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Top 9 Financial Advisors in San Rafael, CA

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Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in San Rafael, California

No doubt, there’s a lot to consider when choosing a financial advisor. It’s partly what makes the important decision so hard. To help you, we collected a number of factors you should take into account - fundamentals such as assets under management (AUM), fee basis 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 San Rafael, California. Then use SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching tool to personalize your search.

Rank Financial Advisor Assets Managed Minimum Assets Financial Services More Information
1 Private Ocean Private Ocean logo Find an Advisor

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$ 2,004,717,946 $2,000,000
  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management 
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of other advisers (including private fund managers)

Minimum Assets

$2,000,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management 
  • Pension consulting services
  • Selection of other advisers (including private fund managers)
2 Polaris Greystone Financial Group, LLC Polaris Greystone Financial Group, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$ 1,591,408,453 $500,000
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management

Minimum Assets

$500,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
3 Ohana Advisors Ohana Advisors logo Find an Advisor

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$ 862,794,801 No minimum
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisers (including private fund managers)

Minimum Assets

No minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisers (including private fund managers)

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4 Taddei, Ludwig & Associates, Inc. Taddei, Ludwig & Associates, Inc. logo Find an Advisor

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$ 308,943,223 No minimum
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Educational seminars/workshops

Minimum Assets

No minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
  • Educational seminars/workshops
5 The Putney Financial Group, Registered Investment Advisors The Putney Financial Group, Registered Investment Advisors logo Find an Advisor

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$ 165,552,738 $100,000
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management

Minimum Assets

$100,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
6 Stewart Wealth Management, Inc. Stewart Wealth Management, Inc. logo Find an Advisor

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$ 150,612,999 $100,000
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services

Minimum Assets

$100,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
7 Spectrum Financial Management Spectrum Financial Management logo Find an Advisor

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$ 140,254,571 $500,000
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management

Minimum Assets

$500,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
8 Marin Wealth Advisors LLC Marin Wealth Advisors LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$ 136,322,284
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services

Minimum Assets

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services
9 O’Donnell Financial Services, LLC O’Donnell Financial Services, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$ 134,410,000 No minimum
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services

Minimum Assets

No minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting services

How We Found the Top Financial Advisor Firms in San Rafael, California

For this list, we only considered financial advisor firms in San Rafael, California that are registered fiduciaries with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). We removed from consideration any advisory practices that have had a disclosure or disciplinary issue within the last 10 years or whose individual accounts make up less than half of their client base. The top nine firms are listed here, sorted by AUM, from highest to lowest.

Private Ocean

Private Ocean

At the top of our list, Private Ocean is the combination of four firms: Salient Wealth Management and Friedman & Associates in the Bay area, Lakeview Financial in Seattle and Mosaic Financial Partners in San Francisco and Walnut Creek. Combined, the large, fee-only firm manages more than $2 billion in assets. The team in the Bay area includes four certified financial planners (CFPs), one chartered global management accountant (CIMA) and certified private wealth advisor (CPWA). (Advisors may have multiple professional certifications).

Though the firm sets a $2,000,000 floor for investments, its client base is roughly split between individuals who have a high net worth and those who don’t. Private Ocean also serves pensions and profit-sharing plans and charitable organizations. Most accounts are on a discretionary basis.

Private Ocean Background

Private Ocean is primarily owned by Wealth Management Advisors, which combined with Salient in 2009 and added the others in 2018. Gregory Friedman, owner of Wealth Management, serves as president and CEO. He and three other people or entities own the biggest stakes in the firm, while some advisors have small stakes.

The practice offers investment management, retirement plan consulting and financial planning. It can advise on retirement, business succession, college funding, stock option planning, leaving a legacy and more.

Private Ocean Investment Strategy

In constructing client portfolios, Private Ocean primarily invests in mutual funds, exchange-traded funds and separate account managers, taking long and short positions. Its methods of security analysis include fundamental analysis and technical analysis. According to its most recent SEC filings, assets under its management were mostly invested (90%) in securities issued by registered investment companies (RICs) or business development companies (BDCs). The rest was allocated to exchange-traded equity securities (4%) and securities issued by pooled investment vehicles other than RICs or BDCs (3%). 

Polaris Greystone Financial Group, LLC

Polaris Greystone Financial Group, LLC

With nearly $1.6 billion in assets under management, Polaris Greystone Financial Group has five national offices across the country, but its main one is in San Rafael. The team at headquarters includes three certified financial planners (CFPs) and two chartered financial analysts (CFAs).

Fee-only Polaris Greystone serves non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals. Its clients also include institutions with separately managed accounts and an insurance company. The minimum investment is $500,000, and most accounts are on a discretionary basis.

Polaris Greystone Financial Group Background

Created in 2015, the firm is the merging of two firms, Polaris Wealth Advisers and Greystone Financial Group. The larger firm is primarily owned by principals Jeffery Polaris and Todd Moss. Jeremy Witbeck and James Mason, who work at the firm, have small stakes.

The practice offers investment management and financial planning. It can advise on such topics as general financial planning, education funding, individual and corporate retirement planning, estate planning, taxes, risk management, business planning and business succession planning. 

Polaris Greystone Financial Group Investment Strategy

Using its own research as well as third-party research, Polaris Greystone evaluates the market, market sectors and securities with several methods of analysis including macro-economic analysis, sentiment evaluations, asset allocation analysis and fundamental research. It utilizes a top-down, quantitatively driven approach to selecting investments.

As of its most recent SEC filings, assets under Polaris Greystone’s management were invested as:

  • 50% in exchange-traded equity securities (like common stocks)
  • 39% in securities issued by registered investment companies (such as mutual funds) or business development companies
  • 8% in cash and cash equivalents
  • 2% in real estate investment trusts (REITs)

Ohana Advisors

Ohana Advisors

Managing more than $862.8 million in assets, Ohana Advisors serves only ultra-high-net-worth clients, who can be individuals, revocable and irrevocable trusts, charitable trusts, family limited partnerships, family foundations or donor-advised funds. With a total of 12 clients, the four-advisor team has a very low client-to-advisor ratio of three to one.

The firm charges a fixed fee and most accounts are on a non-discretionary basis. There is no minimum investment to open an account, but clients are generally worth $30 million to $50 million.

Ohana Advisors Background

Ohana Advisors started as a sole proprietorship in 1993. In 2010, its owner, Dennis Covington, converted it to a limited liability company. He now owns it with Josh Richter, Edward John Schneider IV and David Schrader. 

The firm offers comprehensive family office and financial services, functioning as each client’s private family office.

Ohana Advisors Investment Strategy

The firm says that it “strives to create and implement an optimal, risk-managed, diversified strategy tailored for each client.” Typically, each client utilizes family limited partnerships to co-invest across family entities. In constructing portfolios, Ohana employs diversification across geographies, asset classes, sub-sectors, and level of expected return and risk. It notes that the “majority of the families’ portfolios also have significant allocation to private investment funds.”

As of its most recent SEC report, assets under its management were invested as:

  • 58% in securities issued by pooled investment vehicles (other than registered investment companies or business development companies)
  • 14% in securities issued by registered investment companies (such as mutual funds) or business development companies
  • 11% in cash and cash equivalents
  • 9% in non-exchange-traded equity securities
  • 5% in state and local bonds
  • 2% in private investments and charitable contributions 
  • 1% in exchange-traded equity securities (like common stocks)

Taddei, Ludwig & Associates, Inc.

Taddei, Ludwig & Associates, Inc.

Matt Taddei and Kurt Ludwig founded Taddei, Lugwig & Associates (TLA) in 1989. They and the rest of the advisory team, which includes five chartered financial consultants (ChFCs), two certified financial planners (CFPs), two chartered life underwriters (CLUs), one accredited investment fiduciary and one certified 401(k) professional, manage more than $308.9 million in assets. (Advisors may have multiple professional certifications.)

Clients who are not high-net-worth individuals are more than double the clients who are, though, as is often the case, the latter’s assets are far greater. The firm also serves trusts, estates, small- to mid-sized businesses, non-profits, endowments, pension and profit sharing plans, defined benefit plans and non-qualified plans. There is no minimum investment, though the minimum annual fee of $8,000 may not be cost-effective for small balances. Most accounts are on a discretionary basis. 

Taddei, Ludwig & Associates Background

As mentioned earlier, Taddei and Ludgwig are co-founders. They, along with Diane McCracken, who leads the qualified retirement team, own the business.

Investment advisory services are offered on a fee basis, but advisors may be insurance agents who receive commissions in their other capacities. In addition to investment management services and insurance and risk management services, the firm offers financial planning and consulting and pension consulting.

Taddei, Ludwig & Associates Investment Strategy

TLA primarily uses strategic asset allocation, with core investments in index funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and in satellite actively managed funds. Portfolios are globally diversified. As part of its securities selection process, TLA’s methods of analysis include charting, fundamental, technical and cyclical analyses. 

According to its most recent SEC filings, assets under TLA’s management were allocated as:

  • 79% in securities issued by registered investment companies (such as mutual funds) or business development companies
  • 14% in cash and cash equivalents
  • 7% in exchange-traded equity securities (like common stocks)
  • 1% in U.S. government and agency bonds
  • 1% in state and local bonds
  • 1% in investment-grade corporate bonds
  • 1% in non-investment-grade corporate bonds

The Putney Financial Group, Registered Investment Advisors

The Putney Financial Group, Registered Investment Advisors

The Putney Financial Group, Registered Investment Advisors, manages almost $165.6 million in assets. Its team includes a chartered life underwriter (CLU) and a certified public accountant (CPA).

Putney’s client base is almost evenly split between individuals who are high net worth and those who aren’t. The firm also serves pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and institutions. The minimum investment for new accounts is $100,000, and the great majority of accounts are on a discretionary basis.

The Putney Financial Group Background

Raymond Lent started the firm in 1996. He is the sole proprietor.

The firm is affiliated with broker-dealer Portsmouth Financial Services. Advisors may be registered representatives or brokers as well insurance agents. As a result, the firm is fee-based, which means advisor compensation may be in the form of sales commissions.

The Putney Financial Group Investment Strategy

In constructing client portfolios, Putney methodology includes fundamental, cyclical, quantitative, qualitative, asset allocation and mutual fund/exchange-traded funds (ETFs) analyses. It employs long-term purchases, short-term purchases and options writing.

According to the most recent SEC data, assets under Putney’s management were invested as:

  • 43% in exchange-traded equity securities (like common stocks)
  • 34% in variable annuity and life insurance products
  • 8% in cash and cash equivalents
  • 7% in non-investment-grade corporate bonds
  • 3% in securities issued by pooled investment vehicles (other than registered investment companies or business development companies)
  • 2% in non-exchange-traded equity securities

Stewart Wealth Management, Inc.

Stewart Wealth Management, Inc.

With a minimum investment of $100,000, Stewart Wealth Management (SWM) serves far more individuals who don’t have a high net worth than those who do (almost five to one). Still, the fee-only firm manages more than $150.6 million in assets under management. Its team includes two certified financial planners (CFPs) and one retirement income certified professional (RICP). (Advisors may have multiple professional certifications.)

The firm also offers services to pension and profit sharing plans, retirement plan participants, foundations, institutions and business entities. The great majority of accounts are on a discretionary basis, which means clients authorize SWM to make changes to their investments without getting prior approval.

Stewart Wealth Management Background

Benjamin Stewart registered the firm with the SEC in 2007. He is the sole owner and serves as CEO. 

SWM offers financial planning, investment advisory services and pension and qualified retirement plan consulting.

Stewart Wealth Management Investment Strategy

SWM aims to build low-cost, tax-efficient portfolios with consistent performance over the long term. It does this by investing in institutional-class stock mutual funds with low expense ratios, and at times low-cost exchange-traded funds (ETFs), bond funds, individual fixed income securities and other products. When appropriate, SWM may also recommend investing in real estate investments. According to its most recent SEC filings, assets under SWM’s management were allocated as:

  • 74% in exchange-traded equity securities (like common stocks)
  • 14% in private equity real estate
  • 9% in cash and cash equivalents
  • 3% investment-grade corporate bonds

Spectrum Financial Management

Spectrum Financial Management

Having worked at Spectrum Financial Management since 1992, Brenda Friedlander took over the firm as sole proprietor in 2003. A certified financial planner (CFP) and an enrolled agent (EA) with the IRS, she manages nearly $140.3 million in assets. A certified public accountant (CPA) also works at the boutique fee-only firm. 

The clientele is a little more made up of non-high-net-worth individuals than high-net-worth ones, though, as is often the case, the latter’s assets are far greater ($101 million to $39 million). There is a $500,000 minimum investment requirement and the vast majority of accounts are on a discretionary basis at the fee-only firm.

Spectrum Financial Management Background

As mentioned earlier, Brenda Friedlander is the principal owner of Spectrum. The practice offers investment management, which includes such things as financial goal setting, risk assessment, strategic asset allocation and the selection and management of securities and investments. Spectrum also offers financial planning and consulting and tax planning and preparation.

Spectrum Financial Management Investment Strategy

The firm takes the long view with investments and cautions clients that asset withdrawals may interfere with portfolio goals. Generally, Spectrum uses fundamental analysis and invests in no-load mutual funds. According to the most recent SEC data, assets under Spectrum’s management were allocated as:

  • 72% in securities issued by registered investment companies (such as mutual funds) or business development companies
  • 12% in exchange-traded equity securities (like common stocks)
  • 9% in cash and cash equivalents
  • 7% in non-exchange-traded equity securities

Marin Wealth Advisors LLC

Marin Wealth Advisors LLC

Managing more than $136.3 million in assets, Marin Wealth Advisors is headquartered in San Rafael and has three more offices in California. The team in San Rafael includes two certified financial planners (CFPs), one chartered financial analyst (CFA) and one certified public accountant (CPA).

The great majority of clients are not high net worth. The firm also serves trusts, estates, corporations, non-profit organizations and pension and profit sharing plans. Investment accounts are on a discretionary basis only. There is no published account minimum.

Marin Wealth Advisors Background

In 2013, Robert Hunter reformed his 18-year-old financial advisory practice as a limited liability company and named it Marin Wealth Advisors. He is the majority owner, while Gerald Fegler also has a stake.

Investment advisory services are on a fee basis, but the registered broker and licensed insurance agent at the firm is commission-based. The practice offers investment management and consulting. It also provides financial planning that includes retirement planning and education funding.

Marin Wealth Advisors Investment Strategy

Marin Wealth primarily uses strategic asset allocation, along with individual stock and bond selection. In its SEC filings, the firm notes that many of its clients are “investors who realized finding the best place to invest money required more time and research than they had.” Its methods of security analysis include charting, fundamental, technical and cyclical analyses. 

The most recent data shows that assets under the practice’s management were allocated as: 

  • 51% in securities issued by registered investment companies (such as mutual funds) or business development companies
  • 42% in exchange-traded equity securities (like common stocks)
  • 6% in cash and cash equivalents
  • 1% in investment-grade corporate bonds

O'Donnell Financial Services, LLC

O’Donnell Financial Services, LLC

Founded in 2015, O’Donnell Financial Services has $134.4 million in assets under management. According to SEC data, the three-office firm has four advisors. Unlike the other practices on this list, it offers portfolio management services only through its wrap fee program.

With no minimum investment required, the firm serves almost twice as many individuals who don’t have high net worth as those who do. It also has pension and profit-sharing plans as clients. According to its most recent SEC filing, all accounts except two are on a discretionary basis.

O’Donnell Financial Services Background

Greg O’Donnell is founder, principal and CEO of the firm. According to the website, he also hosts a weekly radio show and has a series of books on retirement available for free download. 

As mentioned earlier, investment management services are available only through the firm’s wrap fee program, which charges one all-inclusive fee. That said, there are registered representatives of broker-dealers as well as licensed insurance agents at the firm who receive sales commissions. In addition to wrap asset management, financial planning and pension consulting, the firm offers mortgage and insurance services.

O’Donnell Financial Services Investment Strategy

O’Donnell Financial’s methodology involves charting, cyclical, fundamental and technical analyses. In managing assets, it may use long-term purchases, short-term purchases, trading, short sales, margin transactions and option writing. As of its most recent SEC filings, assets under O’Donnell Financial’s management were invested as:

  • 64% in exchange-traded equity securities (like common stocks)
  • 25% in securities issued by registered investment companies (such as mutual funds) or business development companies
  • 10% in cash and cash equivalents
  • 1% in investment-grade corporate bonds

How Many Years $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 cost of living in retirement there.

Least
Most
Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities. Using that calculation, we determined how many years $1 million would last in retirement in each major city.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors throughout the country. 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.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%, reflecting the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. Finally, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would last in each of the cities in our study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research