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Top Financial Advisors in Carlsbad, CA

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This review was produced by SmartAsset based on publicly available information. The named firm and its financial professionals have not reviewed, approved, or endorsed this review and are not responsible for its accuracy. Review content is produced by SmartAsset independently of any business relationships that might exist between SmartAsset and the named firm and its financial professionals, and firms and financial professionals having business relationships with SmartAsset receive no special treatment or consideration in SmartAsset’s reviews. This page contains links to SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool, which may or may not match you with the firm mentioned in this review or its financial professionals.

Finding the Top Financial Advisors in Carlsbad, CA

To help you find a financial advisor in Carlsbad, California, we created this list of the top financial advisor firms in the area. It’s based on firms' filings with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), along with their websites. Fee structures, services offered, advisor certifications - we collected it all together, here, for convenient comparing and contrasting. Start your search with this list of the top financial advisor firms in Carlsbad, California. Then use SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching tool to expand your search.

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Rank Financial Advisor Assets Managed Minimum Assets Financial Services More Information
1 Intelligence Driven Advisers, LLC Intelligence Driven Advisers, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$849,587,492 $5,000 minimum annual fee
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Educational seminars/workshops

Minimum Assets

$5,000 minimum annual fee

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Educational seminars/workshops
2 Financial Focus, LLC Financial Focus, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$482,415,164 Varies based on account type
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services

Minimum Assets

Varies based on account type

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
3 Carlsbad Wealth Advisory Group, Inc. Carlsbad Wealth Advisory Group, Inc. logo Find an Advisor

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$244,295,531 No set account minimum
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
4 Seaside Wealth Management, Inc. Seaside Wealth Management, Inc. logo Find an Advisor

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$243,109,355 $500,000
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers) 

Minimum Assets

$500,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers) 
5 Anchor Bay Capital, Inc. Anchor Bay Capital, Inc. logo Find an Advisor

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$153,500,000 $1,000,000
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management 
  • Pension consulting services

Minimum Assets

$1,000,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management 
  • Pension consulting services
6 Seaside Financial & Insurance Services Seaside Financial & Insurance Services logo Find an Advisor

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$138,040,703 No set account minimum
  • Finanical planning
  • Portfoliio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Educational seminars/workshops

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Finanical planning
  • Portfoliio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Educational seminars/workshops
7 Vistica Wealth Advisors, LLC Vistica Wealth Advisors, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$124,982,908 No set account minimum
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)
8 Frank Financial Advisors Frank Financial Advisors logo Find an Advisor

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$142,478,800 $250,000
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management

Minimum Assets

$250,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
9 Fonte Financial Advisors Find an Advisor

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$115,702,608 No set account minimum
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of other advisors (including private fund managers)

What We Use in Our Methodology

To find the top financial advisors in Carlsbad, we first identified all firms registered with the SEC in the city. Next, we filtered out firms that don't offer financial planning services, those that don't serve primarily individual clients and those that have disclosures on their record. The qualifying firms were then ranked according to the following criteria:

  • AUM
    Firms with more total assets under management are ranked higher.
  • Individual Client Count
    Firms who serve more individual clients (as opposed to institutional clients) are ranked higher.
  • Clients Per Advisor
    Firms with a lower ratio of clients per financial advisor are ranked higher.
  • Age of Firm
    Firms that have been in business longer are ranked higher.
  • Fee Structure
    Firms with a fee-only (as opposed to fee-based) compensation structure are ranked higher.

All information is accurate as of the writing of this article. This list may include firms that have a business relationship with SmartAsset, in which SmartAsset is compensated for lead referrals. Such relationships have no impact on our rankings, and firms are included and ranked based strictly on the above criteria.

Intelligence Driven Advisers, LLC

Intelligence Driven Advisers (IDA), the No. 1 firm in Carlsbad, works with individuals, qualified and non-qualified pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations and other business entities. With no account size minimum, most of its individual client base falls outside the high-net-worth category. There is a minimum annual fee, though, of $5,000 for investment management services.

IDA has a large team of advisors that features the following financial certifications (some advisors may hold multiple credentials): 

  • Certified financial planner (CFP)
  • Accredited investment fiduciary (AIF)
  • Global fiduciary strategist (GFS)
  • Certified 401(k) professional (C(k)P)
  • Chartered retirement plan specialist (CRPS
  • Enrolled agent (EA)

For investment management services, the firm’s fee is based on a percentage of the client’s assets under management. For financial planning services, IDA collects a fixed fee. As a fee-based firm, dvisors may receive commissions from third parties for selling their products, creating a conflict of interest. However, the firm has a fiduciary duty to act in its clients' best interests. 

Intelligence Driven Advisers Background 

IDA began operations in 2018. It’s owned by Labrum Wealth Management, LLC, which is principally owned by company founder and president Jason R. Labrum. While based in Carlsbad, IDA has other states, including Texas and Arizona. 

In addition to portfolio management services, the firm offers financial planning, model portfolios, retirement plan solutions, institutional robo-advisor programs, among others. 

Intelligence Driven Investment Strategy

Based on your risk tolerance and other personal factors, IDA may recommend one of the following model portfolios

  • Capital preservation
  • Conservative
  • Moderate
  • Growth
  • Aggressive growth

The firm may adjust asset allocations in these models based on changing factors like market conditions. In addition, IDA may create customized portfolios for clients based on their individual preferences, investment goals and other factors. These portfolios may invest in a variety of securities including: 

  • Mutual funds
  • Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
  • Individual securities such as stocks and bonds
  • Private funds

Financial Focus, LLC

Financial Focus is a fee-based financial advisory firm where the majority of individual clients do not have high net worths. The firm also serves trusts, estates, retirement plans and business entities. 

You don’t need a minimum investment to receive financial planning services from Financial Focus. For asset management services through the AssetMark Platform, however, the firm requires minimum investments ranging from $25,000 to $500,000. 

For investment advisory services, the firm charges a percentage based on client AUM. For financial planning and consulting, the fees are fixed or based on an hourly rate. Representatives of the firm may also be members of non-affiliated third parties who earn commissions or other compensation for selling the products of these firms. While this creates a potential conflict of interest, the firm has a fiduciary duty to always act in its clients' best interests. 
 
The team includes three ceritified financial planners (CFPs), one certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) and an accredited domestic partnership advisor (ADPA).

Financial Focus Background 

Financial Focus first opened its doors to the Carlsbad community in 2015. Its founders Barbara Williams, Gloria Foote and Kaitlin Hewell own the firm and work as advisors.

Financial Focus offers the following services:

  • Individual financial plans
  • Investment selection and advice
  • Risk management strategies
  • Retirement planning
  • Estate maximization and succession planning
  • Pension and profit-sharing plan advice

In addition, the firm offers access to various financial planning digital tools such as Social Security benefits calculators.

Financial Focus Investment Strategy

The firm’s AssetMark platform utilizes mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), as well as privately managed and unified managed accounts. Its wrap-fee program may involve these securities as well as individual stocks and bonds. In either case, your investment portfolio would be based on an asset allocation the firm deems appropriate based on your risk tolerance, investment goals and other factors. 

In selecting securities, the firm also turns to informational resources such as market data and economic projections.

Carlsbad Wealth Advisory Group, Inc.

Carlsbad Wealth Advisory Group (CWAG) serves individuals and high-net-worth individual. This fee-only firm has no minimum account size requirement. 

The firm collects its compensation on a fee-only basis. This means it collects fees solely for the services it provides to its clients. CWAG doesn’t earn commissions or other sources of compensation from third-party firms for selling or referring their products or services.

The CWAG team features two certified financial planners (CFPs). 

Carlsbad Wealth Advisory Group Background 

Co-founders David George and Andy Sontag opened CWAG in 2008, following a combined run of more than 20 years on the brokerage side of the financial services business. Both are CFPs and still run the advisory team.

CWAG offers investment management and personalized financial planning services. Its advisors specialize in the following: 

  • Retirement 
  • Executive benefits 
  • Charitable giving
  • Estate planning
  • Tax planning

Carlsbad Wealth Advisory Group Investment Strategy

CWAG emphasizes strategic asset allocation and passive investing. It will create an asset allocation based on your individual circumstances, time horizon and appetite for risk. In sticking with passive investing strategies, the firm generally focuses on a buy-and-hold strategy to capture long-term gains and steer away from the risks of market timing. The firm tends to avoid active investing strategies such as selling securities when it believes the market is going through a peak and buying when it projects it is at a low point. 

CWAG limits its investment advice and money management to ETFs, mutual funds, equities, bonds, fixed income, debt securities, no-load annuities, and government securities. CWAG may use other securities as well to diversify portfolios, when necessary. 

Seaside Wealth Management, Inc.

Seaside Wealth Management (SWM), Inc. offers asset management and financial planning advice to individuals, high-net-worth individuals, retirement plans, trusts, estates, charities and businesses. High-net-worth individuals currently outnumber non-high-net-worth clients. The firm imposes a $500,000 account minimum.

The firm collects financial planning fees on an hourly or flat-fee basis. It charges an asset-based fee for portfolio management services. However, certain members of the firm may be registered with third-party companies and receive commissions for selling their investment products, making SWM a fee-based firm. While third-party compensation presents a conflict of interest, the firm must abide by fiduciary duty to always act in its clients' best interests.  

Advisors at SWM hold a combination of the following professional certifications:

  • Certified financial planner (CFP)
  • Accredited investment fiduciary (AIF)
  • Chartered financial consultant (ChFC)
  • Certified wealth strategist (CWS)
  • Chartered financial analyst (CFA)

Seaside Wealth Management Background

SWM formed in 2011 and registered with the SEC as an investment advisor in 2015. The firm's president, Bradley Lineberger, remains the sole owner.

In addition to asset management, SWM can advise clients on their financial lives, covering budgeting, saving, retirement planning, tax planning and estate transfer. 

Seaside Wealth Management Investing Strategy

SWM’s investment strategies are mainly driven by Modern Portfolio Theory, which holds that capturing strong returns while mitigating risk can be achieved through diversification of investments. The firm builds an asset allocation that reflects unique factors such as client risk tolerance, time horizon and investing goals. In its investment selection process, the firm’s methodology includes market research provided by leading firms such as Vanguard, Blackrock and Dimensional Fund Advisors. 

Based on the data it gathers from you, SSWM may construct your portfolio with: 

Anchor Bay Capital, Inc.

Anchor Bay Capital is a financial services firm that mainly serves individuals, high-net-worth individuals and retirement plans. The firm is also open to working with businesses and corporations.

To establish a relationship with the firm, Anchor Bay generally requires a minimum account size of $1 million. It may, however, waive the minimum at its discretion. 

The firm collects fees for its investment management and financial planning and consulting services. These fees are based on a percentage of client assets when put under the firm’s management and are fixed or based on an hourly rate when the services are for financial planning or consulting. Advisors who are members of other firms may also earn commissions from these third parties for selling their products, making Anchor Bay a fee-based practice. Despite the conflict of interest that third-party compensation creates, Anchor Bay is a fiduciary and legally must act in your best interests. 

The team features two certified financial planners (CFPs), two enrolled agents (EAs), one chartered financial consultant (ChFC) and one certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA). (Advisors may have more than one certification.)

Anchor Bay Capital Background 

Originally formed as Spiering Investment Management, LLC in 1992, the firm became Anchor Bay Capital Management, LLC in 2001 and then Anchor Bay Capital in 2006. The firm's principal owners are James Allen, Scott Spiering, Matt Large, and Tanner Wrisley.

In addition to managing your investment portfolio, advisors can create a personal financial plan based on your needs, addressing such areas as:  

  • Cash-flow management
  • Retirement planning
  • Estate planning
  • Business and family succession planning

Anchor Bay Capital Investment Strategy 

The firm focuses on strategic asset allocation, aiming for strong returns while hedging against market risk. To design client portfolios, it takes into account such individual factors as risk appetite, time horizon and investment goals. When selecting securities, the firm analyzes underlying factors such as company financials. The firm constructs portfolios utilizing mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), individuals securities such as stocks and bonds, as it deems appropriate.

The firm offers the following model portfolios:

 

  • Balanced ETF – A 60% allocation to equities and 40% allocation to fixed income ETFs and bonds is maintained.
  • Growth ETF – An 80% allocation to equities and 20% allocation to fixed income ETFs and bonds is maintained.
  • Conservative Individual Stocks – A 45% allocation to individual stocks and 55% allocation to fixed income ETFs and bonds is maintained.
  • Moderate Growth Individual Stocks – A 64% allocation to individual stocks and 36% allocation to fixed income ETFs and bonds is maintained.
  • Growth Individual Stocks – A 79% allocation to individual stocks and 21% allocation to fixed income ETFs and bonds is maintained.
  • Strategic Income – A 53% allocation to dividend and income producing stocks and 47% allocation to fixed income ETFs and bonds is maintained. 

Seaside Financial & Insurance Services

Seaside Financial & Insurance Services is the next firm on our list of the top practices in Carlsbad. This fee-based firm works mostly with non-high-net-worth clients. It also serves high-net-worth individuals, pension plans, businesses, charitable organizations, trusts and estates. There is no set account minimum to be a client here.

The firm offers investment management on a discretionary or non-discretionary basis. The annual fee for this service is based on assets under management. Seaside Financial also offers financial planning and consulting at an hourly rate of $65 to $400 or for a fixed fee.

As a fee-based firm, advisors may also be registered representatives with broker-dealer Fortune Financial Services. Some are also licensed insurance agents. In these non-advisor roles, they collect transaction-based fees, which can potentially create conflicts of interest. That said, the SEC-registered firm is legally bound always to put clients' interests first.

Seaside has one certified financial planner (CFP) on staff.  

Seaside Financial & Insurance Services Background

In 2016, Shawn Orser bought Seaside Financial, which was founded in 1997. The original founder, Anne-Marie Maxe, is still with the firm. Prior to taking over the firm, Orser worked at Merrill Lynch, Titan Capital, Remsemberg Capital and Northwestern Mutual.

In addition to asset management, the firm offers financial planning services, pension consulting and wrap fee programs

Seaside Financial & Insurance Services Investment Strategy

Seaside Financial uses long-term trading, short-term trading, options and margin transactions. When assessing securities, it primarily looks at fundamental factors. Its main sources of financial information include, but are not limited to, financial publications, Morningstar, TD Ameritrade, Charles Schwab, magazines, research materials prepared by others, corporate rating services, annual reports and corporate press releases.

Vistica Wealth Advisors, LLC

Vistica Wealth Advisors, a fee-based firm, is the No. 7-rated firm on our list. Vistica Wealth works with a small client base, primarily made up of individual clients who fall either above and below the high-net-worth threshold. The firm also serves pensions and profit sharing plans. 

There is no minimum account size requirement to be a client at Vistica Wealth. However, at least one advisor is also a licensed insurance agent and may earn commissions when recommending insurance products. This creates a potential conflict of interest and qualifies Vistica Wealth as a fee-based firm. But as a fiduciary, the firm is required to always act in your best interests. 

The firm has at least one advisor who holds the certified financial planner (CFP) and chartered special needs consultant (ChSNC) designations. Vistica Wealth charges asset-based fees for investment management, as well as hourly and/or fixed fees for select services. 

Vistica Wealth Advisors Background

Founded in 2005, Vistica Wealth Advisors is principally owned by the Jeffrey and Lily Vistica Trust. Jeff Vistica serves as managing principal and chief compliance officer of the firm. 

Vistica Wealth offers clients investment management, employee benefit plan services, as well as financial planning. The latter offering may include the following:

  • Management of family records
  • Budgeting
  • Personal liability
  • Net worth tracking
  • Income tax planning
  • Debt/credit planning
  • Education planning
  • Business cash flow
  • Debt structuring

Vistica Wealth Advisors Investment Strategy

Vistica Wealth takes a customized approach to investing client assets, tailoring their strategies to the needs of individual clients. Advisors primarily recommend investments in an assortment of index funds and other passive products. The firm typically creates client portfolios using no-load mutual funds and may implement a particular investment strategy through certain model portfolios that align with the client's investment policy statement, a written document that outlines their objectives and risk profile.

Frank Financial Advisors

Frank Financial Advisors, another fee-only practice, is next on our list of the top firms in Carlsbad. The firm's client base is currently composed entirely of individuals and high-net-worth individuals, although it's also open to working with pensions, profit sharing plans, charitable organizations, corporations and businesses. The firm requires a minimum investment of $250,000 for investment advisory services.

As a fee-only practice, Frank Financial Advisors does not collect commisisons for selling third-party products and services. Instead, its compensation comes exclusively from client-paid fees. As for fees, the firm charges asset-based fees for investment management, as well as hourly or fixed fees for financial planning and consulting services. 

Frank Financial Advisors has one certified public accountant (CPA) and personal financial specialist (PFS) on staff. 

Frank Financial Advisors Background

Founded in 2003, Frank Financial Advisors operates under the legal name of Frank Financial Services. The firm, which received its SEC registration in June 2021, is wholely owned by Todd E. Frank. 

The firm specializes in discretionary asset management, retirement plan consulting and financial planning, which may touch on education planning, budgeting, setting financial goals, analysis of retirement strategies, analysis of investment alternatives, estate planning and insurance needs. 

Frank Financial Advisors Investment Strategy

Frank Financial Advisors primarily investes client assets in no-load or low-load mutual funds and exchange-traded funds, usually through discount brokers or fund companies. Investments may also include individual stocks, warrants, corporate debt securities, commercial paper, certificates of deposit, municipal securities, fixed annuities, U. S. government securities, option contracts, interests in limited partnerships, private placement partnerships, private funds, as well as oil and gas partnerships.

Fonte Financial Advisors

Last but not least is Fonte Financial Advisors, a fee-only practice that primarily works with individuals and high-net-worth individuals. Fonte alos has several retirement plans as clients. 

The firm, which does not require a minimum investment, charges asset-based fees for investment management and hourly or flat fees for financial planning and/or consulting. Fonte advisors do not collect third-party commissions for selling securities or insurance. 

The Fonte team features advisors with the certified financial planner (CFP), certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) and certified public account (CPA) designations. 

Fonte Financial Advisors Background

Fonte Financial Advisors, whose full legal name is RG Financial LLC, opened its doors in 2015. While it was initally registered in the state of California, the firm registered with the SEC in 2021. Fonte Financial Advisors is owned by Justin Reckers and Sandra Bozanic. 

Fonte Financial Advisors offers asset management, financial planning and consulting, as well as retirement plan consulting services. 

Fonte Financial Advisors Investment Strategy

The firm builds client portfolios using a combination of individual stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds, options, mutual funds and other public and private securities or investments. The client’s individual investment strategy is tailored to their specific needs and may include some or all of the above securities. Portfolios are designed to meet a particular investment goal, determined to be suitable to the client’s circumstances. Once the appropriate portfolio has been designed, portfolios are continuously and regularly monitored, and if necessary, rebalanced based upon the client’s individual needs, stated goals and objectives.

How Long $1 Million Lasts in Retirement

SmartAsset's interactive map highlights places where $1 million will last the longest in retirement. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any city to learn about the cost of living in retirement for that location.

Least
Most
Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology We weighed potential expenditures for a prospective retiree with a  $1 million nest egg to assess how many years that fund would cover in retirement in America’s largest cities.

We applied cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research to adjust those national average spending levels based on the costs of each expense category (housing, food, healthcare, utilities, transportation and other) in each city. Using this data, SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in metro areas across the U.S.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a net annual return of 2% after inflation. Then, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would cover retirement expenses in each of the cities in our study. Cities where $1 million lasted the longest ranked the highest in the study.