With so many financial advisors to choose from in San Diego, it's not always clear who is the best person to go with. Here's a look at our favorites in 'America's Finest City'.

If you live in San Diego and want help putting together a financial plan, managing your investments, planning for taxes, or valuable insights on other parts of your personal finances, a financial advisor could be right for you.

Things have really changed over the past decade: more and more people are hiring financial advisors because they’ve got the financial savvy and experience that most of us don’t have to vastly improve our financial situation.

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The best financial advisors in San Diego offer high levels of customer service when helping you make the best financial decisions. Here are the best financial advisors in San Diego you may want to consider for your financial advising needs.

Overview of the best financial advisors in San Diego

FirmSpecialty
Bull Oak CapitalFinancial planning, investment management
Creative Capital ManagementFinancial planning, investment management
Define FinancialRetirement planning for ages 50 and older
Dowling & Yahnke Wealth AdvisorsFinancial planning, investment management
GuidedChoice Asset ManagementRetirement planning
Physician Wealth ServicesMedical professionals
Pure Financial AdvisorsFinancial planning, investment management
Rowling & AssociatesInvestments, taxes, financial planning

Bull Oak Capital

Bull Oak Capital is a firm recognized with multiple awards and high ratings across many review platforms. The fee-only, fiduciary financial advising firm focuses on financial planning and portfolio management.

According to the Bull Oak Capital website, the firm works with working professionals, soon-to-be and current retirees, and business owners, among other clients. Led by Ryan Hughes, this small team brought in excellent reviews on Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List, and Google. To start with Bull Oak Capital, you’ll need at least $1 million in investable assets not including real estate.

  • Specialty: Financial planning, investment management.
  • Address: 4747 Executive Dr Suite 1010, San Diego, CA 92121.
  • Phone number: 858-999-3550.

Creative Capital Management

Creative Capital Management is a fee-only, fiduciary advisor with a focus on business owners, working professionals, individuals, and families. The firm offers a range of planning and portfolio management services including estate planning, insurance, and tax planning.

While the firm doesn’t have a ton of online reviews from customers, those it has earned are generally very positive. The firm has a strong track record with more than 35 years in business.

  • Specialty: Financial planning, investment management.
  • Address: 8880 Rio San Diego Dr #1150, San Diego, CA 92108.
  • Phone number: 619-298-3993.

Define Financial

Led by Taylor Schulte, Define Financial is a fee-only, fiduciary financial planning firm. This unique advising firm works exclusively with adults 50 and older with a focus on retirement planning. That includes a look at investments, taxes, and cash flow in retirement.

Define Financial has won awards from reputable publications including Investopedia, San Diego Magazine, and Financial Advisor Magazine. The firm earns great reviews on Yelp, Google, and Facebook and holds a top A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.

  • Specialty: Retirement planning for ages 50 and older.
  • Address: 12526 High Bluff Dr #238, San Diego, CA 92130.
  • Phone number: 858-345-1197.

Dowling & Yahnke Wealth Advisors

Dowling & Yahnke is one of the largest asset managers in San Diego when measured by assets under management. Trusted with more than $4.7 billion in client funds, the company offers a very wide range of financial services including investment management, financial planning, charitable giving, and retirement planning.

Founded in 1991, Dowling & Yahnke has more than 1,200 clients and operates as a fee-only, fiduciary advisor. It earns excellent reviews on Yelp, Google, and other platforms.

  • Specialty: Investment management, financial planning.
  • Address: 12265 El Camino Real UNIT 300, San Diego, CA 92130.
  • Phone number: 858-509-9500.

GuidedChoice Asset Management

GuidedChioce is the largest investment manager in San Diego with over $14 billion in assets under management. The financial planning and portfolio management firm offers digital apps and tools to help you manage your investments.

Many end-customers of GuidedChoice have their assets at GuidedChoice held through an employer-sponsored retirement plan. The high tech firm has placeholders on its website for new financial advising products launching very soon. Founded in 1999, GuidedChoice works with clients nationwide.

  • Specialty: Retirement planning.
  • Address: 8910 University Center Ln #700, San Diego, CA 92122.
  • Phone number: 888-675-4532.

Physician Wealth Services

Led by Ryan Inman, Physician Wealth Services is a financial advisor with a focus on doctors and the medical community. While the team is based in San Diego, they work with doctors nationwide.

The fee-only, fiduciary financial planning firm offers a roadmap for first-year clients to get a grasp on their finances before building a long-term financial plan. The firm holds more than $11 million in client assets under management.

  • Specialty: Medical professionals.
  • Address: Virtual/online-only.
  • Phone number: 619-304-0777.

Pure Financial Advisors

Pure Financial Advisors is one of the largest financial advising firms in San Diego with more than $2.2 billion in assets under management. Pure Financial Advisors offers investment management and financial planning services with a focus on financial education for its clients. The large fiduciary, fee-only planning firm has four locations across Southern California and runs regular events and classes to help you upgrade your financial IQ. 

  • Specialty: Financial planning, investment management.
  • Address: 3131 Camino Del Rio N #1550, San Diego, CA 92108.
  • Phone number: 619-814-4100.

Rowling & Associates

When looking for reputable financial advisors in San Diego, you’re sure to come across Rowling & Associates. The fee-only, fiduciary planning firm offers wealth management, financial planning, and tax planning and preparation services.

The firm offers several specialized services including sustainable investment advising, estate planning, life insurance advice, planning for stock options, and tax planning for charitable giving.

  • Specialty: Investments, taxes, financial planning.
  • Address: 8889 Rio San Diego Dr # 202, San Diego, CA 92108.
  • Phone number: 619-295-0200.

Summary of the best financial advisors in San Diego

FirmServices offeredPrimary clientele
Bull Oak CapitalFinancial planning, investment managementHigh-net-worth households with $1 million in investable assets
Creative Capital ManagementFinancial planning, investment managementBusiness owners and executives, professionals with families, women in a major life transition, near-term retirees
Define FinancialRetirement planning, investment management, tax planning, Social Security timing, insurance optimizationAges 50 and older
Dowling & Yahnke Wealth AdvisorsFinancial planning, investment management, estate planning, charitable giving, compensation analysis, education planningHouseholds with a minimum $1 million net worth
GuidedChoice Asset ManagementRetirement planningRetirement planning for all backgrounds
Physician Wealth ServicesFinancial planning, investment managementDoctors and their spouses
Pure Financial AdvisorsFinancial planning, investment managementInvestors with at least $187,500 in investable assets.
Rowling & AssociatesInvestments, taxes, financial planningFamilies and professionals looking for a sustainable (ESG) investment portfolio

How I came up with this list

There are many high-quality financial advisors in San Diego. This list is based on a combination of sources and factors. Major areas reviewed include customer reviews, assets under management, and services offered.

Fee-only, fiduciary financial planners

All advisors on this list offer fee-only financial planning services and act in a fiduciary capacity. That means you know exactly what you’ll be charged, there are no conflicts on interest due to commissions from third-party investment companies, and the advisor agrees to always work with your best interests in mind.

Strong reviews and positive customer feedback

While many factors of financial planning and investment advising are subjective, consistently positive customer reviews are a good indicator of a high-quality firm. I looked at reviews on Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List, Google, and the Better Business Bureau, among other sources. I also read many top advisor lists and award winners from both local and national publications.

Broad services offered for diverse backgrounds

Whether you have just a small nest egg or millions of dollars to invest, there’s a financial advisor in San Diego that could meet your needs.

What questions should you ask a financial advisor?

Financial advisors are paid professionals who help people manage their money. Through financial planning, wealth and investment management, tax planning and preparation, and other services, financial advisors play an important role in the finances of many households. If you are unsure about your investments, need help reaching financial goals, or just want a second set of eyes to confirm you’re making wise financial choices, a financial advisor could be right for you.

How can you help me improve my personal finances and investments?

Financial advisors may offer some specialized services or take a more general approach to your finances. Here are some of the most common financial advising services you’ll find:

  • Investment management – Investment management, sometimes called wealth management, is a service where advisors pick investments for you or help create your investment strategy.
  • Financial planning – With this service, advisors help you review your finances and create a plan for savings, investments, and spending to help you reach your financial goals.
  • Tax preparation – Some financial advisors offer tax services including planning to minimize taxes and preparation so you don’t have to worry about it yourself.

Are you a fiduciary advisor who avoids conflicts of interest?

Fiduciary duty means a financial advisor (or other professional) is obligated to put your best interests above their own. That means they are required to give you the best financial advice even if they make less money. As discussed above, working with a fee-only advisor helps avoid these conflicts. Choosing an advisor that also acts as a fiduciary helps ensure your needs are taken care of in the best way possible.

What are the costs of hiring a financial advisor?

Financial advisors can charge in several ways. The best type of advisor is a fee-only financial advisor. That means they are only paid predictable fees by you. In some cases, advisors can be paid in a way that creates a conflict of interest.

Some financial advisors receive commissions from investment or insurance companies for selling their products. While this could line-up with client needs some of the time, advisors under this model have an incentive to put your money into funds that might not be the best for your financial goals.

A fee-only financial advisor only charges client fees as an income source. Advisors under this pricing model avoid the conflicts of interest and can genuinely put your financial needs first.

Fee-only advisors often charge fees per meeting, per hour, or annual or monthly fees for ongoing support and services. For investments, many advisors charge a fee based on total assets under management.

Summary

Financial advisors are not required, but many people feel better or get a positive experience from working with a financial professional. While you don’t need an MBA or finance degree to manage your finances, many people simply feel more comfortable knowing a financial professional is looking out for their money.

The best financial advisor in San Diego is someone who will help you make the right financial choices, feel confident that your money is working for you, and answer all of your money questions. This list of the top financial advisors in San Diego is the best place to get started.

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About the author

Eric Rosenberg picture
Total Articles: 11
Eric Rosenberg is a finance, travel, and technology writer in Ventura, California. He is a former bank manager and corporate finance and accounting professional who left his day job in 2016 to take his online side hustle full-time. He has in-depth experience writing about banking, credit cards, investing, business, and other financial topics. When away from the keyboard, Eric enjoys exploring the world and spending time with his wife and kids. You can connect with him at Personal Profitability or EricRosenberg.com. He's also busy talking money on Twitter and YouTube.