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Top Financial Advisors in Los Altos, 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 Los Altos, California

Whether you want help managing your investments, planning for retirement, creating a college savings fund for your children or anything in between, a financial advisor can help. For residents of Los Altos, California, SmartAsset created this list to help you select a financial advisor. You can also use SmartAsset's free financial advisor matching tool to get connected directly to advisors in your area.

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Rank Financial Advisor Assets Managed Minimum Assets Financial Services More Information
1 Three Bell Capital, LLC Three Bell Capital, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$1,590,840,317 $1,000,000
  • Portfolio management
  • Financial planning
  • Pension consulting
  • Educational workshops

Minimum Assets

$1,000,000

Financial Services

  • Portfolio management
  • Financial planning
  • Pension consulting
  • Educational workshops
2 Johnson Lyman Wealth Advisors Johnson Lyman Wealth Advisors logo Find an Advisor

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$124,733,485 $2,000,000
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Advisor selection

Minimum Assets

$2,000,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Advisor selection
3 Changing Parameters, LLC Find an Advisor

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$82,675,527 $500,000
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Advisor selection

Minimum Assets

$500,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Advisor selection

What We Use in Our Methodology

To find the top financial advisors in Los Altos, 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 accurate as of the writing of this article. 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.

Three Bell Capital, LLC

Three Bell Capital, LLC works primarily with high-net-worth individuals and pension and profit-sharing plans.

As a fee-based firm, some advisors could be licensed to sell insurance and investment products, and could earn commissions on those transactions. However, the firm has a fiduciary duty to put client interests first.

Three Bell generally requires a $1 million minimum to engage in services. Clients are charged investment management fees that are based on a percentage of assets under management, ranging between .5% and 1.5%.

Three Bell Capital Background

Headquartered in Los Altos, California, the firm was founded in 2011. The principal owners of Three Bell are Jonathan H. Porter, Eric C. Patterson and Andre E. Huaman. 

The advisor team includes one chartered financial analyst (CFA).

Three Bell Capital Strategy

The firm manages and evaluates portfolios based on client goals and objectives. Its investment strategies use long-term trading, short-term trading, short sales, margin transactions, and options writing.

Services include:

  • Portfolio management
  • Retirement plan services
  • Estate planning 
  • Tax strategy
  • Risk management

Johnson Lyman Wealth Advisors

Johnson Lyman Wealth Advisors works with non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, and it also manages assets for charities and pension plans and profit-sharing plans.

The firm requires a $2 million minimum to engage in wealth management and investment services, which corresponds to a minimum quarterly fee of $4,750.

Johnson Lyman is a fee-only firm. This means that it only receives advisory fees directly from clients, avoiding all third-party compensation that could pose a conflict of interest between the firm and its clients.

The advisors team holds two certified financial planner (CFP) designations.

Johnson Lyman Wealth Advisors Background

Johnson Lyman Wealth Advisors was founded in 1985. This firm provides general wealth management services, which includes such financial planning offerings such as retirement planning, risk management, business exit planning and more. Financial planning services are also available on a one-time project basis. Finally, the firm provides investment management services.

Robert A. Lyman is the firm's sole shareholder, and he also serves as its president. All advisors at the firm have at least a decade of financial services experience.

Johnson Lyman Wealth Advisors Investment Strategy

Johnson Lyman provides long-term investment advice and strategies to clients who participate in its investment management program. Advisors at the firm work with clients on a discretionary basis, but clients are still permitted to impose reasonable restrictions on how their assets are invested and which securities advisors buy on their behalf.

In order to make effective investment decisions, advisors review historical and expected rates of return, standard deviations and correlation coefficients between asset classes. Advisors place significant emphasis on aligning proper asset allocation with a client's risk tolerance. They typically invest in mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Investments may be purchased on a short-term basis as is necessary.

Changing Parameters, LLC

Changing Parameters, LLC works primarily with non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals and investment companies. To become a client of the firm, you must meet its $500,000 minimum account size requirement.

As a fee-only firm, Changing Parameters earns all of its income from the fees that clients pay.

Changing Parameters Background

Changing Parameters was founded in 2004. The firm provides two different types of advisory services. One is aimed at investment company, mutual fund and trust clients; the other, for individual clients, is called Investment Advisory Tactical Allocation Services, and it is provided on a comprehensive and discretionary basis. The service entails investment portfolio management and even financial planning if necessary.

Today, the firm is fully owned and operated by its sole financial advisor, Howard P. Smith. Smith has nearly two decades of experience managing investments for clients.

Changing Parameters Investment Strategy

When it comes to the management of client assets, the firm does not generally tailor its investment strategy to their particular needs and objectives. Instead, the firm looks to invest when models indicate a positive trend in the bond market. When trends are negative, the firm reduces its positions and moves investments into shorter-duration securities.

Changing Parameters uses a price trend analysis method to identify a suitable investment strategy. For the firm's own fund, it tends to concentrate investments among the equity and fixed-income markets.

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