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Best Financial Advisors in Alameda

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Asti Financial Management logo
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Asti Financial Management

1101 Marina Village Parkway Suite 201 Office #275, Alameda, CA 94501
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  • Financial Planning

Business Description

Asti Financial Management, LLC, offers comprehensive personal financial planning services around Alameda. Clients are free to choose which area of current concern to cover, whether it involves budgeting and cash flow analysis, portfolio review, or tax projections. The company's advisors also provide life and disability insurance as well as estate and stock option planning. Certified Financial Planner and founder Julie Scates utilizes her 25 years of experience in financial and investment management to help clients realize their goals and dreams.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.5
Yelp
4.5 / 5 (14)
Google
4.5 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
Responsiveness
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Balance Financial Planning logo
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Balance Financial Planning

5438 Shafter Avenue, Oakland, CA 94618
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  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Insurance Products

Business Description

Balance Financial Planning is a firm that offers objective advice to individuals, families, and small businesses in Alameda. It assists clients in planning for retirement, college, and homeownership. Its advisors also help create comprehensive plans for taxes, cash flow projections, budgets, and stock options. Additionally, it offers investment services, such as portfolio review and advice for asset allocation, real estate, ETFs, and index funds. Balance Financial Planning is headed by Certified Financial Planner Cheryl Vesely, who has over fifteen years of experience in the finance industry.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (2)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
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Detail
Benningfield Financial Advisors, LLC logo
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Benningfield Financial Advisors, LLC

3701 Sacramento Street #392, San Francisco, CA 94118
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  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Business Description

Benningfield Financial Advisors, LLC helps with the financial circumstances of individuals and families in Alameda. The advisors from this firm guide clients in planning their finances during milestones like changes in their career, starting a business, or getting a divorce. Its process begins with getting to know the client's goals and preferences followed by looking into insurance gaps, income taxes, and estate planning. Milo Benningfield founded the firm in 2003. He is a member of NAPFA and the FPA.

Defined Financial Planning logo
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Defined Financial Planning

2413 Webb Avenue Suite B, Alameda, CA 94501
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  • Investment Management
  • Financial Planning

Business Description

Defined Financial Planning is a wealth management firm that serves the residents of Alameda and the surrounding areas. It helps clients build their financial plans through a four-tier service approach, which includes core investment management, foundational financial planning, advanced financial planning, and special circumstances and life stages planning. Principal Samuel V. Gaeta has been working in the industry for almost a decade. He is a Certified Financial Planner. Defined Financial Planning has been featured in FOX, NBC News, and ABC News.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Financial Connections logo
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Financial Connections

21 Tamal Vista Blvd. #105, Corte Madera, CA 94925
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  • Estate Planning
  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Financial Planning

Business Description

Financial Connections is an advisory firm offering financial planning and investment services in Alameda. The firm helps clients establish financial goals and deal with issues involving college savings and retirement plans. As fiduciaries, its advisors provide customized portfolio solutions in investing and financial management services to non-traditional families. Financial Connections is a member of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors. It has been featured in media publications such as the San Francisco Business Times and Berkeleyside News.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (37)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
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Detail
Fruition Advisors logo
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Fruition Advisors

1159 Keith Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94708
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  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Business Description

Fruition Advisors serves clients in Alameda by counseling them about growing and protecting their wealth. It informs individuals about budgeting or managing their cash flow, saving and investing money, and organizing their finances in preparation for retirement. Its advisors also assist in tax planning, estate planning, education funding, and charitable giving, The company partners with Genner Asset Management LLC in delivering investment management solutions for a risk-managed allocation of assets. The Berkely-located firm was established in 2013 by the Certified Financial Planner, Alison Davies.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (10)
gemmerllc.com logo
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gemmerllc.com

1655 North Main Street, Suite 360, Walnut Creek, CA 94596
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  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Business Description

Gemmer Asset Management LLC is an employee-owned, independent financial management firm that partners with advisors and connects them with individual investors and businesses in Alameda. The financial advisors assist clients in creating an investment policy statement, determining their risk tolerance, and defining their financial goals and time horizon. Alongside investment strategies, the firm's services cover back-office support and personalized attention. Managing principal David L. Gemmer established the company in 1992. He has more than three decades of experience purchasing investments for his clients.

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
4.0
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HC Financial Advisors logo
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HC Financial Advisors

3685 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Suite 200, Lafayette, CA 94549
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  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Business Description

HC Financial Advisors provides risk management solutions to clients in Alameda and nearby areas. It helps individuals and retirees achieve their financial goals through its comprehensive financial planning services. The company handles cash flow and budgeting and educational and estate planning. Its financial advisors also offer Social Security optimization, retirement planning, and business succession services. In addition, they process insurance protection plans. Founded in 1985, HC Financial Advisors is affiliated with The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (5)
Mansell Capital Management logo
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Mansell Capital Management

1545 Verdi Street Suite #A, Alameda, CA 94501
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  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Business Description

Mansell Capital Management is an independent wealth advisory firm based in Alameda. Its founder, Timothy Mansell, is a Certified Financial Planner who has brought to the company his background in retirement planning, insurance planning, REITs, and investment management. He has in-depth experience in equity-based compensation and financial plan integration for corporate executives and their families. Mansell Capital Management also caters to clients' planning needs regarding IRA and 401K, employee stock options, and Section 529 college funds.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
4.7
Facebook
4.7 / 5 (12)
PFM logo
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PFM

44 Montgomery Street 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94014
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Business Description

Since 1975, PFM has been serving a wide range of clients in the Alameda metro, including charitable institutions, health care providers, and local and state governments. The firm provides financial advisory and consultation, alternative finance, and asset management services. Its financial consultants, asset managers, and financial advisors also handle specialized services, such as arbitrage rebate consulting and special district management. PFM values diversity and inclusion and employs people regardless of their age, sexual orientation, gender, or race.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Phocas Financial logo
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Phocas Financial

1080 Marina Village Parkway Suite 520, Alameda, CA 94501
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  • Retirement Planning
  • Tax Planning

Business Description

Phocas Financial offers wealth management services to the residents of Alameda. Founded in 2005, the corporation provides customized financial, retirement, and education fund planning; and risk and asset management services. To complement its wealth management service, its financial professionals also work with the client's estate and tax advisors. CEO William F. K. Schaff is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a member of the Security Analysts of San Francisco. The corporation also manages mutual funds and investment accounts for institutions and investment advisors.

Prime Wealth Management logo
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Prime Wealth Management

2936 Domingo Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94705
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  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Business Description

Prime Wealth Management is an independent advisory firm that has been serving families and individuals since 2003 in the Alameda area. Its financial advisors help clients with financial planning, business retirement plans, and investment management. It designs retirement plans including SEP, 401(k), and 403(b) plans. It also reviews estate plans, risk management, and educational funding strategy. Rick Prime, the company's founder, is a Certified Financial Planner and was a former chief financial officer of technology companies.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Yelp
5.0 / 5 (3)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
Helpfulness
Detail
Rubicon Financial Partners logo
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Rubicon Financial Partners

1151 Harbor Bay Parkway, Suite 135, Alameda, CA 94502
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  • Finance Planning

Business Description

Rubicon Financial Partners is a financial advisory firm offering its services to Alameda. The firm comprises trained professionals who assist with corporate benefits, wealth management, and financial planning needs. Under its wealth accumulation service, it offers portfolio design and analysis, investment management consulting, and college, emergency, and retirement savings strategies. It also provides guidance in tax-sensitive planning, risk management, estate planning strategies, and long-term care insurance under its wealth preservation service. The firm is an accredited investment fiduciary.

Reputation:

We scour the internet for reviews from well-known resources. Each provider is evaluated based on the quality and quantity of their reviews, their presence on multiple review sites, and their average minimum rating.
5.0
Google
5.0 / 5 (1)
seasonalstrategy.com logo
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seasonalstrategy.com

1517 Fountain Street, Alameda, CA 94501
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  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Business Description

Seasonal Strategy is a firm that helps Alameda clients in analyzing and managing their investment portfolios. The company guides individuals in matters like asset allocation, retirement projections, and investment taxation and expenses. It also updates the portfolios with all trades and provides clients with quarterly reports. Seasonal Strategy has been in the investment and trading industry for 39 years, through the efforts of Robert Gavrich. He is also the person who developed Wells Fargo's Wealth Management Presentation System.

Shum Financial Group logo
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Shum Financial Group

1402 Park Street Suite E, Alameda, CA 94501
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  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Estate and Trust Specialist
  • Retirement Planning

Business Description

Shum Financial Group is an independent firm that serves clients in Alameda. It offers financial planning services that view the long-term plans of its clients with a wide-angle lens and addresses the different aspects of their goals. The firm handles investment planning and management, wealth management, risk management and insurance, and employee stock option planning. Additionally, it assists with estate and retirement planning, as well as pension plans. Shum Financial Group is headed by Cliff Shum, with his 20 years of industry expertise.

Professionalism:

We hire mystery shoppers to call our providers anonymously and evaluate them. Providers who respond quickly, answer questions thoroughly, and communicate politely score higher.
5.0
Responsiveness
Friendliness
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Detail
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Frequently Asked Questions

Introduction

There are many titles for financial professionals, so it's challenging to track what each one means. A financial advisor is probably the term you've heard most often. Financial advisor is a broad term for a professional who helps individuals or companies manage their finances, including investment choices. There are over 100 certifications that financial advisors can obtain.

  • Financial planners, wealth managers, and investment advisors are all financial advisors with different focus areas.
  • A financial planner helps an individual or a company make a plan to achieve long-term financial goals.
  • A wealth manager helps individuals maintain their wealth through various disciplines and services, such as taxes, estate planning, and investment advice.
  • An investment advisor offers investment advice and recommendations to individuals or organizations.
There’s a misconception that you have to be extremely wealthy to use a financial advisor. In reality, they can be beneficial for people from any income level. Keep reading to find answers to the most commonly asked questions about financial advisors, so you know which type can fit your specific needs.

Are financial advisors worth it?

Whether or not a financial advisor is worth it depends on your personal situation. If your finances are fairly straightforward, then you may be better off handling it on your own. But if you have substantial assets or a complex investment portfolio, then hiring someone to handle it for you can be well worth the cost.

What does a financial advisor do?

Financial advisors can have many types of specialties. Generally, a financial advisor advises on or helps to execute a financial plan. Some examples include assisting people with getting out of debt, building out an investment portfolio, and handling taxes.

How much money do I need to work with a financial advisor?

There’s no specific income level you need in order to work with a financial advisor, but there may be a minimum investment amount for certain types of services. Some financial advisors won’t manage your money unless you have $100,000 or more to invest, but this isn’t the case with financial coaches or robo-advisors.

What does a financial coach do?

Financial coaches focus on improving your financial literacy and money management skills. For example, they can help you figure out how to pay down your student loans or decide how much money to put away for retirement. They usually charge by the hour and don’t offer asset management services or investment advice.

When should I use a financial advisor vs. doing it myself?

Smart money management can give you freedom and comfort. Being responsible with your money makes it possible to meet goals and pay for major expenses. A financial advisor is trained and can offer you expertise that would otherwise take years to learn. They know how to save you money and make it go further.

How do I know if my financial advisor is trustworthy?

Because financial advisors aren’t licensed or regulated, it’s up to the client to make that determination for themselves. However, if your advisor is a fiduciary, that means they’re legally bound to act in your best interest. Some types of advisors, including Certified Financial Professionals (CFPs), are held to fiduciary standards.

What\'s the difference between a financial advisor and a financial planner?

The term financial advisor is a broad phrase that encapsulates many specialties, including financial planner. It's similar to how doctor applies to different physicians, while a cardiologist is a specialty doctor. A financial planner helps their client plan to achieve long-term financial goals, such as saving for a house or retirement.

Are financial advisor fees tax deductible?

Until 2018, financial advisor fees were tax deductible as a miscellaneous expense. However, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act elimited that deduction until at least 2025.

What is a financial consultant?

A financial consultant and a financial advisor are essentially the same. In recent years, financial consultant has become a less popular term, with financial advisor being much more common. Sometimes, the financial professional may opt for the term consultant when offering services to a business rather than an individual.

What is a robo-advisor?

A robo-advisor is essentially an algorithm that manages your investment portfolio for you. Because their services are automated, you’ll pay less than you would for a human advisor — often between 0.25% and 0.50%. They don’t require large initial investments either, making them a popular choice for entry-level investors. However, you won’t get the same level of advice that you would get from a personal financial advisor.

What makes someone a fiduciary?

Fiduciary is a legal term for a person who has a legal or ethical responsibility to act in your best interests. For example, a trustee and a beneficiary. A financial advisor may have a fiduciary obligation to make financial choices that are best for you, even if it means they earn less in commissions or fees.

How often should I meet with my financial advisor?

After your initial meeting, you may only need to check in with your financial advisor on a quarterly or annual basis. Ask them in advance how often you can expect to hear from them, and whether they offer in-person, phone, or virtual meetings.

Should your financial advisor be a fiduciary?

It’s important to understand that only some — not all — financial advisors have a fiduciary obligation to their clients. Always ask your financial advisor if they’re bound by fiduciary duty. If not, it’s possible that they’ll push products or services that earn them the highest commission, not necessarily what’s best for you. Opt for a financial advisor bound by fiduciary duty whenever possible.

Can my financial planner help with taxes?

Financial advisors aren’t necessarily accountants or tax preparers, so don’t expect them to prepare your taxes for you. However, they may be able to provide tax-related advice to help you optimize your returns and deductions. If you need an advisor who can file your taxes, look for one who is also a CPA (Certified Public Accountant).

Do I need a financial advisor?

Ask yourself if a financial advisor can fill a need or solve a problem you can’t easily handle on your own. They can be helpful in a wide variety of ways, such as building budgets or financial plans, finding ways to save money on taxes, creating an investment portfolio, or offering investment advice.

How do financial advisors get paid?

Clients pay to work with a financial advisor whether it’s through fees, commissions, or salaries. If they’re paid by client fees or commissions, their salary is tied to how much business they bring in. The harder they work, the more they make. In comparison, a salaried employee is guaranteed their wage no matter how many clients they have.

What experience should I look for in a financial advisor?

 If you have specific goals or a unique financial situation, look for a financial advisor with expertise in that area. For example, some financial advisors specialize in working with millennials or focus on socially responsible investing.

How much does a financial advisor cost?

A financial advisor’s costs depend on their fee structure. Some advisors charge a fee — either hourly or a percentage of the client assets under management. Another common option is to charge a commission on the products sold or investments made.

Should I hire a financial advisor before buying a house?

While not always necessary, a financial advisor could help you decide how large of a mortgage to apply for, how much money to put down, and how to balance the purchase with other savings and investment goals.

How many financial advisors are there in the U.S.?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, it’s estimated that there are 218,050 financial advisors. California is the state with the highest employment of financial advisors across the nation.

Do banks offer financial advisors?

Yes, many banks have financial advisors on staff. Your bank may also offer incentives to work with their financial advisors, such as lower fees or free accounts. However, it's important to note that many of the bank's financial advisors don't have a fiduciary obligation and might prioritize the bank's products above all else. There is a cost when working with your bank's financial advisor.

Should I hire a wealth manager?

A wealth manager can help offer complex financial planning services, including tax guidance, estate planning, and legal assistance. While you don't have to be a high-income earner to benefit from a financial advisor, a wealth manager is typically for those that have a high net worth. However, many people build wealth and need a wealth manager later on in life.

Is wealth management worth it?

Wealth management is typically worth it for those who need help with multiple endeavors or comprehensive financial situations, such as charitable contributions or investment portfolio management, or want to protect their assets. A wealth manager can also offer you guidance if you’ve been neglecting your finances or making poor judgements.

How can you tell if a financial advisor is bad?

Your relationship with your financial advisor is a very personal one, as you’re trusting them with your wealth and future. Some general signs that your financial advisor is bad include:

  • They can’t answer your financial questions
  • You have worked with them for a while but haven’t seen a financial improvement
  • They don’t provide you with progress reports
  • They don’t check in with you

What do you need to be a financial advisor?

As mentioned, there are over 100 types of certifications for financial advisors. The training or experience you need will depend on which specialty you want to pursue. Generally, financial advisors need to have:

  • A Bachelor’s degree
  • A General Securities Representative license (Series 7 license)
  • A Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification isn’t mandatory but is often preferred

Where do financial advisors work?

Where a financial advisor works will depend on what type of financial advisor they are. Financial advisors can work at a variety of places, including:

  • Securities and commodity brokers
  • A bank
  • A credit union
  • Independently
  • Insurance companies
  • Financial investment firms
  • Small investment advisory firms

How much do financial advisors make?

In 2019, the national average salary for a financial advisor was $87,850. However, it’s important to note the average salary varies from state to state and the different focus areas — an investment advisor may make a lot more than a financial planner. Lastly, salary can depend on how the individual is getting paid. Financial advisors can be paid by client fees, commissions, or salaries.

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