Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in San Francisco, California
There’s a lot to consider when you’re trying to choose a financial advisor. To make the search a little easier for San Franciscans, SmartAsset spent dozens of hours researching to determine the top 10 San Francisco financial advisor firms. We’ve ranked the firms from most assets under management to least, and outlined the firms’ fees, expertise, investment strategies and more in tables and reviews. You can also turn to SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool to get some help finding the right advisor.
|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Schwab Private Client Investment Advisory, Inc. Find an Advisor||$91,149,393,168||$500,000|| || |
|2||Hall Capital Partners Find an Advisor||$36,253,881,136||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|3||Jordan Park Group, LLC Find an Advisor||$9,237,655,510||$50,000,000|| || |
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|4||Personal Capital Advisors Corporation Find an Advisor||$8,558,609,158||$100,000|| || |
|5||Baker Street Advisors, LLC Find an Advisor||$8,176,385,000||$5,000,000|| || |
|6||Osterweis Capital Management Find an Advisor||$6,291,591,039||Varies based on account type|| |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|7||Wetherby Asset Management Find an Advisor||$4,851,933,986||$10,000,000|| || |
|8||Seven Post Investment Office LP Find an Advisor||$4,515,808,276||$50,000,000|| || |
|9||B|O|S Find an Advisor||$4,056,828,929||$3,000,000|| || |
|10||Sepio Capital, LLC Find an Advisor||$2,818,200,000||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in San Francisco, California
SmartAsset considered all U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)-registered firms in San Francisco to determine this list of the city’s top 10 financial advisor firms. By looking only at SEC-registered firms, this narrowed the list down to only include firms that have a fiduciary duty to act in their clients’ best interests. From there, we cut any firms that did not have clean records, did not have financial planners or did not manage individual accounts. We ranked the remaining firms from most assets under management to least40
Schwab Private Client Investment Advisory, Inc.
Schwab Private Client Investment Advisory, Inc. ranks first on our list of the top financial advisor firms in California and in San Francisco with more than $91 billion in assets under management (AUM). The firm, which has over 600 advisors on staff, is a subsidiary of Charles Schwab, one of the largest banks and brokerage firms in the U.S.
Schwab Private Client requires an investment minimum of $500,000. Clients served by the firm include individuals, high-net-worth individuals, trusts, estates and corporations or other businesses. The firm says that its services are "intended for clients who want a dedicated team to provide a non-discretionary, fee-based relationship [that includes] periodic investment advice and portfolio planning in addition to brokerage services provided by Schwab."
The firm is compensated for its investment advisory services through a wrap service agreement with Schwab. Schwab pays the firm a fee that covers the costs it incurs as well as an additional 10% of those costs. According to the firm's website, the annual fee rate for clients starts at 0.80% and decreases the more assets a client has under management.
Schwab Private Client's advisors are also broker-dealer representatives. While this may present a potential conflict of interest, the firm is still bound by fiduciary duty.
Schwab Private Client Investment Advisory, Inc. Background
Schwab Private Client Investment Advisory, Inc. has been a registered investment advisor since 2012. However, Charles Schwab Corporation, its parent company, was founded in 1971.
Schwab Private Client offers non-discretionary portfolio management services through a wrap fee program sponsored by Charles Schwab. Non-discretionary management means the firm does not have the authority to make buy and sell decisions for clients' portfolios without the client's express approval. Additionally, the firm offers brokerage services, including trade execution and asset custody.
Schwab Private Client Investment Advisory, Inc. Investment Investing Approach
If you work with Schwab Private Client Investment Advisory, you'll work with an entire team that includes a financial consultant, a private client advisor and a private client advisor. The financial consultant is responsible for managing your overall relationship with Schwab. The private client advisor provides ongoing advice and connects you to various specialists, whereas the associate private client advisor is responsible for meeting clients' service needs.
The firm tailors clients' portfolios to align with their overall financial situation and investing goals. Typically portfolios consist of a blend of growth and income investments. As indicated by the fact that the firm offers non-discretionary management, the client will retain the authority to make all final investment decisions.
Hall Capital Partners
Ranking second is Hall Capital Partners. The independent firm has offices in San Francisco and New York. It has more than $36.25 billion in assets under management (AUM), which is a third of the AUM of the first firm on the list, Schwab Private Client Investment Advisory. It has a much smaller team of 28 financial advisors, including five chartered financial analysts (CFAs) on the portfolio management team.
The firm primarily works with high-net-worth individuals and families. It also can provide services endowments, foundations, pooled investment vehicles, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and other investment advisors. Though the firm technically does not have a minimum investment requirement, it oversees more than $100 million in investable assets for most of its client relationships. It charges a minimum annual fee of $400,000. For accounts that pay a performance-based fee, the minimum annual fee is $300,000. This is a fee-only firm.
Hall Capital Partners LLC Background
Hall Capital Partners LLC dates back to 1994, when it started to manage portfolios for family offices and their private foundations. It is a privately owned firm, with most ownership shares held by the firm's partners.
Hall Capital Partners creates customized portfolios for its clients, as well as specialized mandates in certain asset classes. The firm also manages HCP pooled vehicles, which can provide investment strategies for some investors.
Hall Capital Partners LLC Investing Strategy
There a several core investment principles that shape Hall Capital Partners' investment philosophy. This includes adhering to a long-term investment time horizon. When selecting investments for client portfolios, the firm relies on fundamental research, which is focused on investigating the intrinsic value of companies and securities. Lastly, the firm looks at risk-adjusted returns when measuring portfolio success.
The firm aims to build diversified, yet relatively concentrated portfolios that have complementary managers with asymmetrical return profiles. The firm primarily uses fixed income, equities, hedge funds, private equity and real assets in client portfolios.
Jordan Park Group, LLC
Jordan Park Group, LLC is a multi-family office that has nearly $9.24 billion in assets under management (AUM) and 17 advisors on staff. The firm has offices in San Francisco, Honolulu and McLean, Virginia. The firm generally works with clients who have more than $50 million in investable assets, but it reserves the right to accept clients with less. As such, it primarily works with high-net-worth individuals and families and their related trusts and estates. Other clients include charitable organizations, business entities and managed access vehicles, which are essentially used to aggregate client capital.
There is a performance-based fee associated with the access vehicles that the firm manages. Though this could create a potential conflict of interest by incentivizing advisors to take more risks to generate higher returns, the firm is a fiduciary. The firm does not earn fees or commissions associated with selling financial products.
Jordan Park Group LLC Background
Jordan Park Group, LLC was established in 2017. It is owned by its CEO and president, Frank Ghali.
The firm offers investment management services, which it provides through separate accounts and the access vehicles that it manages. Jordan Park also provides family office services, which include the following financial planning services:
- Cash flow analysis and reporting
- Budgeting and forecasting
- Tax and insurance analysis
- Charitable and estate gift planning
Jordan Park Group LLC Investing Strategy
Jordan Park Group LLC provides its clients discretionary investment management services through both separate accounts and its access vehicles. Separate accounts are used to directly take advantage of public market investment opportunities, while the access vehicles are used when direct investment isn't the best option.
Jordan Park Group works with each of its clients to devise an investment policy statement that outlines his or her constraints and objectives. The firm's investment process is led by its chief investment officer and carried out by the firm's 16-person investment team.
Personal Capital Advisors Corporation
With 233 advisory employees, Personal Capital Advisors Corporation has the second largest team of advisors on this list behind first-place Schwab Private Client Investment Advisory, Inc. While the advisory certifications for this staff are largely unavailable, its leadership team includes four certified financial planners (CFPs). The firm ranks on our list of the top financial advisor firms in California as well.
Most of the firm's client base consits of either high-net-worth individuals or non-high-net-worth individuals, but it also maintains accounts with businesses and charitable organizations. The firm institues a $100,000 minimium relationship size for new clients.
Personal Capital Advisors Corporation Background
Personal Capital Advisors Corporation is a subsidiary of Personal Capital Corporation, commonly known as Personal Capital, a robo-advisor service. The firm was founded in 2010, but Personal Capital has been around since 2009.
The services at Personal Capital Advisors Corporation are tiered based on the amount of assets you have invested with the firm. As you move up the scale, the services you gain will be available in addition to the services for tiers beneath you. They offer the following:
- Up to $200,000 in AUM: Access to online dashboard, tools and financial advisory team, 401(k) advice, cash flow and spending analysis, 24/7 over-the-phone services
- $200,000 to $1,000,000 in AUM: Two dedicated financial advisors, full financial and retirement planning, college savings and 529 plan planning, tax-loss harvesting, financial decisions support
- Over $1,000,000 in AUM: Priority access to CFPs, family tiered billing, private banking services, deferred compensation strategies, estate attorney and CPA collaboration, estate portfolio construction
Personal Capital Advisors Corporation Investing Strategy
The "Personal Strategy®" approach is what Personal Capital Advisors Corporation uses to build portfolios and asset allocations for clients. At the start of your relationship, the firm will work with you to determine your personal risk tolerance, time horizon and long-term financial goals. Once these are clear, the firm begins selecting equities and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to invest in. The firm then applies global diversification through a process that it has labelled as "Smart Index Weighting."
Baker Street Advisors, LLC
Baker Street Advisors, LLC is a firm that caters to high-net-worth investors. The firm, which has a $5 million account minimum, also provides services to high-net-worth individuals' associated trusts and estates, pension and profit-sharing plans and other legal entities. Under certain circumstances, the firm may waive the aforementioned minimum requirement.
The fee-only firm has a team of nine financial advisors overseeing its $8.17 billion in assets under management (AUM). The team includes 12 certified public accountants (CPAs), eight chartered financial analysts (CFAs), seven certified financial planners (CFPs), one certified private wealth advisor (CPWA) and one accredited investment fiduciary (AIF).
Baker Street Advisors, LLC Background
Baker Street Advisors has been in business since 2003. AMG Wealth Partners holds the majority equity interest in the firm, and the firm’s principals hold the remaining interest.
Services provided by Baker Street Advisors include investment management, wealth planning, family office services and taxable transition management.
Baker Street Advisors, LLC Investing Strategy
Baker Street Advisors' investing philosophy rests on several core beliefs. The first is that active stock managers are unlikely to overcome the obstacle of fees and costs, so index-oriented equity strategies are a preferable option. The firm believes that reducing fees and taxes can boost a portfolio's overall returns.
Baker Street also sticks to strategic asset allocation targets, which it believes can both minimize risk and maximize returns. The firm will include alternative asset classes, including commodities, real estate and absolute return strategies, in client portfolios to boost a portfolio's risk-adjusted returns.
Osterweis Capital Management
Osterweis Capital Management, has $6.29 billion in assets under management (AUM). The firm also ranks on our list of the top firms in the state of California. Osterweis primarily works with high-net-worth individuals, though it can also provide advisory services to trusts, institutions, mutual funds and other entities. The firm's account minimum requirement varies by account type. Minimums range from $5 million for core equity, emerging growth and balanced portfolios up to $250 million for strategic income portfolios.
The firm's team includes 17 financial advisors, eight of whom are certified as chartered financial analysts (CFAs). Though certain employees are also representatives of the registered broker-dealer Quasar Distributors, LLC, they do not earn sales commissions. Employees are compensated entirely by the firm, mitigating potential conflicts of interest. The firm typically charges clients a management fee based on a percentage of AUM.
Osterweis Capital Management Background
Osterweis Capital Management was founded in 1983. The firm is independently owned by a number of the firm's employees, as well as two outside directors.
Osterweis' primary offering is investment advisory services. The firm offers its clients a number of investment strategies to choose from, which include equity securities, fixed income securities or some blend of the two. As it's customizing clients' investment advice, it may offer supplemental financial planning services such as cash flow projections and net worth statements. However, the firm does not provide services like estate planning, tax advice or trust administration.
Osterweis Capital Management Investing Strategy
Osterweis Capital Management offers five different investment strategies, each of which uses equity securities and/or fixed income securities. The Core Equity Strategy, which is one of two accounts with the lowest account minimum of $5 million, attempts to identify out-of-favor companies with clear growth potential. The other investment strategy with a $5 million account minimum is the Flexible Balanced Strategy, which combines equity and fixed income strategies to capitalize on each strategy's respective potential for growth and preservation.
The Emerging Growth Strategy requires a $25 million account minimum and is focused on identifying high quality companies in emerging and growing industries. The Total Return Strategy, which has a $100 million minimum, primarily uses investment-grade securities in an effort to produce attractive returns. The strategy with the highest minimum is the Strategic Income Strategy, which has a $250 million account minimum requirement. The Strategic Income Strategy uses top-down and bottom-up analysis to identify investment opportunities.
Wetherby Asset Management
Wetherby Asset Management, a fee-only firm that serves a majority high-net-worth individuals, has an impressive array of expertise on its team. The firm has 14 chartered financial analysts (CFAs), 13 certified financial planners (CFPs), four chartered alternative investment analysts (CAIAs), three certified private wealth advisors (CPWAs), two certified public accountants (CPAs), two certified divorce financial analysts (CDFAs) and one retirement income certified professional (RICP).
Wetherby manages $4.85 billion in assets. The firm's clients are primarily high-net-worth individuals and associated trusts, estates, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, foundations, endowments, private funds and other legal entities. The firm institues a general minimum investment of $10 million.
Wetherby Asset Management Background
Wetherby Asset Management was founded in 1990. The firm has 20 individual owners, 16 of whom are employees of the firm.
Wetherby focuses on portfolio management and wealth planning, services that it customizes to individual client needs and objectives. It advises its clients on a wide range of topics, including asset allocation, manager selection, cash flow analysis, tax and estate planning, intergenerational wealth transfer, impact investing, retirement planning, philanthropic planning, education funding, insurance analysis, equity ownership and stock option advice and tax efficiency.
At Wetherby, wealth managers are typically required to have a professional license, advanced degree or a certification, such as a CFP, CPA, CFA or CPWA.
Wetherby Asset Management Investment Approach
Wetherby Asset Management takes a research-driven approach to investing. The firm has an in-house research team that’s responsible for evaluating asset classes and making recommendations on investment strategies and vehicles.
At start of each client relationship, Wetherby does a complete assessment of the client’s financial objectives, life goals and risk tolerance. This assessment informs the investment approach that the firm takes on that client’s behalf. Wetherby typically invests its clients’ assets in open end, no-load mutual funds or other pooled investment vehicles. It may also invest in individual equities, exchange-traded funds or fixed-income securities and other closed-end mutual funds. In certain instances, the firm may uses private investment funds or other separate account vehicles that are managed by other advisors.
Seven Post Investment Office LP
Seven Post Investment Office LP has one of the highest account minimums on this list. More specifically, to be a client, you’ll need a minimum portfolio value of at least $50 million. Moreover, the firm says that it “generally seeks” to advise clients who have $100 million or more in investable assets.
As the firm’s account minimum makes abundantly clear, the firm principally serves clients with significant assets. The firm's clients include individuals, families, endowments, foundations and other institutions. Seven Post is a fee-only firm, which means that it does not accept commissions for selling or recommending certain products.
Seven Post Investment Office LP Background
Seven Post Investment Office LP was founded in 2011. The firm is entirely owned by its managing directors, principals and related estate planning structures. In addition to being employee-owned, the firm says that co-investment is one of its "core philosophical tenets."
The firm manages broadly diversified, global, multi-asset class portfolios, and it also offers customized financial and asset allocation analysis, overall portfolio risk management, capital markets expertise, coordinated tax planning, family office services and consolidated investment reporting. Seven Post customizes its services to fit clients' specific investment and management needs.
Seven Post Investment Office LP Investment Strategy
Seven Post Investment Office LP believes that a key determinant of investment risks and returns is the establishment of and tactical rebalancing of asset allocation. To identify risks and opportunities across various global investment classes, the firm looks at asset class valuation, quantitative research on economic conditions and fundamental factors. During periods of market volatility, Seven Post will also take into account short-term behavioral indicators to spot potential investment opportunities.
The firm constructs its portfolios based on the investment objectives and constraints that its clients lay out in introductory conversations and in an ongoing dialogue. Typically, the firm will invest its clients assets in both passive indices through exchange-traded funds and active strategies.
B|O|S, officially registered with the SEC as Bingham, Osborn & Scarborough, LLC, is a fee-only firm with offices in San Francisco and Silicon Valley. The firm has a total of 27 financial advisors on staff. Its team includes 13 certified financial planners (CFPs), seven chartered financial analysts (CFAs), one certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA), one certified public accountant (CPA), one chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC) and one accredited asset management specialist (AAMS).
B|O|S advises individuals, trusts, foundations, endowments, charitable organizations, businesses and pension and profit-sharing plans. The firm requires individuals to have at least $3 million in investable assets and institutions to have at least $5 million.
In 2017, Financial Times ranked B|O|S as one of the nation’s top Registered Investment Advisors. Barron's has named B|O|S principal Jennifer Ellison as one of the nation's top 100 women financial advisors for four consecutive years, including in 2017.
B|O|S was founded in 1985 as Bingham, Osborn & Scarborough. Recently, in December 2018, the firm repurchased a majority interest in the firm from holding company Boston Private Financial Holdings. The firm is now majority owned by several current and retired principals of the firm. Kudu Investment Management, LLC, a firm that works with asset management and wealth management firms, owns a minority interest.
B|O|S was founded on three fundamental principles: The first is no bias or conflict of interest, the second is the advisory relationship and an integrated approach and the final principal is modern portfolio theory and efficient markets. Before it offers its clients financial and investment advice, B|O|S strives to get the “complete picture” to ensure its advice aligns with clients' objectives and financial reality. The firm will customize its approach to its clients' individual wants and needs, whether that’s existing concentrating stock positions or an interest in socially responsible investing.
In addition to its comprehensive wealth management and customized financial planning, B|O|S offers trust and estate planning.
B|O|S Investing Strategy
As the firm’s fundamental principles reflect, modern portfolio theory and the theory of efficient markets are central to the firm’s investment philosophy. As such, B|O|S builds long-term portfolios that it believes can succeed in a variety of market environments and it invests its clients in a highly diverse mix of major investment markets based on research and data. The firm strives to maximize after-fee and after-tax returns, and it prefers low-cost investment vehicles.
B|O|S primarily diversifies portfolios among cash equivalents, U.S. and foreign bonds, speciality U.S. common stocks such as technology and real estate, large and small company U.S. common stocks, foreign stocks and commodities. It typically recommends managed portfolios, like mutual funds, exchange-traded funds, fixed and variable annuities and separately managed accounts of individual stocks or bonds.
Sepio Capital, LLC
The final firm on our list is Sepio Capital, LLC, a multi-family office and institutional investment advisor with $2.81 billion in assets under management (AUM) and 15 financial advisors on staff. The firm's clients include high-net-worth individuals, families, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, businesses and institutional investors. Sepio Capital does not impose a minimum account size requirement. However, you may encounter some investment strategies here that call for a $250,000 minimum investment.
The firm's fee schedule may include performance-based fees, but only for certain qualified clients, a group defined as having either $1 million in assets under management or a net worth of $2.10 million.
Sepio Capital, LLC Background
Sepio Capital, LLC was established in 2017. The firm is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sepio Capital Holdings, LLC, which also owns Sepio Capital Management, LLC. This is another registered investment advisor, and it relies on the registration of Sepio Capital, LLC to operate. Sepio Capital, LLC may recommend Sepio Capital Management's proprietary investment strategies to its clients.
The firm provides the following services to its clients:
- Investment advisory services
- Private fund advisor services
- Strategic planning and consulting services
- Investment planning
- Spending policy analysis
- Budgeting and cash flow planning
- Charitable giving
- Tax planning
- Insurance analysis
- Retirement plan advisory services
Sepio Capital, LLC Investing Strategy
Sepio Capio, LLC relies on fundamental analysis to evaluate investment opportunities. This entails determining the intrinsic value of a company through various sources, including everything from financial media companies to the company's annual reports and press releases.
The firm typically uses a long-term strategy for its clients, meaning that it holds investments for more than a year before selling. In certain instances, it will hold for shorter periods of time.