You’ve worked hard to get to this point. You’re careful with your money and pretty conservative in how you invest in your future.

You’ve been through the Great Recession, maybe found your dream job, even have a 401k – you care about the world and you care about making a difference.

Time is tight and you don’t want to spend hours trying to figure out how to make the most of your hard-earned money- that’s why online money management tools are appealing. The trouble is, for as fast as they are, they can’t really know you on a human level. They’re making decisions based on a demographic, not a person with hopes and dreams and real goals for the future.

This is why you need to talk to us. We have the experience and wisdom you can trust to help you make better decisions about your finances. We’re upfront about our charges and really easy to talk to.

What have you got to lose? Well, without personalized guidance, pretty much everything.

Contact us here, we’d love to meet you.

What to look for in a financial advisor

First and most important – someone who listens to you. It’s not luck that’s kept us in business for over 20 years. We’re successful because we help our clients be successful, and we understand that we can’t do what we do without solid, trusted relationships – relationships with clients and their families, relationships that last, generation after generation.

There’s no secret sauce or black-box magic. It takes experience, hard work, and an almost fanatical focus on our clients’ best interests to do what we do.

Interested in our methodology and philosophy around investing and saving? Call us at 1-800-841-3823 or click here to send us a note, we’d love to get in touch and show you how we do what we do.


Thinking about retirement? (Select your age group)

Planning for retirement can be overwhelming. If you don’t know where to start, we’re here to help.


When you’re young, the thought of retirement will likely seldom enter your mind. Why would it? It all seems so far away. Yet, these are the years that have the greatest impact on your retirement. It’s important to be forward thinking and realistic in your planning. CFA can help you to get on the right track with things like…

  • Learning how to make a budget and stick to it
  • Keeping track of your liabilities, like student loans and car payments
  • Getting started with the right retirement fund for you
  • Starting a rainy day fund
  • Budgeting and planning for your first home purchase

Other important considerations to be made include:

Knowing how to evaluate employee benefits such as health insurance coverage, paid time off, 401(k) matches, etc.

Determining what “living within your means” means to you. Too often people in this age group rack up incredible amounts of debt that take decades to pay off, if ever.


You’re becoming more established in your career. Maybe you’re finding that special someone or building a family. There are more aspects of your life that are demanding your time and energy. With more than just your finances to worry about, there are things that you don’t need to figure out on your own like…

  • Formalizing and refining your investment strategy
  • Re-working your budget in order to accommodate changing priorities and lifestyle
  • Switching up your retirement plan to better fit your new goals
  • Determining how much to save vs. how much to spend

Questions for this stage of life may include…

  • What kind of life insurance policy is appropriate for your situation?
  • How do your dependents fit into your financial plan?
  • How many luxury items/vacations can you afford?
  • What are some of the benefits I should be looking for in my career?
  • Where should I be allocating my income?


You’re in the latter half of your career. Your financial outlook is becoming clearer. If you have kids, you begin to launch them into their own lives. This is the time to revisit your financial plan and really take a look at what you can do to help transition into retirement as smoothly as possible. Luckily, CFA can advise on topics like…

  • Anticipating and accommodating potential liabilities
  • Developing strategies to maximize retirement contributions
  • Funding your children’s education
  • Managing expenses which typically peak during this age range

Some things you should inquire about are…

Do you have an adequate health insurance policy for issues later in life?

  • Do you have all of your information together and organized in one easy, secure location for the sake of my spouse/kids?
  • Are you on track with your retirement goals?


You’re in the homestretch and your time in the workforce could be coming to a close. This is the critical time to see if any final adjustments need to be made so that your retirement is just as amazing as you want it to be. Thankfully, we know just how to do that by…

  • Considering all income options available in order to maintain your standard of living
  • Making the step up in your retirement contributions
  • Reviewing your long-term care needs
  • Making investment changes to preserve your income
  • Running Monte Carlo simulations to determine the likelihood of success during your retirement

Remember to ask yourself…

  • Do you need to make any changes to your estate?
  • Have you reviewed your assets and liabilities?
  • Are there any outstanding liabilities that you can pay off before retiring?


You’ve done your job, you have earned your time for leisure, and you’ve raised your family right. Now, let us make sure that your family’s future is as financially secure as you are by…

  • Reviewing your estate changes and beneficiary decisions

Including your children in the planning process – The more they know the better prepared they’ll be to handle your material assets. And get prepared by assembling all your important information in one secure place.

Our Philosophy

We believe the foundation of our practice begins with the highest ethical standards. Commitment to this principle guides everything we do and engenders relationships with our clients that go beyond surface-level investment management.

We take the time to get to know our clients, their values, and their goals in order to offer the best financial advice possible. This is why CFA enjoys an industry-low client turnover rate of only 1.8%. According to proprietary data from 2011 to 2015, 98.2% of our clients remain with their advisor, allowing for a continuity of service that supports “big picture” strategy.

Because we’re a Registered Investment Advisory firm, we operate as fiduciaries. This means that we will always work in our client’s best interests; we never give advice we wouldn’t take ourselves. It’s an honor to help our clients reach their goals, and we accomplish this by recommending a course of action that not only helps the performance of the portfolio but also supports the priorities of everyday life.

To take a more in-depth look at the services we specialize in, click the boxes below:

Comprehensive Financial Planning

Whether you’re preparing to buy your first car or you’re on the cusp of retirement, it all starts with a plan. We don’t rush the fundamentals, so we take the time to gather all the details about our client’s financial profile and objectives. Then we design an all-encompassing plan that focuses on long-term strategy. Our plans feature details about current net worth, yearly cash flow, tax liability estimations, and account value projections. They are comprehensive and sophisticated, yet user-friendly and responsive to client needs. The models that we use demonstrate the implications of any given financial decision so that an informed decision can be made on the best option. We collaborate with our clients in a bilateral process.

It’s around this plan that we tailor our investment recommendations. If it doesn’t make sense for the plan, we won’t propose it as a viable investment.

Global Asset Allocation

The accumulation and management of wealth starts with a plan. And at the core of that plan must be an investment strategy. Global Asset Allocation is a method of investing that diversifies a portfolio’s holdings in order to balance risk and reward. Our experienced, knowledgeable advisors believe that the best results from this practice come with deep familiarity of their client’s financial profile, their time horizon, and their financial goals. Because no two people are exactly alike we don’t give out boilerplate recommendations based upon risk profiles or superficial questionnaires. We believe that individual clients are complex and that they evolve over time. Accordingly, our investment philosophy is such that it’s not appropriate to classify an investor’s risk tolerance as strictly “aggressive”, “moderate”, or “conservative”.

Therefore, the portfolios our advisors construct for their clients are as unique as they are. Since we’re a fee-based Registered Investment Advisory firm, we’re not obliged nor compensated to recommend any specific investment product. Instead, we look for cost efficient no-load mutual funds employing a long-term investment outlook. This approach, in conjunction with continual monitoring of asset performance, allows for the implementation of an effective yet flexible portfolio; giving our portfolios the ability to accommodate changes in the marketplace as well as individual investor needs.

Wealth Management

Managing one’s wealth entails more than just choosing the right investment; it requires comprehensive attention to all aspects of an individual’s financial profile. CFA takes a holistic approach to wealth management where our advisors collaborate with their clients to identify and manage all aspects of their financial strategy. We work directly with our clients’ tax, insurance, and estate planning professionals to properly manage the accumulation and distribution of assets.

Legacy Planning

As the old saying goes, you can’t take it with you. But unless your beneficiaries are familiar with your financial plans, they may not know what to do, whom to call, or when to act when the time comes. CFA advisors practice an integrative model of financial planning that seeks to avoid this stressful, confusing, and expensive scenario by including your family and significant others in your financial planning process. This way they’re well-informed and prepared to manage your legacy. Ask us how – we can help.

About us

CFA is a partnership of seasoned advisors with experience totaling over 150 years. Our clients cover just about every age group and have a wide array of individual needs and comfort levels.

Michael Maloon

Michael F. Maloon is a Financial Planner and Principal of California Financial Advisors in San Ramon. Mr. Maloon earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from California State University, Hayward in 1986. The following year, he completed his M.B.A. degree in Financial Planning from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.

He received his Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation from the College for Financial Planning in 1989. He also earned his Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designations from The American College in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.

Mr. Maloon has taught Financial Planning at the Graduate School of Business of Golden Gate University. He has spoken at seminars and has published articles on a wide variety of financial planning issues. He is a contributor to The Wall Street Journal.

Michael enjoys traveling off the beaten path, ranging from camping in the Peruvian rainforest to chasing solar eclipses in Africa. He likes to chase the stars as well and is a member of a number of astronomy clubs. He also coaches in the Tri-Valley Babe Ruth League.

Michael and his wife live in the San Ramon Valley with their three children.

Check the background of this investment professional on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

Thomas Powers

Thomas J. Powers is a Financial Planner and Principal of California Financial Advisors. Mr. Powers graduated from California State University, Chico, in 1988 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Finance. He received his Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation from The American College in 1991. Mr. Powers received his Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation in 1993 and his Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation in 1994.

Mr. Powers specializes in working with corporate managers and executives in planning for retirement, utilizing stock options and deferred compensation plans, and the management of retirement and other investment assets. Mr. Powers has been a featured speaker at numerous financial planning seminars in the Bay Area.

He has been very active in his local community as a past board member and chairperson of the Pleasanton Chamber of Commerce. He spent many years as both a youth hockey coach and little league baseball coach. He has also taken a lead role in the effort to make ice hockey an official high school sport.

His oldest child is currently attending DePaul University in Chicago and his youngest will be graduating from high school in 2017. His wife of 24 years, Patty, works as a corporate event planner for Beets Hospitality Group in Livermore. The family enjoys traveling and are avid San Jose Sharks Fans, having been season ticket holders for nearly 20 years.

Check the background of this investment professional on FINRA’s BrokerCheck.

Mark Pitre

Mark A. Pitre is a Financial Planner and Principal of California Financial Advisors in San Ramon. Mr. Pitre earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from the University of San Francisco in 1986, and his Masters in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from the University of San Francisco in 1988.

He received his Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation from the College for Financial Planning in Denver, Colorado in 1992. He is also a member of the Financial Planning Association (FPA).

Mr. Pitre has taught Risk Management and Personal Financial Planning for the Graduate School of Business at Golden Gate University, located in Los Altos, California. He has also been quoted numerous times in The Wall Street Journal and Bottom Line Personal Finance.

Mark enjoys spending time with his family and is a lifelong fan of the San Francisco Giants.

Licenses: Series 7, Series 63, Series 65, Series 26, State of California Insurance License

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Michelle Perry Higgins

As a Financial Planner and Principal of California Financial Advisors in San Ramon, California, Michelle Perry Higgins specializes in wealth management. Since 1996 she has built a successful practice advising executive professionals into retirement, and her passion for finance has helped hundreds of individuals better understand the process of investing and fiscal planning. Ms. Higgins works with many AT&T and Chevron managers/executives and has extensive knowledge with their benefit plans.

Ms. Higgins was ranked in the Top 50 Women-Owned RIAs in 2013, Top 25 Women RIAs in 2012, 2014 and 2015, and Top 40 Under 40 by Also, she was awarded the 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Five Star Wealth Manager Award, Diablo Magazine. She has appeared on CNBC, CBS and Fox, quoted in, Forbes, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times and more. Ms. Higgins is a regular contributor on The Wall Street Journal Expert Panel. She is a frequent public speaker on retirement planning, investments, wealth management, college education funding, estate planning, and insurance. In addition, she has published three Amazon Best Sellers: The Everything Binder: Financial, Estate and Personal Affairs Organizer, Stocks, Bonds & Soccer Moms: 7 Steps to a Balanced Life, and College Poor No More! 100 $avings Tips for College Students (100% of her profits from the sale of this book are donated to scholarships).

Ms. Higgins graduated from Saint Mary’s College with a concentration in Business Administration and Economics. Currently, she is on both the Saint Mary’s College Women’s Leadership Council and the Saint Mary’s Board of Regents as it is her passion to give back by mentoring young women and helping to raise scholarship funds.

Ms. Higgins enjoys spending time with her husband and their two daughters.

Join Michelle:

Twitter: @RetirementMPH



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Jonathan Becker

Jonathan L. Becker is a Financial Planner with California Financial Advisors. Mr. Becker received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Stanford University in 1976, his Juris Doctor degree from UC Davis in 1979, and his MBA from the University of Hawaii in 2003. Mr. Becker was an editor and writer for the UC Davis Law Review. He is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma International Business Honor Society.

Mr. Becker helps clients navigate the pre-retirement (accumulation) and post-retirement (distribution) phases of their financial lives, recognizing that the two phases require different approaches, not just to the structure of portfolios but also to how clients think about their money. Mr. Becker believes that structuring portfolios should be informed by financial planning that takes into account variables such as spending patterns, taxation, social security, corporate and public pensions and executive compensation.

Jonathan likes to play tennis and attend football games at Stanford Stadium with his son (whose art can be seen at Jonathan is active in the Stanford East Bay community. He is a supporter of the Lindsay Wildlife Museum in Walnut Creek.

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John Cordano

John A. Cordano is a Financial Planner with California Financial Advisors. Mr. Cordano earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from California State University, Chico, in 1992. While at the university, he also completed the Financial Planning curriculum authorized by the International Board of Standards and Practices for Certified Financial Planners (IBCFP).

He received his Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation from The American College based in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania in 1997. He also earned his Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) designation from The American College in 2016.

Mr. Cordano specializes in working with corporate employees and executives in planning for retirement and managing their wealth. He focuses on helping clients evaluate their pre and post-retirement planning goals by utilizing customized financial analysis and portfolio management. John has been a featured speaker at numerous financial planning, investment and retirement planning seminars throughout the Bay Area. He also has been published in The Wall Street Journal’s real estate publication, and has been selected as a Five Star Wealth Manager from 2011 – 2016, which are featured in the November issue of Diablo Magazine.

John enjoys spending time with his family, traveling and attending Bay Area sporting events.

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Raymond Tan

Raymond Tan is a Financial Planner with California Financial Advisors. Mr. Tan graduated from California State University, Hayward in 1987 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Marketing. He received his Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) designation from The American College based in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania in 1997.

Mr. Tan has been a featured speaker at numerous seminars in the area and has spoken at the Hayward Financial Management Association at California State University. He is a member of the American Society of ChFC.

When he can get away, Ray enjoys exploring distant lands including Costa Rica and Asia. He is also involved in coaching youth soccer.

Ray and his wife live in Auburn with their two children.

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Our Environmental Savings Strategy


At California Financial Advisors, we know that being environmentally responsible is just as important as being fiscally knowledgeable. For this reason, we chose a LEED Certified office, constructed using environmentally sustainable building practices and with energy efficient lighting so that we can reduce our carbon footprint. We also offer all of our clients a paperless reporting option so that they can keep track of their investments without damaging the world’s forests.

Investing in the Next Generation

CFA Next Generation

For over 20 years CFA has helped make its clients financial goals a reality. The knowledge and experience we’ve gained is something we’re very proud to be able to pass down to the next generation. CFA prides itself on hiring paid interns throughout the year so that young professionals can learn about financial advising strategies, ask questions, and get real career experience. We understand that today’s young adults will be tomorrow’s financial advisors, and we believe we must continue to invest in our population’s future to truly succeed.

Contact us

Get in contact with us here or call 1-800-841-3823.
We look forward to hearing from you. Check the background of this firm on FINRA's BrokerCheck

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