Meet Our Team

Kenneth Cady

Kenneth Cady is a co-Founder of Refined Strategies. With over 25 years of wealth management experience, Kenneth works alongside his clients to create custom, comprehensive financial solutions for each unique circumstance. His commitment and dedication to exceptional service, and his thorough understanding of financial planning strategies allow him to provide his clients with a sound plan for each stage of their financial lives.

Kenneth’s career in the financial services industry began in Chicagoland in 1989; he joined Mid America Bank in 1994, where he received the honor of “Rookie of the Year”. Kenneth earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from Illinois State University and holds FINRA Series 7 (General Securities Representative), 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law) and 65 (Uniform Registered Investment Adviser Law) licenses in addition to Illinois Life, Health, and Variable Annuities Insurance Licenses.

He resides in Saint Charles, Illinois, with his wife, Cheryl and three children. Passionate about both music and the outdoors, Kenneth loves having a guitar in his hands, and spending his leisure time boating, skiing, mountain climbing, and hiking. He enjoys giving back to the Chicagoland communities and volunteers regularly with Misericordia.

Ryan Alvarez

Ryan Alvarez is a co-Founder of Refined Strategies. Skilled in setting financial goals, establishing timeframes, defining and measuring risk parameters, designing client-specific investment portfolios, and monitoring risk and volatility. Ryan’s investment knowledge, along with years of dedicated experience and expertise, enables him to provide sound advice to his clients. With a strong background in retirement and estate planning knowledge, education planning, and total portfolio management, Ryan often works with attorneys and accountants to help his clients meet their wealth, tax and estate planning needs. 

Ryan’s career in the financial services industry began in Chicagoland in 1995, at Mid America Bank; he was promoted to Financial Advisor in 2002. During his tenure at Mid America Bank, which later became PNC Bank, he took great honor and pride in creating custom investment strategies for a diverse clientele.

Ryan holds FINRA Series 7 (General Securities Representative), 24 (General Securities Principal), 63 (Uniform Securities Agent State Law), 65 (Uniform Registered Investment Adviser Law), and State Life and Variable Contracts Insurance Licenses.

He attended the University of Illinois at Chicago and currently resides in Naperville, Illinois, with his wife, Jennifer and pup, Duffy.  Ryan enjoys spending his leisure time working out, cooking, and wine tasting. He is an active member of Saints Peter and Paul Parish in Naperville where he ushers Sunday mass weekly. He loves his community and enjoys giving back by participating in neighborhood events and being active within the Naperville Chamber of Commerce.

Ken Smith, CLU, ChFC

Ken Smith has amassed extensive insurance industry experience in the last four decades, investing 22 years at a large employer. He left in 2023 to join Refined Strategies, where he assumes a more customer-centric role. He and his team assist our clients to transfer and create wealth, preserve, and transfer businesses, provide estate and other needed tax liquidity, or benefit their favorite charities using life insurance products. Ken’s team serves high-net-worth individuals, high income earners, family offices and other specialist in the financial services industry. Their approach is to help their clients analyze existing coverage to determine if their contracts are performing as originally illustrated and evaluate if the level of coverage is adequate for future years. They analyze beneficiary structures to assess the financial strength of the issuing companies. When clients have a need for new insurance, Ken’s team helps them assess their risk class and select the appropriate products and companies to meet their life insurance needs. Ken and his team remain fiercely independent and are not tied to any single carrier. They provide comprehensive service to each client at every touchpoint. If clients hold life insurance policies they no longer want or need, Ken locates buyers who will often pay well above the cash surrender value. Additionally, Ken collaborates with other Refined Strategies teams that specialize in working with Corporate, Banking and Credit Union clients in managing and acquiring Corporate and Bank Owned Life Insurance.

Securities offered through Lion Street Financial, LLC (LSF), member FINRA & SIPC. Investment Advisory Services offered through Lion Street Advisors, LLC (LSA), an investment adviser registered with the SEC. Refined Strategies and the above firms are not affiliated. LSF and LSA do not provide tax or legal advice.