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Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Santa Barbara, California
If you're looking for a financial advisor in Santa Barbara, California, our roundup of the city's top financial advisor firms can help simplify your search. Below, you’ll find each firm listed in descending order by the value of its assets under management (AUM). We also include information detailing each firm’s typical clientele, account minimum, fee schedule and more. SmartAsset has also developed a financial advisor matching tool that can connect you with a financial advisor in your area.
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To find the top financial advisors in Santa Barbara, 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:
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.
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.
Mission Wealth Management is the first firm on our list. The firm’s client base is a mix of mostly non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, with some charitable organizations as well. The firm does not have a minimum initial investment for new clients.
As a fee-based firm, some advisors at Mission may earn commissions on certain transactions. While this creates the potential for a conflict of interest, the firm will always act in its clients’ best interests due to its fiduciary duty.
Mission Wealth Management specializes in financial planning, portfolio management for both individuals and businesses, consulting for retirement plans and the selection of independent investment advisors.
Mission Wealth Management Background
Mission Wealth Management was founded in 2000, and it currently has over a dozen partners. The two majority stakeholders are co-founder and CEO Seth Streeter and co-founder and chief compliance officer (CCO) Brad Stark.
At its Santa Barbara headquarters, the firm boasts a number of certifications, including certified financial planners (CFPs), certified divorce financial analysts (CDFAs), accredited asset management specialists (AAMSs), accredited wealth management analysts (AWMAs), chartered financial consultants (ChFCs), chartered life underwriters (CLUs), chartered retirement plans specialists (CRPSs) and more.
Mission Wealth Management Investment Philosophy
Mission Wealth Management typically makes recommendations on a wide variety of investment securities, including exchange-traded funds (ETFs), institutional mutual funds, dimensional funds, multi-managed funds, common and preferred stocks, corporate and government bonds, municipal tax-free bonds, certificates of deposit (CDs) and cash instruments, variable insurance contracts, existing client holdings and several alternative investments.
Although the firm may make recommendations on any of the above, its primary investments are ETFs, mutual funds, institutional funds and individual securities. Mission Wealth Management doesn’t have custody of any client assets, typically working with a custodian like Fidelity or Charles Schwab. This practice is quite common across the financial advisor industry.
West Coast Financial is a fee-only firm that opened for business back in 1983. It currently works with individuals, high-net-worth individuals, pooled investment vehicles, pension plans, charitable organizations and businesses.
The firm offers portfolio management services for both individuals and businesses, as well as financial planning, consulting and selection of other advisors. West Coast Financial will typically only accept new clients that have at least $1 million in investable assets. However, the firm is open to waiving or altering this requirement.
West Coast Financial Background
West Coast Financial was founded in 1983 under the name E. David Yossem, Inc. Its owners are E. David Yossem, Steven A. Weintraub, David C. Gore and BSD Partners, which is a limited partnership owned by founder E. David Yossem and senior financial advisor Steven A. Weintraub. Of the firm's advisors, a handful are based in Santa Barbara. The firm includes certifications such as certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial analyst (CFA), certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA) and certified private wealth advisor (CPWA).
West Coast Financial Investment Philosophy
West Coast Financial approaches every client portfolio uniquely, as it believes every client has a distinctive financial situation. It typically invests in money market instruments, bonds, preferred stocks, common stocks, real estate investment trusts (REITs) and mutual funds where appropriate.
When purchasing securities for client portfolios, the firm expects to hold them for several years. The primary exception to this rule is if the firm is rebalancing a portfolio back to its target asset allocation.
Arlington Financial Advisors is next on our list. Most of its client base is comprised of high-net-worth and non-high-net-worth individuals, though it also works with pension and profit-sharing plans, as well as other investment advisors. The firm doesn’t have an account minimum for new clients.
Arlington Financial Advisors provides portfolio management and financial planning services to its clients. Additionally, the firm may offer consulting to retirement plans and may occasionally allocate client assets to independent money managers.
Despite having a few advisors that are insurance agents, this is a fee-only firm because those advisors don't sell insurance to clients. This means all of the firm's compensation comes from client-paid fees.
Arlington Financial Advisors Background
Arlington Financial Advisors was formed in 2010, but it has operated as an SEC-registered investment advisor since just 2016. It’s owned by managing partner Joseph Weiland and partners Cody Makela, John A. Lorenz, Dianne Duva, Arthur Swalley and R. Wells Hughes. Among the firm’s advisors, you’ll find advisory certifications including certified financial planner (CFP) and certified investment management analyst (CIMA).
Arlington Financial Advisors seeks to provide a diversified portfolio for each client with an asset allocation that aligns with their investing goals, risk tolerance, cash flow needs and time horizon. After establishing the appropriate asset allocation, the firm typically rebalances on an annual basis.
The firm invests in a standard range of securities, such as individual stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and options. The firm will also consider other public and private securities if it deems it appropriate for the client’s financial outlook.
Ariadne Wealth Management has been doing business since 2008. It is a fee-only firm that offers advisory services solely to high-net-worth individual clients. Ariadne has one of the highest account minimums of any firm on this list at $5 million per household.
The firm provides a range of services including asset management, financial planning and consulting for retirement plans. Financial planning services include retirement planning, tax planning, estate planning, charitable planning, business planning, debt management and more.
Ariadne Wealth Management Background
Ariadne Wealth Management was founded in 2014 by Gene Dongieux. The Dongieux Family Trust, Ariadne Wealth Holdings, LLC, Rick DuBreuil and Adam Stempel are the owners of the firm. There are advisory certifications at the firm that include certified financial planner (CFP) and chartered financial analyst (CFA).
Fees for wealth management services are calculated as a percentage of your assets under management (AUM). The exact percentage you receive is dependent on the specifics of your finances. This fee tends to incorporate financial planning and ongoing asset management services.
Ariadne Wealth Management Investment Philosophy
Ariadne Wealth Management uses a combination of quantitative and qualitative analyses to come to the right investment strategy for each client. Quantitatively, the firm examines large amounts of data such as historical returns, current returns, regression analysis and more. Qualitatively, advisors rely on years of experience to spot scenarios where the data might be misleading.
The firm may consider a wide range of securities depending on the client’s objectives and risk tolerance. However, it will primarily recommend exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds and individual stocks and bonds.
Trinity Capital Management is headquartered in Santa Barbara, but it also operates secondary branches in Rancho Cucamonga, California and Olympia, Washington. The majority of the firm’s clients are non-high-net-worth individuals, but it also manages money for high-net-worth individuals, pension plans, charitable organizations and businesses.
Trinity Capital Management provides fee-only investment management services and advanced financial planning. The firm doesn’t have a minimum account size.
Trinity Capital Management Background
Trinity Capital Management was formed in 2006, and its principal owners are Fredric B. Fisher and Andrew Y. Bucher. Fisher is the firm’s president and chief compliance officer (CCO), and Bucher is the chief investment officer (CIO). Of the firm’s advisors, advisory certifications include certified financial planner (CFP) and chartered financial analyst (CFA).
Trinity Capital Management Investment Philosophy
Trinity Capital Management invests in no-load mutual funds, corporate and government bonds, tradable certificates of deposit (CDs) and cash management or money market funds. The firm centers its investing approach around modern portfolio theory, and it prefers to adopt a long-term perspective whenever possible.
Trinity believes that global diversification is a crucial aspect of long-term investing success. The aim is to minimize volatility while accessing sustainable market gains.
Avalan has been doing business in the Santa Barbara area since 2011. Its client base is a mix of non-high-net-worth individuals, high-net-worth individuals, pension plans and charitable organizations. The firm doesn’t have a minimum account size, but it has a $10,000 minimum annual fee.
Certain advisors at Avalan are licensed to sell insurance products and earn commissions on those sales. The receipt of these commissions creates a potential conflict of interest. However, Avalan must abide by fiduciary duty and act in clients’ best interests no matter what.
The firm offers asset management and an automated investing program, along with financial planning and consulting services. Financial planning can cover, among other topics, retirement planning, estate planning, charitable gift planning, education planning, corporate and personal tax planning, real estate analysis, mortgage/debt analysis, insurance analysis and lines of credit evaluation.
Avalan first opened its doors in 2011. The firm’s principal owners are Richard Schuette and Kathryn Courain, who are two of the firm's advisors. Advisory certifications at the firm include the certified financial planner (CFP) and chartered financial consultant (ChFC) designations.
For asset management services, Avalan charges a negotiable percentage of your AUM that won’t exceed 2.00%. If you take part in the automated investing program, you’ll be charged an annual fee of 0.50% to 1.00% of your invested assets.
Avalan Investment Philosophy
When creating client portfolios, Avalan generally invests in a standard range of securities. These could include individual stocks or bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options, mutual funds and other public and private securities.
Every client of the firm will receive a portfolio that’s globally diversified across several different asset classes. This fits in with the firm’s preference for long-term, disciplined investing over speculation and active management.
Omega Financial Group is the next firm on our list. The firm mostly works with non-high-net-worth individuals, but it maintains advisory relationships with high-net-worth individuals, pension plans and charitable organizations as well.
Some Omega advisors are licensed to sell insurance products, and they may earn additional commissions for these sales. This makes the firm fee-based and creates the potential for a conflict of interest. Despite this, it has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of its clients at all times.
The firm provides asset management, financial planning and consulting services to its clients. The firm has a $1 million minimum investment requirement for new clients, though this minimum is waivable.
Omega Financial Group Background
Omega Financial Group was first established in 2009. Dylan B. Minor is an 80% owner of the firm and Bryan W. Reinhard owns the remaining 20%. The firm's advisors boast numerous certifications, such as certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial consultant (ChFC), chartered life underwriter (CLU) and chartered retirement plan counselor (CRPC).
Omega Financial Group Investment Philosophy
Omega Financial Group often invests in a diversified collection of exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, stocks, bonds, real estate, commodities and alternative investments when constructing client portfolios.
The firm tailors its investment strategy to each client’s risk tolerance, liquidity needs and time horizon. The firm takes these factors into account and uses them to create an asset allocation and investment strategy that’s best equipped to produce returns over the long term.
Pacific Wealth Strategies Group is a fee-based firm. Founded in 2007, the firm primarily works with non-high-net-worth and high-net-worth individuals, though it also has some pension plans, charitable organizations and corporations as clients too.
The firm is fee-based, which means advisors may earn commissions for conducting certain transactions, like insurance product sales. Although this presents a potential conflict of interest, the firm is also bound by fiduciary duty to act in your best interest at all times.
The firm provides clients with financial planning, investment management and the selection of outside money managers. Like most firms, Pacific Wealth Strategies Group does not act as a custodian of any client assets. The firm doesn’t have any sort of account minimum.
Pacific Wealth Strategies Group Background
Pacific Wealth Strategies Group was established in 2007 by Jefferey D. Brookshire and Erin J. Neil. Brookshire is the president and chief compliance officer (CCO) of the firm. Neil is the firm’s vice president and treasurer. They each own equal shares.
In addition to its Santa Barbara headquarters, Pacific Wealth Strategies Group has a branch based in Porterville, California. The team at its Santa Barbara office includes certifications such as certified financial planner (CFP), accredited investment fiduciary (AIF), certified wealth strategist (CWS) and certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA).
Pacific Wealth Strategies Group Investment Philosophy
Pacific Wealth Strategies Group provides recommendations on a wide range of investments. These include no-load and load-waived mutual fund shares, exchange-listed securities, securities traded over the counter, fixed income securities, closed-end funds and exchange-traded funds (ETFs), foreign issues, warrants, corporate debt securities, commercial paper, certificates of deposit (CDs) and more.
The firm also prioritizes asset allocation over individual security selection during portfolio construction. To determine the proper asset allocation, advisors will consider the client’s current financial situation, future time horizon, thoughts about the market and family dynamics.
Monarch Wealth Strategies is the next firm on our list of Santa Barbara's top financial advisors. This small firm works mainly with individual clients, with a nearly even split between those with and without a high net worth. When it comes to institutional clients, the firm works with a small handful of pensions, profit sharing plans, charities and other businesses. The firm typically has a $750,000 minimum account size requirement.
Monarch is a fee-based firm. Since some advisors can earn commissions from the sale of financial products to clients, there is a potential conflict of interest. However, the firm is a fiduciary, so it is legally obligated to act in the best interests of clients at all times.
Monarch Wealth Strategies Background
Monarch Wealth Strategies was founded in 2008, actually making it one of the younger firms on our list. After being registered in the state of California, the firm became an SEC-registered investment advisor in 2020. Aaron Clark founded the firm and is currently its principal owner.
Monarch provides its clients with wealth management services, which includes portfolio management. It also provides financial planning and consulting services.
Monarch Wealth Strategies Investment Strategy
Investment strategies at Monarch Wealth Strategies are designed to be tailored to the individual needs and desires of its clients. This process involves meeting with clients to determine their overall financial situation and investment objectives, as well as more specific information like their risk tolerance or time horizon.
Monarch Wealth Strategies may use a wide range of investment securities to populate client portfolios. Advisors use fundamental, technical and cyclical methods of analysis.
Curtis Advisory Group is a wealth advisory firm established in 2009. The largest portion of the firm’s clients are non-high-net-worth individuals, but it also works with high-net-worth individuals, pension plans, charitable organizations and businesses.
The firm offers standard portfolio management, as well as investing oversight for externally managed accounts. Further, it provides services including an automated investing program through Charles Schwab, financial planning and consulting for pension plans. The firm generally requires at least $500,000 in investable assets, but it may waive this minimum at its discretion.
Curtis Advisory Group is a fee-based firm, as some on-staff advisors can earn commissions from insurance sales. Despite this, the firm abides by fiduciary duty, legally binding it to act in your best interest at all times.
Curtis Advisory Group Background
Curtis Advisory Group was established in 2009 by Ryan Earl Curtis. Curtis remains the principal owner of this independent firm, and he’s also one of the firm’s advisors, along with Joshua D. Hayes. For investment management services, the firm will typically charge between 0.10% and 1.00% of your managed assets.
Curtis Advisory Group Investment Philosophy
Each client of Curtis Advisory Group will open the investment process off by completing a “Client Questionnaire Survey,” which provides the firm with crucial information about your personal investing goals, time horizon and risk tolerance. From there, the firm will assemble investing recommendations that fit in with the unique variables you’ve presented.
Curtis Advisory Group subscribes to modern portfolio theory (MPT), which is the attempt to maximize investment return for a given level or risk. A carefully built asset allocation and global diversification are usually integrated as part of an MPT-based strategy.
Financial Advisors Near You
Looking for a financial advisor in a nearby city? Here are some other lists of top financial advisors in the area:
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.
Methodology We analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns to determine how many years of retirement a $1 million nest egg would cover in cities across America.
First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors. 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. Using this data, SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities.
We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%. 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.