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Best Financial Advisors in San Diego, CA

Sept. 25, 2019, 10:54 p.m.

A financial advisor helps you navigate investment options and plan for important financial decisions. When evaluating financial planners, consider their reputation, their specialty, your assets and whether they are a fiduciary. Our partners at ConsumerAffairs researched the best financial advisors in San Diego to find you the right money advisor to achieve your financial goals.

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#1
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Features
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  • Goal-based financial planning
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#2
Pure Financial Advisors
Pure Financial Advisors
Features
  • $2 billion in total AUM
  • No account minimum
  • Offers individual & model portfolio management
  • Serves mid to high net worth individuals
Location
3131 Camino Del Rio N., Ste. 1550
San Diego, CA 92108
(619) 814-4100
#3
Bull Oak Capital
Bull Oak Capital
Features
  • Manages $44.2 million in total assets across 169 accounts
  • Charges AUM fees, hourly rates & fixed rates
  • Invests exclusively in low-cost index funds
  • Takes a global, macro approach focused on proper risk levels
Location
4747 Executive Dr., Ste. 1010
San Diego, CA 92121
(858) 999-3550
#4
Mercer Advisors
Mercer Advisors
Features
  • Manages $10.6 billion in total assets across over 28,000 accounts
  • $250,000 minimum asset requirement
  • Planning-focused independent RIA firm
  • Fee-only investment management
Location
9171 Towne Centre Dr., Ste. 250
San Diego, CA 92122
(800) 926-1681
Dowling & Yahnke
Dowling & Yahnke
Features
  • M-F: 8am - 5pm
  • Closed Sat and Sun
  • dywealth.com
Location
12265 El Camino Real, Ste. 300
San Diego, CA 92130
(858) 509-9500
HoyleCohen
HoyleCohen
Features
  • M-F: 8am - 5pm
  • Closed Sat and Sun
  • hoylecohen.com
Location
9350 Waxie Wy., Ste. 500
San Diego, CA 92123
(858) 576-7300
Delphi Private Advisors
Delphi Private Advisors
Features
  • M-F: 8am - 5pm
  • Closed Sat and Sun
  • delphiprivate.com
Location
3611 Valley Centre Dr., Ste. 125
San Diego, CA 92130
(858) 222-8050
Private Asset Management
Private Asset Management
Features
  • M-Th: 6:30am - 3pm
  • F: 6:30am - 2pm
  • Closed Sat and Sun
  • pamgmt.com
Location
5348 Carroll Canyon Rd., Ste. 200
San Diego, CA 92121
(858) 750-4209
Telos Capital Management
Telos Capital Management
Features
  • M-Th: 7am - 4:30pm
  • F: 7am - 3pm
  • Closed Sat and Sun
  • telosinc.com
Location
12121 Scripps Summit Dr., Ste. 350
San Diego, CA 92131
(858) 271-6350
Ariston Services Group
Ariston Services Group
Features
  • M-F: 8am - 3pm
  • Closed Sat and Sun
  • aristonservicesgroup.com
Location
Symphony Tower Bldg. 750 B St., Ste. 2630
San Diego, CA 92101
(619) 241-2326
Clelland & Co
Clelland & Co
Features
  • M-F: 9am - 5pm
  • Closed Sat and Sun
  • clelland.com
Location
5151 Shoreham Pl., Ste. 130
San Diego, CA 92122
(858) 587-8700

Choosing a financial advisor in San Diego

san diego skyline

During major life changes, professional financial advice helps you manage your assets and achieve financial stability for your family. Consider hiring a financial advisor in San Diego if you are:

  • Buying a home
  • Getting married
  • Having children
  • Saving for college
  • Starting a new career
  • Getting divorced
  • Planning for retirement

A financial advisor has the education and experience to analyze your financial situation and craft a personalized plan to make your goals achievable. Investment advisors also help you buy and sell investments to grow your hard-earned savings.

While many financial advisory services require a minimum amount of wealth, some retirement advisors and financial planners will work with clients no matter the size of their account.

Types of financial advisors

There are different types of financial advisors in San Diego, but two distinctions separate all of them. The first distinction is between robo-advisors and human advisors.

Robo-advisors vs. human advisors

Robo-advisor Human advisor
This software makes automated asset management decisions based on algorithms with little to no human input These professionals provide asset management based on their education and experience
Focused on investment portfolios, accounts and trades Can provide comprehensive financial planning
Lower cost Higher cost
Lower investment thresholds and balance requirements Higher investment thresholds and balance requirements
Less precise recommendations for simple financial plans More precise recommendations for complex financial plans

The second distinction is between fiduciary financial advisors and non-fiduciary advisors. A fiduciary financial advisor is obligated to act in your best interests when making decisions on your behalf. This obligation is known as the fiduciary standard.

However, not all financial planners have a fiduciary duty. These advisors maintain a suitability standard, which means they only have to make recommendations suitable for someone in your position. This looser guideline allows these advisors to sell you products or make investments that benefit them more than you.

What is the cost of a financial advisor in San Diego?

Financial advisors in San Diego have different ways of charging clients. Robo-advisor firms typically take under 1 percent of your account balance each year, called an assets under management fee. Human advisors might also charge an AUM fee and take a larger percentage of the assets they manage for you, typically 1 - 2 percent.

Some financial advisors work on commission, which means they make 3 - 6 percent when they sell you a financial product. Retainer fees, where you pay a set fee annually or monthly for ongoing asset management, are available as well.

Alternatively, a financial planner might charge a flat fee for a specific service, like creating a financial plan with no ongoing asset management. Hourly rates apply for more complicated financial planning and short-term investment advice.

Fee-only advisors in San Diego charge hourly rates or flat fees and usually make a salary from the firm that employs them. Notably, fee-only advisors cannot collect commissions. Fee-based financial advisors collect both fees and commissions.

Transparency about how they make money is a hallmark of reputable financial planners. Compensation should be transparent before you make any payments or enter into an agreement. Finally, be aware of transaction fees, trade fees and any other hidden charges.

What qualifications should a financial advisor have?

Financial advisors should have a college degree in a relevant field, such as accounting or finance. Professionals who dispense financial advice or practice asset management in San Diego should also have certification from a trade organization, like the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards.

Financial advisors and brokers who sell stocks, bonds and mutual funds must hold a license from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

During your first consultation, ask your financial planner:

  • Are you a fiduciary?
  • How are you compensated?
  • What fees do you charge?
  • What certifications do you hold?
  • What amount of assets does your firm have under management?
  • What is your investment philosophy?
  • What is your specialty?
  • How long have you been in business?

To avoid a scam, be wary of any financial advisor who promises investment returns higher than 10 percent. Check with FINRA or the California Department of Business Oversight for any complaints or arbitrations involving the firm or individual you are considering. Check client reviews as well.

Facet Wealth

Facet Wealth VISIT FACET WEALTH

Facet Wealth offers comprehensive financial advisory services from fiduciary CFPs and robo-advisors. This fee-only company exclusively charges customers for the asset management and planning services they use rather than charging AUM or retainer fees. Facet also offers free consultations and doesn’t charge penalties for cancellation.

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