Michael Chamberlain

Retirement, Investing, Lifestage Based Planning
“Mike Chamberlain is a "fee-only" Registered Investment Advisor helping individuals, couples and families to balance current needs with future goals from the offices in Sacramento, santa Cruz and Los Gatos CA.”

Chamberlain Financial Planning and Wealth Management

Job Title:



Michael Chamberlain has been helping people to make better financial decisions to improve their lives since the 1980’s. Chamberlain Financial Planning was established in 2007 to assist people on a fee-only basis, which means that we do not sell investments or insurance, unlike 95% of other firms.

Michael's education includes both Bachelors and Doctorate degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. Accredited Investment Fiduciary course work was from The Center for Fiduciary Studies at the University of Pittsburgh and CFP® course work was from Boston University.

Michael lives in Santa Cruz with his life partner, Patty, but most of his family is in Sacramento. His daughter Cathi, her husband and three kids, his two brothers and Mom and Dad are all living there. In 2009, Michael opened a branch office in Sacramento so that he could visit with his family more frequently. His son Mitch lives in Austin Texas with his wife and two little girls.

Sailing is one of Michael's life passions. It is a great way to get in touch with nature and he is fortunate enough to have a sailboat at the Santa Cruz harbor.


Doctorate, UC Berkeley

Assets Under Management:

$125 million

Fee Structure:


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December 2016
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    Financial Planning, Investing, Asset Allocation, Mutual Funds
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    Retirement, 401(k), IRAs
What could I gain from rolling over a 401(k) into an IRA while already in retirement?
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Drum roll please! And the answer is... it depends!

If your 401(k) is from a large corporation, it may have low fees and really good investment options than if you had you been with a small company. The reason is that small business owners are more concerned with keeping the company going then to spend time on making the 401(k) great. Big companies have more resources and some 401(k) plans like at Apple are really good.

I do not know your age, what income you have, nor your expenses or your family situation, so giving investment advice specific to you cannot happen.

You say your Fidelity advisor is pushing you to roll over the 401(k). So, the all-important question is “will the advisor and Fidelity benefit from the rollover?” Are you paying Fidelity to manage your IRA? If the answer is yes, then when you roll the 401(k) into the IRA, the management fee will (in most cases) be higher. This could be a reason to not roll it over!

The next question would be to review the investment options in the 401(k) and compare them to what is in your IRA accounts. Some 401(k) plans have investment options outside of Fidelity. If you were to roll the 401(k) over to an IRA, the Fidelity advisor might suggest more Fidelity funds, which could be a conflict of interest since Fidelity would benefit from more Mutual Fund fees.

After understanding a clients situation, I often suggest that those retirees that have a 401(k) via Fidelity to roll it over to an IRA so that we can have improved investment options and with lower fees than what is in the 401(k).

My advice to you would be to ask more questions and to read the following articles.

9 Considerations Before Rolling Over Your 401(k)


Busting 5 Financial Myths


Good luck!


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    401(k), Annuities, Peri-Retirement
Should I transfer 401(k) funds into an annuity?
100% of people found this answer helpful
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    Social Security
Will my reduced payments become permanent if I elect for early Social Security benefits?
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last month
    Retirement Savings, Social Security, Peri-Retirement
Does delaying Social Security benefits take into account the loss of compounding retirement savings?
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    Investing, International / Global, Stocks
How much should I have allocated in international equities?
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