Our Team

Sean Monahan, CFP®, AIF®

Wealth Advisor


Sean has never strayed far from his true passion of teaching. He believes educating his clients is the most important part of his job, and incorporates it in his business to benefit his clients.

Sean moved to Chicago in 1992, spending 5 years as a teacher at an alternative high school and as a childcare worker in a residential facility serving at-risk youth in Chicago. The skill set that helped him excel in those challenging settings benefit his clients today. He is thankful that he is in a position to help others. Today, Sean uses his extensive educational background to help clients actually understand their entire financial plan and financial future. Simple, straight talk allows Sean to communicate complex content to clients in an easy-to-understand manner.

The culture of his business is critical for Sean. He says, “I treat everyone as if they were my favorite uncle and they were solely relying on me to manage their life savings.” This can be a heavy responsibility, but his sound fundamental approach helps simplify the process. After analyzing a client’s current financial situation, Sean will educate them about their financial options educating them about risk and deliver a simple, customized and disciplined approach to help meet their objectives.

Sean’s belief in education is supported by his accomplishments. He holds a BA in History and a secondary education certification from Ohio Wesleyan University. He earned his CFP® certification in 2006. He holds FINRA Series 7, 24, 31, and 66 securities registrations. He is also life, health, and long-term care licensed. Commonwealth Financial Network® recognized Sean as a Founder’s Club advisor for 2020. And, he is an active member of the Financial Planning Association

Sean believes strongly in being an active member of his local community. He remained dedicated to improving inner city education by serving as the President of the Board of Directors of KIPP Ascend Charter School on Chicago’s west side. Liz and Sean moved their family back to Sean’s home state in 2009 to raise their family; Sean enjoys spending time with his wife, Liz, and their three children (Gracie, James, and Joseph). They are parishioners of St. Catherine’s Church in Seaside Park. Sean loves volunteering to coach soccer, baseball and basketball. He relocated his office to reduce his commute to two minutes allowing him to maximize the time he spends with Liz and the kids.

Sean F. Monahan Name is proud to have been recognized as a Founder’s Club advisor for 2022—a distinction based on annual production that places him among the top 35 percent of advisors affiliated with Commonwealth Financial Network.

Each year, Commonwealth, the broker/dealer–RIA that helps us process investment transactions on your behalf, recognizes Founder’s Club advisors by inviting them to an exclusive gathering of their peers, leading industry experts, and Commonwealth home office staff. Founder’s Club advisors benefit from an intensive learning and networking experience designed to help them hone their expertise, share best practices, and provide ever-higher levels of service, education, and leadership.

Carolyn Onions

Director of Operations


Meet Carolyn Onions!

Carolyn has more than 35 years of client service and administrative support experience, and she has been serving Financial Alternatives clients for more than 20 years. With her, Carolyn brings dedication, commitment and extraordinary client service. She creates genuine rapport with all Financial Alternatives clients, anticipates client needs, prioritizes creating connection and above all, Carolyn enjoys providing the excellent service for which she has come to be known.

Carolyn’s professional accolades include:

  • Commonwealth Financial Network® Staff Person of the Year in 2019. This prestigious award, which recognizes outstanding job performance, is given to 3 individuals selected from several hundred other administrative assistants nominated across the country.
  • Commonwealth’s Staff Advisory Council Member, which consists of 16 Administrative staff chosen from 1,000 Advisor offices. In 2020, Carolyn was elected as a member of this council, which responsibilities include exposure, inclusion & input as to new potential enhancements involving our Broker/Dealer.

Carolyn is a vital member of the Financial Alternatives team and if you call the office, you’ll likely get the pleasure of speaking with her!

In her personal life, Carolyn enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and reading. During the warmer months, she also enjoys going to the beach, gardening and bike riding.

Danette Kearns

Operations Analyst


Danette’s career began in financial services over 27 years ago in client services helping 457b and 403b plan participants. She has experience in both the retail brokerage and Registered Investment Advisory fields where she has gained a comprehensive understanding of the needs of high net worth and institutional clients. Her experience brings knowledge in client services, operations, client profiling, trading and portfolio modeling.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends. A good portion of which is done by attending and volunteering at her children’s sporting events.