Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Los Angeles, California
A search for the top financial advisor firms in Los Angeles can pull up an overwhelming number of options. Through dozens of hours of research, SmartAsset determined the top firms in L.A. In the tables and reviews below, we explain what sets these firms apart to better help you figure out which financial advisor will suit your needs. If you're unsure of what you're looking for in an advisor, SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool can help.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management, LLCFind an Advisor
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Aspiriant, LLCFind an Advisor
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Signature Estate & Investment Advisors, LLCFind an Advisor
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Churchill Management GroupFind an Advisor
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Westmount Asset Management, LLCFind an Advisor
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Lido Advisors, LLCFind an Advisor
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AdvicePeriod, LLCFind an Advisor
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Lindbrook Capital, LLCFind an Advisor
No set account minimum
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No set account minimum
HCR Wealth AdvisorsFind an Advisor
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Miracle Mile Advisors, LLCFind an Advisor
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How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in Los Angeles, California
This list of the top 10 financial advisor firms in Los Angeles considers all U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-registered firms in the city, as these firms are all bound by a fiduciary duty to act in their clients’ best interests. From those firms, SmartAsset eliminated any firms that had disciplinary issues, lacked financial planners or did not manage individual accounts. We then sorted the remaining firms according to assets under management. The firm with the most assets under management ranks first, while the firm with the least ranks last.
Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management, LLC
To be a client of Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management, LLC (KAR), you’ll need at least $1 million. KAR has by far the most assets under management (AUM) of any of these 10 Los Angeles firms. It manages $18.9 billion in AUM, which is more than $2 billion more than the second-ranking firm in terms of AUM, Aspiriant, LLC.
This fee-only firm has seven certified financial planners (CFPs), 16 chartered financial analysts (CFAs), two certified private wealth advisors (CPWAs), one certified trust and financial advisor (CTFA), one certified public accountant (CPA) and one certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA).
In 2017, Barron’s ranked Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management first on its list of the nation’s top 100 independent advisors.
Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management, LLC Background
Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management, LLC has been in business since 1985, making it one of the oldest firms on this list. It was founded by two entrepreneurs, Richard Kayne and John Anderson, after whom the University of California, Los Angeles named its business school. Allan Rudnick, the firm’s other namesake, joined the firm in 1989, when its traditional investment management business began. Its original principles are an “orientation toward preservation of wealth and innovative ideas, an embrace of meticulous research and a dedicated focus on quality in business practices and investment strategies,” the firm’s website says. The firm says that its guiding principle is “Do the Right Thing.”
The firm is wholly owned by Virtus Investment Partners, Inc., a publicly traded multi-manager asset management business.
Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management, LLC Investment Strategy
The lynchpin of Kayne Anderson Rudnick Investment Management’s investment strategy is quality companies. The firm believes that building a portfolio of low-risk, steady-growth companies will in turn result in greater risk-adjusted returns and more consistent investment performance.
Through an independent, internal research process, KAR assesses the sustainability of a company’s competitive advantage, its financial strength and valuation propositions and its commitment to shareholders. The firm’s goal is to identify high-quality companies that are available at reasonable prices.
The firm builds high conviction portfolios with fewer securities than the traditional approach. Rather than diversifying to avoid risk, the firm selectively chooses companies that it believes are lower risk and then invests in those over the long term.
Aspirant, LLC, a fee-only firm with a $1.5 million account minimum, is by far the largest firm on this list. The firm has 86 advisors - more than twice the number of the second-largest firm on this list, Churchill Management Group.
Aspirant’s advisors boast a slew of certifications. The firm has the most certified financial planners of any firm on this list, with 34. It also has 12 certified public accountants (CPAs), 12 chartered financial analysts (CFAs), six certified investment management analysts (CIMAs), one certified private wealth advisor (CPWA) and one certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA).
In 2017, Barron’s ranked the firm as one of the top 10 independent registered investment advisor firms.
Aspiriant, LLC Background
Aspiriant, LLC was founded in 2008. The firm is owned by a holding company, and more than 30% of the Aspiriant’s employees have an ownership stake in the firm.
Aspiriant describes its business model as “forward thinking.” Every two years, the firm’s in-house research team looks ahead 10 years into the future to identify upcoming trends and potential opportunities. They then integrate these findings into client portfolios.
Aspiriant divides its services into three boxes - investing, investing and wealth planning and a family office - though it acknowledges on its website that you “won’t fit neatly into any of them.” The firm’s service structure is fluid so clients can pick and choose what they need from those three categories. There are also services available beyond those three core offerings, including tax management, estate planning and philanthropic planning.
Aspiriant, LLC Extras
Aspiriant, LLC can help you with far more than just financial planning and investing. The firm provides divorce financial consulting through its on-staff certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA), who will work with you and your attorney to develop budgets and conduct a financial analysis.
The firm can also help with things like buying or remodeling a house and philanthropic planning. One of its unique offerings is its assistance with preparing kids for college. The firm teaches kids financial basics like managing a portion of their own investment portfolio, picking a health insurance plan and maintaining a checkbook.
Aspiriant also has a financial information blog that’s robust enough to be a freestanding website.
Signature Estate & Investment Advisors, LLC
At Signature Estate & Investment Advisors, LLC (SEIA), the account minimum depends on the account option. Its lowest account minimum, for its Signature Elite and S-Series equity/blended portfolios, is $250,000. For the fee-based firm’s Signature Elite and S-Series fixed-income portfolios, it’s $500,000, and its M-Series requires an account minimum of $1 million.
If you’re trying to figure out the value of your 401(k) over time, SEIA has a certified 401(k) professional (C(k)P), which no other firm on this list has. It also has the second-most certified financial planners (CFPs), with 28 CFPs on staff. In addition, SEIA has four chartered financial analysts (CFAs), one certified private wealth advisor (CPWA), one certified wealth strategist (CWS), one retirement income certified professional (RICP) and one certified investment management analyst (CIMA).
Signature Estate & Investment Advisors, LLC was founded in 1997. Its principal owner is Brian Holmes, the firm’s founder, president, CEO and secretary.
The firm offers five different types of wealth management services:
- Signature Elite: A six-step investment management process that helps clients identify their financial goals.
- Signature Allocation Series (S-Series & M-Series): The six-step process combined with investment supervisory services.
- S-Series has four model platforms with different asset classes and investment styles and vehicles.
- M-Series consists of two model platforms. Trading is conducted through Envestnet’s Unified Management Account service.
- Financial planning, either modular or comprehensive
- Investment consulting
- Retirement plan consulting
In addition to these offerings, the firm also offers seminars, which include presentations on current events, economic trends, market cycles, financial planning strategies and investment fundamentals.
SEIA Socially Responsible Investing
At SEIA, clients can select which areas of the community and society they want to invest in. The firm says on its website that it has done the “due diligence and research necessary to provide all types of socially responsible funds.” Some of the areas it may consider are a company’s environmental impact, its social impact and its governance.
SEIA’s Department of Investment Management and Economic Strategy (DIMES) heads up the firm’s research and development of its asset allocation strategies for portfolios. The team is guided by the principles of strategic macro asset allocation, which considers asset class and style and tactical micro allocation, which looks at business cycles, global and domestic economic conditions and event-driven opportunities.
SEIA portfolios are primarily composed of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, closed-end funds, exchange-traded funds, exchange-traded notes and options.
Churchill Management Group
Churchill Management Group is the oldest firm on this list by a long shot. The fee-based firm was founded way back in 1963, which has given it plenty of experience guiding clients through both bull and bear markets. To be a client of Churchill Management Group, you’ll need at least $500,000.
Churchill is the second-largest firm on this list, with 36 advisors on staff. Of those advisors, four are certified financial planners (CFPs).
In 2016, Barron's named the firm's CEO, Fred Fern, the No. 1 independent financial advisor in the nation. He ranked among the top financial advisors for the state of California in 2017.
Churchill Management Group Background
Fred Fern founded Churchill Management Group back in 1963. He remains the firm’s CEO and chairman, as well the chair of the Churchill Management Group Investment Team, which manages all of the firm’s investment accounts. Fern is also the firm’s controlling owner.
He is also the owner of a licensed California real estate broker, Chartwell Properties, Inc. If Churchill clients invest in the firm’s limited real estate partnerships, Chartwell will receive property management fees.
Churchill Management Group Investment Philosophy
Churchill’s investment philosophy is centered on the belief that financial markets and economic environments move cyclically. The firm believes that different investments provide different results depending on the point of the market cycle. Thus, Churchill views the market cycle as a reference point for its investment decisions.
The firm primarily invests its clients in equity and equity-related securities that are publicly traded. Churchill offers eight different securities management strategies: premier wealth tactical and premier wealth tactical core, ETF sector rotation, premier wealth tactical core/ ETF sector rotation, equity growth and value, equity dividend income, maximum growth tactical, tactical opportunity and balanced accounts with each equity strategy, aside from maximum growth tactical.
Westmount Asset Management, LLC
To be a client of this fee-only Los Angeles firm, you’ll need at least $2 million, the highest account minimum of any firm on this list. Westmount Asset Management describes its typical client as a person who is “successful, mature and established” with wealth that is “self-made.”
Westmount Asset Management has an impressive array of expertise, especially for its size. Of Westmount’s 12 advisors, there are four certified financial planners (CFPs), one holder of a certificate in investment performance measurement (CIPM), two certified investment management analysts (CIMAs), one chartered financial analyst (CFA) and one certified public accountant/personal financial specialist (CPA/PFS).
Westmount Asset Management, LLC Background
Westmount Asset Management, LLC was founded in 1990 by a father-and-son duo, veteran entrepreneur Bob Berliner and former federal prosecutor Jim Berliner. Bob is the firm’s chairman and Jim is the firm’s president and chief investment officer. The firm is owned by Westmount Asset Management, Inc. and Rosemont Partners II, LP., a private equity firm.
Westmount claims on its website that it was one of the first firms to adopt the fiduciary advisor model. It also says it was an industry leader in delivering institutional-style investing for individuals and offering access to real estate and other alternative investments.
In addition to its investing services, the firm also offers financial planning services including retirement planning analysis, cash-flow modeling, Monte Carlo projections and guidance on Social Security claiming strategies.
Westmount Asset Management, LLC Investment Process
Westmount Asset Management, LLC doesn’t limit itself to the conventional. While the firm uses traditional investments like stocks and bonds, it has an open mind toward complementing those with a range of alternative investments. Similarly, while the firm primarily opts for long-term investing, it will also take advantage of any short-term opportunities that may arise.
Clients also have the flexibility to shape their portfolios as they wish. Westmount allows clients to place restrictions on their accounts, such as on specific holds or cash minimums or maximums.
Lido Advisors, LLC
Lido Advisors, LLC is a fee-based firm that requires a $1 million account minimum. The firm has three certified financial planners (CFPs), two chartered financial analysts (CFAs) and two certified public accountants (CPAs).
The firm predominantly serves high-net-worth individuals, but it also serves individuals, pensions and profit-sharing plans, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, registered investment companies, corporations and businesses. It’s the final firm on this list that manages more than $1 billion in assets.
Certain Lido representatives are also representatives of a securities broker-dealer and those individuals may receive commissions or fees for the sale of these products in a client’s advisory account. However, Lido Advisors typically lowers the advisory fees that such clients pay to offset the net commissions that Lido representatives may receive.
Lido Advisors, LLC Background
Lido Advisors, LLC was founded in 2001. The firm is majority owned by Lido Advisors holding, a limited liability company whose sole shareholder is Gregory Kushner, Lido’s chairman and CEO. The firm is also partially owned by K & W, LLC, a limited liability company in California.
The firm’s namesake is an island reef called a lido that separates the lagoon of Venice, Italy, from the Adriatic Sea. The firm, like the lido, sees itself as a protector against tumultuous, sometimes troubled waters. Its services include investment management and asset allocation, financial planning, retirement planning and estate planning.
Lido Advisors, LLC Going Way Beyond Stocks and BondsTM
Lido Advisors, LLC goes beyond using just stocks and bonds. As a way to manage volatility and to work toward clients’ goals, the firm aims to invest in assets that are not highly correlated. Lido Advisors invests its clients’ assets in the traditional asset classes of fixed-income and domestic inequities, but it also uses foreign securities, American depository receipts (ADRs), hybrid offerings, liquid and non-liquid alternative investments, non-liquid fixed-income investments and cash.
As part of its Thinking Outside the Style BoxTM approach, the firm says that it aims to implement a strategy while remaining flexible enough to pounce on opportunities that may appear. The firm has five core strategies: fixed income, stock strategies, hedged hybrid equity strategy, alternatives and real estate.
AdvicePeriod, LLC says it’s setting out to reinvent wealth management, as “the current model is totally outdated.” The firm was founded just four years ago in 2013, making it the newest firm on this list. It has six certified financial planners (CFPs), one chartered financial analyst (CFA) and one certified private wealth advisor (CPWA).
AdvicePeriod says that it’s accustomed to working with clients who have complex estate planning and tax needs. The firm’s client base is a majority high-net-worth individuals. Its account minimum is typically $500,000.
AdvicePeriod, LLC Background
Founded in 2013, AdvicePeriod, LLC is majority owned by OpenAdvisors, LLC, which is principally owned by the firm’s founder and a principal at the firm, Steven Lockshin.
In AdvicePeriod’s opinion, wealth management firms “are typically focused on the wrong things,” its website says. While many wealth advisors focus on investments, AdvicePeriod, as its name might suggest, focuses moreso on planning.
The firm’s planning services include trust and estate planning, cash flow management, guidance on philanthropy, retirement planning, portfolio tax minimization and risk management.
AdvicePeriod, LLC Investing
Though AdvicePeriod believes in first and foremost building a foundation with a plan that reflects a client’s goals and wealth philosophy, investment is still a core part of its services. It believes that its advice is more valuable than asset allocation, with the proliferation of services available online nowadays.
AdvicePeriod, LLC portfolios prioritize planning and a passive approach to the markets. The firm customizes its portfolios for each investor, depending on his or her cash flow needs, risk tolerance, time horizon, wealth transfer goals and modeled returns.
The firm primarily uses low-fee, tax-advantaged investments, However, depending on market conditions, it it may also opt for the use of independent investment managers, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds or other listed securities.
Lindbrook Capital, LLC
Lindbrook Capital, LLC is notably the only firm on this list that does not have any certified financial planners (CFPs) on staff. It has just one chartered financial analyst (CFA). Another differentiator of Lindbrook Capital is that it’s the only firm of these 10 that does not have a set account minimum. However, the fee-only firm primarily serves high-net-worth individuals.
Lindbrook Capital is by far the smallest firm on this list. It has just three advisors on staff.
Lindbrook Capital, LLC Background
Lindbrook Capital, LLC was founded in 2011. Majority ownership of the firm is equally split between the Posen/Degal Living Trust and the Tyler and Taryn Dritz Revocable Trust.
The firm offers both comprehensive portfolio management, which includes asset management and financial planning, and portfolio monitoring, which is moreso just for the safekeeping of assets without any ongoing supervision or trading. Lindbrook doesn’t offer an extra services beyond those basics, like estate or philanthropic planning.
Lindbrook Capital, LLC Investing Approach
Lindbrook Capital’s objective is to exceed its clients’ investment and preservation goals without any surprises along the way. The firm operates according to the principle that “knowledge controls risk,” and it turns to its in-house research team, composed of senior management and analysts, to ensure its strategies align with client objectives.
Lindbrook Capital, LLC seeks to capitalize on market inefficiencies while controlling risk through knowledge. The firm continuously gathers information through regular meetings with investment managers, software analytic systems and custodial services. In Lindbrook Capital’s opinion, it’s more important to focus on not losing money than meeting a benchmark.
The firm individualizes its investment advice, but it does not typically allow clients to impose restrictions. Lindbrook primarily uses exchange-traded funds, mutual funds, individual stocks or bonds and other securities in its portfolios.
HCR Wealth Advisors
HCR Wealth Advisors is a fee-based firm that helps its clients weather life’s transitions, from divorce to inheritance to starting a business. The firm requires an account minimum of $100,000. It has four certified financial planners (CFPs) and two chartered financial analysts (CFAs).
In addition to its financial and wealth management services, the firm also specializes in insurance services and business consulting. However, these additional specialities may present potential conflicts of interest. Some management personnel and other representatives of the firm are also representatives of a broker-dealer and/or act as licensed insurance agents or brokers, and they may receive a separate commission for the sale of products.
HCR Wealth Advisors Background
HCR Wealth Advisors was founded in 1998. Its principal shareholder is its founder and CEO, Gregory Heller.
The firm offers a slew financial services, like estate planning, charitable giving and philanthropy strategies, retirement planning, cash flow analysis, budgeting, tax management strategies, net-worth assessments and multi-generational planning, in addition to its other aforementioned specialties. Its business services include 401(k) plans, business valuation consulting and executive benefit planning; its consulting services include real estate analysis, business elder care and life transition counseling, and its insurance services including life insurance and annuities, insurance planning/group benefits and disability and loss of coverage.
HCR Wealth Advisors Investment Strategy
The first step of HCR Wealth Advisors’ investment services is a seven-step process designed to help it fully understand clients’ goals and objectives. The plan focuses heavily on the continued monitoring and evolution of the plan. As part of its goal to serve clients through life’s transitions, the firm aims to develop a comprehensive plan that considers financial targets, retirement and other investments.
HCR Wealth Advisors uses an fundamental and technical analysis to make investment decisions. The firm employs a wide range of investment vehicles, from traditional asset managers to alternative investment managers, private equity, real estate and individual securities. It says that it shows its clients all possible options as opposed to just proprietary investment products associated with certain brokerages.
Miracle Mile Advisors, LLC
Miracle Mile Advisors, LLC is a fee-based firm with three certified financial planners (CFPs), one chartered financial analyst (CFA) and two certified public accountants (CPAs) on staff. To be a client, you’ll need at least $500,000.
Miracle Mile Advisors is also licensed as an insurance agency and some of the firm’s representatives are insurance agents or brokers. Though the firm is bound to act in its clients’ best interests, this may create a potential conflict of interest because these representatives may recommend insurance products and receive fees for the sale of these products.
Miracle Mile Advisors, LLC Background
Founded in 2007, Miracle Mile Advisors, LLC is majority owned by Brock Moseley, head of the firm’s Investment Committee and Risk Management Committee, and Duncan Rolph, a principal of the firm. Miracle Mile Advisors is 100% employee owned.
As part of the firm’s commitment to open communication, its advisory team meets with its clients regularly and the firm also routinely publishes portfolio updates, research and notes to keep clients in the loop. The firm also has what it describes as an “institutional-caliber technology platform” so clients can always easily access their financial information.
Miracle Mile Advisors, LLC Investing Approach
Miracle Mile Advisors, LLC strives to customize the allocation of assets according to each client’s risk tolerance and investment goals. The firm relies on in-house and external research to make its investment decisions.
Miracle Mile Advisors primarily invests its clients in low-cost, tax-efficient exchange-traded funds, as well as bonds and index funds. It may also use private investment funds and hedge funds. It will create a portfolio around previously held individual securities if a client requests that it maintain positions in certain concentrated individual securities.
The firm keeps an eye toward tax efficiency and it implements ongoing tax-loss harvesting.