Best Financial Advisors in San Diego, California

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Contributor, Benzinga
June 27, 2023

San Diego has no shortage of people willing to help you manage your money. That’s why Benzinga put in the time and research to help you find the best financial advisors in San Diego. Here’s our list of the best financial advisors for your situation.

Quick Look at the Best Financial Advisors in San Diego Near You:

Best for Custom Portfolio Management Services: Private Asset Management

Private Asset Management offers financial advice tailored to individual client goals. Private Asset Management offers professional service no matter your background through objective, fee-based management. Private Asset Management in San Diego is dedicated to maintaining long-term relationships based on integrity and respect. 

Private Asset Management doesn’t charge commissions and revenue is derived from management fees only.

PRIVATE ASSET MANAGEMENT INC

PRIVATE ASSET MANAGEMENT INC

$696,873,252
  • A percentage of assets under your management
  • Fixed fees (other than subscription fees)
$100,000
6
436
Yes
23
6
  • Financial planning services
Address

5348 CARROLL CANYON ROAD SUITE 200SAN DIEGO CA, 92121-1733

Phone number

858-750-4200

M1 Finance
Best For
  • Customizable Auto Investing
securely through M1 Finance's website

Best Robo-Advisor: M1 Finance

M1 Finance makes it easy for you to manage your money independently. It works both as an online broker and an investment manager. Your dashboard will clearly show you the composition of your portfolio. You can access low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs), individual stocks or a combination of both. Get a portfolio line of credit and use M1 Finance’s checking account option to set up direct deposits.

You can choose between 2 account types — Core and M1 Plus. Core allows you to invest in a portfolio of stocks and ETFs for free and M1 Plus costs $125 per year. See exactly what each account type offers.

M1 uses a pie-based interface to make building and managing a portfolio intuitive. You can choose from more than 6,000 stocks and funds to build custom pies or select from nearly 100 expert pies designed to help you hit all of your financial goals.

Best for High-Risk Investments: McNaughton Wealth Management

McNaughton Wealth Management is a San Diego wealth management company completely focused on personalized investment portfolios. The financial planners and advisors who work with McNaughton Wealth Management hand-select stocks, bonds and funds based on your unique risk tolerance and investment preferences. 

McNaughton doesn’t shy away from more volatile investments, either. The company offers clients access to a wealth of alternative financial investment products including REITs, hedge funds, commodity pools and other high-risk investments. If you’re an investor looking for more access to risk, McNaughton might be a good choice.

MCNAUGHTON WEALTH MANAGEMENT, LLC

MCNAUGHTON WEALTH MANAGEMENT, LLC

$109,300,000

McNaughton Wealth Management is a San Diego wealth management company completely focused on personalized investment portfolios. The financial planners and advisors who work with McNaughton Wealth Management hand-select stocks, bonds and funds based on your unique risk tolerance and investment preferences. McNaughton doesn’t shy away from more volatile investments, either. The company offers clients access to a wealth of alternative financial investment products including REITs, hedge funds, commodity pools and other high-risk investments. If you’re an investor looking for more access to risk, McNaughton might be a good choice.

  • A percentage of assets under your management
  • Hourly charges
  • Fixed fees (other than subscription fees)
N/A
N/A
32
Yes
8
8
  • Financial planning services
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of other advisers (including private fund managers)
Address

3655 NOBEL DRIVE SUITE 490SAN DIEGO CA, 92122

Phone number

(858) 693-2310

Best for Wide-Range of Financial Services: Rowling & Associates

Rowling & Associates is one of the top financial planners in San Diego. It’s focused on offering its clients fee-only investment advice and consulting services. Its agents don’t earn any commission on your accounts and give you access to unbiased advice from a team of certified public accountants and certified financial planners. 

Rowling & Associates takes a holistic look at investing. When drawing up your financial plan, it will address areas like your family’s immediate needs, your anticipated retirement needs, cash needs you may require if you become disabled and much more. Rowling also creates a plan to address each of these needs in the coming years. If you’re looking for a single financial advisor in San Diego to handle all of your investing needs, be sure to consider Rowling & Associates.

ROWLING & ASSOCIATES

ROWLING & ASSOCIATES

$354,002,478

Rowling & Associates is one of the top financial planners in San Diego, focused on offering its clients fee-only investment advice and consulting services. Its agents don’t earn any commission on your accounts, giving you access to unbiased advice from a team of certified public accountants and certified financial planners. Rowling & Associates takes a holistic look at investing — when drawing up your financial plan, it will address areas like your family’s immediate needs, your anticipated retirement needs, cash needs you may require if you become disabled and much more. Rowling also creates a plan to address each of these needs in the coming years. If you’re looking for a single financial advisor in San Diego to handle all of your investing needs, be sure to consider Rowling & Associates.

  • A percentage of assets under your management
  • Hourly charges
  • Fixed fees (other than subscription fees)
N/A
6
130
Yes
38
8
  • Financial planning services
  • Pension consulting services
Address

8889 RIO SAN DIEGO DR. STE 202SAN DIEGO CA, 92108

Phone number

619-295-0200

Empower
Best For
  • High Net Worth Individuals
securely through Empower's website

Best Portfolio Analysis: Personal Capital

Personal Capital’s services are twofold. You can use it as a spending and asset tracker and for managed services. 

The investment management tools help you track a multi-asset portfolio. The best part? It’s free of charge. If you’re a high-value investor, you can have your account managed. To qualify for a managed portfolio, you will need an account minimum balance of $100,000 or more. You can get access to a financial advisor who can provide you with tax optimization strategies and a framework to meet your long- and short-term plans.

Personal Capital charges higher fees compared to other robo-advisors but are more affordable than a traditional financial advisor.

Best for High-Net-Worth Individuals: Gradient Capital Advisors

Gradient Capital Advisors is a financial and retirement planning service focused on clients with a total net asset balance of at least $1 million. Its unique investing strategy places a particularly strong emphasis on asset placement. By controlling and monitoring the locations and operating bases of the assets it purchases, Gradient can help you minimize the tax burden on your investments. 

Like most other investing services aimed at higher-net-worth individuals, Gradient also offers a host of one-on-one meetings with your financial planning team to make sure you’re in good hands. If you’re an investor with a larger-than-average tax burden, Gradient might be the right financial advisors for you.

GRADIENT CAPITAL ADVISORS, LLC

GRADIENT CAPITAL ADVISORS, LLC

$301,132,534

Gradient Capital Advisors is a financial and pension planning service focusing on clients with a total net asset balance of at least $1 million. Its unique investing strategy places a particularly strong emphasis on asset placement. By controlling and monitoring the locations and operating bases of the assets it purchases, Gradient aims to help its clients minimize the tax burden on their investments. Like most other investing services aimed at higher net-worth individuals, Gradient also offers a host of one-on-one meetings with your financial planning team to make sure that you’re in good hands. If you’re an investor with a larger than average tax burden, Gradient might be the right financial advisors for you.

  • A percentage of assets under your management
  • Hourly charges
  • Fixed fees (other than subscription fees)
$1,000,000
N/A
269
Yes
79
8
  • Financial planning services
  • Pension consulting services
Address

2125 POINSETTIA DRIVE SAN DIEGO CA, 92107

Phone number

619-255-0700

SmartAsset Financial Advisors
Best For
  • Comparing Advisors
securely through SmartAsset Financial Advisors's website

Best for Finding Custom Financial Advisors: SmartAsset

Find the right financial advisor to prepare for your future. SmartAsset's platform connects investors, soon-to-be-retirees and retirees with financial advisors from across the country. 

SmartAsset is the first comprehensive solution for easily and securely pairing investors with financial advisors and provides you with free and secure access to the financial advisor marketplace and sources advisors that are right specifically for you based on your location, assets and personal preferences. 

Answer a brief survey regarding your preparedness for retirement, investment style and contact information, so SmartAsset’s algorithm can match you with the best financial advisor for you!

Best for Professional Financial Management: WFA Wealth Managers

With over 35 years in business, WFA Wealth Managers is one of the longest-standing financial advisors in San Diego. A fee-only wealth management and financial planning service, WFA’s team doesn’t accept outside commissions. This means that you’ll receive the financial advice you need without pressure to invest in a particular company. 

WFA offers a wide range of services, ranging from retirement planning to trust advising and inheritance management. It even offers professional financial management and advising services tailored for professional athletes.

WFA WEALTH MANAGERS

WFA WEALTH MANAGERS

$272,712,872

Are you a socially-conscious investor? Are you worried about the effects that your investments may be having on the world around you? If you answered “yes” to either of those questions, you’ll love Impact Investors’ focus on responsible investing that you can feel good about. Impact Investors offers portfolio management, financial planning and retirement and succession planning for individuals and nonprofits with a total of at least $500,000 worth of assets under management. When rebalancing your portfolio, Impact’s team focuses your resources on companies that are making a positive impact on their industry, like diverting energy toward renewable sources or hiring women in leadership positions. If you’re looking to invest for the future while making a difference, consider Impact Investors.

  • A percentage of assets under your management
  • Hourly charges
  • Fixed fees (other than subscription fees)
N/A
4
238
Yes
48
6
  • Financial planning services
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of other advisers (including private fund managers)
Address

3170 FOURTH AVENUE THIRD FLOORSAN DIEGO CA, 92103-6514

Phone number

619-491-0225

Find Financial Advisors in San Diego

Hiring a financial advisor can go a long way in your financial journey. Your financial advisor can help you set up an IRA, allocate funds in your 401(k), set up an IRA account, meet personal financial goals and more. Make sure you meet at least 3 financial advisors before you zero in on the right one. Ask financial advisors whether they are fiduciaries so you know that they don’t take any commissions and work in your best interest.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q

Which certifications should my financial planner have?

A

Financial planners can be from any background. You should be looking for financial planners with a CFP® certification or a Chartered Financial Analyst certification, for example. You can double-check to find out whether your advisor has these credentials with FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

Q

Is it worth paying a financial advisor 1%?

A

Yes, a good financial advisor definitely makes a difference if you’re not comfortable making decisions about where to invest your money. Financial advisors provide custom strategies for your investment portfolio and offer tax optimization strategies to help you make more money.

Q

Can financial advisors help debt?

A

Of course! A financial advisor can look into your current lifestyle, how much tax you’re paying, your various loans, etc., and help you decide which debts to pay off first and the investments you need to make.

Methodology

To determine the top financial advisors in San Diego, we pored through all SEC-registered advisory firms who have an office in San Diego. We winnowed the list by only including advisors that are registered fiduciaries, have no past disclosures and have minimal personal conflicts of interest. To further break down the list to the true top advisors in the area, we gave weight to advisors that offer both investment management and planning, have no conflicts of interest, have offices in multiple states, have a wrap fee program and over $50 million in assets under management.