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 easy to understand what sets one firm apart from another. That's why we've done the work for you, researching the firms in Irvine, sorting out the top 10 firms, and presenting information on each firm's services and investment approaches.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||First Foundation Advisors Find an Advisor||$4,438,251,680||$500,000|| || |
|2||Index Fund Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$4,042,586,640||$100,000|| || |
|3||Burnham Gibson Wealth Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$2,491,856,382||$100,000|| || |
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|4||Alpha Cubed Investments, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,527,295,963||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|5||Cooper McManus Wealth Management Find an Advisor||$989,515,784||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|6||Benefit Financial Services Group Find an Advisor||$854,149,092||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|7||Apriem Advisors Find an Advisor||$760,199,692||$500,000|| || |
|8||Squar Milner Financial Services, LLC Find an Advisor||$419,776,557||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|9||Mitchell Anthony Capital Management Find an Advisor||$230,848,526||$500,000|| || |
|10||Cardinal Point Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$226,049,465||$1,000,000|| || |
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 removed from consideration any financial advisors that don't manage individual accounts. The final list is ordered from the most assets under management to the least. All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
First Foundation Advisors
Topping our list is First Foundation Advisors, a large fee-only firm. Founded in 1990, the firm is one of the oldest on our list. The firm has 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 you’ll need at least $500,000 in investable assets. The firm's clients include individuals, businesses, trusts, estates, charitable organizations and pooled investment vehicles.
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 25 years. The team's certifications also include more CFPs, chartered financial analysts (CFAs), chartered alternative investment analysts (CAIAs) and more.
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 joined 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, Inc.
Another fee-only firm, Index Fund Advisors' team includes two female senior vice presidents, both of whom are certified financial planners (CFPs). The firm's overall team of wealth advisors includes four CFPs and one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF).
You’ll need at least $100,000 to access the investment advisory services at this firm. Index Fund Advisors provides services to individuals with and without a high net worth, pension and profit-sharing plans and charities. The firm has clients all over the U.S., but it is based in Irvine.
Index Fund Advisors, Inc. Background
Mark Hebner is the founder, president and sole owner of Index Fund Advisors, Inc. Beyond his decades of experience and MBA, 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, Inc. 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. works with both individuals and corporations, as well as pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates and charitable organizations. The firm’s team of financial advisors has an impressive array of certifications, including three chartered financial consultants (ChFCs), three certified plan fiduciary advisors (CPFAs), three chartered life underwriters (CLUs), two certified financial planners (CFPs), one chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC) and two chartered financial analysts (CFAs).
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. Some employees may also earn compensation in additional roles as registered representatives of a broker-dealer or as insurance agents, which creates a potential conflict of interest. The firm still abides by fiduciary duty, though, legally binding it to act in clients' best interests at all times.
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 and senior vice president Taylor Boyd are minority owners.
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 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 non-high-net-worth 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 compliance officer (CCO), Christina Walsh, for more information on these minimums.
Alpha Cubed's advisory team includes five certified financial planners (CFPs), one chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC), three accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs) 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 one of its portfolio managers.
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.
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 third-part compensation in addition to the fees its clients pay, including commissions from the sale of certain financial products. The firm is still a fiduciary, though, requiring it to always act in clients' best interests.
Cooper McManus requires different minimums depending on the services clients utilize. For example, the firm's asset management program has no minimum, whereas its WealthPort wrap fee program has a $5,000 minimum initial investment. The firm primarily offers investment advice to individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, trusts, charities and business entities.
The firm's entire team of advisors are certified financial planners (CFPs).
Cooper McManus Wealth Management Background
Managing director Arthur Cooper is the founder and owner of Cooper McManus Wealth Management. He is a CFP and has been employed in the financial services industry since 1985.
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.
Benefit Financial Services Group
Benefit Financial Services Group is a financial advisor firm with offices in both Irvine and Phoenix. The firm's team of financial advisors holds a wide range of certifications. There are seven certified financial planners (CFPs), two qualified 401(k) administrators (QKAs), two certified public accountants (CPAs), five chartered financial analysts (CFAs), one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF) and one accredited investment fiduciary analyst (AIFA).
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 non-high-net-worth individuals, high-net-worth individuals, pooled investment vehicles, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, government entities and corporations.
The firm requires a $5,000 minimum investment for its robo-advisor service called Wealth Accumulator, and a $100,000 minimum for portfolio management services. Aside from these two 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.
Apriem Advisors' advisory team includes a total of six accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs), three certified financial planners (CFPs), three chartered financial analysts (CFAs), one chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC) and one chartered financial consultant (ChFC). You can find Apriem offices in Irvine, San Diego and Los Angeles.
To become a client of this firm, you'll need at least $500,000 in investable assets. The firm reserves the right to waive or adjust this minimum requirement.
Apriem Advisors is a fee-based firm, as it is also a licensed insurance agency and earns commisions from the sale of insurance products. This represents a potential conflict of interest, though it is still legally bound by fiduciary duty.
Apriem Advisors Background
Harmon Kong and Mark Iwamoto founded Apriem Advisors in 1998 after they each spent a decade in wealth management at corporate financial firms. Kong, a CFP, is the primary owner of the firm and serves as chief wealth manager. Other owners of the firm include firm president Rhonda Ducote and chief investment officer (CIO) Benjamin Lau.
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.
Squar Milner Financial Services, LLC
Squar Milner Financial Services, LLC is a financial advisor firm that works almost entirely with individuals (including those both above and below the high-net-worth threshold). It also has a handful of retirement plan clients. Although the firm technically does not have a minimum investment requirement for new clients, there is a $1,500 minimum annual financial planning fee.
The investment management services at Squar Milner are fairly standard, as they involve the creation of a customized portfolio for each client. Investment management clients may also receive free financial planning services, which include personal tax planning, cash flow planning, retirement planning, estate planning, education fund planning and more. The firm also offers accounting services.
Squar Milner employs some advisors that can earn commissions when they sell certain securities to clients. Although this is a potential conflict of interest, the firm abides by fiduciary duty, acting in clients’ best interest at all times.
Squar Milner Financial Services, LLC Background
Squar Milner Financial Services was founded in 1999. The firm’s parent company is Squar Milner, LLP. Outside of its Irvine office, Squar Milner operates locations in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Encino, San Mateo, Silicon Valley, the Cayman Islands and Woodland Hills.
Squar Milner Financial Services, LLC Investment Strategy
How the advisors at Squar Milner Financial Services manage your portfolio will depend entirely on your specific needs and goals. The firm will also base its plans on your risk tolerance, time horizon and income needs. Individual stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds and options are some of the firm’s most common investments.
Once your money has been invested and your portfolio is complete, the firm will continually monitor its performance. If returns cause your asset allocation to become unbalanced, the firm will rebalance your portfolio.
Mitchell Anthony Capital Management
The final firm on our list is Mitchell Anthony Capital Management, which is registered with the SEC as Concord Investment Counsel. 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, businesses, 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 has been in business since 1991. It was founded by Mitchell Anthony, who has served as the firm's president and chief investment officer (CIO) 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.
Cardinal Point Wealth Management, LLC
Cardinal Point Wealth Management, LLC is a unique financial advisor firm, as it specializes in cross-border financial planning for residents of the U.S. and Canada. The firm also offers standard investment management and financial planning services, such as retirement planning, estate planning, investment planning, personal tax planning and more.
Cardinal Point only works with individual clients. In fact, its client base has a nearly even split between high-net-worth and non-high-net-worth individuals. Generally speaking, the firm has a $1 million minimum investment for its services, though this requirement can be waived.
This is a fee-only firm. That means all of Cardinal Point’s compensation comes from client-paid fees.
Cardinal Point Wealth Management, LLC Background
Cardinal Point Wealth Management was created in 2009 by firm chairman James Sheldon and CEO Jeff Sheldon. The firm is principally owned by multiple employees, including Jeffrey Sheldon, James Sheldon, director of private wealth services John McCord, Jr., director of cross-border wealth services Terry Ritchie, chief investment officer (CIO) Matthew Carvalho and senior financial planners Jeffrey Adema and Mary Daley.
This firm boasts a plethora of advisory certifications, including two chartered financial analysts (CFAs), six certified financial planners (CFPs), one registered financial planner (RFP), one enrolled agent (EA), two trust and estate practitioners (TEPs), one chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC), two certified public accountants (CPAs) and one certified international wealth manager (CIWM).
Cardinal Point Wealth Management, LLC Investment Strategy
The end goal of Cardinal Point Wealth Management’s investment services is to help its clients achieve their short- and long-term financial goals. In turn, these goals and any other relevant information, such as your risk tolerance, time horizon and income needs, will inform how your portfolio is built. When a final plan is created, that doesn’t mean things are set in stone. The firm will periodically review and rebalance your portfolio as is necessary.
In general, this firm tends to invest in stocks, bonds, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).