Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Irvine, California
When you’re looking for a financial advisor, it can be hard to determine which one is right for you. There’s a lot of information to sort through, and it’s not always the easiest to understand. That’s why SmartAsset combed through the financial advisors in the Irvine metro area for you. We researched each firm and narrowed the list to the top 10.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||First Foundation Advisors Find an Advisor||$3,586,671,900|| |
$500,000 for investment advisory services
| || |
$500,000 for investment advisory services
|2||Index Fund Advisors Find an Advisor||$3,825,745,903|| |
| || |
|3||Burnham Gibson Wealth Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$1,364,000,000||$100,000|| || |
|4||Alpha Cubed Investments, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,114,380,230||Not publicly provided|| || |
Minimum AssetsNot publicly provided
|5||Benefit Financial Services Group Find an Advisor||$1,065,220,929||Varies by program|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries by program
|6||Cooper McManus Wealth Management Find an Advisor||$773,540,219||$25,000|| || |
|7||Apriem Advisors Find an Advisor||$648,736,816|| |
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|8||Silversage Advisors Find an Advisor||$288,364,608|| |
| || |
|9||Newport Wealth Strategies Find an Advisor||$257,700,000|| |
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|10||Mitchell Anthony Capital Management Find an Advisor||$222,280,913||$500,000|| || |
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Irvine, California
All the advisors on the list are registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Registered firms have to adhere to certain government rules and regulations that protect consumers and are required to file paperwork annually. We eliminated any firm with disclosures or disciplinary issues. We also cut financial advisors that didn’t manage individual accounts. The final top 10 is ordered from the most assets under management to the least.
First Foundation Advisors
Topping our list is First Foundation Advisors, a large organization that has nearly $4.30 billion in assets under management (AUM). Founded in 1990, the firm is the oldest on our top 10. The fee-only firm has 35 advisors spread across its California locations, as well as in Nevada and Hawaii. First Foundation is a regional bank in California and, in addition to investment management and wealth planning, it also offers retail banking products such as checking accounts, savings accounts, loans and consumer credit cards.
The private wealth management section of the organization includes advisors, planners, trust advisors and more. To become a client of advisory services, you’ll need $500,000. The firm's clients include individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, businesses, trusts, estates and charitable organizations.
Rick Keller, the founder of Keller Group, serves as chairman of First Foundation. He’s a certified financial planner (CFP) and has worked in financial services for over 24 years. The leadership team's certifications also include the chartered financial analyst (CFA) and chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA) designations.
First Foundation Advisors Background
First Foundation started as Keller Group in 1990. Keller Group was one of the nation’s first wealth management firms to offer fee-only wealth management. The organization became a bank in 2007 and continued offering advisory services. First Foundation has advisors in Irvine, Pasadena, Los Angeles and San Diego in California, plus Honolulu and Las Vegas.
The firm offers clients investment advisory services and standalone financial planning and consulting services, though only to the extent requested by the client.
First Foundation Advisors Investment Strategy
The investment committee at First Foundation follows an investment philosophy that includes rigorous analysis to identify investing strategies, stewardship of your portfolio, valuation discipline, partnership with firms that share similar values, risk control and finding opportunities in inefficient markets.
If you become a client, you’ll have asset allocation portfolio options to choose from depending on your financial objectives and situation. These portfolio options include growth, moderate, conservative, emphasis on growth, emphasis on dividends, emphasis on income and fixed income. You can infer the goal of each strategy from the name of it. Each of these options corresponds with an asset mix. For example, emphasis on growth will include allocation among equities, fixed income, cash and with a primary emphasis on equities including private investment funds.
Index Fund Advisors
Our second fee-only firm on the list, Index Fund Advisors, like the No. 1 firm, has nearly $3.83 billion in assets under management (AUM). Index Fund Advisors has 13 advisors on staff, however, making its advisory team less than half the size of First Foundation’s team of 35 advisors.
The firm's team includes two female senior vice presidents, both certified financial planners (CFPs). The firm's team of wealth advisors includes six CFP, one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF) and one certified fund specialist (CFS).
You’ll need at least $100,000 for investment advisory services. Index Fund Advisors provides services to individuals, high-net-worth clients and pension and profit-sharing plans among others. The firm has clients all over the U.S. but is based in Irvine.
Index Fund Advisors Background
Mark Hebner is the founder, president and sole owner of Index Fund Advisors. Beyond his decades of experience, MBA and Series 65 securities license, he’s also an author. He wrote “Index Funds: The 12-Step Recovery Program for Active Investors” and created a documentary based on the book to help with his mission of investor education.
Services offered by the firm include financial planning, retirement planning, college planning and Social Security optimization.
Index Fund Advisors Investment Strategy
It probably won’t come as a surprise that most portfolios at this firm are invested in index mutual funds or passively managed mutual funds. Additionally, the firm favors equity investments in indexes that include small and value-oriented companies rather than large and well-known indices. These portfolios also generally include indexes of fixed income and real estate investment trusts (REITs).
Your exact portfolio will correspond with your time horizon, cash-flow needs, net income, risk tolerance, investment knowledge and net savings. You can opt for a glide path portfolio if you’d like your investments to become more conservative over time (as you near retirement).
Burnham Gibson Wealth Advisors, Inc.
Burnham Gibson Wealth Advisors, Inc. is an Irvine-based firm that works with individuals and corporations. Its individual investor client base includes individuals who do and do not have a high net worth. Aside from individuals and corporations, the firm can provide investment advice to pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates and charitable organizations. The firm’s 10-person team of financial advisors has an impressive array of certifications, including three chartered financial consultants (ChFCs), three certified plan fiduciary advisor (CPFA), three chartered life underwriters (CLUs), two certified financial planners (CFPs) and one qualified 401(k) administrator (QKA).
Burnham Gibson Wealth Advisors has a $100,000 minimum investment requirement for new clients and a minimum account fee of $1,750. The firm typically charges clients for investment management services based on a percentage of assets under management, while it charges flat or hourly fees for financial planning services.
However, the firm earns money from avenues other than the fees that clients pay. Its employees may also earn compensation in additional roles as registered representatives of a broker-dealer or as insurance agents, which creates a conflict of interest. Additionally, the firm has affiliations that may incentivize it to recommend certain products or firms. Though the firm is a fiduciary, it's important for clients to be aware of these potential conflicts when working with the firm.
Burnham Gibson Wealth Advisors, Inc. Background
Burnham Gibson Wealth Advisors was founded in 2015 by Darin Gibson. Gibson serves as the firm's president and is also its majority owner. Kristen Allison, the firm's executive vice president, is a minority owner.
Burnham Gibson Wealth Advisors offers the following services:
- Financial and estate planning
- Wealth management
- Insurance planning
- Retirement plan consulting
- Employee benefits
- Corporate risk management and insurance
- Business succession planning
- Executive benefits
Burnham Gibson Wealth Advisors, Inc. Investing Strategy
Burnham Gibson Wealth Advisors formulates its investment recommendations for clients based on information provided by each client about their risk tolerance, financial objectives and time horizons, as well as their financial records. The firm recommends an asset allocation mix to client based on these details. Portfolios typically contain a blend of mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), equities or fixed income, and the firm may recommend investment programs offered by other financial institutions.
The firm's strategies generally avoid frequent trading. It also employs strategies to minimize tax impacts.
Alpha Cubed Investments, LLC
Alpha Cubed Investments, LLC is a fee-only firm headquartered in Irvine, with additional offices in Mountain View, California; Scottsdale, Arizona; Denver; Chicago; Dallas; and Sequim, Washington. The firm only works with individual investors. Its current client base includes both individuals and high-net-worth individuals, though it serves a far greater percentage of the former. Only some of Alpha Cubed's asset management programs have a minimum account balance requirement. The firm requests that investors contact its chief commercial officer, Christina Walsh, for more information on these minimums.
Alpha Cubed's team includes a total of 22 advisors. This group holds a collective total of six certifications, including three certified financial planners (CFPs), one chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC), one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF) and one advisor with a master planner advanced studies (MPAS) designation.
Alpha Cubed Investments, LLC Background
Alpha Cubed Investments has been in business since 2011. Its majority owner is Todd Walsh, the firm's CEO and a portfolio manager at the firm.
Alpha Cubed Investments breaks its service offerings into three main categories: asset management, financial planning and family office services. Its list of available financial planning services is extensive, with options including retirement planning, estate planning, charitable planning, education planning, tax planning, real estate analysis, insurance analysis mortgage/debt analysis and lines of credit evaluation. However, only a basic financial plan is included in the advisory fee.
The firm's family office services are designed to meet the needs of wealthy families and and help them handle both their personal and business affairs. Services fall into the categories of tracking and oversight; estate and fiduciary; and tax and expense. There are also concierge services available.
Alpha Cubed Investments, LLC Investing Strategy
Alpha Cubed Investments offers its clients the following investment programs:
- Balanced Growth
- Tactical Growth
- Dynamic ETF
- Concentrated Position
Additionally, the firm offers custom portfolios by request.
Generally, client portfolios consist of some blend of individual stocks or bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options, mutual funds and short sales. Alpha Cubed will adjust asset allocations, both to market sectors and certain securities, as makes sense depending on clients' specifications and market conditions. It measures returns relative to a benchmark, such as the S&P 500.
Benefit Financial Services Group
Benefit Financial Services Group, legally registered with the SEC as BFSG, LLC, is a financial advisor firm with nearly $1.07 billion in assets under management (AUM). It has offices in both Irvine and Phoenix. The firm's team of 17 financial advisors holds a wide range of certifications. There are two certified financial planners (CFPs), two qualified 401(k) administrators (QKAs), one certified public accountant (CPA), one chartered financial analyst (CFA), one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF) and one accredited investment fiduciary analyst (AIFA) on staff.
The firm serves institutional investors through its BFS Institutional Services division and individual clients through its BFS Wealth Management division. The firm's clients include individuals, high-net-worth individuals, pooled investment vehicles, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and corporations or other businesses. The firm requires a $5,000 minimum investment for its robo-advisor, Wealth Accumulator, and a $250,000 minimum for manager of managers program. Aside from these two programs' minimums, the firm does not impose a universal minimum requirement. It is a fee-only firm.
Benefit Financial Services Group Background
Founded in 2007, Benefits Financial Services Group is part of the Focus Financial partnership. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of the publicly traded company that has partnered with more than 50 wealth management firms across 30 states.
The firm offers the following services and programs:
- Investment portfolio management
- Manager of managers program
- Automated investment program Wealth Accumulator
- Pension consulting
- Financial planning
- Cash flow and debt management
- College savings
- Employee benefits optimization
- Estate planning
- Financial goals identification and planning
- Insurance review
- Investment analysis
- Retirement planning
- Risk management
- Tax planning strategies
- Educational seminars
Benefit Financial Services Group Investing Strategy
Benefit Financial Services Group uses each client's personal investment policy to shape their asset allocation and the subsequent management of their portfolio. Specifically, the firm looks at objectives, time horizons, risk tolerance and liquidity needs, but it also considers a client's prior investment history as well as their family framework and background. Tax implications are also taken into account when monitoring portfolios.
Generally, the firm seeks to both satisfy client's individual needs and goals while increasing their capital. Strategies are typically centered on multi-capitalization publicly listed stocks, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and mutual funds.
Cooper McManus Wealth Management
Cooper McManus Wealth Management is the first fee-based firm on our list. Fee-based means that the firm can receive compensation in ways other than the fees its clients pay, such as through commissions from the sale of certain financial products. The the firm is still a fiduciary, though, requiring it to always act in clients' best interests.
Cooper McManus has $773.43 million in assets under management (AUM). However, unlike the six-digit asset minimums the first two firms required, Cooper McManus requires $25,000 to start an account. The firm primarily offers investment advice to individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts and business entities.
The firm has 43 advisors, the highest out of any on this top 10. The team includes an affiliated network of advisors as well as a core team of six professionals, all of whom are certified financial planners (CFPs). Cooper McManus is registered in 50 states but has its only office in Irvine.
Cooper McManus Wealth Management Background
Arthur Cooper and David McManus are the founders and owners of the firm. They both are certified financial planners (CFPs) and started their careers at large financial services organizations.
The firm's services include investment management, financial planning and business consulting.
Cooper McManus Wealth Management Investment Management Options
Though Cooper McManus' specific investment strategies are tailored based on each client's risk tolerance and long-term objectives, the firm is generally focused on capital preservation. In addition to navigating market fluctuations, the firm also places an emphasis on tax efficiency, another way to ensure clients preserve their assets. Additionally, the firm integrates clients' investment strategies with estate, tax, insurance and retirement planning.
Once a portfolio is constructed, the firm uses its performance reporting to track clients' progress in achieving their long-term objectives. The firm will revisit a portfolio's investment strategy when necessary.
Apriem Advisors has $648.74 million in assets under management (AUM) and 10 financial advisors on staff. The firm's team includes a total of six accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs), four certified financial planners (CFPs), two chartered financial analysts (CFAs), one chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC) and one chartered financial consultant (ChFC).
To become a client of investment management services, you need at least $100,000. Wealth management requires $500,000 and private client services (family wealth) takes $5 million in investable assets or a net worth of $10 million. You can find Apriem offices in Irvine, San Diego and Los Angeles.
Like Cooper McManus Wealth Management, Apriem Advisors is a fee-based firm, as it is also a licensed insurance agency. Though the firm earns commisions from the sale of insurance products, presenting a potential conflict of interest, it is still bound by fiduciary duty.
Apriem Advisors Background
Harmon Kong and Mark Iwamoto founded the firm in 1998 after a decade each of experience in wealth management at corporate financial firms. Kong is the primary owner of the firm and service as chief financial officer and chief wealth manager. He’s a certified financial planner (CFP). Iwamoto has an MBA and serves as an advisor. Rhonda Ducote is the president of the firm and a shareholder and has 20 years of wealth management experience.
The firm offers investment management, wealth management, family wealth management and an industrial retiree practice. The latter is a retirement account service that Apriem offers to large industrial companies such as ExxonMobile, Boeing and Torrance Refining Company.
Apriem Advisors Women’s Initiative
Apriem Advisors has a program called Women of Wisdom (WOW) that focuses on the financial needs of women. This unique initiative includes events and educational programs such as business exit planning education, dealing with divorce and how to bequeath money to philanthropic causes. Rhonda Ducote, the firm’s president, founded the program in 2014.
The WOW program hosts events beyond the typical financial education realm. For example, in February 2018 it hosted a 21-day detox event that was at full capacity.
The No. 8 firm, Silversage Advisors, requires $500,000 in assets under management for new clients. Its clients are primarily individuals, though it also serves a small number of high-net-worth individuals. The firm has two office locations in California: Irvine and Seal Beach.
Silversage has $288.36 million in assets under management (AUM) and four advisors on staff. The firm's team includes two certified financial planners (CFPs).
The compensation model here is fee-based, rather than fee-only, meaning that the firm can earn compensation from sources other than the fees its clients pay. In this case, this is through insurance services and as representatives of a broker-dealer. The firm is bound by fiduciary duty, however, requiring it to always act in clients' best interests.
Silversage Advisors Background
Jeffrey Garell founded the firm in 2004. He currently serves as president and co-owns Silversage Advisors with his wife, Karin Garell, who serves as the firm’s CFO. Jeffrey has 30 years of financial services industry experience and is a certified financial planner (CFP). Karin, who was previously a practicing lawyer, now focuses on the finances and legal side of Silversage.
Services offered by the include financial planning and investment management.
Silversage Advisors Investment Strategy
If you become a Silversage client, you’ll discuss your financial situation and future goals with an advisor. Based on your conversation, where you’ll cover topics such as your retirement timeline, cash needs, risk tolerance and investment knowledge, your advisor will develop an investment plan for you.
Silversage uses five different model portfolios: income, conservative, balanced, moderate and aggressive. This method of investment management means that the firm has created template portfolios that they match new clients with depending on what you discuss in your initial meetings. Each portfolio contains active and passive investment styles and will contain no-load or low-load mutual funds and ETFs. Keep in mind that with Silversage, your portfolio won’t contain individual stocks or other investment vehicles, which is generally common with firms that require a high minimum asset level.
Newport Wealth Strategies
Newport Wealth Strategies, a fee-based financial advisory firm, has $257.70 million in assets under management (AUM). With just two advisors, the firm has one of the smallest advisory teams on the list.
The firm has no specified asset minimum required to open or maintain an account. Its clients include individuals, IRAs, Roth IRAs, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, corporations and other business entities.
The firm's employees may also be registered representatives of a broker-dealer or licensed insurance agents. Both roles present potential conflicts of interest, as these employees will have the opportunity to earn additional compensation. The firm is a fiduciary, however, requiring it to put its clients' best interests before its own.
Newport Wealth Strategies Background
Founded in 2011, Newport Wealth Strategies is owned by Darin Simonian, the firm's founder. Simonian started working in the financial services industry in 1986. He worked for Ernst & Young, the global accounting firm, and for Pacific Holding Company, billionaire David Burdock’s company. Simonian is a certified financial planner (CFP) and a licensed (but inactive) certified public accountant (CPA).
Services the firm offers include portfolio management, retirement income strategies, financial planning and estate planning.
Newport Wealth Strategies Portfolio Management
As a client of Newport Wealth, you undergo an initial consult to see what your investment goals are and where you are financially. Then, Simonian or an associate will develop an investment plan that encompasses your risk tolerance, investment objectives, cash flow needs and more. Portfolios are optimized for tax efficiency and take downside risk protection into consideration.
The firm works with Schwab Institutional and TD Ameritrade to custody your assets. By working with large brokerage firms, Newport is able to offer advice and access to institutionally priced investment vehicles.
Mitchell Anthony Capital Management
The final firm on our list of the top Irvine financial advisor firms is Mitchell Anthony Capital Management, which is registered with the SEC as Concord Investment Counsel. It has $222.28 million in assets under management (AUM) and a small team of three financial advisors. The team does not hold any advanced certifications, such as the certified financial planner (CFP) or chartered financial analyst (CFA) designation.
The firm's current client base is exclusively comprised of high-net-worth individuals. It can also provide advisory services to pension and profit-sharing plans, business entities, estates and charitable organizations. The firm generally requires clients to have an asset base of at least $500,000 for its investment advisory services.
Mitchell Anthony Capital Management is a fee-only firm. Certain clients are offered a performance-based fee schedule in which the client only pays a management fee when their account earns money. Clients also have the option of an asset-based fee schedule.
Mitchell Anthony Capital Management Background
Mitchell Anthony Capital Management, or Concord Investment Counsel, has been in business since 1991. It was founded by Mitchell Anthony, who has served as the firm's president and CEO for its full tenure. The firm is independently owned.
Available services through the firm include discretionary investment management, asset allocation advice and financial planning services.
Mitchell Anthony Capital Management Investing Strategy
Mitchell Anthony Capital Management uses active asset allocation to seek long-term outperformance and to manage risk in client portfolios. The firm uses a wide range of investments, diversifying across asset, sector and industry group. Typical investments used in client portfolios include equities, fixed income, commodities, real estate, cash and alternative positions.
To develop its investment strategies, the firm says it "integrates bottom-up research into a top-down macroeconomic framework." Factors such as inflation, interest rates, government policy, economic growth and the firm's global outlook are all influential in its investment decisions.