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The Top Financial Advisors in Chico, 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 a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Chico, California

Finding a qualified financial advisor in Chico, California is going to take more than just a quick web search. You'll want to check Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registrations and filings to determine whether an advisor is experienced and knowledgable enough to entrust with your financial future. But don’t worry, we did the hard work for you and found the top financial advisors in Chico. For more options, use our free matching tool. It will connect you with up to three advisors who serve your area. 

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Rank Financial Advisor Assets Managed Minimum Assets Financial Services More Information
1 Sweeney & Michel, LLC Sweeney & Michel, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$492,788,712 No set account minimum
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
2 The O'Donnell Group The O'Donnell Group logo Find an Advisor

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$373,929,100 $1,000,000
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management

Minimum Assets


Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
3 Spelts Wealth Management, Inc Spelts Wealth Management, Inc logo Find an Advisor

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$140,000,000 $250,000
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Publication of periodicals or newsletters

Minimum Assets


Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Publication of periodicals or newsletters

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What We Use in Our Methodology

To find the top financial advisors in Chico,, 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 obtained through public records and is updated annually after the firms’ form ADV filing. 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. SmartAsset is not a client of the aforementioned firms, and did not receive compensation for including any of the firms on the aforementioned list.

Sweeney & Michel, LLC

At the top of the list, Sweeney & Michel provides investment management and financial planning services mostly to clients who do not have a high net worth. This means a typical individual client of the firm has less than $1 million in investable assets. There is no investment minimum. 

The investment management team at Sweeney & Michel includes one certified financial planner (CFP) and one advisor with an MBA. However, one advisor also sells insurance on a commission basis, making Sweeney & Michel a fee-based advisor. Commission-based compensation creates a conflict of interest, because an advisor has a financial incentive to recommend certain products and services over others. However, Sweeney & Michel has a fiduciary duty to always act in your best interests. 

The firm charges an asset-based fee for wealth management, and either an hourly or flat fee for financial planning and consulting services. 

Sweeney & Michel Background 

Sweeney & Michel was founded in 2016. Its owners are Joe Sweeney and Renee Michel. The advisory team has more than 30 years of combined experience in the financial services space. 

The firm provides asset management services solely through wrap-fee programs. This means clients pay bundled fees that cover investment advisory fees and other expenses such as transaction costs and custodian fees.  

Also, Sweeney & Michel offers stand-alone financial planning advice on such topics as: 

  • Retirement planning
  • Estate planning
  • Charitable giving
  • Education funding
  • Corporate and personal tax planning
  • Corporate structure
  • Real estate evaluation
  • Mortgage/debt analysis
  • Insurance review

Sweeney & Michel Investment Strategy 

Sweeney & Michel focuses on providing investment advice tailored to the goals and risk tolerance of the client. The firm aims to construct diversified portfolios with asset allocations that it believes will help the client meet these goals while avoiding excessive risk. Depending on your financial profile and risk appetite, your portfolio may be composed of: 

  • Mutual funds
  • Exchange-traded funds
  • Bonds
  • Individual stocks

The O'Donnell Group

The O'Donnell Group provides its clients with ongoing portfolio management and financial planning. The firm has two certified financial planners (CFPs) on staff who work with individuals, hight-net-worth individuals, retirement plans, charitable organizations, corporations and businesses. The firm imposes a minimum account size of $1 million for investment management services, but it waive the requirement at its own discretion.

Advisors work on a fee-only basis. This means they collect compensation solely from their clients. They don’t get paid by third-party financial firms for selling their products. Fees for portfolio management are charged as a percentage of a client's assets under management. Fees for financial planning may be charged at an hourly rate or fixed rate. 

The O'Donnell Group Background 

The O'Donnell Group was founded in 2012. Ryan Timothy O’Donnell is the sole owner. The firm specializes in providing ongoing portfolio management and financial planning services. The team can provide advice on such topics as: 

  • Life insurance
  • Tax matters
  • Retirement planning
  • College funding
  • Debt and credit planning

The O'Donnell Group Investment Strategy 

Advisors with The O’Donnell Group design and manage investment portfolios tailored to the specific goals and risk tolerance of the client. They also consider such factors as the client's tax situation and liquidity needs. 

The firm’s investment strategy is primarily driven by Modern Portfolio Theory. This school of thought argues that investment diversification is key to capturing strong returns while mitigating risk. Depending on your financial profile, your portfolio may invest in: 

  • Stocks 
  • Bonds
  • Mutual funds 
  • Exchange-traded funds
  • Hedge funds
  • Real estate investment trusts
  • Insurance products, including annuities

Spelts Wealth Management, Inc

Spelts Wealth Management, the third and final firm on our list, provides portfolio management services through a wrap-fee program. The Spelts advisory team includes one certified estate planner (CEP). To receive investment management services, you’d need a minimum account size of $250,000. 

The firm primarily works with non-high-net-worth individuals. But its advisors also serve: 

  • High-net-worth individuals
  • Trusts, estates and charitable organizations
  • Pension and profit-sharing plans
  • Business entities

Spelts Wealth Management is a fee-based firm. Advisors may also be insurance agents. These multiple roles can create potential conflicts of interest. They can also be confusing, since you don't know which hat your advisor is wearing when he or she is making a recommendation. That said, Spelts Wealth Management has a fiduciary duty to provide advice solely in the best interests of its clients. 

Spelts Wealth Management Background 

Spelts Wealth Management was founded in 2010. Mark Spelts is the owner. He leads a team with more than 40 years of experience in the financial services industry.

The firm provides ongoing portfolio management services through a wrap-fee program. This means clients pay an all-inclusive fee that covers investment management services and other expenses such as brokerage fees. The firm also offers portfolio monitoring and ERISA plan services. 

Spelts Wealth Management Investment Strategy 

Spelts Wealth Management aims to build investment portfolios tailored to the risk tolerance and long-term goals of the client. It sets an appropriate asset allocation for each client. When evaluating securities to implement asset allocations, it may engage in the following types of analytical strategies: 

The firm relies on a combination of long-term purchases (securities held for more than a year), short-term purchases (securities held for less than a year), trading (securities sold within 30 days), short sales, margin transactions and option writing. 

How Long $1mm 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.

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

Methodology We analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns to determine how many years of retirement a $1 million nest egg would cover in cities across America.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors. We then 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 the largest U.S. cities.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%. 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.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research