Finding a Top Financial Advisor Firm in Walnut Creek, California
Finding the right financial advisor for you and your family isn’t always easy. If you're looking for an advisor in Walnut Creek, California, our list of the city's top financial advisor firms can make your search easier. Below you’ll find a breakdown of each firm, with information detailing their account minimums, fee schedules, client base and more. SmartAsset’s financial advisor matching tool can also connect you directly with advisors in your area.
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|Rank||Financial Advisor||Assets Managed||Minimum Assets||Financial Services||More Information|
|1||Litman Gregory Asset Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$4,319,496,858||$3,000,000|| || |
|2||Destination Wealth Management Find an Advisor||$3,226,536,075||$500,000|| || |
|3||Thomas Doll Find an Advisor||$1,100,433,221||Varies based on account type|| || |
Minimum AssetsVaries based on account type
|4||Burton Enright Welch Find an Advisor||$869,510,634||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|5||Castle Rock Wealth Management, LLC Find an Advisor||$354,870,417||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|6||Bedell Frazier Investment Counselling, LLC Find an Advisor||$559,702,067||$500,000|| || |
|7||J.P. King Advisors, Inc. Find an Advisor||$575,970,684||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|8||Shone Wealth Management Find an Advisor||$356,363,108||$500,000|| || |
|9||Boltwood Capital Management Find an Advisor||$208,253,002||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
|10||Park, Miller, LLC Find an Advisor||$227,540,456||No set account minimum|| || |
Minimum AssetsNo set account minimum
What We Use in Our Methodology
To find the top financial advisors in Walnut Creek, 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:
- AUMFirms with more total assets under management are ranked higher.
- Individual Client CountFirms who serve more individual clients (as opposed to institutional clients) are ranked higher.
- Clients Per AdvisorFirms with a lower ratio of clients per financial advisor are ranked higher.
- Age of FirmFirms that have been in business longer 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.
Litman Gregory Asset Management
Litman Gregory Asset Management is the first firm on our list of the top financial advisory firms in Walnut Creek. This large firm works mainly with high-net-worth individual clients. Non-high-net-worth individual clients make up the next largest part of the firm's client base. When it comes to institutional clients, the firm works with a small number of pensions, profit sharing plans, charities, businesses and turn-key asset management programs.
Litman Gregory is a fee-only firm, so advisors don't earn commissions from selling financial products. The firm normally has a $3 million minimum account size requirement.
Litman Gregory Asset Management Background
Litman Gregory Asset Management was founded in 1987, making it one of the oldest firms on our list. It became an SEC-registered investment advisor a few years later, in 1995.
The firm provides a range of investment management services to clients, including portfolio management and financial planning services. It also provides clients with access to a number of pre-formed portfolio strategies as well as a wrap-fee program. About half of the firm's assets are managed on a discretionary basis.
Litman Gregory Asset Management Investment Strategy
Litman Gregory Asset Management aims to tailor its investment strategies to the individual financial situations and investment objectives of its clients. This process involves getting to know each client on a personal basis, learning about such things as a client's tolerance for risk and liquidity needs.
Advisors tend to invest on a long-term time horizon. They craft globally diversified portfolios that may include a wide range of investment securities. The specific securities depend upon the individual client.
Destination Wealth Management
Destination Wealth Management takes the next spot on our list. Most of the firm's clients have a high net worth. The rest of the firm's client base is comprised of non-high-net-worth individuals, pooled investment vehicles, retirement plans, charitable organizations and businesses.
In order to become a client of this firm, you'll need at least $500,000 in investable assets. However, the firm may decide to reduce or waive this minimum at its discretion.
The firm has a wealth management offering, which combines your investment portfolio with a financial plan. By doing this, the firm hopes to align all of your financial needs. Typical financial planning services include retirement planning, tax management, estate planning and review, insurance needs analysis, family and charitable giving planning, education fund planning and more.
Destination Wealth Management Background
Destination Wealth Management has been in business since 1996. The firm was founded by Michael Yoshikami, who now acts as CEO, chairman and lead member of the portfolio strategy committee. Yoshikami has more than 35 years' experience in the financial services industry. In addition to its Walnut Creek office, Destination can meet directly with clients in Sacramento, Fresno and Santa Clara.
There are quite a few certifications across the advisory team at Destination Wealth Management. These include certified financial planner (CFP), chartered financial analyst (CFA) and certified divorce financial analyst (CDFA).
Destination Wealth Management Investment Strategy
On a firm-wide basis, Destination Wealth Management believes in investing with an eye towards long-term returns. More specifically, the firm states in its Form ADV that its focus "tends to be on longer-term trends that we see having a financial impact on investable assets." Despite this approach, the firm realizes that short-term trends in the market may be necessary to adjust for. In these cases, the firm will make investment decisions by combining fundamental analysis with a review of current market trends.
Destination believes in diversification across every asset allocation it creates. These allocations will be decided on based on your personal financial goals, risk tolerance and time horizon. The firm usually invests in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), ex-U.S. positions, options and commodity assets.
Thomas Doll is the next firm on this list. Non-high-net-worth individuals, high-net-worth individuals, pension plans, charitable organizations and corporations all work with the firm.
Thomas Doll provides a range of services, including wealth management, financial planning, automated investing through the TD SMART Investing program and consulting for employee benefit plans. The firm has a minimum account size of $100,000 for wealth management services and $5,000 for the TD Smart program. If you wish to utilize the tax-loss harvesting feature of the TD Smart Investing program, its aforementioned minimum will raise to $50,000. Other accounts may have different minimums.
As a fee-based firm, certain on-staff financial advisors at Thomas Doll can earn commissions from insurance sales, which causes a potential conflict of interest. Despite this, the firm is bound by fiduciary duty to act in clients' best interests at all times.
Thomas Doll Background
Thomas Doll was founded in 1999, and it’s currently owned by the shareholders of Thomas Doll CPAs, P.C., an accounting business. Thomas Doll CPAs has been in business since the 1960s. Almost all of the firm's advisors are certified public accountants (CPAs).
Thomas Doll Investment Philosophy
Thomas Doll primarily uses passively managed mutual funds to construct client portfolios. It also integrates conservative fixed-income securities to adjust the risk profile of portfolios when necessary. The firm may invest in exchange-traded funds (ETFs) to better access a certain market sector.
The core belief that underscores the firm’s approach to investing is that markets are efficient over the long term. Therefore, by adhering to broad diversification and keeping the long view, the firm is confident that it’s giving its clients the best chance for sustainable success.
Burton Enright Welch
Burton Enright Welch has been providing investment advice in Walnut Creek for over 30 years. The firm principally works with individuals of both a high-net-worth and non-high-net-worth nature. Institutional clients include pension plans, charitable organizations and businesses.
The firm specializes in investment management and financial planning, as well as consulting for 401(k) and other retirement plans. Occasionally, the firm may allocate a portion or all of a client’s assets with independent managers. New clients are generally required to have $250,000 in investable assets, though this requirement can be waived.
Burton Enright Welch is a fee-only firm; while some of its advisors are licensed insurance agents, they do not receive any commissions. All of the firm's compensation comes from client-paid fees.
Burton Enright Welch Background
Burton Enright Welch was founded in 1989, but its SEC registration dates to 2008. Benjamin Peters, Peter M. Burton, Robert D. Enright and Jeremy A. Welch own the firm. Among the firm’s advisors are advisory certifications such as certified financial planner (CFP) and chartered financial consultant (ChFC).
Fees for investment management services are based on a percentage of client assets that can range from 0.30% to 1.50%. These fees are typically not negotiable.
Burton Enright Welch Investment Philosophy
Burton Enright Welch generally recommends that clients invest in a combination of mutual funds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), individual stocks and bonds, options and more. The intent behind these securities is that clients will hold onto them for a year or longer. The firm may also recommend investing in individual stocks and bonds.
The firm begins the portfolio creation process by working with each client to establish a target asset allocation. This serves as a starting point for each portfolio, but the firm will continue to analyze investment options and reevaluate if changes to the allocation could potentially be beneficial to you.
Castle Rock Wealth Management
Castle Rock Wealth Management is next up on our list. This group works with a large client base. Clients include non-high-net-worth individuals, high-net-worth individuals and businesses. The firm does not maintain a minimum asset requirement, so technically anyone can open an account with Castle Rock.
Castle Rock offers portfolio management, financial planning and consulting services to its clients. Occasionally, the firm may refer client assets to third-party investment advisors.
Castle Rock is a fee-based firm, which means some advisory employees can sell insurance products or securities on a commission basis. Although this represents a potential conflict of interest, the firm abides by fiduciary duty, legally binding it to act in your best interest.
Castle Rock Wealth Management Background
Castle Rock Wealth Management first opened its doors in 2015, making it one of the youngest firms on this list. The firm is wholly owned by founder James Luippold, which Mark Bertoli acting as the firm’s managing partner.
Among the advisors here, there are advisory certifications such as certified financial planner (CFP), accredited investment fiduciary (AIF), certified wealth strategist (CWS) and certified plan fiduciary advisor (CPFA).
Castle Rock Wealth Management Investment Philosophy
Castle Rock Wealth Management typically invests in individual stocks, bonds, exchange-traded funds (ETFs), options, mutual funds and other public and private securities when constructing client portfolios.
Before deciding on any specific investments, the firm will look to establish a few important factors that are unique to each client. This can include current resources, investment goals, time until retirement, risk tolerance and even tax concerns. With these considerations in mind, the firm will develop a diversified asset allocation that matches the client’s tolerance for risk and delivers an expected return that’s in line with their goals.
Bedell Frazier Investment Counselling
Next on our list is Bedell Frazier Investment Counselling. Most of the firm's clients are individuals without a high net worth, though it also works with high-net-worth individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans, charitable organizations and businesses. The firm has a minimum opening account size of $500,000, though it reserves the right to lower this minimum at its discretion.
Bedell Frazier offers a wide range of services including investment management, financial planning and individual and retirement plan consulting. Financial planning services include estate planning, retirement planning, tax planning, wealth transfer planning, trust planning and more.
Bedell Frazier is a fee-only firm, as no members of its advisory team are licensed to sell financial products to clients in exchange for commissions.
Bedell Frazier Investment Counselling Background
Bedell Frazier Investment Counselling first opened its doors back in 1975. Today, it’s wholly owned by BlueSpring Wealth Partners, LLC. On the advisory team here, there are certifications such as chartered market technician (CMT), chartered retirement planning counselor (CRPC), certified financial planner (CFP) and chartered financial analyst (CFA).
Bedell Frazier Investment Counselling Investment Philosophy
Bedell Frazier starts its investment process by sitting down with each client to understand their current financial situation and resources, investment goals and risk tolerance. From there, the firm will develop an investment strategy centered around a diversified asset allocation that matches the client’s tolerance for risk.
This firm invests in certificates of deposit (CDs), municipal securities, government securities, equity securities, corporate debt securities, commercial paper, warrants and options contracts on securities.
J.P. King Advisors
J.P. King Advisors works with individuals, pension plans and corporations. There is no minimum account size requirements for new clients who want to work with this firm.
Some advisors at J.P. King are licensed to sell insurance products, such as annuities or life insurance. These sales can generate commissions for the advisors, which creates the potential for a conflict of interest. However, this fee-based firm is bound by fiduciary duty to always act in its clients' best interests.
The firm specializes in comprehensive financial planning, investment advice and consulting services. Investment plans are developed on a personal basis, and financial planning can include strategic tax planning, net worth and cash flow statements, retirement planning, estate planning and more.
J.P. King Advisors Background
J.P. King Advisors was established in 1981 by chairman James Patrick King. Today, the firm is fully employee-owned, with president Scott N. Horton owning the majority of shares and principal Justin W. Dodson, senior financial advisor Jessica Schafer and King also owning shares. The firm has a few certified financial planners (CFPs) on staff.
J.P. King Advisors Investment Philosophy
The investment strategy at J.P. King Advisors is guided by a few principles, as well as the major tenets of modern portfolio theory. Among these principles are the following beliefs:
- The future is impossible to predict, meaning all strategies must grapple with uncertainty.
- The past doesn’t predict the future, but it can teach us lessons about investor behavior.
- Managing risk exposure is the most important thing to consider when designing a successful portfolio.
- While investment and manager selection is important, broader practices like investment policy, asset allocation and rebalancing have a greater effect on returns in the long term.
The firm believes that the best way to maximize return over a long period of time for a given level of risk is through asset allocation. Therefore, the firm seeks to construct globally diversified portfolios that contain domestic and international equities, fixed-income, cash and alternative investments.
Shone Wealth Management
Shone Wealth Management has been doing business in Walnut Creek since 2005. Its client base is mostly made up of non-high-net-worth individuals and high-net-worth individuals, though some pension plans are in the mix as well. The firm typically only accepts new clients with at least $500,000 in investable assets.
Shone offers both financial planning and investment management services to its individual clients, as well as consulting and general advisory services to businesses. Financial planning services are tailored to each client’s situation, but can include retirement projections, college and other education funding, insurance review and estate planning strategies. Shone is a fee-only firm.
Shone Wealth Management Background
Shone Wealth Management was founded by Mark Shone in 2005. Shone is the firm’s sole owner, manager and chief compliance officer (CCO). The firm's staff includes certifications such as certified financial planner (CFP) and chartered mutual fund counselor (CMFC).
Shone charges investment management fees as a percentage of each client's assets under management (AUM), with the specific percentage ranging as low as 0.30% and as high as 1.00%. Financial planning fees at Shone are determined on a case-by-case basis.
Shone Wealth Management Investment Philosophy
Shone Wealth Management approaches each client portfolio with ideas of modern portfolio theory and strategic asset allocation in mind. To determine the appropriate allocation for each client, the firm’s advisors will consider their investing goals and objectives, along with their risk tolerance and time horizon. Exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds and individual bonds are the primary investment vehicles used in client portfolios.
The firm will establish allocation ranges for each asset class. If, due to significant growth or losses, a portfolio has too much or too little of an asset class, the firm will rebalance the portfolio back to the target allocation.
Boltwood Capital Management
Boltwood Capital Management, which has been in business since 1986, has no set minimum account size. Every one of the firm’s clients are individuals. There's about an even split between individuals below and above the high-net-worth threshold.
The firm offers financial planning services, along with portfolio management and individual investment advice. Boltwood is a fee-only firm, meaning it only earns compensation from the advisory fees it charges.
Boltwood Capital Management Background
Boltwood Capital Management was established in 1986 under the name Sommer & Boltwood Investment Management, Inc. The firm has been operating under its current name since 2009, and its current owners are Zachary R. Wolf and Michael J. Stock. Of the firm’s advisors, there are advisory certifications such as certified financial planner (CFP) and chartered financial analyst (CFA).
Boltwood Capital Management Investment Philosophy
Boltwood Capital Management personalizes its approach to investing for each client. The firm will factor in the client’s appetite for risk, time until retirement and ultimate financial goals before arriving at the proper asset allocation.
Boltwood typically diversifies client portfolios across many major asset classes, including large-, mid- and small-cap stocks; international developed and emerging market stocks; and government, corporate bonds and municipal bonds.
Park, Miller has been active in Walnut Creek for more than a decade. Among the firm's clients are non-high-net-worth individuals and high-net-worth individuals. While high-net-worth individuals make up the largest portion of this client base, the firm doesn’t impose any sort of account minimum.
Park, Miller is a fee-based firm, as some of its advisors are licensed to sell insurance products for commissions. While this creates a potential conflict of interest, the firm has a fiduciary duty to always act in its clients’ best interests. The firm specializes in investment management, financial planning and consulting.
Park, Miller Background
Park, Miller was founded in 2008 by Stuart Park and John Miller. The duo still owns the firm today, with Park acting as managing member and chief compliance officer (CCO) and Miller being a principal. The firm's advisors do not appear to hold any of the common advisory certifications, such as certified financial planner (CFP).
Park, Miller Investment Philosophy
At Park, Miller, the first step of each investment process is to collect information from the client. Advisors will sit down with you to establish your investment goals and objectives. Additionally, the firm will learn your risk tolerance, current investments, time until retirement and any specific investment preferences.
With that info in hand, the firm goes about constructing an asset allocation that’s appropriate for you. The firm usually invests in exchange-traded funds (ETFs), mutual funds, bond funds and independent money managers, provided these align with your needs and goals.