The 7 Best San Diego Financial Advisors (2020 Update)

We are retirement and tax planning experts. Our typical client is a diligent saver over age 50 who has accumulated a nest egg of $750,000 or more. Knowing we don't have the right expertise for every situation, the following post highlights other San Diego financial advisors I respect.
The 7 Best San Diego Financial Advisors (2020 Update)

Who are the best San Diego financial advisors?

Glad you asked!

In today’s post, I want to highlight a few that I have come to respect and admire.

“You. Have. Lost. Your. Mind.” -Taylor’s wife

First, grab these free resources:

  1. The 7 Best Questions to Ask a Financial Advisor
  2. The 10 Biggest Mistakes to Avoid When Hiring a Financial Advisor [PDF]
  3. The Letter Your Broker Won’t Sign [Sample Template]

While I would love to help everyone in San Diego reduce taxes, invest smarter, and make work optional in retirement, I recognize that we aren’t always the best fit.

Perhaps a young professional needs help navigating student loan debt.

Or, an investor is looking for someone to actively trade stocks and predict the future  😬

Whatever the reason, if we don’t have the expertise to help, I will recommend other financial advisors in San Diego.

After all, you wouldn’t see a Neurosurgeon if you needed heart surgery.

How I Connected With the Top Financial Planners in San Diego

Having been a San Diego financial planner for over a decade, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know a number of my fellow financial advisors both personally and professionally.

Some of us connected over a craft beer after work. Other friendships were formed while giving back to our community and profession and doing things such as:

  • Sitting on the Financial Planning Program Advisory Council at San Diego State University (SDSU)
  • Providing pro-bono financial planning work to our community through the San Diego Financial Literacy Center
  • Speaking at financial advisor conferences around the country

I’ve met some talented professionals who do great work for their clients. And, today, I want to share them with you along with a short blurb from their website.

Disclaimer: This list is not intended to be exhaustive. This is just my opinion and not a testimonial or endorsement of these advisors.

The 7 Best San Diego Financial Advisors to Consider in 2020

Steven Fox, Next Gen Financial Planning – North Park, San Diego, CA

We believe that financial planning is an ongoing and collaborative process that starts with a discussion of your values and goals, and results in concrete action steps that we work on together to help you align your finances with a life you love. Maybe your goals include starting a business, paying off your student loans, traveling around the world to watch the Olympics every four years, climbing the highest peak on all seven continents, buying a beach house, opening a charity to help homeless dogs find families, or something else entirely. We’ll help you figure out what it takes to get to where you want to be, even if it’s a bit off the beaten path.”

Mary Beth Storjohann,  Workable Wealth – Chula Vista, CA

“I utilize a fun and educational approach in working with professional and entrepreneurial women, young couples and families, and military families to help you organize, gain confidence and build security in your financial life. When it comes to money and finances, education and compassion are key. I make sure to talk through any topics you don’t understand, organize information in a way that makes sense, always look out for your best interest, never judge, and even when it’s tough, tell you the things you may need to hear.”

Scott Frank, Stone Steps Financial – Encinitas, CA

“I’m passionate about helping clients understand their current financial situation and clarify their goals. Together, we create a plan to get them on their path and hold them accountable along the way. I founded Stone Steps to provide people like you and me with comprehensive financial planning designed to help you plan better and live better.”

Cady North, North Financial Advisors – Downtown, San Diego, CA

“My parents were small business owners, and I learned to balance a business checkbook by the age of 13. I spent more than a decade advising high-level executives of Fortune 500 companies while working for industry giants such as Bloomberg and Financial Executives International. I then took the leap to start my own business helping women and entrepreneurs plan for their futures.”

Jon Beyrer, Blankinship & Foster – Solana Beach, CA

“Jon has been helping clients with their financial affairs since 2001. He joined Blankinship & Foster in 2003. Jon serves as a lead advisor, specializing in helping busy families bring together all the aspects of their finances. Jon is a partner and is the firm’s Chief Compliance Officer.”

Paul Hynes, Hearthstone Wealth Management – Del Mar, CA

“As President, CEO, and Founder of HearthStone | Private Wealth Management, I’m dedicated to making financial security as accessible and transparent as possible. This is my passion. I worked at a traditional brokerage firm for 22 years. That led me to search for a better model— one that would put the interests of clients first. That’s why I launched HearthStone. We only provide financial advice. We don’t have any other agenda, such as dealing in products or commissions.”

James Canole, Root Financial Partners – Encinitas, CA

“If you’re like most of the people I work with then you’ve done a good job of saving and investing over the years, but you aren’t fully confident you’re doing everything you can to maximize what you have. I focus on helping people who are within a few years of retirement navigate that transition so they can be confident they’re making the right choices along the way.”

How Define Financial is Different from Other Financial Planners in San Diego

There are three things that separate Define Financial from other firms you might be considering:

  1. We exclusively provide retirement planning to individuals over the age of 50. We are retirement specialists helping our clients preserve wealth and create a reliable income stream.
  2. We focus heavily on tax planning to help our clients reduce taxes in retirement. Believe it or not, you could have a higher tax bill in retirement than as a working professional.
  3. We intentionally limit the number of new clients we take on to deliver massive value and personalized service. Here is how we helped Mark and Jennifer make work optional in retirement.

If there is a potential fit between our expertise and your situation, consider getting a Free Retirement Checkup.

What do the Best Financial Advisors All Have in Common?

While the financial advisors above work with different types of clients, specialize in different areas, and have wildly different personalities, they have three things in common that I believe are really important:

  1. They are fee-only. Remember, fee-only and fee-based are NOT the same.
  2. They adhere to the Fiduciary Standard 100% of the time. Unfortunately, most financial advisors only adhere to the Fiduciary Standard some of the time, if at all.
  3. They are a CFP® Professional or a candidate for the CFP® certification. CFP® Professionals are required to have a college degree, pass a rigorous exam, meet certain experience criteria, and more.

As mentioned, this list is not intended to be exhaustive. It’s critical that you continue to do your homework to identify a financial advisor in San Diego that is a good fit for you.

Additional Resources For Finding a Financial Planner in Your Area

If you agree that the criteria above are important, you can consider the following websites to continue your search and due diligence:

To further assist in your search, be sure to download the free guides mentioned at the beginning of this article.

Use them to interview at least three financial planners who appear to be a good fit for your financial situation.

What If I Can’t Afford to Hire a Financial Planner?

Everyone deserves access to quality financial advice. If you don’t have the means to pay a professional, consider pro bono financial planning.

There are two good resources for pro bono financial planning:

  1. Foundation for Financial Planning [National]
  2. San Diego Financial Literacy Center [Local]

The CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professionals at Define Financial are proud supporters of the San Diego Financial Literacy Center and their pro bono events.

We have donated countless hours to helping the local community improve their financial lives.

san diego financial advisor

Taylor Schulte, CFP® doing pro bono financial planning work at an SDFLC event.

Favorite Questions to ask a Financial Advisor Before Hiring Them

Don’t have time to read through my nerdy resources? Here are my three favorite questions:

  1. Are you a Fiduciary 100% of the time?
  2. Who do you specialize in working with and what value do you provide to them?
  3. How are you compensated?

If these basic questions can’t be answered clearly and concisely, you might choose to end the meeting early.

Remember, you are making a huge life decision when hiring a financial planner and the process should not be taken lightly.

If you have any questions, please call our office at (858) 345-1197.