Residents of what’s dubbed The Capital of Silicon Valley may find it challenging to choose a financial advisor in San Jose, Calif., given the large number of financial advisors dotting the landscape better known for tech and innovation firms. Finding the right advisor is a lot about figuring out the proper fit, which means understanding your financial needs and goals and how much you’re willing to spend.
Since it’s difficult to compare firms and data points, we compiled the most important information to help guide your decision. To determine the best advisors in Northern California’s largest city, we only considered firms that manage individual accounts and offer financial planning services. We then ranked these firms based on assets under management (AUM), which serves as a general metric for a firm’s size. Although not formally part of our ranking, we encourage readers to take note of each firm’s client-to-advisor ratio, as this indicates how much attention you may get as a client. All data used in our methodology is taken from each firm’s most recent Form ADV filing with the SEC so as to ensure the accuracy and reliability of our rankings.
Our ranking is not meant to suggest which firm is going to be the best for you, but it can make it easier for you to compare your options. Take a look at our list below for the top firms in San Jose and what you need to know about them:
|Firm||Minimum assets required||Fee structure|
|Werba Rubin Papier Wealth Management, LLC||$500,000|| |
|Silicon Valley Capital Partners, L.P.||Not specified|| |
|Silicon Valley Wealth Advisors, LLC||$500,000|| |
|BetterWealth LLC||None, but clients typically have a net worth of $1 million to $25 million|| |
|Clarity Wealth Advisors||$500,000|| |
|Concentrum Wealth Management||None|| |
|Hayes Financial, Inc.||None|| |
|Hendershott Wealth Management, LLC||Generally $1.5 million, although a separate program exists for investors with as little as $25,000|| |
For our search, we looked at firms across the city of San Jose, Calif. All of the firms considered are bound by fiduciary duty, registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and offer individual account management and financial planning services. Information used for our methodology criteria is taken directly from each firm’s most recent Form ADV filing and brochure, found on the IAPD database.
To localize our results for this list, we exclusively looked at firms that met the above criteria and had their headquarters in San Jose, as per the address provided in the Form ADV. Of those firms, we only considered those 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.
In our reviews, we 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 is designed to help you compare firms, it does not indicate which firm may be best for you. All information here is accurate as of July 19, 2021, but we urge you to also evaluate these firms on https://adviserinfo.sec.gov/.
Werba Rubin Papier Wealth Management, LLC initially registered as an investment advisory firm in 2006 under the name Werba & Davis Advisory Services, LLC. After a few rebrandings due to partner changes and mergers, the team has been doing business under its current name since 2017. Today, the eponymous firm is owned evenly by Alan Werba, Aaron Rubin and Jason Papier, and has a single office in San Jose.
The team primarily works with individuals and families and clients with high net worth (for reference the SEC defines high net worth as having at least $750,000 to invest or a net worth of $1.5 million). A minimum account size of $500,000 is generally required. Advisors manage client portfolios and occasionally prepare a financial plan, retirement analysis or some other financial consulting generally at no charge, though an additional payment may be required. In particular, the firm specializes in financial planning for professionals in pre-IPO companies, helping them navigate company stock options and potential IPOs.
The team can also work with institutions including 401(k) plan sponsors and their participants. The affiliated group WRP Tax Services, Inc. provides tax planning.
Werba Rubin Papier Wealth Management typically invests client money in model portfolios that are managed by either Buckingham Strategic Partners or Dimensional Fund Advisors. These model portfolios generally use no-load, asset class mutual funds. Advisors help clients identify which model portfolio is best for their unique circumstances, based on their goals, time horizon and risk tolerance.
For certain clients, outside separate account managers may be used for exposure to individual stocks, fixed income or other special situations and investments.
Werba Rubin Papier Wealth Management has a clean record, disclosing no legal or disciplinary actions. For reference, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) requires all registered investment advisory firms to disclose on their Form ADV any legal or disciplinary actions, including civil, criminal and regulatory events, against the firm or its employees or affiliates in the prior decade that a client would view as material when evaluating the firm or the integrity of its leaders.
To learn more about the firm, visit its IAPD page.
Silicon Valley Capital Partners was founded in 2003 by its owner, Christopher Combs, who also serves as a portfolio strategy officer and investment committee member at the firm. The team works out of a single office in San Jose, primarily offering portfolio management. Occasionally advisors may provide financial planning including advising on topics such as retirement, estate, charitable giving, insurance or distributions.
The firm’s client list includes individuals and families, including those with high net worth, as well as institutions such as pension and profit-sharing plans and charitable organizations.
To design client portfolios, advisors at Silicon Valley Capital Partners factor in a client’s risk tolerance, time horizon, liquidity needs and other unique considerations. (The firm’s advisors also serve as the firm’s investment and strategy committee, removing a potential lack of communication between advisors and portfolio managers.) Client money is primarily invested in stocks, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), bonds and certificates of deposit (CDs). The team can also provide advice on existing annuities.
In particular, Silicon Valley Capital Partners focuses on risk, as it believes the bulk of investment returns are driven by macroeconomic forces or “winds” that are not picked up in asset allocation or backward-looking tools. Instead, the team has created proprietary tools to help assess those risks. It also publishes research each year communicating its macroeconomic beliefs to clients.
Silicon Valley Capital Partners discloses no legal or disciplinary marks over the past decade against the firm or its employees or affiliates that would raise material questions in a client’s mind about the firm or the integrity of its management team. Read the firm’s brochure and Form ADV paperwork available on its IAPD page to learn more.
Silicon Valley Wealth Advisors, LLC has provided advisory services to its clients since 1992. Today, the firm is owned by its three principals: Tracy Lasecke (through Lasecke Enterprises, LLC), Christopher Duke and Scott Ponder.
Most of the firm’s clients are individuals and families ( including those with high net worth) who turn to the firm for investment management and financial planning. The firm requires a minimum portfolio size of $500,000. For clients investing more than $3 million, financial planning is included with investment management at no extra cost. Clients with smaller investment accounts pay a minimum fee of $4,000 for financial planning. Financial topics addressed in planning sessions may include goal setting, problem identification, cash flow management, stock options, education funding, retirement planning, taxes, estate planning and insurance needs, including health and long-term care.
The group has additional offices in California in Palo Alto and Half Moon Bay. The team also serves institutions including retirement plans sponsors and charitable organizations.
Silicon Valley Wealth Advisors typically creates custom portfolios for each client based on their goals, risk tolerance, time horizon and other unique factors. Model portfolios may sometimes be used.
The firm believes that portfolio performance is largely driven by asset allocation. Thus, client money is typically invested in globally diversified portfolios using low-cost and tax-efficient passively managed stock mutual funds and ETFs. At times, other low-cost products may be recommended such as bond funds and individual fixed income securities. Other investments that may be included in client portfolios are individual stocks and bonds, warrants, variable life insurance and variable annuities, options, futures and alternative investments such as hedge funds, real estate investment trusts (REITs), private equity or commercial mortgage pools.
For accounts larger than $2 million, the team may opportunistically select individual stocks it believes are mispriced and will correct over time. The team can also help interested clients screen their investments for environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors.
Silicon Valley Wealth Advisors reports no legal or disciplinary blemishes against the firm in the past 10 years that a client would deem material when assessing the firm and its leaders’ integrity. That said, specific individuals may have histories. Thus, be sure to look up your potential advisor at www.investor.gov/CRS. You can learn more about the firm on its IAPD page.
In operation since 2015, BetterWealth LLC is owned by its two principals, Scott Stauffer and Andrew Howard. The firm works out of its single office in San Jose.
Most clients who work with BetterWealth are individuals and families (including those with high net worth) looking for portfolio management and financial planning help. Financial planning is typically included for clients who pay the firm to manage their portfolio, but may be offered a la carte for other clients. Topics addressed may include insurance, business planning, retirement planning, estate planning, charitable giving, education planning and home purchase planning. BetterWealth also works with pension and profit-sharing plans, businesses and other institutions.
The firm notes that although it does not have a minimum requirement for its asset or wealth management services, its clients typically have a net worth of over $1 million.
Advisors at BetterWealth begin the investment process by talking to clients about their personal situation, including existing resources, goals, risk tolerance, objectives and other factors. Then client money is typically invested in stocks, bonds, ETFs, options, mutual funds and other public or private investments.
Investments are usually purchased for the long term, although short-term buying may occasionally be appropriate, such as when harvesting tax losses.
BetterWealth reports no legal or disciplinary disclosures in the prior decade against the firm or its employees or affiliates that clients would deem significant when evaluating the firm and the integrity of its leaders. The firm’s IAPD page provides further information if you want to learn more.
Clarity Wealth Advisors has been in business since 2011. The firm is owned by founder and managing partner, Parvin Manuchehri, as well as managing director, Milind P. Dalal.
The team primarily caters to individuals and families, the majority of whom are deemed high net worth by the SEC. In general, the firm requires a minimum account size of $500,000. Clarity Wealth Advisors can also work with institutions such as retirement plan sponsors, small businesses and charitable foundations. The firm’s bread and butter services tend to be portfolio management and financial planning, which can address topics such as cash flow, debt, retirement planning and charitable giving strategies.
Some investment advisers may be separately licensed as broker-dealers, meaning they can place trades and receive commissions per transaction. The firm is also separately licensed as an insurance agent. The team’s office in San Jose is its sole location.
At Clarity Wealth Advisors, client money may be invested through a custom account created and managed by the team, or through model portfolios managed by the team or a third party. Clarity Wealth Advisors primarily uses stocks, bonds, mutual funds and ETFs, though it may also recommend alternative investments or private funds to certain clients. Sometimes an independent asset manager may be recommended for some or all of a client’s portfolio.
To make its investment recommendations, the team combines fundamental and technical analysis, thus examining individual companies and industries as well as identifying patterns and other market trends.
Clarity Wealth Advisors has a clean record. The firm discloses no legal or disciplinary actions against the firm or its employees or affiliates in the last 10 years that a potential client would view as material when evaluating the firm and its managers’ integrity. To learn more, view the firm’s IAPD page.
Brothers Jeffery E. Fong and Jay C. Fong, both certified financial planners (CFPs), founded Concentrum Wealth Management in 2013 after working at other financial services firms. They both equally own the firm and work out of the firm’s sole office in San Jose.
Most of the firm’s clients are individuals, (including those with high net worth), corporate executives and business owners. The team also works with retirement plan sponsors and businesses. The primary services offered by Concentrum Wealth Management include investment management, financial planning and pension consulting. The team also specializes in divorce planning.
Separately, some investment advisors are licensed as broker-dealers, meaning they can receive commissions for buying and selling investments.
Concentrum Wealth Management offers only wrap-fee managed accounts, meaning clients pay one bundled fee that covers advisory services as well as transaction costs.
Initially, clients meet with their advisors to discuss their goals, risk tolerance, existing resources and other pertinent topics. Advisors then recommend an allocation that generally consists of stocks, bonds, ETFs, mutual funds, options and other public and private investments. More sophisticated strategies such as options, warrants and short sales are sometimes used.
To come up with its recommendations, the team mixes many different methods of investment research, including fundamental analysis, technical analysis, cyclical analysis and charting. This means team members evaluate everything from the company’s financial health and industry conditions as well as identify patterns and other signals on charts to gauge price movements.
Concentrum Wealth Management has had no legal or disciplinary disclosures involving the firm in the previous decade that clients would view as material when assessing the company. That said, individual professionals may have disciplinary events on their records, so be sure to check out your potential advisor at www.investor.gov/CRS.
To learn more about Concentrum Wealth Management, visit the firm’s IAPD page.
Hayes Financial’s owner and president, Zachary D. Hayes, first registered his eponymous firm as an investment advisor in 2017, marketing that he founded the firm on Biblical principles. His team provides financial planning and investment management services to individuals and families as well as to retirement plan sponsors and businesses.
In general, clients of Hayes Financial have a fair amount of investing experience, as advisors want the clients to be involved in the investing and planning process. In particular, the firm has experience dealing with corporate compensation at high-tech firms and has worked with a large number of employees and alumni at some of Silicon Valley’s biggest name companies.
Alongside its San Jose headquarters, the firm has two additional California offices in Morgan Hill and Redding.
Hayes Financial uses what it dubs a seven-step investment process, where budget, income and withdrawal expectations are discussed before any investing begins. Once advisors have an understanding of the client’s unique needs and situation, advisors create an appropriate asset allocation. Typical recommendations include primarily mutual funds, but also stocks, bonds and ETFs.
To determine its picks, the team has created a proprietary scoring model that attaches points to the performance measures the team deems most valuable. Each investment is scored over multiple time periods, including downturns. A qualitative review is also conducted for those earning the highest scores.
Advisors work with clients through discretionary management, meaning advisors have the power to place trades in client accounts without first consulting the client. Only in limited circumstances will non-discretionary accounts be considered.
Hayes Financial reports a clean slate, disclosing no legal or disciplinary actions against the firm, its employees or its affiliates that would raise questions for potential clients around the firm or the integrity of its leaders. View the firm’s IAPD page to learn more.
Hendershott Wealth Management has been providing advisory services since 2014, and it’s been registered with the SEC as an investment adviser since 2021. Majority owner Hilary Hendershott founded her eponymous firm with the goal of focusing on women and couples. The firm serves mainly individuals and families, but it can also work with businesses, charitable organizations and other groups. The team works from its single office in San Jose.
Hendershott Wealth Management offers investment management and financial planning services, including the selection of third-party investment managers. Financial planning may include the creation of a holistic financial plan addressing many aspects of your financial life, or consulting on a single topic. The team also offers an education program that, through seminars and one-on-one phone calls, aims to teach individuals smart financial practices.
For clients who lack the firm’s typical $1.5 million investment requirement, Hendershott Wealth Management offers a program dubbed Ignite Investing that provides access to model portfolios managed by the team as well as direct contact with an advisor. (Right now only referrals from current clients are currently being accepted into the program.)
Hendershott Wealth Management may invest client funds in a custom portfolio created specifically for the client’s unique needs, or through model portfolios developed by the firm. Third-party managers may be used for some or all of a client’s portfolio. Advisors primarily recommend mutual funds, although other types of investments may be recommended as appropriate.
To choose its recommendations, the team at Hendershott Wealth Management primarily uses fundamental analysis, meaning it evaluates specific companies and their industries, looking at everything from market conditions to financial health to the management team in order to determine if the current stock price is over- or undervalued relative to where the team thinks it should be. The team primarily makes long term purchases.
Unless specifically stated, tax considerations are not the team’s primary focus.
Hendershott Wealth Management has a clean record, disclosing no legal or disciplinary actions against the firm, its employees or its affiliates in the prior 10 years that clients would question when evaluating the firm or the integrity of its leaders. View the firm’s IAPD page to learn more.
Income tax rates in California run high, climbing to as much as 13.30% for single filers earning more than $1 million. Residents with lesser income pay a lower percentage. That said, residents of California face no state estate or inheritance taxes, although large estates may face the federal estate tax.
No. While all advisors may have experience managing a portfolio that a client will eventually live off in retirement, not all advisors offer services that specifically help you plan for retirement. Some advisors focus more on asset management, meaning managing your portfolio. Other advisors take a more holistic view of your financial life and can help you determine how much you need to save for retirement, if you’re on track to hit your retirement goals or how much you can safely withdraw during retirement without risking drying up your account too quickly.
If retirement planning is a priority for you, make sure to ask your advisor if this is a service they provide and how much experience they have in getting their clients ready to retire.
You can search for advisors in your area using MagnifyMoney’s financial advisor search tool or through reputable outside organization’s tools such as those offered by letsmakeaplan.org or napfa.org. Next, you’ll want to check the firm’s disciplinary history as well as the individual advisor’s at www.investor.gov/CRS. Finally, it’s typically in your best interest to verify the advisor serves as a fiduciary (more on that below). Also consider further questions to ask a financial advisor to ensure you find a good fit for you.
Many types of professionals can call themselves a financial advisor, but not all of them abide by the same ethical guidelines. Working with a fiduciary financial advisor means the advisor must put their clients’ best interest first. This ensures they cannot put their own interests above your own, such as by pushing products that cut the advisor the biggest check. This article can give you more information on what it means to serve as a fiduciary financial advisor, and why it matters.