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Best Financial Advisors in Berkeley

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SmartAdvisor by SmartAsset logo
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SmartAdvisor by SmartAsset

Berkeley, CA
  • Estate Planning
  • Financial Planning
  • Investment Management
  • Retirement Planning

Business Description

SmartAsset's free, five-minute tool makes it easy to find qualified financial advisors in your area. The exclusive tool uses a quick survey to help SmartAsset's exclusive algorithm match you with up to three advisors based on your specific financial needs. Each advisor is a fiduciary, legally bound to work in your best interest, and rigorously vetted by SmartAsset. You can speak with each for free, sometimes within a matter of minutes, and choose whom you want to work with. Hundreds of thousands of smart investors and retirees have already used SmartAsset's simple, no-cost service to find the right financial advisors for them.

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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.
4.0
Google
3.2 / 5 (15)

Professionalism:

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4.0
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––

Price: Free consultation

Affinity Capital Advisors logo
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Affinity Capital Advisors

825 Page Street, Berkeley, CA 94710
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  • Estate Planning
  • Financial Planning
  • Wealth Management

Business Description

Affinity Capital Advisors is an independent financial planning and investment advisory firm that serves clients in the Berkeley area. It examines its clients' income, assets, and debt to create strategic financial plans for them to reach their long-term goals. It also prepares tax returns and uses this process to guide its financial planning recommendations. Affinity Capital Advisors' co-founder, Sean Kenmore, has been in the investment field for more than 12 years. He is a Certified Financial Planner.

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)
Google
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
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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)

Business Description

Balance Financial Planning offers risk management solutions in the Berkeley metro and nearby areas. Catering to families and individuals, the company provides a wide range of financial planning services, which cover debt management, employee benefits, and education funding. It also handles matters involving real estate investments and tax planning. Balance Financial Planning determines clients' risk tolerance to help them achieve their financial goals. Its founder, Cheryl Vesely, is a CFP who is a member of the NAPFA and the FPA.

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
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Citrine Capital logo
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Citrine Capital

535 Mission Street, 14th Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105
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  • Financial Planning
  • Wealth Management

Business Description

Citrine Capital is a San Francisco-based wealth management firm that serves clients throughout Berkeley and the neighboring areas. The company assists high-net-worth clients, including entrepreneurs, business owners, and tech professionals, in managing their finances and investments. It also helps clients in prioritizing their goals, mitigating taxes, and planning for their retirement. Its team conducts financial planning meetings through videoconferencing, enabling the company to serve clients across the globe. Additionally, the team utilizes a secure online client portal for efficient file sharing.

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.
4.9
Google
4.6 / 5 (9)
D. A. Flowers & Company, LLC logo
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D. A. Flowers & Company, LLC

1400 Shattuck Ave., Ste 5, Berkeley, CA 94710
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  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Business Description

D. A. Flowers & Company, LLC offers financial advising services to individuals in Berkeley. It has financial planning services that address different areas, including personal financial situations, investments, risk management, tax strategies, and retirement planning. It supports customers in determining their goals and developing strategies to achieve those goals. It follows three principles in investment management, including diversifications, minimizing costs, and minimizing taxes. Its founder, David A. Flowers, is a CFP who has been in the financial industry for over 20 years.

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)

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
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DABK Financial Planning Services logo
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DABK Financial Planning Services

1569 Solano Ave. #538, Berkeley, CA 94708
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  • Finance Planning

Business Description

Since its inception in 2004, DABK Financial Planning Services has been helping clients in Berkeley achieve their financial goals. It handles fund selection, investment portfolio review, risk analysis and insurance coverage review, tax planning, and retirement funding adequacy analysis. It also provides a holistic approach to financial planning by emphasizing the integration of not just the clients' goals, but also their values. The firm's financial advisor is a Certified Financial Planner and a member of 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
Google
5.0 / 5 (4)

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
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HarborLight Investments logo
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HarborLight Investments

516 El Cerrito Plaza, El Cerrito, CA 94530
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  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Business Description

HarborLight Investments is an independent firm that assists individuals and families in Berkeley with wealth management services. It offers full-service financial planning and personalized investment management, and each client is partnered with their own wealth manager. It helps with budgeting, cash flow, and asset planning strategies. The firm handles different areas of personal finance, including retirement planning, estate planning, college funding, and charitable giving. HarborLight Investments has a team of Certified Financial Planner professionals. It is in partnership with TD Ameritrade.

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 (3)
Google
5.0 / 5 (2)
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
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Helpfulness
Detail
Heritage Capital Private Asset Management logo
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Heritage Capital Private Asset Management

6333 Potrero Avenue, Suite 200, El Cerrito, CA 94530
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  • Retirement Planning
  • Financial Planning

Business Description

Heritage Capital Private Asset Management offers financial guidance to clients in Berkeley. The firm offers customers a personalized approach to financial planning, creating long-term solutions that include cash flow assessment, risk management, estate transfers, and education funding. Clients who donate regularly can work with the company's advisors to create an efficient giving strategy. Tax planning, retirement planning, and investment management services are also offered. Heritage Capital Private Asset Management has been advising clients with their finances since 1991. President and Chief Investment Officer Kelly F. Crane has received his CFP, CLU, MBA and CFA designations.

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

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
Main Street Research logo
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Main Street Research

30 Liberty Ship Way Third Floor, Sausalito, CA 94965
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  • Retirement Planning

Business Description

Main Street Research provides custom wealth and retirement planning solutions to individuals and families in Berkeley. The firm offers risk and asset management services, as well as estate, trust, and tax guidance. It also serves institutions, such as foundations, nonprofits, and endowments, helping them achieve their investment goals. Its team of professionals manages over $1.5 billion in assets. The firm was established in 1993 by James E. Demmert, a member of Forbes Finance Council, The CFA Institute, and the Financial Planning Association.

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
Google
4.7 / 5 (3)
Mindful Money logo
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Mindful Money

2150 Shattuck Avenue, Suite 700, Berkeley, CA 94704
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  • Financial Planning
  • Wealth Management

Business Description

Since 2001, Mindful Money has been providing a wide range of financial services to individuals, families, employers, and educational institutions in Berkeley and neighboring areas. Its financial advisors help clients in developing customized financial plans, designing portfolios backed by research, designing retirement plans, and providing financial education to employees. The firm has been featured in The Business Times, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. Founder Jonathan K. DeYoe has AIF and CPWA designations.

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 (17)

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
Modern Financial Planning logo
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Modern Financial Planning

5940 College Ave, Oakland, CA 94618
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Business Description

Modern Financial Planning provides services to clients in Berkeley and the surrounding areas. It focuses on assisting individuals in reaching their financial goals and needs by offering various financial planning and advising services. These services include retirement projections, stock options planning, independent financial analysis, and life event consulting. It helps clients in creating estate plans, managing their debts, and establishing employee benefits. The company's founder, Mike Troxell, is an investment advisor with a background in tax and wealth management.

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
4.5 / 5 (182)
Monroe Wealth Management logo
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Monroe Wealth Management

2001 Addison St Suite 300, Berkeley, CA 94704
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  • Estate Planning
  • Retirement Planning
  • Investment Management
  • Wealth Management

Business Description

Monroe Wealth Management is a financial planning firm serving the Berkeley community. It assists individuals and families with various aspects of debt management, retirement planning, investment management, estate planning, and cash flow management. Its team of financial advisors works with clients to analyze the impact of certain life transitions and financial situations, such as marriage, sale of their businesses, or new vacation homes, on their lifestyles. The firm's founder, Glen Monroe, is a Certified Financial Planner who utilizes his investment skills in guiding clients in developing comprehensive plans.

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 (22)
North Berkeley Wealth Management logo
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North Berkeley Wealth Management

1820 Solano Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94707
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  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Business Description

Since 2005, North Berkeley Wealth Management has been helping clients throughout the Berkeley area. It drafts a comprehensive financial plan that incorporates the client's retirement, insurance, and tax goals. The company also constructs investment portfolios and regularly reviews asset performance. It uses the impact investing approach, which seeks to allocate capital to sustainable enterprises. Kate King, the company's chief investment officer, is the former president of the financial brokerage firm Protected Investors of America. She is a member of the San Francisco Financial Planning Association.

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)

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
Prime Wealth Management logo
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Prime Wealth Management

2936 Domingo Avenue, Suite 1, Berkeley, CA 94705
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  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
  • Investment Management
  • Financial Planning

Business Description

Prime Wealth Management provides financial solutions to individuals and families in Berkeley and the neighboring metros. Its professionals offer assistance with investment management, financial planning, and business retirement plans. The company strives to give guidance to clients throughout each aspect of their financial life. Its president, Rick Prime, is a Certified Financial Planner and has over a decade of industry experience. Prime is committed to helping families make informed decisions regarding their financial goals by paying attention to their concerns.

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
Sonoma Wealth Advisors logo
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Sonoma Wealth Advisors

539 Broadway Suite A, Sonoma, CA 95476
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  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Business Description

Sonoma Wealth Advisors helps families and individuals achieve financial security. Serving the Berkeley metro and nearby areas, the company provides comprehensive wealth management solutions, including education funding and retirement planning. Its financial advisors also offer charitable giving and investment management services. In addition, they serve clients who want to acquire insurance policies. Sonoma Wealth Advisors maintains an affiliation with the FINRA. Its co-founder and managing principal, Daren Blonski, holds CFP, CRPS, CRPC, and AAMS designations.

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 (14)
Google
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
Vision Financial Planning logo
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Vision Financial Planning

2150 Shattuck Avenue, Ste 704, Berkeley, CA 94704
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  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

Business Description

Vision Financial Planning is an independent firm serving clients in Berkeley. It is headed by Lan J. Shaw, a Certified Financial Planner and Certified Exit Planning Advisor. She assists in creating comprehensive financial plans that support each client's financial goals and help manage their health for the long term. Her firm also handles retirement, estate, tax, and business planning, as well as risk management for assets and insurance. Clients can access their accounts using Investor360.

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)
Facebook
5.0 / 5 (1)
Willow Grove Advisors logo
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Willow Grove Advisors

2040 Bancroft Way, Suite 201, Berkeley, CA 94704
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  • Financial Planning
  • Wealth Management
  • Investment Advisor

Business Description

Willow Grove Advisors is an independent boutique wealth management firm that aims to help families and entrepreneurs be financially secure and independent through its broad range of financial services and investment strategies. The company's wealth advisors conduct a thorough analysis of a client's financial status to be able to develop personalized roadmaps that include investment management, tax planning, insurance review, estate planning, and asset allocation. Keley R. Petersen, president of Willow Grove Advisors, has over 29 years of global experience in the financial services 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
Google
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
Back to Providers

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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