You’re ready to find a financial advisor in San Diego, but where do you begin? Not only do you want someone you can trust to protect your future and goals. You deserve an advisor who takes the time to understand what’s most important to you about your money.
That’s why MagnifyMoney’s done the hard work for you. We’ve curated a list of the best financial advisors in San Diego — from the sunny beaches to the Inland Empire — including each company’s key data points. We only looked at firms that manage individual accounts and provide financial planning for their clients. We then ranked firms based on assets under management (AUM), which is the total dollars the firm manages for its clients. All data in our methodology is taken from each firm’s most recent Form ADV filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
No matter where you live – from Banker’s Hill to Mira Mesa and beyond – there’s an advisor out there who’s the ideal fit for every dream you have. Use our list of San Diego’s top financial advisors to jump-start your search.
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|Firm||Minimum assets required||Fee structure|
|Dowling & Yahnke, LLC||$1 million for retail investors||Percentage of AUM
|Pure Financial Advisors, Inc.||None, but a minimum annual fee of $3,000||Percentage of AUM
|HoyleCohen, LLC||$1 million||Percentage of AUM
|Dunham & Associates Investment Counsel, Inc.||Varies by program||Percentage of AUM
|Telos Capital Management, Inc.||$250,000||Percentage of AUM|
|Christopher Weil & Co Inc||None, but a minimum annual fee of $8,000||Percentage of AUM
|Private Asset Management Inc||$100,000||Percentage of AUM
|Rowling & Associates LLC||No minimum||Percentage of AUM
Our list of the best financial advisors in San Diego kicks off with Dowling & Yanhke. Mark Dowling and Dale Yahnke started their eponymous firm in 1991. Today, the firm has a single office in San Diego and is owned by eight key employees.
Dowling & Yahnke’s bread and butter services include investment management and financial planning for high net worth individuals, who the SEC defines as those with at least $750,000 under management or a net worth of at least $1.5 million. However, despite the firm’s typical minimum investment requirement of $1 million, it also serves some non-high net worth individuals. In particular, Dowling & Yahnke focuses on helping clients plan for life milestones and hardships, such as coming into sudden wealth, surviving a spouse or retiring.
The firm also has institutional clients, including charitable organizations, endowments, pension and profit-sharing plans and other businesses.
When creating client portfolios, advisors at Dowling & Yahnke aim for broad diversification, tax efficiency and low costs. Portfolios typically include a combination of mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and individual securities, with the exact allocation customized based on the client’s needs.
In certain circumstances, Dowling & Yahnke may recommend independent third-party managers. Clients typically give the firm discretionary control over their account, meaning Dowling & Yahnke can make investment choices and trades without requiring client approval.
Dowling & Yahnke and its employees have no disciplinary marks over the last 10 years that would materially affect an individual’s view of the firm or the integrity of its management team; this includes any civil, criminal or regulatory events.
To learn more about the firm, visit Dowling & Yahnke, LLC’s IAPD page.
Pure Financial Advisors, Inc. is next on our list of the best financial advisors in San Diego. The firm was founded in 2007 by industry veteran and current owner Michael Fenison. Headquartered in San Diego, the firm has three additional California offices in Irvine, Brea and Woodland Hills, and a Seattle location in Washington State.
The team provides portfolio management, pension consulting, and one-time or ongoing financial planning services on topics including cash flow, risk management and estate planning. Clients are typically individual investors with and without high net worths, as well as a limited number of pension and profit-sharing plans and charitable organizations.
Pure Financial Advisors typically invests client funds in one of the firm’s numerous model portfolios. These portfolios include a diversified global mix of mutual funds, index funds and ETFs, ranging from 0% to 100% equity exposure. Portfolios may also include government securities, corporate debt and municipal debt funds, options and oil and gas. Investment decisions are usually based on information gathered about each client in the financial planning process.
Advisors at the firm generally oversee client accounts through a discretionary relationship, meaning clients do not sign off each trade. Only fixed income portfolios are managed individually by an advisor, though the firm may also offer this option to accommodate existing clients.
Pure Financial Advisors discloses no legal or disciplinary events in the last 10 years that would be material to a client’s evaluation of the firm or the integrity of the management team, thus giving the firm a clean record.
You can learn more about the firm at the Pure Financial Advisors IAPD page.
HoyleCohen, LLC is based in San Diego, but it has additional offices in California in Santa Monica and Sacramento and has a location in Phoenix. As a client, you can expect HoyleCohen to provide financial planning and investment management services.
The firm’s client list includes individual investors with and without high net worths. However, in 2020 the firm instituted a new minimum investment requirement of $1 million, limiting new accounts to higher net worth investors. HoyleCohen also works with certain institutional investors, including pension plans, profit-sharing plans, government entities, charitable organizations and businesses.
The firm was founded in 2001 and became part of the Focus Financial Partners in 2006, a partnership of independent wealth management firms. Thus, today the firm is owned by Focus Financial Partners, LLC, which also owns other advisors, broker-dealers, insurance companies, pension consultants and other financial firms. Focus Financial Partners, LLC is primarily owned by Focus Financial Partners, Inc., which has traded publicly on the NASDAQ since 2018.
The team at HoyleCohen has created what it calls the CorePlus platform, which is home to a wide variety of investments and strategies handpicked by an investment committee.
Core investments and strategies typically include individual stocks and bonds, mutual funds and ETFs, all of which represent the lion’s share of a client’s portfolio. Meanwhile, advisors can add the firm’s Plus strategies to address each client’s unique goals, such as generating reliable income in a low interest rate environment, achieving broader diversification, reducing taxes or investing in private opportunities.
The team uses fundamental analysis of a target company’s balance sheet, income statement, earnings estimates, cash flow and other factors to choose individual investments for the platform. Third-party managers also are used on occasion.
HoyleCohen discloses no legal or disciplinary events in the last decade that would materially impact a client’s evaluation of the firm or the integrity of the management team. The SEC requires all registered investment advisors to disclose such events in their Form ADV paperwork.
To view the firm’s Form ADV and get more information, visit HoyleCohen’s IAPD page.
Dunham & Associates Investment Counsel, Inc. dates back to 1985, when it was founded in San Diego by Jeffrey Dunham. He owns the firm today through a holding company and serves as its CEO.
The firm works with various financial planners who serve individual investors, both with and without high net worths, in addition to many types of institutions, including corporations and other businesses, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and investment companies.
Individual investors can expect to find proprietary mutual funds along with investment management and financial planning services. The firm is also a licensed broker-dealer, meaning it can place trades for clients and earn a commission. An affiliated trust company is based in Nevada.
Clients enrolled in Dunham & Associates Investment Counsel’s standard wrap accounts are limited to the firm’s mutual funds and unaffiliated mutual funds. They’re invested in up to six core asset allocation models that the team creates. Alternatively, the firm’s custom accounts are tailored to a particular client and can have as many core allocation models and Dunham mutual funds as the client desires.
High net worth clients also have the option of separately managed accounts. This option offers additional asset types, such as individual stocks, bonds and ETFs, alongside the firm’s mutual funds, which have strategies ranging from current income to total return.
Dunham & Associates Investment Counsel has a clean record. It discloses no disciplinary or legal actions against the company or its employees in the last 10 years that would affect a client’s evaluation of the firm or the management team.
To learn more, stop by Dunham & Associates Investment Counsel, Inc.’s IAPD page.
With its main office in San Diego and an additional office in Westlake Village, Calif., Telos Capital Management’s clients include individual investors, both with and without high net worths, and a few pension and profit-sharing plans and charitable organizations. It generally requires clients to have accounts of at least $250,000. The firm’s menu of services includes investment management and financial planning, with a particular focus on retirement planning.
Telos Capital Management has rebranded several times during its time in business. Its roots date back to 1986, when its first incarnation, Alexander & Muckermann, opened in San Diego. The firm’s name changed to A&M Investment Management in 2003, and in 2009, it was incorporated and began using its current name. Today, the firm is owned by three of its top-ranking employees.
Clients of Telos Capital Management can choose from a broad menu of strategies depending on their unique goals and circumstances. Typical investments used in client portfolios include U.S. and foreign stocks, fixed income, ETFs, municipal securities and money market funds. In certain circumstances, more sophisticated products may be added to the mix, including mutual funds, convertible bonds, preferred securities, real estate investment trusts (REITs), mortgage-backed securities, master limited partnerships and others.
Advisors make trading decisions on behalf of their clients, which is known as a discretionary arrangement. To make its investment picks, the team at Telos Capital Management typically uses fundamental analysis to actively pick stocks, rounding out the research with some technical analysis of historical market data.
Neither Telos Capital Management nor its employees or advisory affiliates has had any disciplinary actions over the last 10 years that would be material in evaluating the firm or its management team. This includes any civil, criminal or regulatory actions.
To learn more, visit Telos Capital Management’s IAPD page.
Legally known as The Weil Company, the Christopher Weil & Co., Inc. team works out of a single office in San Diego. Its clients include a mix of individual and institutional investors, including individuals across the financial spectrum, charitable organizations, pension and profit-sharing plans, businesses and others.
The firm’s primary services include portfolio management and advice, as well as financial planning, addressing topics such as taxes, cash flow, insurance, retirement and estate planning. The firm also manages a mutual fund that it may recommend to clients, the Christopher Weil & Company Core Investment Fund (CWCFX).
Christopher Weil & Co. began conducting business in 1997, although its roots date years earlier. Today, the firm’s principal owners are Matthew Weil, Kit-Victoria (Weil) Wells and Caitlin Weil, who all work at the firm.
Clients of Christopher Weil & Co. typically have the choice of how to handle their investments. They can put their money in model portfolios, where advisors make the buying and selling decisions on their behalf. Their other option is to have their advisors provide custom investment recommendations specifically tailored to their needs.
Specific investment recommendations may include stocks and bonds, mutual funds, CDs, warrants, options contracts, variable annuities and life insurance, as well as interests in real estate or venture capital investments. In addition, the firm employs a broad menu of investment strategies, including short sales, margin transactions, options and buying short-term investments designed to be held for less than 30 days.
Christopher Weil & Co. discloses no legal or disciplinary issues in the previous 10 years that a potential client would find material when evaluating the firm or the integrity of its leadership team.
You can explore disclosures and other information about the firm on Christopher Weil & Co.’s IAPD page.
Based in San Diego with an additional office in Indian Wells, Calif., Private Asset Management, Inc. serves a broad range of clients. Its client base includes both high net worth and non-high net worth individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, foundations and endowments, businesses and more. The firm generally requires a minimum family total account value of $100,000.
Individual clients of the firm can find investment management and financial planning services. Extra services clients can access include bill pay and tax return preparation, as well as private fiduciary trust services.
Founded in 1993, Private Asset Management is owned by the Stephen J. Cohen Trust. The firm’s management committee serves as the co-trustees.
The team’s general investing philosophy focuses on long-term growth and value, with low turnover. To select investments, Private Asset Management starts with a “top-down” method, meaning they analyze numerous macroeconomic factors to form an economic outlook, then decide which type of investment will perform best in that environment.
Typical custom portfolios created by the firm include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, federal and state government debt, ETFs, options and American depository receipts (holdings in foreign corporations). In some situations, the firm may use additional methods, including margin transactions, short sales and options, as well as buying securities meant to be held for 30 days or less.
Private Asset Management discloses no disciplinary or legal events against the firm or its employees or affiliates in the last 10 years that would be material to a client’s evaluation of the firm or the integrity of the management team. For reference, the SEC requires all registered investment advisors to report this information in their Form ADV paperwork.
To learn more, you can visit Private Asset Management’s IAPD page.
We’ll round-out our list of the best financial advisors in San Diego with Rowling & Associates. Founded in 2012, Rowling & Associates offers its clients investment management, financial planning, consulting and investment advisory services. It also offers various services to unaffiliated investment advisory firms. The firm’s clients are primarily individual investors across the broad width of the wealth spectrum. However, the firm also works with pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charities, corporations and other business entities.
The firm is owned by three employees: director of tax services Tara Weisinger, director of operations Juan Aguilar and director of wealth management Lorenzo Sanchez. Its sole office location is in San Diego.
Rowling & Associates’ approach to investing has an environmental, social and governance (ESG) focus. The firm states that it strives to “strategically align the success of your investments with that of our planet.”
When creating client portfolios, Rowling includes funds that primarily invest in companies with positive ratings on ESG criteria. It also focuses on using mutual funds that are no-loan and low-cost. The firm also prioritizes tax efficiency through its management of investments.
Rowling & Associates has a clean disciplinary record. This means that neither the firm nor its employees or advisory affiliates have faced any civil, criminal or regulatory issues within the last decade.
For more information on the firm and its filings with the SEC, visit Rowling & Associates LLC’s IAPD page.
California has a reputation for high taxes. For example, the top income tax rate in the state is 13.30% for single filers with incomes higher than $1 million. That said, Californians don’t face state estate or inheritance taxes, although federal estate taxes still apply to very large estates.
Anytime you work with a fee-only financial advisor, you know the firm isn’t recommending a particular investment or product to receive a commission or reimbursement, thus removing a potential conflict of interest. Fee-only advisors solely earn money through the fees clients pay.
While many firms regularly work with individuals saving for retirement, not every advisor specializes in this area. Don’t be afraid to ask potential advisors key questions to learn more about their qualifications and experience to ensure you end up working with an advisor who can meet your needs.
A financial advisor who is a fiduciary is legally required to act in the client’s best interest and put the client’s interest above the advisor’s interest. You may be surprised to learn not all financial advisors are fiduciaries. All advisors registered with the SEC, known as registered investment advisors or RIAs, are bound by the fiduciary duty. You can look up advisors’ relationship summaries using the SEC search tool, which will specify if the advisors are RIAs. In addition, professional organizations, such as the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors (NAPFA), also require advisers to serve as fiduciaries, so you can use their database as a resource to find a financial advisor.
In our search for the best financial advisors in San Diego, we looked at firms throughout the city. All firms considered are bound by fiduciary duty, registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and offer individual account management and financial planning services. Information for our methodology criteria is taken directly from each firm’s most recent Form ADV filing and brochure, found in the IAPD database.
To localize our results for this list of the best financial advisors in San Diego, we exclusively looked at firms that met the above criteria and had their headquarters in San Diego, per the address provided in the Form ADV. We only considered firms that offer financial planning services and portfolio management to individual investors. To be considered for this list, firms also could have no more than one disciplinary disclosure in the past 10 years. From there, the remaining firms that met all of the above stipulations were ranked in order of highest to lowest AUM, as this is an indication of a firm’s size and how many assets it has been entrusted to manage.
Our reviews have also listed several other key features that will help you determine which financial advisor may be most fitting for your investing style and financial needs. While our ranking system and methodology can help you compare firms, it does not indicate which firm may be best for you. All information here is accurate as of June 22, 2022, but don’t hesitate to check out any firm’s Form ADV for yourself on the SEC’s Investment Advisor Public Disclosure site.
The “Find a Financial Advisor” links contained in this article will direct you to webpages devoted to MagnifyMoney Advisor (“MMA”). After completing a brief questionnaire, you will be matched with certain financial advisers who participate in MMA’s referral program, which may or may not include the investment advisers discussed.