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Top Financial Advisors in San Mateo, 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 San Mateo, California

Finding a local financial advisor who aligns with your financial goals isn't always easy. SmartAsset’s roundup of the top financial advisor firms in San Mateo, California can do a lot to streamline your search. Below you will find a breakdown of each firm, with information detailing their account minimums, fee schedules, typical clientele and more. SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching tool can also pair you with up to three financial advisors who serve your area.

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Rank Financial Advisor Assets Managed Minimum Assets Financial Services More Information
1 Vantage Wealth Management, LLC Vantage Wealth Management, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$488,608,000 $1,000,000
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors
  • Consulting

Minimum Assets

$1,000,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors
  • Consulting
2 Brickley Wealth Management Brickley Wealth Management logo Find an Advisor

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$724,935,685 $2,000,000
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting
  • Selection of other advisors

Minimum Assets

$2,000,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting
  • Selection of other advisors
3 Summit Financial Advisors, LLC Summit Financial Advisors, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$326,638,593 Varies based on account type
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors

Minimum Assets

Varies based on account type

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors
4 Private Portfolios, Inc. Private Portfolios, Inc. logo Find an Advisor

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$229,576,662 $500,000
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management

Minimum Assets

$500,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
5 Bucher Wealth Advisors Find an Advisor

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$115,351,474 $1,000,000
  • Asset management
  • Financial planning

Minimum Assets

$1,000,000

Financial Services

  • Asset management
  • Financial planning

What We Use in Our Methodology

To find the top financial advisors in San Mateo, 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.

Vantage Wealth Management

Vantage Wealth Management has been providing investment advice in San Mateo since 2007. This small advisory team works with non-high-net-worth individuals, high-net-worth individuals and pension plans. These advisors also have a slew of professional certifications among them, including certified financial planner (CFP), certified public accountant (CPA) and chartered financial consultant (ChFC).

Vantage is fairly exclusive, relative to other firms on this list, as it maintains a minimum account size of $1 million. The firm may decide to waive this minimum at its discretion, however. This is a fee-only firm.

Vantage Wealth Management Background

Vantage Wealth Management was established back in 2007 by three employees - managing partners David Fernelius, Brandy M.M. Navarro and Christopher J. Thomas. These three founders still have ownership interests in the firm today.

The firm specializes in financial planning and investment management services. These generally include retirement planning, insurance planning, estate planning, college fund planning, asset allocation planning and investment planning. Investment management is available through three different platforms: the SEI asset management program, the AssetMark platform and the LPL Strategic Wealth Management platform.

Vantage Wealth Management Investment Philosophy

The range of investment securities in Vantage Wealth Management's client portfolios will differ slightly depending on which of the three aforementioned platforms the client uses. In general, though, portfolios consist of some mix of mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and, to a lesser extent, individual equities and fixed-income securities. The exact investment strategy and asset allocation that your portfolio uses will have its base on your investment goals, time horizon, risk tolerance and other applicable factors.

Depending on how your portfolio performs, Vantage's advisors will work to rebalance your investments on at least a quarterly basis. This is done to ensure that the returns and losses in your portfolio don't shift your asset allocation too far from its original target.

Brickley Wealth Management

Brickley Wealth Management is the next firm on our list. Brickley has a minimum account size of $2 million. This firm's client base includes mostly individuals (both with and without a high net worth), as well as a few retirement plan sponsors and charities.

Brickley is a fee-based firm, and certain on-staff advisors are also licensed insurance agents or brokers who may earn commissions for selling insurance products or securities. This represents a potential conflict of interest, as these advisors are incentivized to recommend those products for which they would earn a commission. However, the firm still has a fiduciary duty to act in its clients’ best interests at all times.

Brickley Wealth Management Background

Brickley Wealth Management first opened its doors in 2016, and it’s owned by holding companies Brickley Wealth Holding, Inc. and Brickley Wealth Investment, Inc. The firm is run by managing member Steve Brickley, financial advisor Aaron Brickley and investment advisor Nathan Brickley, who have over 50 years of financial industry experience.

The firm’s service offerings include financial planning, portfolio management, retirement plan consulting and referrals to third-party money managers. Its financial planning services encompass a wide range of topics depending on the client's needs and situation. These topics can include:

  • Investment planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Estate planning
  • Charitable planning
  • Education planning
  • Corporate and personal tax planning
  • Cost segregation study
  • Corporate structure
  • Real estate analysis
  • Mortgage/Debt analysis
  • Insurance analysis
  • Lines of credit evaluation

Brickley Wealth Management Investment Philosophy

Brickley Wealth Management generally approaches the construction of client portfolios through the prism of modern portfolio theory (MPT), which seeks to optimize investment return for a given risk level by diversifying among many asset classes and market sectors. Other factors that Brickley considers include your time horizon, investment objectives and income needs.

The firm generally invests client assets in a mix of individual stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options and mutual funds. Clients with a lower risk tolerance will invest in a more conservative portfolio that seeks to preserve capital and minimize volatility. On the other hand, clients with more growth-oriented goals will receive a more aggressive selection of investments for their portfolio.

Summit Financial Advisors

Summit Financial Advisors, which has been in business since 1998, is one of the oldest firms on this list. The firm’s clients are all individuals. Most clients are below the high-net-worth threshold. This firm employs certifications such as certified financial planner (CFP) and accredited investment fiduciary (AIF).

The firm requires a minimum amount of investable assets to become a client. If you take part in the firm's Summit Private Account (SPA) program, you'll need to have at least $250,000 ready to invest. Other accounts require different, lower minimums.

Summit is a fee-based firm, meaning certain advisors may earn commissions for overseeing certain securities or insurance transactions. While this creates the potential for a conflict of interest, Summit is still bound by its fiduciary duty to always act in the best interests of its clients.

Summit Financial Advisors Background

Summit Financial Advisors was created in 1998. Its current owners are managing director and chief compliance officer (CCO) Rafael O. Velez, III and investment advisor Mark B. Pietrofesa.

Summit has financial planning and investment management offerings that its clients can take advantage of. The former includes planning in areas such as investing, retirement, college funding, capital needs analysis, long-term care analysis and income and estate evaluation. Investment management comes in the form of "SF Portfolio Strategies," an automated investment program in which client assets are invested in a portfolio of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and cash.

Summit Financial Advisors Investment Philosophy

When Summit Financial Advisors begins a client-advisor relationship, the firm will use an online questionnaire to determine what kind of investor the client is. This involves looking at their overall investment objectives, risk tolerance and a rough time horizon. From this, the firm decides on a portfolio that fits the client's risk profile and can simultaneously offer a real chance at meeting their long-term goals. Then, once your money is invested in the firm's SF Portfolio Strategies program, automatic portfolio rebalances and tax-loss harvesting will begin.

Private Portfolios

Private Portfolios is a financial advisory firm that’s been in business since 1985. The firm has a small team of advisors on staff, one of whom is a certified financial planner (CFP).

The firm works with retirement plans, charities and individuals both with and without a high net worth. The firm's minimum investment is set at $500,000, and Private Portfolios may decide to waive this requirement in certain cases.

This is a fee-based firm. As a result, some of its advisors are licensed to sell insurance products or securities on a commission basis. While this creates the potential for a conflict of interest, the firm is still bound by fiduciary duty to act in the best interest of its clients.

Private Portfolios Background

Private Portfolios was opened by Robert Binn back in 1985. Binn and his son, Daniel, still own 100% of the firm to this day. Together, the firm’s three advisors have more than 70 years of wealth management experience.

Advisory offerings at the firm include both financial planning and asset management services. The latter may be provided either directly or through the Financial Advisors Program (FAP), a wrap fee program. More specifically, the firm handles tax planning, asset allocation planning, risk management, retirement planning and long-term financial goal planning.

Private Portfolios Investment Philosophy

Typically, Private Portfolios prefer to manage client assets with a long-term perspective in mind. That means the firm usually refrains from engaging in short-term trading practices, such as attempting to time the market. However, the firm will ultimately use each client’s risk tolerance, investment objectives, timeline until retirement and other individual preferences to inform its strategy and target asset allocation.

When creating clients' portfolios, the firm invests in a combination of stock- and bond-centric mutual funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), as well as some individual equities. If the firm deems it necessary, Private Portfolios may consider cash holdings for certain client portfolios. If any of the following situations apply to you, the firm can work them into your investment plans:

  • Low-basis stock
  • Stock options
  • Legacy holdings
  • Inheritances
  • Closely held businesses
  • Collectibles
  • Special tax factors

Bucher Wealth Advisors

Private Portfolios is a financial advisory firm that’s been in business since 1985. The firm has a small team of advisors on staff, one of whom is a certified financial planner (CFP).

Bucher Wealth Advisors is a fee-based firm that offers financial planning and asset management services to those with an account size of at least $1 million. As a fee-based firm, Bucher may be compensated for the sale of certain securities, which can create a potential conflict of interest. However, the firm is bound by a fiduciary duty to put the needs of its clients first. 

Bucher Wealth Advisors Background

Bucher Wealth Advisors is a single advisor firm founded in 2010 by Brett Bucher, after he served in a larger brokerage firm for many years. He believed in trying to forge a better path in wealth management to better help clients achieve their financial independence and goals. Brett holds the designations of CFP, CIMA and CRPC. 

Bucher Wealth Advisors Investment Philosophy

Bucher Wealth Advisors aims to tailor all of its asset management and financial planning services to each individual client. However, the firm typically does not allow clients to restrict investments for types of securities because it would be too difficult to manage the client's account. The firm uses a charting technique to predict when to buy and sell certain securities to help the client meet their individual goals. Bucher will use a variety of securities from stocks to ETFs and mutual funds, depending on which provides the most opportunity. 

How Long $1 Million 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 weighed potential expenditures for a prospective retiree with a  $1 million nest egg to assess how many years that fund would cover in retirement in America’s largest cities.

We 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 metro areas across the U.S.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a net annual return of 2% after inflation. 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.