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Financial Planning is more than simply investing in the stock market.

We look at where you are now, determine where you are headed, and create the path to get you there.

The Layton Team is here to be a trusted friend and professional to help with your financial planning, guide you through the twists and turns of life, and help you stay on track.

"As in all successful ventures, the foundation of a good retirement is planning." -Earl Nightingale

We work together to formulate the best financial plan for you. Our team approach ensures our clients are gaining perspective in multiple key planning areas.

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John Layton

Financial Advisor, CFP
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Since 1985, John has been in the financial industry where today he specializes in retirement planning and wealth management for high net worth individuals. He is a financial advisor, an Executive Officer, and a current board member of Focus Financial. John is also active in recruiting talented advisors to Focus Financial as well as supporting them in their training and transition to the firm. John is a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) and has been a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ since 1990. He graduated from the University of Minnesota, Duluth in 1980 with a B.S. degree in Industrial Engineering. 

In his spare time John enjoys contributing to his community through his many charity events. He is also an avid XC ski racer, downhill skier, snowboarder and musician.

Learn More About John

What’s the most likely place people could find you on a Saturday night?
Eating a great meal with friends while listening to jazz music.

Which would you pick: Living on the beach or living near the mountains?
For sure living in, on, or near the mountains.

If you had the ability to travel back in time, what’s something you would tell your 18-year-old self?
Invest and save more than you think you can, and get involved in volunteering to help others sooner.

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Trent Kerr

Investment Specialist
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Trent joined Focus Financial in 2014, and has worked in various roles within the financial services industry, including running his own branch office. He got his start by majoring in Economics at the University of Hawaii and studying at the renowned Nihon University College of Economics in Tokyo, Japan. He obtained his insurance license in 2010, and then subsequently his Series 6, Series 63, Series 7 and Series 66. Trent handles the research of investments, portfolio construction and analysis, rebalancing and trading for the practice. He helps to ensure that the best information is available when making investment decisions. He enjoys camping and fishing, spending time with friends and family, and is an ardent Dodger and 49ers fan.

Learn More About Trent

What’s the most likely place people could find you on a Saturday night?
With my wife at her favorite thrift store.

Which would you pick: Living on the beach or living near the mountains?
I reject the construct of this question. I will do both.

If you had the ability to travel back in time, what’s something you would tell your 18-year-old self?
MNST $0.06/share April 2001, TSCO $0.46/share November 2000, and ODFL $1.25/share April 2001.

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Lauren Jagerson

Financial Advisor
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Lauren graduated in 2020 from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul with a degree in Finance and a minor in Economics. Throughout her college internships in the financial services industry, she discovered a passion for helping others transform their financial dreams and visions into attainable goals. During her college years, she spent much of her time in the gym playing on the UST Varsity volleyball team, coaching a youth volleyball team, studying abroad in Guatemala and China, and leading a philanthropic initiative at St. Thomas. In her free time, she enjoys spending time at the cabin with friends and family, going fishing, and trying new coffee shops around the city.

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What’s the most likely place people could find you on a Saturday night?
On a patio enjoying happy hour with friends.

Which would you pick: Living on the beach or living near the mountains?
Definitely the beach.

If you had the ability to travel back in time, what’s something you would tell your 18-year-old self?
I would advise myself to enjoy every moment of college, even the late nights studying, because it flies by. Also, that growth happens through times of challenge and by stepping out of your comfort zone.

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Angela Mhiripiri

Practice Manager
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Angela joined the Layton team in October of 2016 when she decided to make a career change from the corporate world.  As John's Practice Manager, Angela manages all the complex needs of a growing financial planning practice which includes meeting preparation, client follow-up, marketing and process creation.   Angela graduated from UW-Eau Claire with a degree in Kinesiology and a minor in Business Administration.  Angela is very active in her children's school and after school activities.  She also enjoys traveling with family, being outdoors and spending summers at the lake. 

Learn More About Angela

What’s the most likely place people could find you on a Saturday night?
At a kids sporting event or at home having family movie night.

Which would you pick: Living on the beach or living near the mountains?

If you had the ability to travel back in time, what’s something you would tell your 18-year-old self?
You don't need to have your life figured out now - just work hard and enjoy the now.

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Tara Olson

Senior Administrative Assistant
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Tara Olson joined The Layton Team in October of 2022. Coming with 20 years of experience in the financial industry, Tara is excited to support the financial professionals as they continue helping clients achieve their financial goals. Tara will be the senior administrative assistant for the team, being the main point of contact for any client service needs. Tara graduated from the University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire with a major in Kinesiology. In her spare time, she volunteers at her church and stays very active with her three boys Cael, Tate, and Gage. She also enjoys spending time with family, taking camping trips to the north shore, reading, coffee, and spoiling her puppy Mayzie.

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What’s the most likely place people could find you on a Saturday night?
At one of my boys' sporting events or at home trying to catch up on laundry.

Which would you pick: Living on the beach or living near the mountains?
The older I have gotten, the more I appreciate the mountains. The view from a mountaintop is breathtaking.

If you had the ability to travel back in time, what’s something you would tell your 18-year-old self?
I have a lot of things, but to name a few in no particular order - 1) Start investing for your future. 2) It's okay to fail. Everyone does it and you will learn from it. 3) Follow your dreams!

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Margaret Kelly

Administrative Assistant & Receptionist
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The Layton Team welcomed Margaret Kelly, our current Minnetonka Office Receptionist, as a member of the Team in the Spring of 2023. Margaret joined our team as an Administrative Assistant. She will also continue as our office Receptionist and will be the first person you meet when you walk in. Please join us in welcoming Margaret the next time you come!

Margaret and her husband Jim are semi-empty nesters with two college students and a Goldendoodle, Penny. In her spare time, Margaret likes to spend as much time as she can outside going on walks, gardening and enjoying time at the lake with family and friends. She is passionate about organization and finding ways to create and improve business operations.

Learn More About Margaret

What’s the most likely place people could find you on a Saturday night?
I’m pretty mellow, either on the screen porch or bonfire with friends & family. I love being outside.

Which would you pick: Living on the beach or living near the mountains?
Beach for sure. Water & sunshine are all I need! I prefer freshwater over salty. The water can be frozen too. Walking on a frozen lake on a sunny day is special. 

If you had the ability to travel back in time, what’s something you would tell your 18-year-old self?
Oh boy, probably all the clichés that my 18-year-old self would roll her eyes at. Life’s a journey, try to enjoy all of it, even the hard stuff. You’ll learn more from the hard stuff. You are your only competition, stop comparing your weakness to someone else’s strengths.

Solutions for the Greater Good.

We educate, plan and strive to make today's goals a future reality. So why not extend these practices outside our office walls? Focus Financial Community means getting up out of a swivel chair, going past the water cooler and riding down to ground level where a wider community begins. It means investing in the betterment of our neighborhoods. It means finding more than just solutions for our clients, but solutions for the greater good. Focus Financial knows that even though money talks, a smile and helping hand matter too.

What does this look like?

We host 4-5 charity events each year, benefiting causes wide and far. From Minnesota organizations and children in our own backyard, to national charities working to improve lives across America, all are efforts that need our help.

The very act of giving back boosts our own happiness, health and sense of well-being.

- Chuck Slocum

Toys For Tots

Over the years Focus Financial has been a drop site for Toys for Tots. Our team is dedicated to helping children have a joyous holiday season. Clients are able to drop off toys at our offices as well. https://www.toysfortots.org/

The Loppet Foundation

John was first introduced to the foundation when they hosted the first "City of the Lakes Loppet" cross country ski race, one of the few urban ski races in the country. It brought kids of varying backgrounds to participate in an event they normally wouldn't have exposure to. In 2017 John was involved in fundraising for a new gathering place called "The Trailhead" at Wirth Park. The foundation is focused on integrating outdoor sports with kids in the Minneapolis area, including hiking, skiing, mountain biking, tubing and snowboarding. Find out more at: https://www.loppet.org/

Feed My Starving Children

During the 2022 holiday season, The Layton Team and clients came together to pack enough meals to feed over 40 kids for one year. We are thankful for such a great team willing to help a great cause. https://www.fmsc.org/

Minnesota Music Coalition

John's father was a firm believer in preserving the arts. He forced everyone in their family to play an instrument. John has learned how much of a gift this was. Today he is blessed to have a wonderful network of friends and band members to enjoy the journey of learning music together.

Through potluck house parties and fundraisers John chooses to give back to the arts through his interest in music. Giving to the Minnesota Music Coalition keeps that support in place for artists who need assistance in launching their professional careers. https://www.mnmusiccoalition.org/#/

Volunteer Ski Instructor

Since 2004 John has volunteered to teach an amazing group of 5th grade students at Sunset Hill Elementary that wouldn't normally get the opportunity to be exposed to winter sports, to learn how to cross country ski. Through the years, he has watched students learn and embrace Minnesota winters. Many students continued on with the sport and joined the Wayzata High School ski racing team. https://www.thesnowpros.org/

Team Volunteer Activities

Outside the office, the Layton Team members give back to their communities through volunteering at many of their kid's activities and sports functions.

Tara Olson is a volunteer member on a Christian Education Board and teaches Confirmation class for the young adults at her church. She also enjoys participating in the Delano Wrestling Club boosters' program and runs tournaments for her three boys' sporting events. 

Lauren Jagerson spends much of her winter and spring coaching girls' youth volleyball at a local club in the Twin Cities. She is passionate about teaching the sport of volleyball and making a positive impact on the players on and off the court.  

Take the Emotion Out of Investing

We Can Set You Up for Success


We can assist you in various areas of planning, our goal is to make your life easier.

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Retirement Planning

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Retirement Planning

Our goal is to help make sure your retirement wishes are fulfilled — as well as protected — from any unexpected obstacles. We aim to make your life simpler and retirement stress free.

We can establish a customized, comprehensive financial plan to ensure you are on track to retire when you desire. 

We will review the long-term impact of your Social Security in your plan if benefits are reduced or adjusted, review cash flow analysis to determine how much income you will need when you retire, and recommend the most appropriate distribution strategy for your employer retirement plans and IRAs.

Schedule Your Meeting

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Tax Planning

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Tax Planning

The Layton Team has a strong relationship with tax professionals within our office building, and many of our clients find it convenient to do combined meetings with our team and their tax professional at the same time. With our help and your tax professional's collaboration, we can achieve the following:

  • Reducing taxable income through income deferral or shifting.
  • Deduction planning.
  • Investment tax planning.
  • Year-end planning strategies.

The major goal of tax planning is to minimize federal and state income tax liability.

If you choose to give away wealth, during life or after death, you may have federal taxes — and possibly additional state taxes. We can help navigate various tax implications including gift, estate, income and inheritance taxes. We want to help protect the assets you transfer, and avoid excessive expenditures, by understanding these taxes and the various strategies you can use to minimize them.

Schedule Your Meeting

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Estate Planning

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Estate Planning

Estate planning creates a master plan for the management of your property during life and the distribution of that property after death.

We can assist with the following:

  • Create a basic will for you and your family. (we can refer you to a local estate planning attorney)
  • Create Durable Power of Attorney (for financial decisions).
  • Provide care as you age - formalize an Advanced Care Directive (for medical decisions).
  • Enable wealth transfer - confirm all beneficiaries of retirement accounts are accurately established.

Schedule Your Meeting

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Investment Planning

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Investment Planning

Through ongoing collaboration, our team can discover new avenues for you to invest your wealth and accomplish your goals. In addition to managing your investments, we’ll educate you on the rationale behind each investment decision so you’re well-versed in the logic of our approach.  

Our goal is to help you answer these questions:

How are my investments doing? Can I do better?

Am I invested properly for my goals and objectives?

What are the best investments based on the economy and the markets right now?

IRA, 401k, Roth IRA, 529, ESA - what is best for me?

We will work alongside you to map out your short- and long-term objectives. As your objectives change, we’ll adjust our approach according to the current state of the markets. Communicating on a regular basis allows us to keep current with all your needs and concerns. 

Through a series of questions, we can identify your optimal risk tolerance. We’ll determine the exact amount of risk needed for you to achieve your goals and remain confident in our services.

Schedule Your Meeting

While every conversation is different, get a sense of what it is like to collaborate with us. Contact us for a no cost, no obligation, initial consultation.


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