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Top Financial Advisors in Santa Monica, 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 Santa Monica, California

If you’re searching for a financial advisor, it can be difficult to know which ones are the best fit for your financial situation and goals. In an effort to streamline your search, SmartAsset's experts compiled this list of the top financial advisor firms in the Santa Monica area. We examined company records and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings to find essential info on the largest firms in the city. If you’re still unsure of who to work with, our financial advisor matching tool can match you with up to three options who serve your area.

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Rank Financial Advisor Assets Managed Minimum Assets Financial Services More Information
1 Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management logo Find an Advisor

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$2,028,386,000 No set account minimum
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting
  • Selection of other advisors

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Pension consulting
  • Selection of other advisors
2 Abacus Wealth Partners, LLC Abacus Wealth Partners, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$3,430,572,600 No required minimum
  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pensin consulting services
  • Selection of other advisors
  • Consulting services

Minimum Assets

No required minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning services
  • Portfolio management
  • Pensin consulting services
  • Selection of other advisors
  • Consulting services
3 Angeles Wealth Management, LLC Angeles Wealth Management, LLC logo Find an Advisor

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$1,092,709,082 $5,000,000
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management

Minimum Assets

$5,000,000

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
4 Westside Investment Management, Inc. Westside Investment Management, Inc. logo Find an Advisor

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$520,816,284 No set account minimum
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors
  • Educational seminars/workshops
  • Financial onsulting

Minimum Assets

No set account minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors
  • Educational seminars/workshops
  • Financial onsulting
5 Matrix Planning, Inc. Find an Advisor

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$149,523,183 No required minimum
  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors

Minimum Assets

No required minimum

Financial Services

  • Financial planning
  • Portfolio management
  • Selection of other advisors
6 Victus Capital Wealth Victus Capital Wealth logo Find an Advisor

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$221,008,195 No required minimum
  • Portfolio management
  • Retirement plan consulting

Minimum Assets

No required minimum

Financial Services

  • Portfolio management
  • Retirement plan consulting

What We Use in Our Methodology

To find the top financial advisors in Santa Monica, 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.

Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management

Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management is ranked first in our top financial advisor list for Santa Monica. The firm works both with high-net-worth clients and non-high-net-worth individuals. Institutional clients also include pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations, corporations and foreign investors. 

The firm's staff includes the designations of certified financial planners (CFPs), certified divorce financial analysts (CDFAs), certified public accountants (CPA), certified private wealth advisors (CPWA) and accredited domestic partnership advisors (ADPA). 

Gerber Kawasaki doesn’t impose a minimum account size, however, it reserves the right to terminate an account if it becomes too small to manage effectively. It also charges a financial planning services flat fee based on an hourly rate of $350, which generally ranges from $250 to $3,500.

Gerber Kawasaki is a fee-based firm, meaning some of its advisors earn money through commissions from insurance products and security sales. While this can create the potential for a conflict of interest, the firm is still obligated by its fiduciary duty to always act in the best interests of its clients.

Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management Background

Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management was established in 2010 by CEO and President Ross Gerber and Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Danilo Kawasaki. The two founders decided to create the firm to help families in the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, and they are still the firm's principal owners.

The firm has four primary advisory offerings:

  • Wealth management
    • Retirement income planning
    • Estate planning
    • Lifestyle budgeting
    • Financial goal assessment
    • Insurance planning
  • Financial planning
    • Retirement fund planning
    • College funding planning
    • Home savings planning
    • Trust and will planning
    • Budget and debt analysis
  • Pension consulting
  • Selection of other advisors

Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management Investing Strategy

When constructing client portfolios, Gerber Kawasaki's advisors generally use a range of no-load mutual funds, though they may also invest client assets in individual stocks, bonds and other investments as needed. When analyzing potential securities, the firm employs both fundamental and technical analysis. Fundamental analysis involves examining key factors of a company or fund to gauge whether it's properly valued by the market. Technical analysis involves analyzing historical trends to predict future price movements.

This firm is heavily focused on building a customized asset allocation for each client. To do this, the firm will determine your risk tolerance and time horizon to figure out how much of each security type your portfolio should hold. Your advisor will then diversify your assets across a range of market sectors to ensure that your portfolio isn't too concentrated in a single industry or market sector.

Abacus Wealth Partners, LLC

Abacus Wealth Partners, LLC is far and away the largest firm on our list by assets managed. The team holds multiple certifications, including certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial analyst (CFA), certified public accountant (CPA) and certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA).

Abacus Wealth Partners is a fee-only firm. The client base consists of non-high-net-worth individuals, high-net-worth individuals, pooled investment vehicles, pension and profit-sharing plans, businesses and charitable organizations.

The firm charges an annual investment management services fee based upon a percentage of the market value of client assets, which ranges from .25% to 1%. While Abacus doesn’t set a minimum account size, it does impose a minimum annual fee of $2,400 for clients using only its investment management services.

Abacus Wealth Partners Background

Abacus Wealth Partners was formed in 2004 through the merger of Abacus Wealth Management, LLC and Sherman Financial, Inc. These two firms are now the principal owners of Abacus Wealth Partners, though the firms themselves are wholly owned by founders Brenton Kessel and Spencer Sherman, respectively. Kessel is Abacus' CEO, while Sherman serves as executive chairman.

Here's an overview of the financial planning and investing services available at this firm:

  • Financial planning and consulting
    • Goal-setting
    • Retirement planning
    • Estate planning
    • Insurance planning
    • Charitable giving planning
  • Investment management
    • Discretionary or non-discretionary management

Abacus Wealth Partners Investment Strategy

According to its Form ADV, Abacus Wealth Partners “primarily allocates clients’ investment management assets among mutual funds, although it may also advise on other securities such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs), individual debt and equity securities and/or options, as well as the securities components of variable annuities and variable life insurance contracts in accordance with the investment objectives of the client.” To ensure its investment decisions fall in line with your personal needs, the firm will work with you to review your risk tolerance, time horizon and income needs.

The firm’s approach to portfolio construction emphasizes asset allocation over individual security selection. The firm determines the appropriate combination of asset classes based on the client’s investment goals, then seeks out no-load mutual funds that it projects can help you meet those goals.

Angeles Wealth Management, LLC

Angeles Wealth Management works exclusively with high-net-worth individuals and corporations that maintain a $5 million minimum account size (this requirement can be negotiated in some circumstances). 

As a fee-only firm, Angeles Wealth does not collect commissions on trades or the sale of products. The advisor staff holds multiple certifications, including seven chartered financial analysts (CFAs), one certified financial planner (CFP) and one chartered alternative investment analyst (CAIA).

Angeles charges fees on a tiered basis, ranging generally from 0.5% to 1%, and a minimum fee of $50,000. 

Angeles Wealth Management Background

Founded in 2011, Angeles Wealth Management has been doing business in Santa Monica for almost a decade. The firm’s principal owners are President and CEO Jonathan R. Foster, along with another advisory firm, Angeles Investment Advisors, LLC. The latter is the majority owner.

The flagship service offering at Angeles Wealth is discretionary portfolio management. This may include portfolio structure analysis, independent manager selection and routine performance evaluation. The firm may consult with Angeles Investment Advisors for model portfolios or other services. Financial planning services include estate planning, wealth planning, philanthropic gift planning and more.

Angeles Wealth Management Investing Philosophy

For each client portfolio, Angeles Wealth Management will generally use one of the following strategies to guide the investment process:

  • Fixed-Income - focuses primarily on fixed-income securities and cash reserves, though it may also include some equities or alternative investments
  • Ultra Conservative Balanced - invests in equities, fixed-income and cash. Stocks generally make up between 10% and 30% of the portfolio
  • Conservative Balanced - invests in equities, fixed-income and cash. Equities occupy 30% to 50% of the portfolio
  • Balanced - invests in equities, fixed income and cash. Equities make up between 50% and 70% of the portfolio.
  • Aggressive Balanced - invests almost fully in equities, with some fixed-income and cash. Equities comprise between 70% and 90% of the portfolio.
  • Equity - focuses mostly on equities and cash reserves, though it may also include some fixed-income instruments

Westside Investment Management, Inc.

Westside Investment Management, Inc. is a financial advisory firm with two chartered financial consultants (ChFCs). The firm works exclusively with individual clients. 

While there is no minimum requirement listed, Westside charges an annual management fee that is based on a percentage of the client's assets. This percentage is a maximum of 2%.

As a fee-based firm, certain advisors at Westside earn sales commissions or transaction-based fees. While this poses a potential conflict of interest, the firm has a fiduciary duty to act in its clients’ best interests.

Westside Investment Management Background

Westside Investment Management first opened for business back in 2010. Co-founders James Frawley and David Clark principally own the firm. Between them, Frawley and Clark have 50 years of financial services experience.

The firm provides investment management services on a discretionary basis. Investment management clients can choose from either the managed account program or the mutual fund allocation program. Westside will then assist them in determining the optimal strategy for their situation. Third-party firm SEI Investment Management Corporation manages the money then.

The firm also offers financial planning, like retirement planning, education planning, estate planning, risk management, tax minimization, legacy planning and more.

Westside Investment Management Investing Philosophy

Westside Investment Management employs a long-term time horizon when it creates clients' portfolios. To support this approach, the firm institutes strong diversification and risk management principles. Your advisor will work with you to determine your risk tolerance so that an accurate asset allocation can be built for you.

When analyzing potential investments and asset allocations, Westside employs a number of methods. These include charting, technical analysis, fundamental analysis and cyclical analysis. Through these methods of analysis, the firm seeks to gauge a security's intrinsic value to determine whether it's a good investment for your financial situation.

Matrix Planning, Inc.

Matrix Planning, Inc. has just one advisor - founder Roberta Jean Smith - serving a relatively small client base of high-net-worth individuals and a single pooled investment vehicle (a real estate fund).

While there is no stated account minimum for this firm according to its Form ADV, it should be noted that there are no non-high-net-worth individual clients. Therefore, it may be difficult for you to become a client if you have a lower net worth. Matrix Planning is a fee-only firm, so all of its compensation comes from client-paid fees. Matrix Planning does not have a website.

Matrix Planning Background

Matrix Planning is the oldest firm on this list by a significant margin, having started operations back in 1986. Roberta Jean Smith, the firm’s founder and sole advisor, is the principal owner.

The firm offers both individual portfolio management and financial planning services to its clients. The latter can cover a range of topics, such as:

  • Tax minimization
  • Cash flow planning
  • Investment planning
  • Insurance planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Death and disability planning
  • Estate planning

Matrix Planning Investment Philosophy

Matrix Planning determines the asset allocation of each client portfolio based on the client's risk tolerance and income needs. Based on these characteristics, the firm seeks to diversify portfolios across asset classes, striking a balance between stocks, fixed-income, cash, real estate, oil and gas and venture capital. More specifically, the firm may invest in the following: 

  • Exchange-listed securities
  • Securities traded over-the-counter
  • Foreign issuers
  • Warrants
  • Corporate debt securities (other than commercial paper)
  • Certificates of deposit (CDs)
  • Municipal securities
  • Mutual fund shares
  • U.S. governmental securities
  • Options contracts on securities
  • Interests in partnerships and limited liability companies investing in real estate
  • Interests in partnerships and limited liability companies investing in oil and gas interests
  • Interests in partnerships and limited liability companies investing in venture capital

Victus Capital Wealth

Victus Capital Wealth is a fee-only firm offering portfolio management and retirement plan consulting services. The firm works with individuals, high-net-worth individuals, trusts, estates, charitable organizations, pension and profit-sharing plans, corporations and other business entities. As a fee-only firm, it doesn't receive any commissions for the sale of certain securities. 

Victus Capital Wealth does not have a required account minimum.

Victus Capital Wealth Background

Victus Capital Wealth was founded in 2010. Today, the firm has four advisors that serve over 180 clients with more than $220 million in assets under management (AUM). The team has received higher education as well as at least one designation of certified investment management analyst (CIMA). 

Victus Capital Wealth Investing Philosophy

Victus Capital Wealth aims for transparency and simplicity in its investment approach. The firm approaches each client's portfolio with an individual strategy that starts with a variety of types of analyses on the market. Every client has their own individual goals and the analysis is done to find an asset allocation that will help achieve those goals. Some of the investment types that are used include: 

  • Long-term securities
  • Short-term securities
  • Stock trading
  • Short sales
  • Margin transactions
  • Call and put options
  • Private equity

 

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.