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Destination Wealth Management Review

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Destination Wealth Management

Destination Wealth Management is a fee-only financial advisor firm that principally does business in Walnut Creek, California. The firm has branches dotted all over Northern California as well. Clients include individuals, high-net-worth individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, as well as business and charitable organizations.

Destination offers a full array of financial planning and investment management services, with spotlights on financial areas such as retirement, insurance, education, income management, debt, portfolio creation and more. Barron’s, the Financial Times, Financial Planning Magazine and Financial Advisor Magazine are just a few of the organizations that have recently recognized this firm and its advisors as one of the best in the U.S.

Destination Wealth Management Background

Destination Wealth Management has been in the financial advisory and investment management business since 1996. CEO Michael Yoshikami is the founder of the firm and remains its principal shareholder to this day. Yoshikami has a 35-year history in both investment management and financial planning and leads both of firm’s teams in these fields.

Across the firm, you’ll find certified financial planners (CFP), chartered financial analysts (CFA), certified divorce financial analysts (CDFA) and chartered special needs consultants (ChSNC). While the first three certifications listed above are not unusual to see at a firm, a ChSNC certification is almost unheard of, as it designates someone who specializes in helping families plan for the financial future of a loved one with special needs.

Destination Wealth Management has received multiple awards from some of the largest and most nationally recognized financial advisor and investment management publications. In 2014, 2016 and 2018, the Financial Times declared Destination Wealth Management one of its top 300 firms in the U.S., while Bloomberg Markets placed the firm in its top 50 in 2015.

Michael Yoshikami, Destination’s founder, CEO and chairman, has been titled one of Barron’s “Top 100 Independent Financial Advisors” for nine years running from 2009 to 2017.

What Types of Clients Does Destination Wealth Management Accept?

Individuals, pension plans, trusts, estates, profit-sharing plans, corporations, businesses and charitable organizations make up Destination Wealth Management’s client base. When it comes to individuals, the firm serves both those with and without a high net worth. However, high-net-worth individuals account for the the vast majority of firm’s total assets under management.

Destination Wealth Management Minimum Account Sizes

For most clients who work with Destination Wealth Management, at least $500,000 is needed to open an account. The SEC considers anyone with $750,000 or more invested in the market at one time a high-net-worth individual, so this minimum falls beneath that threshold.

Regardless of whether you choose the firm’s investment management or financial planning services, this applies. On a case-by-case basis, Destination states that it may waive or even eliminate this minimum.

Services Offered By Destination Wealth Management

Since individuals are Destination Wealth Management’s core clientele, the firm’s financial planning services are angled toward them. Its services include:

  • Investment management
    • Asset allocation design
    • Investment research
    • Asset selection
    • Portfolio monitoring
    • Rebalancing
  • Financial planning
    • Retirement planning
    • Income tax review
    • Cash flow projections
    • Net worth/financial profile analysis
    • Education funding planning
    • Life insurance analysis
    • Estate planning
    • Debt analysis
    • Elder care preparation
    • Charitable gift planning

Involved across all of these services is a five-step system that Destination’s advisors utilize to evaluate your financial situation and create a plan that helps achieve your vision. It goes as follows:

  • 1. Set goals
    • Figure out your retirement or other future goals
  • 2. Gather and analyze
    • Meet with an advisor and complete a questionnaire
    • State your financial objectives
    • Evaluate your current financial standing
  • 3. Review and adjust
    • In conjunction with your advisor, work alongside your personal accountant, attorney, financial consultant and insurance agent
  • 4. Finalize and implement
    • Agree on a program
    • Invest your assets in the pre-selected securities
  • 5. Update and evolve
    • Rebalance your investments
    • Alter plans to any new goals

Destination Wealth Management Investment Philosophy

Like many financial advisor firms today, Destination Wealth Management concentrates nearly all of its investment decisions around a long-term style. However, it does recognize that, on occasion, short-term trades and other decisions may have to be made, either for liquidity purposes or because of anomalies in the market.

The firm employs three main investment strategies titled “Global Focused,” “Domestic Focused” and “Socially Responsible.” Then, Destination splits up planning into eight different areas of portfolio focus that are dependent on your personal risk tolerance. Within these, the investment types that will be included in your portfolio will shift. For example, your assets may be invested in stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), commodity assets, options, mutual funds and ex-U.S. positions.

Fees Under Destination Wealth Management

As a fee-only firm, Destination Wealth Management bases its advisory fees on the type of services it provides. For investment management, a simple tiered fee system is used, with rates dropping as the the amount of assets under management increases. These rates are charged four separate times a year, though it is technically an annual fee.

Assets Under Management Fee Rate
$0 - $500,000 1.15%
$500,000+ - $1,000,000 0.98%
$1,000,000+ - $2,000,000 0.93%
$2,000,000+ - $3,000,000 0.88%
$3,000,000+ - $4,000,000 0.83%
$4,000,000+ - $5,000,000 0.78%
$5,000,000+ 0.73%

Clients who only want financial planning services will typically pay an hourly rate or a flat fee. The firm charges $250 per hour, with a six-hour minimum. The firm determines flat fee rates at its discretion, though it has a mimum rate of $1,500. However, if you’re an investment management client, the firm waives separate financial planning fees.  

The table below shows how Destination Wealth Management's fees for its investment management services stack up against the national median. Keep in mind that these fees are only estimates and actual costs may vary.

*Estimated investment management fees do not include brokerage, custodial, third-party manager or other fees, which can vary in amount.
Estimated Fee Comparison*
Your Assets Destination Wealth Management
$500K $5,750
$1MM $9,800
$5MM $39,000
$10MM $73,000

What to Watch Out For

Destination Wealth Management does state that it may waive or lower its account minimum depending on certain clients’ needs. However, it remains a better choice for higher-level investors with significant funds to invest because of the standard $500,000 investment minimum. This is exacerbated by the fact that the fee structure at this firm offers discounts to those who have more assets under management, which is a common practice, but should be considered nonetheless.

According to the firm's latest filing with the SEC, there are no disclosures or other legal issues to report for Destination Wealth Management.

Opening an Account With Destination Wealth Management

If you’d like to meet with a Destination Wealth Management financial advisor face-to-face, you can always stop by one of its branch locations throughout California. The firm’s website also lists a phone number and email address that you can use to contact an advisor to either begin an advisory relationship or ask some questions.

Want an advisor to get in touch with you? Just leave your name, number, email and a quick message regarding your interest in the firm, and they’ll reach out.

All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.

Tips for Building a Financial Plan For Retirement

  • If this undertaking seems a bit too arduous for your financial management abilities, meeting with a fiduciary financial advisor could be a great shortcut. Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in five minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Although many people have some form of retirement savings, many don’t have a clear plan for the future that surrounds these funds. This can be extremely dangerous, as it can be tough to then judge whether or not you’re saving enough to cover your retirement costs. Instead, be as exact as possible in determining what you want to achieve in retirement and what it will likely cost to get there.

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.

Least
Most
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