Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Fresno, California
Finding the right financial advisor is a challenge. There are a lot of firms to choose from and they’re all trying to get your business. SmartAsset has put in the work to make your choice easier by determining the top financial advisor firms in Fresno. This list of the top Fresno financial advisor firms comes from dozens of hours of research into the city’s numerous firms. Below, we lay out our findings about each of the firms and what differentiates them from one another. If you would like further guidance in your search, SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool can pair you with an advisor near you.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||SCF Investment Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$1,385,387,166||$10,000|| || |
|2||Regency Investment Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$522,229,292||$250,000|| || |
|3||Ford Financial Group, Inc. Find an Advisor||$492,253,072||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
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|4||Whelan Financial Find an Advisor||$358,535,710||$1,000,000|| || |
|5||Private Wealth Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$329,167,342||$250,000|| || |
|6||Bridgewealth Advisory Group, LLC Find an Advisor||$310,857,528||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|7||Pathways Advisory Group, Inc. Find an Advisor||$192,773,890||$300,000|| || |
|8||Portfolio Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$190,518,544||$500,000|| || |
|9||Plan Financial Find an Advisor||$161,343,340||$250,000|| || |
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Fresno, California
To create this list, SmartAsset considered all U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-registered firms in Fresno. We looked at SEC-registered firms because they have a fiduciary duty to put their clients’ best interests ahead of their own. We eliminated any firms with disciplinary issues so only firms with clean records made it to our final list for consideration. We also eliminated firms that did not manage individual accounts or did not have any financial planners on staff. We sorted the remaining firms according to assets under management (AUM), from highest AUM to lowest.
All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
SCF Investment Advisors, Inc.
SCF Investment Advisors, Inc. has the largest amount in assets under management (AUM) on this ranking. It is the only firm on this list with more than $1 billion in AUM, and it has over two-and-a-half times more AUM than the second firm on this list. SCF Investment Advisors also has more advisors than all of the other firms on this list combined.
SCF Investment Advisors is a fee-based firm. The majority of the firm’s clients are individuals, but it also provides investment advice for pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations and corporations. If you’re considering working with SCF Investment Advisors, be aware that there is a $10,000 minimum for opening an account.
SCF Investment Advisors Background
SCF Investment Advisors is one branch of a larger business called SCF Securities, Inc. SCF Securities is a broker-dealer that has been in service since 1992. Its services are primarily targeted at financial advisors. In 2003, SCF Securities created SCF Investment Advisors.
SCF Investment Advisors provides clients with portfolio management advice and a number of financial planning services. Its planning services include helping clients to get a handle on things like cash flow, investing, retirement, estate planning and education planning. The firm’s parent company, SCF Securities, Inc., also has an insurance business. Assistance with understanding and purchasing insurance products is available to clients working with SCF Investment Advisors.
SCF Investment Advisors Investing Strategy
When investing client assets, SCF Investment Advisors bases it strategies on clients’ individual goals and and risk tolerance. That means the firm’s investing strategies could range from simply preventing any loss of capital to growing capital as much as possible.
The firm selects securities by using multiple types of analysis, including charting, fundamental analysis, technical analysis and cyclical analysis. These methods all analyze securities from different angles to determine their inherent values and predict how their pricing will change in the future.
Regency Investment Advisors, Inc.
Regency Investment Advisors, Inc. ranks third on our list of the top Fresno firms with millions in assets under management (AUM). The fee-only firm's team holds a number of certifications. There are three certified financial planners (CFPs), two certified investment management analysts (CIMAs), two accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs), one chartered financial analyst (CFA), one accredited investment fiduciary analyst (AIFA) and one chartered retirement plans specialist (CRPS) on staff.
The majority of the firm's clients are individuals who don't have a high net worth. However, the firm also works with high-net-worth individuals, trusts, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and corporations or other businesses. Regency's account minimum varies by service type. You'll need a minimum of $250,000 of assets under management for investment supervisory services and non-continuous portfolio management services. For retirement plans, there's a $1 million minimum.
The firm's fees are generally based on a percentage of assets under management, and rates range from 0.60% to 1.20%. It is a fee-only firm.
Regency Investment Advisors Background
Regency Investment Advisors, Inc. has been in business since 1993. It was started by Regency Bank, a local bank, to serve its customers' need for investment advisory services. The firm was sold in 2004 and is now independently owned by five of the firm's employees.
Regency provides the following services:
- Investment management
- Financial planning
- Personal liability
- Financial goals
- Tax and cash flow
- Investment review
- College planning
- Consultations about employee benefits
- Estate planning
- Company retirement plans
Regency Investment Advisors Investing Strategy
Regency Investment Advisors’ overall goal is to minimize risk while increasing portfolio value. One way it does this is through diversification across securities, asset classes, managers and styles. The firm primarily invests in no-load mutual funds through Charles Schwab. It may also use exchange-traded funds, transaction fee funds and closed-end funds that have been approved by its portfolio management team and investment committee. The firm takes a top-down approach, which means that if first looks at macroeconomic factors before further analyzing specific companies or investments.
Clients are able to choose from 11 primary investment strategies, though these can be further customized to meet clients’ unique needs. Available strategies range from aggressive growth to capital preservation.
Ford Financial Group, Inc.
Ford Financial Group, Inc. currently has millions assets under management (AUM) with several financial advisors on staff. Five of the firm’s advisors are certified financial planners (CFPs) and one is a chartered financial consultant (ChFC).
The majority of the firm’s clients are individuals, but it also works with high-net-worth individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, corporations and other businesses. There is no minimum required for opening an account with Ford Financial Group.
This is a fee-based firm as some advisors may earn commission-based compensation for selling insurance products. However, don’t forget that Ford Financial Group is a fiduciary.
Ford Financial Group Background
Ford Financial Group was founded in 2017 by Carole Ford and James Ford. They are the firm’s sole owners and Carole Ford also serves as CEO.
Ford Financial Group offers comprehensive portfolio management, with annual fees ranging from 0.25% to 2.00% of assets under management. The firm also provides a number of financial planning services, such as education planning, tax planning, retirement planning, estate planning and life insurance planning. Hourly fees for planning services typically range from $300 to $400.
Ford Financial Group Investing Strategy
When it comes to creating and managing client portfolios, Ford Financial Group uses modern portfolio theory. This theory is based on the idea that investors can maximize returns and minimize losses through diverse portfolios. The majority of financial advisors use this idea when constructing portfolios, and robo-advisors in particular often tout that they use the theory.
Ford Financial Group also uses a few analytical techniques when deciding which securities to invest in. These include charting, technical analysis, cyclical analysis and fundamental analysis. Each method of analysis considers a security from a different perspective. All of these methods are rather common, but not every firm will use all four methods to analyze securities.
Whelan Financial is one of two fee-only firm on this list. Being fee-only means that advisors do not earn commissions from selling any particular products or securities. Rather, the firm’s compensation comes only from the management fees that clients pay. The firm accepts clients with a minimum of investment of $500,000. It charges a minimum annual fee of $5,000.
Whelan Financial's team includes four certified financial planners (CFPs) and one financial paraplanner qualified professional (FPQP). The firm manages accounts for multiple client types, including individuals, high-net-worth individuals, corporations and non-profit organizations. Advisors also help with defined contribution plans, such as 401(k)s, and defined benefit plans, including cash balance plans.
Whelan Financial Background
Vincent J. Whelan founded Whelan Financial in 1988, making it the oldest firm on this list. Whelan continues to lead the firm as its president. According to the firm’s website, Whelan (known as Vin) has an affinity for change and leads the company under the idea of “creative thinking first, critical thinking second.”
Whelan Financial offers portfolio management services in addition to financial planning services. The firm’s planning services include assistance with taxes and cash flow, retirement planning, insurance planning and social security planning.
Whelan Financial Investing Strategy
Whelan Financial’s investment portfolios typically consist of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). These types of funds are made up of multiple individual securities and make it easy to diversify a portfolio. The firm also uses certificates of deposit (CDs) and treasuries, like treasury bills, treasury notes and treasury bonds, in its client portfolios.
Whelan Financial has an Investment Committee that regularly analyzes a list of securities to ensure that the firm is using the best available options. The committee considers factors like fund expenses, fund performance, a fund’s Morningstar Rating and the fund manager’s tenure and track record.
Private Wealth Advisors, LLC
Private Wealth Advisors, LLC is a relatively small firm with a limited number of financial advisors on staff. That is the smallest advisory team of any firm on this list, but both of the firm’s advisors are certified financial planners (CFPs). Additionaly, one of the advisors holds the chartered financial consultant (ChFC) designation. The firm has millions in assets under management (AUM) and requires a minimum of $250,000 to open and maintain an account.
More than three-quarters of the firm’s clients are individuals. However, it also serves high-net-worth individuals, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations and other business entities.
Private Wealth Advisors Background
Private Wealth Advisors is owned by Martin L. Mazorra and Chris M. Murray. They founded the firm in 2007, and are advisors at the firm.
There are two main types services that clients can get with Private Wealth Advisors: portfolio management and financial consulting. Portfolio management involves helping clients to manage their portfolios and meet their investment goals. Financial consulting services include a number of financial planning services like retirement planning, charitable planning, education planning, corporate or personal tax planning and real estate analysis.
Private Wealth Advisors Investing Strategy
Private Wealth Advisors primarily uses mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) in client portfolios. These funds help to maintain diverse portfolios at low costs.
Part of the reason that Private Wealth Advisors has a small staff is because it doesn’t believe it’s necessary to have a huge team to research every aspect of the stock market. Instead, the firm’s small staff focuses its energy on fundamental and technical analysis. Fundamental analysis analyzes a company's financial situation to determine a security’s value, while technical analysis attempts to forecast how a security’s price will change over time.
Bridgewealth Advisory Group, LLC
Bridgewealth Advisory Group, LLC has a significant amount in assets under management (AUM) and a small team of financial advisors. This group includes two certified financial planners (CFPs).
Bridgewealth has a relatively small client base, with just over 120 clients. This group is primarily individual and high-net-worth individual investors, though the firm also currently works with a small number of pension and profit-sharing plans. It can also work with trusts, estates, charitable organizations and businesses. Bridgewealth does not impose an account minimum requirement.
Certain employees of the firm also act as registered representatives of the broker-dealer APW Capital, Inc. and as licensed insurance agents. They may earn commissions in either of these roles, which presents a potential conflict of interest. To mitigate this issue, the firm will typically disclose its compensation to clients, and also providing clients the option to purchase these products elsewhere. Bridgewealth is bound by fiduciary duty, meaning its required to put clients' best interests before its own.
Bridgewealth Advisory Group Background
Bridgewealth Advisory Group was formed in 2018. It is owned by its three managing members, Derek Elrod, Joshua Carpenter and Kevin Hook.
The firm offers its clients comprehensive portfolio management, financial planning and consulting, retirement plan consulting and referrals to third-party money managers. Its available financial planning services include tax planning, estate planning and college planning. Additionally, Bridgewealth has a wrap fee program, which offers a bundle of services for one comprehensive fee.
Bridgewealth Advisory Group Investing Strategy
Bridgwealth Advisory Group particularly values portfolio optimization and investment plan efficiency. More specifically, the firm seeks to build portfolios that are tax-efficient, and it places a particular emphasis on after-tax returns.
Like many firms, Bridgewealth believes that finding an appropriate asset allocation is key. The firm determines the right blend for each client through a personal risk questionnaire. It typically invests client assets in investment vehicles that are inherently diversified and fluid, like exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds.
Pathways Advisory Group, Inc.
The seventh firm on our list, Pathways Advisory Group, Inc., is a fee-only financial advisor firm. Pathways Advisory Group has no minimum for opening an account. However, the firm does require a minimum annual fee of $5,000.
Pathways Advisory Group provides advice primarily to individuals and their families, including high-net-worth individuals and trusts. The firm also advises foundations, businesses and participants of pension and profit-sharing plans. Providing this advice is the firm’s small staff that includes five certified financial planners (CFPs).
Pathways Advisory Group Background
In 2007, David L. Williamson created Pathways Advisory Group, Inc. Williamson and the Pathways Advisory Group team were previously members of another firm called Portfolio Advisors, the No. 7 firm. Today, Williamson is the principal stockholder of Pathways Advisory Group and he also serves as the firm’s president. Dustin J. Smith and Jeff S. Karst are also stockholders in the firm.
Pathways Advisory Group provides portfolio management for clients in addition to financial planning services. These services range from managing household finances to estate planning. Consulting services are available at an hourly rate.
Pathways Advisory Group Investing Strategy
Mutual funds make up the bulk of Pathways Advisory Group’s client investment portfolios. The mutual funds the firm uses include a variety of stock, bond and real estate mutual funds. Investing in mutual funds allows advisors to create diverse portfolios at a lower costs than if they traded individual securities.
However, advisors will provide advice on investing in individual securities for clients who would like it. Notably, Pathways Advisory Group does not invest in any initial public offerings.
Portfolio Advisors, Inc.
Portfolio Advisors, Inc. is a fee-only financial advisor firm with millions in assets under management (AUM). There is no minimum required to open an account, but there is a minimum annual management fee of $5,000.
The firm serves mostly individuals. In fact, more than 75% of the firm’s clients are individuals. However, Portfolio Advisors also serves high-net-worth individuals and pension and profit-sharing plans.
Portfolio Advisors doesn’t have a very large staff, but two of its advisors hold the certified financial planner (CFP) designation.
Portfolio Advisors Background
Portfolio Advisors is principally owned by CEO Michael Leffler and partners Tina Mistry and Kenneth Hatfield. The firm was founded in 1990 by the Michael Leffler’s father, Gary Leffler, and David L. Williamson. Notably, Williamson is now the owner of the eighth firm on this list, Pathways Advisory Group.
The primary service offered by Portfolio Advisors is the management of an investment portfolio. The firm also provides financial planning services. Consulting services for both investment and non-investment matters are available on a separate fee basis.
Portfolio Advisors Investing Strategy
Portfolio Advisors principally creates client portfolios with the goal of using a diverse and robust asset allocation. The firm does not take part in market timing or stock picking. Common investment types the firm uses include large U.S. stocks, small U.S. value stocks, short-term bonds and international stocks. A given client’s asset allocation will depend on individual goals and circumstances.
Advisors ensure that a client’s portfolio stays on track by meeting with the client about twice per year. Those meetings are in addition to ongoing portfolio management.
Plan Life & Wealth Management, Inc. DBA Plan Financial is a fee-only firm serving more than 700 clients in total. As for client types, Plan Financial manages individuals, high-net-worth individuals, corporations, trusts, estates, pension and profit sharing plans, charitable organizations, foundations and endowments.
The firm requires that all new clients meet a minimum account size of $250,000, and Plan Financial mainly earns its compensation through asset-based fees, hourly fees and fixed fees.
Featured among the firm’s team is a certified financial planner (CFP) and a certified public accountant (CPA).
Plan Financial Background
Founded in 1985 by John R. Hooper, Plan Financial primarily offers standard investment advisory services, managed account programs, custom asset allocation services, financial planning services and educational forums.
The firm’s financial planning services also provide advice in areas such as protection planning, financial position, investment planning, income tax planning, retirement planning and estate planning.
Plan Financial Investment Strategy
Plan Financial uses its custom asset allocation program to analyze market patterns and make investment decisions, according to its firm brochure. The firm says it uses this process to determine whether to add or eliminate asset classes.
As for the asset types the firm utilizes for separately managed accounts, Plan Financial’s Form ADV indicates that 100% of its investments were in cash and cash equivalents.