have created because of their own hard work, and secondly, to grow the value of their capital over time while minimizing risk in doing so.   

Rule No. 1 is never lose money.  Rule No.2 is never forget Rule No. 1.

Warren Buffett

Seth Klarman says that value investing is about risk aversion.  It focuses on how to succeed by not failing.  As an absolute value investor, this requires me to stand apart from the crowd, which is a lonely feeling.  However, it is because of this that value investing works over the long run.

— Andy