Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Pasadena, California
Choosing a financial advisor just got a lot easier. To help you make this important decision, we collected a number of factors you should consider - fundamentals such as assets under management (AUM), fees and investment strategy. Then we put all the info together, here, for convenient comparing and contrasting. Start your search with this list of the top financial advisor firms in Pasadena, California. As an alternative, try SmartAsset's free tool to match with as many as three financial advisors who serve your area.
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|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Clifford Swan Investment Counselors Find an Advisor||$3,630,129,062||$1,000,000|| || |
|2||Schnieders Capital Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$1,082,193,106||$250,000|| || |
|3||Pasadena Private Wealth, LLC Find an Advisor||$917,237,924||$2,000,000|| || |
|4||Bridge Advisory LLC Find an Advisor||$460,386,619||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|5||Stonnington Group, LLC Find an Advisor||$715,603,645||$1,000,000|| || |
|6||Osher Van De Voorde Investment Management Find an Advisor||$548,340,619||$1,000,000|| || |
|7||First Wilshire Securities Management, Inc. Find an Advisor||$307,358,589||$500,000|| || |
|8||Stonemark Wealth Management Find an Advisor||$365,953,289||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|9||The Sterling Group Find an Advisor||$272,209,211||$1,000,000|| || |
|10||Wimmer Associates LLC Find an Advisor||$358,753,228||$750,000|| || |
What We Use in Our Methodology
To find the top financial advisors in Pasadena, 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:
- AUMFirms with more total assets under management are ranked higher.
- Individual Client CountFirms who serve more individual clients (as opposed to institutional clients) are ranked higher.
- Clients Per AdvisorFirms with a lower ratio of clients per financial advisor are ranked higher.
- Age of FirmFirms that have been in business longer are ranked higher.
All information is obtained through public records and is updated annually after the firms’ form ADV filing. 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. SmartAsset is not a client of the aforementioned firms, and did not receive compensation for including any of the firms on the aforementioned list.
Clifford Swan Investment Counselors
At the top of our list, Clifford Swan Investment Counselors is the biggest firm with the most assets under management - and the oldest. Counting the founding of its forerunner (by A.M. Clifford), Clifford Swan has been in business since 1915.
Today, the team of 14 advisors has multiple professional accreditations, including seven chartered financial analysts (CFAs), three certified financial planners (CFPs), one certified public accountant (CPA), two chartered investment counselors (CICs) and one California licensed professional fiduciary (CLPF).
Clifford Swan’s team works primarily with high-net-worth clients and other individual accounts. Institutional clients include pensions and profit-sharing plans, as well as charitable organizations. The minimum investment is $1,000,000, though it may be waived.
The firm was a pioneer in independent, fixed-fee financial counseling. Today, the firm’s investment advisory services are still charged on a fee basis.
Clifford Swan Investment Counselors Background
The Swan in the firm name comes from Phillip Swan, a Clifford employee who founded his own firm in 1984. In 2007, a later version of the Swan firm joined with Clifford’s practice to form today’s incarnation, which is wholly owned by its employees.
Clifford Swan offers investment management, financial planning, family wealth services (including strategies for family governance, financial education and philanthropy) and administrative services for charitable institutions, charitable remainder trusts and more.
Clifford Swan Investment Counselors Investment Strategy
Using fundamental analysis, Clifford Swan focuses its equity investing on “individual companies with businesses offering the greatest opportunity for real growth in cash flow and consistent earnings that are insulated from the business cycle,” which are usually large-cap companies. When it comes to bonds, the firm primarily considers intermediate-term fixed-income issues. It may also invest in mutual funds or exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
Schnieders Capital Management
Schnieders Capital Management (SCM) is a family firm with three Schnieders making up the advisory team. The practice manages over a billion in assets.
The practice serves both high-net-worth individuals and other individual accounts, as well as institutional clients that include charitable organizations and corporations. The minimum investment is $250,000, and accounts can be on a discretionary or non-discretionary basis.
As a fee-only firm, it does not collect commissions on trades or the sale of certain products. Schnieders generally charges clients annual management fees that are assessed as a percentage of the assets, ranging from 0.25% to 1.5%.
Schnieders Capital Management Background
Father-son duo Bill and Jim founded the firm in 2002. Bill has worked at Dean Witter, Smith Barney and Paine Webber, while Jim, a chartered financial analyst (CFA), put in nine years at institutional investor William O’Neil + Co. They, along with John Schnieders, a CFA and certified financial planner (CFP), own the firm.
Schnieders Capital Management Investment Strategy
Primarily, SCM has a long-term approach to investing but may recommend trading (securities are sold within 30 days), short sales, margin transactions or option writing. In constructing client portfolios, the firm may use individual equities; no-load, load-waived and front-load mutual funds; exchange-traded funds (ETFs); municipal and corporate bonds; Treasury obligations; and other yield-oriented investments, such as preferred stocks, both straight and convertible, master limited partnerships and real estate investment trusts (REITs).
Pasadena Private Wealth
In business since 2018, Pasadena Private Wealth (PPW) has hundreds of millions in assets under management. Its team holds multiple professional accreditations, including three chartered retirement planning counselors (CRPCs), two certified plan fiduciary advisors (CPFAs), three certified 401(k) professionals (C(k)Ps), one chartered global management accountant (CIMA), one chartered retirement plans professional specialist (CRPS) and two accredited investment fiduciaries (AIFs).
The firm has an almost equal number of clients who are high net worth and those who aren’t. It also has retirement and profit-sharing plans and corporations. There is a minimum investment requirement of $2 million or $25 million in net worth, and accounts can be on a discretionary or non-discretionary basis.
Pasadena Private Wealth charges clients a maximum annual fee of 1% for assets under management. As a fee-based firm, advisors may collect commissions on trades or the sale of certain products. Although this may pose a conflict of interest, the firm is legally bound to act in the best interests of its clients.
Pasadena Private Wealth Background
Iain Whyte, Simon Holford and Bryan Muth worked together for more than 15 years before starting PPW in 2018. They own the firm in its entirety.
In addition to portfolio management, the firm offers financial planning that can cover cash flow analysis, investment planning, retirement planning, estate planning, personal savings, educational savings, liability management, insurance assessment and more.
Pasadena Private Wealth Investment Strategy
In constructing client portfolios, PPW primarily uses fundamental analysis methods. It generally takes a long-term investment approach but may also make short-term purchases. It primarily allocates client assets among individual debt and equity securities, options, mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). In some circumstances, it may recommend unaffiliated money managers or investment platforms.
With its main office in Pasadena and three more in the state, Bridge Advisory LLC (formerly Penniall & Associates) manages a notable amount of client assets. The whole team holds multiple certifications, including three certified financial planners (CFPs), one chartered financial analyst and one board-certified asset allocation designee (BCAA).
Bridge Advisory primarily works with non-high-net-worth individuals and high-net-worth clients. While the firm does not list a minimum account requirement, it generally charges clients annual management fees that are a maximum of 1% of the assets under management. Flat fees typically range between $5,000 and $10,000, and its hourly fee is $400.
As a fee-based firm, Bridge Advisory Advisors may receive a commission from the sale of insurance products. Although this may pose a potential conflict of interest, the firm is a fiduciary and is legally obligated to act in the best interest of its clients.
Bridge Advisory Background
David Penniall founded the firm in 2002. He is the CEO, president and majority owner. Chief Operating Officer Justin Dyer has a small stake.
The firm offers financial consulting services, which include tax planning and preparation, insurance analysis and risk management; asset management programs; and advisory services to retirement plans and plan participants. Its wrap fee program is no longer available to new clients.
Bridge Advisory Investment Strategy
The firm provides both discretionary and non-discretionary investment management through the use of model portfolios. Bridge Advisory will construct a client's portfolio based on the most appropriate model, implementing load-waived or no-load mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that are designed for varying risk tolerance levels (i.e., preservation of capital, conservative, moderate, growth and aggressive growth). For a select number of clients, the firm also offers fully-customized portfolios.
New to the list this year and ranking fifth is fee-based firm Stonnington Group. The firm serves a variety of clients, including non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, charitable organizations, businesses and pension and profit-sharing plans. There is a $1,000,000 minimum for new clients.
As a fee-based firm, Stonnington Group advisors may receive a commission for the sale of insurance products. While this presents a potential conflict of interest, the firm has a fiduciary duty to act in clients’ best interests at all times.
Stonnington Group Background
Nicholas Stonnington, Sr. founded Stonnington Group in 2004 and continues to be its president and principal advisor.
The firm provides personalized financial planning and investment management to its clients. Advice is provided through consultation with the client and may include the determination of financial objectives, identification of financial goals, cash flow management, tax planning, insurance review, investment management, education funding, retirement planning, and estate planning. Asset management is available on both a discretionary and non-discretionary basis.
Stonnington Group Investment Strategy
Stonnington Group focuses its investment strategy on long-term strategic asset allocation, based on clients' financial objectives, risk tolerance and time horizon. In the case of fixed-income portfolios, the firm utilizes both investment and below-investment grade opportunities to preserve capital and income. At times advisors may suggest incorporating alternative investments for high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth investors.
Osher Van de Voorde Investment Management
Founded in 1993, Osher Van de Voorde Investment Management (OVIM) oversees millions in assets on a discretionary basis only. The fee-only boutique firm serves both high-net-worth investors and non-high-net-worth individuals. Institutional clients include pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and corporations.
Osher Van de Voorde charges an annual fee of 1% of assets under management for investment management services. The minimum to open an account is $1,000,000, though the firm may waive it in certain circumstances.
Flat fees can range from $2,000 to $5,000, and the firm requires a retainer of 50% of the financial planning fee at signing. This retainer will not exceed $1,200 if services cannot be rendered within six months.
Osher Van de Voorde Investment Management Background
The firm was founded by Robert Osher and James Van de Voorde. Van de Voorde is the sole remaining owner.
OVIM offers portfolio management and financial planning. The latter can cover estate planning, charitable planning, income and retirement planning, taxes, education funding, insurance and real estate.
Osher Van de Voorde Investment Management Investment Strategy
Using both quantitative and qualitative or fundamental analysis, the firm focuses on growth and value investing. It describes its core equity investment strategy as "growth at a reasonable price" or "GARP.” Portfolios may consist of all equities, all fixed-income investments, or balanced accounts containing both equities and fixed-income.
First Wilshire Securities Management
Another newcomer to the Pasadena list this year, fee-based First Wilshire Securities Management ranks seventh. The firm's client base consists of individual investors, both high-net-worth and not, as well as pooled investment vehicles, pension and profit-sharing plans and businesses. You'll need $500,000 minimum to open an account here.
On the advisor team, you'll find four chartered financial analysts (CFAs). However, as a fee-based firm, advisors may receive a commission for security recommendations. While this presents a potential conflict of interest, the firm has a fiduciary duty to act in clients’ best interests at all times.
First Wilshire Securities Management Background
First Wilshire has been in business for over 40 years, since 1977. It offers three types of advisory services: separately-managed account (SMA) investment management, custom portfolio management and financial planning. Asset management is available solely on a discretionary basis. Additionally, the firm manages two affiliated private funds.
First Wilshire Securities Management Investment Strategy
First Wilshire primarily uses fundamental analysis to determine which securities to buy and sell. Investment advisory account decisions are made by the firm's investment committee, headed by President and CEO Howard Lu, who partially owns each of the company's affiliated funds.
Notably, First Wilshire does not tailor its investment strategies to SMA clients' preferences; instead, the firm collects financial data that informs its overall tactical asset allocation strategy and uses that to meet the client's objectives. If a client prefers a fully-customized approach, the company offers custom portfolio management at a separate rate.
Stonemark Wealth Management
Stonemark Wealth Management is a fee-based firm. This means that some of its advisors are licensed to sell insurance and investment products, and could earn commissions on those transactions. Nevertheless, Stonemark has a fiduciary duty that requires its team to act in the best interests of its clients.
The firm manages assets primarily for high-net-worth individuals and other individual accounts. Institutional clients include pension and profit-sharing plans, and other investment advisors.
Stonemark generally charges clients annual management fees that are assessed as a percentage of the assets, ranging from .85% to 1.5%. The firm generally does not require clients to have a minimum account. However, it reserves the right to terminate the account if it is too small to manage effectively.
Stonemark Wealth Management Financial Background
Stonemark was formed in 2015 when the independent registered investment advisor WESPAC Advisors SoCal, LLC, founded four years earlier, re-strategized itself into the current firm. It has been registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission since 2012.
The core team has been working together in wealth management since 2000. Peter P. Chen and Wade S. Perry are the firm's principal owners. The firm’s advisory team includes one certified plan fiduciary advisor, one accredited investment fiduciary, one chartered financial analyst and one certified financial planner.
Stonemark Wealth Management Strategy
The firm offers comprehensive investment management services that are personalized for individual clients. These include financial planning, estate planning, retirement planning, investment planning, insurance services and general consulting services.
The firm’s investment strategies are based on the client's individual circumstances, financial situation, goals, and risk tolerance.
The Sterling Group
Rounding out the list of top financial advisors in Pasadena, The Sterling Group works primarily with non-high-net-worth clients and high-net-worth individuals. The minimum investment requirement for new clients is generally $1,000,000, which is also subject to a minimum annual fee of $9,500. Minimum account size also varies, depending on the investment program. Technology Enhanced Asset Management (TEAM) accounts require only $5,000, while accounts through the LPL program start at $25,000. Sterling clients also pay an annual management fee that is assessed as a percentage of their assets and ranges between 0.25% and 1.75%.
The Sterling Group has millions in assets under management, mostly on a discretionary basis. The team includes one chartered financial consultant (ChFC) and one certified financial planner (CFP). Investment advisory services are charged on a fee-only basis, but advisors who are also registered representatives of broker-dealers or licensed insurance agents may receive commissions in their other capacities. While this may present a potential conflict of interest, the firm is bound by its fiduciary duty to represent the best interests of the client.
The Sterling Group Background
In business since 1990, The Sterling Group merged with another firm in 2000 and is currently owned by C. Hunt Salambier, who works as a financial advisor at the firm.
In addition to its portfolio management programs, the firm offers financial planning and consulting that can cover investment planning, retirement planning, estate planning, charitable planning, education funding, corporate and personal tax planning, insurance analysis and more. The Sterling Group also offers a wrap fee program, where transaction and other costs are included in one fee.
The Sterling Group Investment Strategy
The Sterling Group believes, as it notes, that “over the long term, a consistent strategy that is meticulously followed will provide the best opportunity for the best return.” When constructing portfolios, it uses stocks, options, fixed-income securities, mutual funds, real estate investment trusts, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). In certain situations, it may turn to hedge funds, high-yield debt, managed futures and other more complex or specialized instruments.
Fee-only Wimmer Associates is a family shop. Its team of advisors manages a significant amount of assets, mostly on a discretionary basis. The advisor team works primarily with high-net-worth clients and non-high-net-worth individuals. Wimmer also serves charitable organizations, corporations and nondiscretionary portfolios. It generally requires a minimum investment of $750,000.
The firm's advisor team holds multiple certifications, including four chartered financial analysts (CFAs), one certified public accountant (CPA) and one master of science in financial services (MSFS). Wimmer charges an annual management fee between .5% and 1% as a percentage of client assets.
Wimmer Associates Background
Katherine Wimmer and Warren Wimmer founded the firm in 2003. They are also listed as the principal owners.
The firm offers investment supervisory and management services.
Wimmer Associates Investment Strategy
Using a fundamental approach, the firm bases asset allocation on high-quality equity and fixed-income securities. It may also use index funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs). Its research is internally generated, though it does use some external research as well. It does not employ alternative investments, real property, illiquid limited partnerships, variable annuities or other insurance products.