RANKING & REVIEWS
TOP BAY AREA & SAN FRANCISCO FINANCIAL ADVISORS
Where Can You Find a Great Financial Advisor in San Francisco, Oakland & the Bay Area?
The San Francisco Bay Area is known for icon sights like the Golden Gate Bridge, additionally, its unique mix of people from all walks of life is one of its main treasures.
When researching financial advisors in California, you’ll find similar originality in the top firms located in the Bay Area. San Francisco financial planners are distinctly in tune with the things that are important to their clients and helping them reach their financial dreams.
Whether you’re saving up for your own restaurant or want to ensure you have enough money for an active retirement, California financial advisors can assist you with valuable advice and support to increase your chances of success.
When you search for San Francisco wealth management, you’ll get over 57 million results. How do you know where to start in finding the best financial advisors in San Francisco that you can trust?
This ranking of the top Bay Area financial advisors is a great jumping-off point. AdvisoryHQ has reviewed multiple San Francisco, Corte Madera, and Oakland wealth management firms to come up with a list of the 13 best advisors to consider.
We’ll highlight below why each San Francisco financial planner made our list, and why you may want to consider them for your financial planning needs.
Award Emblem: Top 13 Best San Francisco Bay Area Wealth Management Firms
Top 13 Financial Advisors in San Francisco, Oakland, & Corte Madera | Brief Comparison & Ranking
|Top San Francisco Financial Advisors||2020-2021 Ratings|
|1919 Investment Counsel, LLC||5|
|B|O|S (Bingham, Osborn & Scarborough)||5|
|Bell Investment Advisors||5|
|Cresset Asset Management||5|
|Ensemble Capital Management||5|
|Financial Connections Group, Inc.||5|
|Morling Financial Advisors||5|
|Wescott Financial Advisory Group LLC||5|
|Wetherby Asset Management||5|
Table: 13 Best California Financial Advisors in San Francisco | Above list is sorted by rating
What’s the Difference Between Fee-Only & Fee-Based Wealth Management Firms in San Francisco?
When you’re on the hunt for a good financial planner in San Francisco, there are two terms you are going to run across. These are, “fee-only” and “fee-based.”
It’s important to know the difference between these two fee structures because they can impact your relationship with a San Francisco or Oakland financial advisor.
Fee-Based Financial Advisors in California
If a San Francisco financial advisor is “fee-based” that means that the firm’s advisors can receive commissions from companies selling financial products.
This creates an inherent conflict of interest. To offset the conflict, many fee-based San Francisco financial advisors are also fiduciaries. This means the firm takes on a legal obligation to act in the client’s best interests.
Fee-Only Financial Advisors in California
A financial advisor in San Francisco that is “fee-only” does not accept any commissions from 3rd parties that sell financial products. Fee-only firms are also often fiduciaries to affirm their commitment to upholding high ethical standards.
Top-Rated San Francisco Wealth Management Firms 2020-2021
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2020-2021 AdvisoryHQ’s Selection Methodology
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Please click here “AdvisoryHQ’s Ranking Methodologies” for a detailed review of AdvisoryHQ’s selection methodologies for ranking top-rated credit cards, financial accounts, firms, products, and services.
Detailed Review – Best Financial Advisors in San Francisco, Oakland, & the Bay Area
Below, please find the detailed review of each firm on our list of 2020-2021 best San Francisco financial planners. We have highlighted some of the factors that allowed these Bay Area financial advisors to score so high in our selection ranking.
Click on any of the names below to go directly to the review section for that firm.
- 1919 Investment Counsel, LLC
- B|O|S (Bingham, Osborn & Scarborough)
- Bell Investment Advisors
- Cresset Asset Management
- Ensemble Capital Management
- Financial Connections Group, Inc.
- Morling Financial Advisors
- Parallel Advisors
- Private Ocean
- Tiedemann Advisors
- Wescott Financial Advisory Group LLC
- Wetherby Asset Management
- Yeske Buie
Click below for previous years’ rankings:
- 2019 Review: 13 Best Financial Advisors in San Francisco, Oakland, & Corte Madera (Bay Area)
- 2018 Review: 11 Best Financial Advisors in San Francisco, Oakland, & Corte Madera (Bay Area)
- 2017 Review: Best Rated 11 Best Financial Advisors in San Francisco
- 2016 Review: Top 11 Financial Advisors in San Francisco
1919 Investment Counsel Review
This is one of the oldest wealth management firms in San Francisco, with roots dating back to 1919. Today, the firm has over 125 professionals that serve individual, family, and institutional clients.
Key Factors That Enabled 1919 Investment Counsel to Rank as a Top San Francisco Financial Planner
Specialty Investment Departments
If you’re interested in specialty investing, then 1919 Investment Counsel will be a top financial planner in San Francisco for you to consider. The firm offers specialty investment departments that cover three distinct investment types.
- Responsive Investing: Dedicated to aligning your investments with your values, and focus on environmental, social, and ESG investing
- Global Growth Equity: Focused on strategies for investing in high-quality companies and that seeks growth of capital over a full market cycle
- Multi-Cap Core Equity Investing: Diversification with a concentration on mid-cap stocks focused on superior growth rates over the long term
1919 Investment Counsel leverages the average of 33 years of experience of each of its portfolio managers to provide a broader range of investment options than you may find at another San Francisco or Oakland financial advisor.
Three core areas of the firm’s investment expertise include:
- Fixed Income Investing: Seeks competitive performance for fixed income portfolios
- Equity Investing: Takes a long-term view and invests as business owners, rather than short-term traders
- Alternative Strategies: Based upon a client’s risk tolerance and financial situation
1919 Investment Counsel | Top-Rated Financial Advisor in San Francisco
1919 Investment Counsel has an experienced team of advisors that is dedicated to continuous learning to bring value to clients. Personalization and customized portfolios are the norm at this Bay Area wealth management firm.
The goal of this top-rated team of San Francisco financial advisors is to be a thoughtful steward of each clients’ financial picture and to simplify financial management.
Key Factors That Enabled B|O|S to Rank as One of the Best Financial Advisors in San Francisco
Focus on Fundamental Principals
B|O|S emphasizes building lasting client relationships and offering completely unbiased advice. The firm describes its dedication to earning client trust as being “relentlessly transparent.”
The core principles upheld by each financial advisor in San Francisco working at B|O|S, include:
- Client’s interests come first
- Continual pursuit of knowledge
- Pay-to-win mentality
- Everyone is human and wants to be valued and respected
Financial Services for Attorneys
For those pursuing careers as attorneys, B|O|S will be a financial advisor in San Francisco to take a closer look at.
To meet the growing financial needs of Bay Area lawyers, the firm provides sophisticated planning and investment advice targeted to the career aspects that attorneys often face.
Some of the financial challenges that these San Francisco financial advisors offer to help attorneys with are:
- Developing and managing a budget
- Paying off school debt
- Saving for retirement
- Saving to establish their own firm
- Tax-efficient investment strategies
- Estate planning
- Work with a CPA on quarterly tax payments
With a qualified and talented team and a client-focused philosophy, B|O|S scores a 5-star rating. This is one of the best financial advisors in San Francisco to consider.
Bell Investment Advisors Review
Committed to proactive communication and extreme client support, Bell Investment Advisors is a top fiduciary, fee-only San Francisco wealth management firm. The company has offices in Oakland and Santa Rosa, CA.
These financial advisors in California are dedicated to helping clients live their best life and offer investment management, financial planning, and career/life coaching services.
Key Factors That Enabled Bell Investment Advisors to Rank as a Top Oakland Wealth Management Firm
Career & Life Coaching
One totally unique service offered by these California financial advisors is career & life coaching. Bell advisors believe that a career is a client’s most important financial asset and thus it makes sense to nurture it along with other financial strategies.
With the career and life coaching services, your Oakland financial advisor can offer objective advice, tools, and support to help you achieve your life goals.
The Women’s Roundtable
Bell Investment Advisors hosts The Women’s Roundtable, an initiative to help women in the creation of a supportive community where they can share ideas that impact their lives.
Since 2014, these top-rated San Francisco financial planners have hosted events several times a year to offer an enriching and dynamic environment to women.
The goal of the roundtable is to provide thoughtful commentary and to be a source of timely financial information through a series of educational seminars and quarterly wine and cheese gatherings.
Bell Investment Advisors | Top Oakland Wealth Management Firm
Bell Investment Advisors puts its clients first always and has a motto, which is “Making a good life happen®.” This team of Bay Area financial advisors takes pride in giving clients the expert guidance they need to fulfill their dreams.
With a focus on the personal along with financial, Bell Investment Advisors earns a 5-star rating as one of the best wealth management firms in San Francisco or Oakland to consider.
Cresset Asset Management Review
This financial planner in San Francisco has eight offices across the country. This is a boutique family office that also offers financial services to entrepreneurs.
Key Factors That Enabled Cresset Asset Management to Rank as a Top Financial Planner in San Francisco
Full Suite of Family Office Services
For families looking for a San Francisco financial advisor that can offer multiple financial services, Cresset will be a top choice. The firm has been named as Best Multi-Family Office by Family Wealth Report.
This financial advisor in San Francisco provides a holistic strategy for family office clients, which includes a full suite of services to help make their lives easier.
Family office services encompass:
- Tax Solutions
- Financial Planning
- Private Banking
- Family/Generational Needs
Intelligent Wealth Management™
You won’t find cookie-cutter portfolios at Cresset. The firm’s advisors strongly believe that investment strategies should be goals-based and customized for each client.
This top financial advisor in San Francisco offers three main approaches designed to help point investors in the right direction and to speak to a variety of financial needs.
- Diversified Income: 0-7 years strategy to work towards a goal of financial independence
- Growth: 7-15 years strategy designed for lifestyle enhancement and dynastic planning
- Aspirational: 15+ years strategy that is focused on wealth creation, unique investments, and your next venture
Cresset specializes in offering sophisticated investment strategies and top-notch family office services. These San Francisco financial advisors offer a full range of support designed to give clients a fully integrated financial life.
With a 94% client retention rate and a commitment to true fiduciary standards, Cresset is one of the best financial advisors in San Francisco to consider for your needs. We’ve awarded the firm a 5-star rating.
Ensemble Capital Management Review
Ensemble Capital Management is one of the top fee-only financial advisors in California and has been serving clients for over two decades. Based in Burlingame, CA, the firm prides itself on offering unparalleled client service.
Taking a principled and rigorous approach to portfolio design and management, these California financial advisors serve individuals, families, trusts, foundations, and nonprofits.
Key Factors That Enabled Ensemble Capital Management to Rank as a Top San Francisco Bay Area Wealth Management Firm
Modern Tools for Convenience
Ensemble Capital Management is big on technology convenience. This makes it easier for clients to keep up with their portfolio and communicate with the Ensemble team.
This San Francisco wealth management firm customizes its approach to tech, based upon client preferences.
Conveniences offered include:
- Interactive, online, and mobile reporting
- Website with a personal portal
- Online video conferences
- Regular updates via conference calls and blogs
- Secure and efficient document sharing
Ensemble Capital Management | Top-Rated California Financial Advisors
The team at Ensemble Capital doesn’t rely on generic reporting to craft its custom portfolios for clients. This San Francisco financial planner does its own original in-house research to find companies with superior competitive positioning.
Above-average returns and sustainable growth are both elements that the research team looks for when identifying the best investments for its clients.
A key metric that these financial advisors in California look for is to realize cash return on each dollar invested in a business.
Ensemble Capital Management has a straight-forward process that helps clients gain control of their financial health. In addition to expert investment services, these financial advisors in California also offer tailored private wealth management.
With a disciplined approach and a sophisticated financial planning strategy, Ensemble Capital Management scores a 5-star rating. This is one of the best financial advisors in San Francisco to consider.
Financial Connections Group, Inc. Review
Since 1994, the firm has stood by clients through market upturns and downturns, offering stable and socially progressive financial guidance. Financial Connections has offices in San Francisco, Corte Madera, and Berkeley, CA.
Key Factors That Enabled Financial Connections Group, Inc. to Rank as One of the Top San Francisco Financial Planners
Finances are about more than just income and expenses, they’re infused into many parts of life. This the thought behind the concierge service offered by this top-rated financial planner in San Francisco.
This service helps unify the aspects of your financial life with your financial plan. Concierge services offered by these Bay Area financial advisors include:
- Financial life coaching
- Ongoing financial planning
- Medicare consulting
- Long-term care consulting
- Two-hour private meeting with adult children
- Resource for all questions impacting your finances
Sustainable and Responsible Investing
Financial Connections helps clients create portfolios that include mutual funds classified as Sustainable and Responsible Investing (SRI) and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG).
This San Francisco financial advisor helps socially and environmentally conscious clients with portfolios that adhere to their beliefs and values.
Criteria for funds meet at least some of the following parameters:
- Non-discriminatory based on gender, race, and lifestyle
- LGBTQ friendly
- Environmentally responsible
- Supportive of community involvement
- Promote product safety
- Promote positive employee and workplace policies
Financial Connections works to reduce the complexities of financial planning and investing and offers ways to synergize wealth management with personal values and lifestyle.
With a customized approach that’s completely inclusive of the diverse population of the Bay Area, Financial Connections Group is one of the best wealth management firms in San Francisco to consider. We’ve scored the firm with 5-stars.
Morling Financial Advisors Review
The firm is a fiduciary and holds its advisors to a strong code of ethics. The main mission of this San Francisco, Bay Area, and Oakland financial advisor is to maximize the financial well-being of clients.
Key Factors That Enabled Morling Financial Advisors to Rank as a Top Financial Advisor in San Francisco
Clear Investment Philosophy
Morling Financial Advisors adheres to a comprehensive investment philosophy when creating tailored strategies for clients’ unique investment needs. The philosophy is comprised of four areas:
- Risk Management: Focused on the optimal balance between risk and return
- Intelligent Implementation: Continual evaluation of each asset class and market conditions to determine the best vehicles
- Tax-Awareness: The firm considers both short and long-term tax concerns
- Cost-Awareness: This financial advisor in San Francisco believes that net-of-fee returns are more important than gross-of-fee returns
The team at Morling Financial Advisors puts the power of collaboration to work for each client. This offers a full range of knowledge and expertise on a broad range of topics, including taxes, investments, real estate, and insurance.
The San Francisco financial advisors at Morling act as personal CFOs to their clients with the goal of simplifying their lives and providing financial clarity.
Advisors also work closely with tax and accounting firm Morling & Company so that mutual clients may take advantage of the collaboration that comes from a fully integrated financial strategy.
Morling Financial Advisors | Top San Francisco Financial Advisors
This is one of the top financial advisors in California to work with if you enjoy using modern tools to stay on top of your financial planning. The firm has its own mobile app that makes it simple to check investments from anywhere.
A team-based approach and sophisticated investment strategy are two factors that make Morling Financial Advisors a 5-star firm, and one of the best financial advisors in San Francisco to consider for your investment planning needs.
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Parallel Advisors Review
With a forward-thinking approach, Parallel Advisors is a fee-only, fiduciary financial advisor in San Francisco. The firm also has offices in Denver, CO Honolulu, HI, Dayton, OH, and Oklahoma City, OK.
These San Francisco financial advisors work as an inclusive team alongside clients to come up with a results-oriented financial strategy to meet client goals.
Key Factors That Enabled Parallel Advisors to Rank as One of the Best Financials Advisor in San Francisco
Comprehensive Approach to Financial Planning
The San Francisco financial planners at Parallel understand that to plan a successful future, all aspects of your financial life should be aligned and working in unison. Advisors take time to understand your assets, as well as your aspirations.
The firm’s strategic, comprehensive, and flexible approach to San Francisco wealth management includes four key stages:
- Getting to know you
- Recommending a plan
- Putting the plan into action
- Ongoing monitoring and review
Active Asset Allocation
Parallel constructs portfolios that are fully in tune with clients’ objectives, income, and liquidity needs, time horizon, and risk tolerance.
Using both qualitative and quantitative analyses, these California financial advisors take a strategic approach to asset allocation, with a goal of balancing protecting and growing wealth.
Portfolios are continually monitored to adjust to changing financial situations and to take advantage of opportunities in markets and economic trends.
With a healthy mix of a disciplined, flexible, and holistic strategy, Parallel Advisors is one of the top San Francisco financial advisors to consider. We’ve awarded the firm a 5-star rating.
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Private Ocean Review
These expert Bay Area financial advisors believe in being intellectually curious and pursuing excellence. Private Ocean was founded in 2009 when two of the Bay Area’s oldest privately held firms merged.
It typically works with clients with a minimum of $2 million+ in investable assets but will make exceptions.
Key Factors That Enabled Private Ocean to Rank as a Top Financial Advisor in San Francisco
Wide Range of Financial Services
Private Ocean offers a wide range of financial planning and wealth management services to its clients.
Advisors at this top San Francisco wealth management firm believe that assets are more than just numbers, they represent your time and future dreams.
Some of the financial services offered include:
- Investment planning
- Tax planning & coordination
- Equity compensation & stock option planning
- Estate planning
- Charitable giving
- Risk management
- Debt structure
- Education funding
Private Ocean | Top-Rated California Financial Advisors
Sophisticated, Academic Investing Approach
Private Ocean advisors take an academic-based approach to investing that is akin to the disciplined approach of major institutions. This type of sophisticated strategy isn’t typically available to individual investors.
The stress-tested approach of these financial advisors in California includes the following core principles:
- Thoughtful financial planning that drives investment options
- Use of rigorous academic research
- Invest for the long term
- Create globally-diversified portfolios to reduce risk and improve returns
- Minimize costs, taxes, and turnover
If you’re looking for a seasoned financial advisor in San Francisco to guide you thoughtfully on your financial journey, Private Ocean is an excellent option for affluent investors.
Delivering a combination of powerful and personal financial management to clients, Private Ocean is one of the best financial advisors in San Francisco to consider for your financial management needs. We’ve awarded the firm with 5-stars.
Tiedemann Advisors Review
With a mission to help clients reach their full financial potential, Tiedemann Advisors is a top fiduciary and fee-only San Francisco Wealth advisor with nine offices throughout the country.
Tiedemann Advisors’ ADV clearly states that “no brokerage commissions, transfer fees or other remuneration will be paid to the Adviser,” making this company a great choice for those who are looking for unbiased and transparent financial guidance.
Key Factors That Enabled Tiedemann Advisors to Rank as a Top San Francisco Wealth Advisor
Flexible, Disciplined Investment Approach
Tiedemann Advisors’ process ensures that each client has a portfolio that is customized to their specific preferences and risk tolerance. Additionally, Tiedemann invests alongside its clients.
These top financial advisors in California are focused on achieving the goals and outcomes that mean the most to the clients they serve.
Facets of Tiedemann’s investment process include:
- Risk Management
- Valuation Focus
- Liquidity Management
- Impact Investing
- Comprehensive Reporting
Comprehensive Wealth Planning Services
Tiedemann advisors understand the importance of comprehensive wealth management to ensure integration of several facets of a client’s financial life (investments, estate, taxes, insurance, etc.).
The firm’s advisors guide clients through a strategic process that allows them to gather the needed information to craft a well-structured plan.
Wealth management plans designed by these San Francisco financial advisors are integrated using:
- Trustee Services
- Investment Management Services
- Education and Governance
With a diverse team of experts and a client-centered focus, Tiedemann Advisors earns a 5-star rating. This is a top financial advisor in San Francisco to consider for your wealth management needs.
Wescott Financial Advisory Group LLC Review
Integrating financial expertise and life expertise, Wescott Financial Advisory Group is a top-rated fiduciary, fee-only financial advisor in San Francisco with satellite offices throughout the country.
This innovative San Francisco financial planner has developed a holistic strategy that looks at both financial assets and mindsets to craft the most successful financial roadmaps.
Key Factors That Enabled Wescott Financial Advisory Group LLC to Rank as One of the Top San Francisco Financial Planners
Proactive Wealth Management
Both life and markets can be unpredictable. These top financial advisors in California take a proactive stance to ensure individuals are prepared financially for whatever life throws at them.
Wescott advisors provide an intelligent and interactive wealth management experience through:
- Customized, strategic asset allocation
- Ongoing investment manager selection
- Monitoring and performance measurement
- Performance and transaction analysis
- Market research, perspectives, and reports on investment topics
Wescott Financial Advisory Group | Top San Francisco Financial Planners
Life-Minded WealthTM Approach
A unique offering by Wescott is its Life-Minded Wealth™ Approach, which fully integrates a client’s mindset, financial circumstances, and emotions about financial management.
By using a holistic approach that considers a client’s distinct financial circumstances and views, these financial advisors in San Francisco can create a financial strategy that gives clients a better chance for success.
Wescott Financial Advisory Group specializes in working with high-net-worth individuals and institutions. Its over three decades of experience have shaped the firm’s unique, strategic, and holistic approach to complete wealth management.
With B Corp Certification certifying high standards of excellence, and a pioneering spirit, Wescott Financial Advisory group scores a 5-star rating as one of the top San Francisco financial advisors to consider.
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Wetherby Asset Management Review
This San Francisco wealth management firm was founded in 1990 and just added a new office in Los Angles, which is in addition to the firm’s Bay Area office and New York City office.
Key Factors That Enabled Wetherby Asset Management to Rank as One of the Best Financial Advisors in San Francisco
Broad Range of Services
As top financial advisors in California, Wetherby focuses on two primary categories of service: portfolio management and wealth planning. Within these main categories are several financial services, offering a holistic value to clients.
The team at this top-rated financial advisor in San Francisco brings a diverse array of talents, and can assist clients in the following financial areas:
- Asset Allocation
- Manager Selection
- Cash Flow Analysis
- Tax & Estate Planning
- Intergenerational Wealth Transfer
- Impact Investing
- Retirement Planning
- Philanthropic Planning
- Education Funding
- Insurance Analysis
- Equity Ownership & Stock Option Advice
- Asset Allocation & Tax Efficiency
Many investors want to further their social and/or environmental goals when investing. The advisors at Wetherby help clients combine social responsibility and sustainability through investment strategies that are aligned both with values and competitive returns.
The firm believes that impact investing doesn’t have to mean giving up any of your other financial objectives. These San Francisco financial advisors integrate the following into impact investing services:
- No compromises
- Impact management
With a hands-on team and commitment to trust and transparency, Wetherby Asset Management earns a 5-star rating and is one of the top San Francisco financial advisors to consider for your investing needs.
Yeske Buie Review
Advisors at Yeske Buie believe that everyone is entitled to a limitless vision for their life and they work to chart grounded and dynamic financial strategies to help clients reach their dreams.
Key Factors That Enabled Yeske Buie to Rank as One of the Best Financial Advisors in San Francisco
Yeske Buie brings its Live Big® philosophy to its clients. This approach is based upon a mission to help clients define their own “Live Big life” and implement a plan to achieve it.
During the discovery process, these financial advisors in California uncover a client’s biggest hopes and dreams and what truly matters to them. This offers them a full 360-degree view of each client’s complete life and how their finances can support them now and in the future.
Yeske Buie views wealth management as a process that spans your entire life, offering clients the creative solutions and earned wisdom needed to make the most of their life journeys.
These self-described “financial planning evangelists” are committed to helping each and every client reach their full financial potential with a long-term plan attuned to their needs.
Yeski Buie | Top-Rated Financial Advisors in California
Yeske Buie offers clients creative strategies that are grounded in wisdom and crafted by professionals with years of industry expertise. The firm’s two founders have over 70 years of combined experience.
With an innovative approach and passion for seeing clients succeed, Yeske Buie is one of the best financial advisors in California to consider and earns a 5-star rating.
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Conclusion – 2020-2021 Best Bay Area & San Francisco Financial Advisors
No matter what your future goals or current financial situation, top financial advisors in San Francisco can help you find a strategic path forward.
You’ll want to narrow down your options so you can zero-in on the perfect advisory firm to meet your needs. Look at things like minimum investable asset level, impact and social investing options, and what the firm’s specialties are.
Once you’ve landed on a great San Francisco financial planner that you feel good about, you can look forward to less stress and more excitement about your future financial goals.
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