Meet Our Team

Steve Branton, CFP, is a senior financial planner at Mosaic Financial Partners, a wealth management firm in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Prior to joining the team at Mosaic, Steve was an Associate Advisor at Hilltop Advisors LLC. He received his Bachelors in Economics from Tulane University and completed his financial planning studies at Southern Methodist University. He is a Certified Financial Planner™ professional. Steve is involved in a variety of planning-related charities and volunteer organizations, including the Horizons Foundation and SF Financial Planning Days.

Steve specializes in working with couples and singles whose financial situations don’t fit the mold, including same sex couples, unmarried couples, domestic partners, and divorced or widowed clients. He holds the Accredited Domestic Partner Advisor designation, which provides him with additional education and training on the special financial and legal issues that couples experience when their relationships don’t have federal recognition. Steve has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and the San Francisco Business Times in relation to the financial implications for couples that recent Supreme court decisions have brought to the forefront.

Originally from Dallas, Texas, Steve relocated to the Bay Area in 2007. Before beginning his career in financial planning, Steve explored a variety of careers, including Spanish court interpreter, film and television location manager and staff assistant at the National Geographic Magazine in Washington D.C.


  • LGBT families/Individuals
  • Single and divorced clients
  • Marriage and domestic partnership

In The News 

Thomson Reuters / August 21, 2017

Doubling Down: Levaraged ETFs Offer Promise - and Danger

If individual investors are tempted to dabble in speculative investments, Reuters notes that they should follow Steve's practical advice and place a cap on use as a percentage of their total portfolio:

If you limit it to 10 percent, suggests San Francisco financial planner Steve Branton, then you contain any potential damage. Then, even if you lose it all in a worst-case scenario, the rest of your retirement funds would remain on course.


InvestmentNews / August 17, 2017

More Than a Decade Later, Housing Bust Still Hurts

National home prices have yet to rise above their 2006 peak, and advisors are still working to address the aftereffects of the housing collapse. Locally, it's a different story. Steve notes that Bay Area prices have soared, but that he still works with clients who have second homes in other states that will never recover.


NerdWallet / July 18, 2017

How Immigrants Can Plan a Comfortable Retirement

NerdWallet editors interviewed Steve on the main challenges immigrants face when planning for retirement, including contributing to social security, compliance reporting, and estate planning.


FinancialPlanning / July 5, 2017

Should I... Report Elder Abuse?

What happens if you notice signs that your client is experiencing symptoms of elder abuse? What if this treatment is from a family member? Writer Ingrid Case ponders these questions and more, quoting Steve in the process:

Steve Branton, a senior planner at Mosaic Financial Partners in San Francisco, California, found out when a client’s best friend told him that she thought her son was trying to take control of her funds. Branton’s client called Adult Protective Services about the situation, and the agency interviewed the woman’s son. “That put the son on notice that he was on someone’s radar, and they’ve had no problems since,” Branton says.


MassMutual / June 21, 2017

Cultural Competency: How Advisors Can Gain

In order to demonstrate cultural competency and cultivate a genuine connection with clients, advisors need to establish and maintain an authentic link with the communities they serve. Steve has been quoted extensively by Shelly Gigante in MassMutual's industry-facing blog:

“We have a large number of clients who are LGBT couples and/or Jewish, and in any practice the danger is that an advisor might say something like, ‘I have a Jewish friend,” or “I have a gay neighbor in my building,” which is done to make the client feel at ease, but it ends up making everyone feel awkward,” said Branton. “Our approach was to donate to various organizations and get involved.”

“There’s an opportunity there to build out your marketing plan and Internet presence in a way that shows the demographic you want to reach that you’re doing something meaningful, not just surfacy,” he said, noting such outreach initiatives yield a secondary benefit as well. “You learn a lot about the culture as you interact with members of that community, so when you meet with your clients it helps to deepen that connection.”

“Most financial planners are really in this business to help people,” said Branton. “If we really want to do that we need to spend the time and energy to get into our client’s shoes; to make them feel more comfortable.”


NerdWallet / March 31, 2017

How to Pay for Expensive Transgender Surgeries

There are approximately 1.4 million transgender people in the United States, and if they choose to have gender confirmation surgeries as part of their transition, they will likely be facing steep medical bills that may not be covered by their health insurance. Steve offers advice on financing options in this article by Emily Starbuck Crone published on the International Transgender Day of Visibility.

Syndicated to CBS News, The Oklahoman, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, WHIO, and the Palm Beach Post.


NerdWallet / March 3, 2017

6 Tips for Buying a Starter Home in the Bay Area

Looking for your first home? Let your budget and minimum requirements guide your expectations, develop criteria about when to make offers, and don't forget your goals. Steve Branton understands the drivers impacting the real estate market in the San Francisco Bay Area, and he has 6 tips for the uninitiated.  

Syndicated to Metro New York, SFGate, San Antonio Express-News, Atlanta Journal-Consitution, the Palm Beach Post, and The Ledger.


Financial Advisor / August 24, 2016

Advisors Find Value In Hedge Funds Despite Bad Press 

Financial advisors cite diversification and alpha as two important reasons to add select hedge funds to a client's portfolio, despite the bad press hedge funds have been receiving in general. They stress that risk tolerance must be analysed. Steve is quoted in this article by Juliette Fairley, stressing due diligence: “We do a Finametrica survey to try and gauge the risk appetite of our risk-aggressive clients, then incorporate it into their investment policy statement."


Zing! Blog / August 19, 2016

5 Financial Moves to Make Before Turning 30

"To ensure you enter your 30s on the right track with your money, consider these five expert-recommended moves before you blow out your birthday candles."  Emily Starbuck Crone writes about money moves for the late twenties for Zing! Blog by Quicken Loans; the expert she consulted and quotes throughout the piece is Mosaic's Steve Branton.


Financial Advisor IQ / August 3, 2016

Tips on Cost-Effective (and Smart) Marketing

Doing a little pro bono work for friends can lead to enthusiastic referrals, Steve tells writer Thomas Coyle. "Beneficiaries of pro bono work see your passion and desire to help." Not only does this method strengthen Steve's business practice, but it enhances his personal relationships as well. 


NerdWallet / July 27, 2016 

Money Crossing Borders Requires Special Planning

If you move between countries, your money will have to, too.  Steve offers a primer on the topic areas associated with cross-border planning, and notes that the "potential pitfalls associated with cross-border financial transactions can range from severe penalties for failing to pay taxes properly, to banks simply refusing to move money between domestic and foreign accounts without draconian levels of verification." If you're thinking of moving to another part of the world, consult a professional to properly protect your financial interests, and to avoid as many headaches as possible during your transition.

Syndicated to SF Gate, My San Antonio, The Atlanta Journal Constitution, Palm Beach Daily News, Austin-American Statesman, WHIOJournal News, and NewsOK. / June 25, 2016

LGBT Americans Feel Worse About Their Finances Than They Did 4 Years Ago

A year ago, the Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal throughout the United States. Over 120,000 couples have wed since the landmark decision, but as Alexandra Mondalek writes in Money Magazine, a section of "there's one big area where LGBT Americans ...lag: their finances." Steve Branton, Senior Financial Planner at Mosaic, weighs in on what factors may influence this data. 

Kiplinger's Personal Finance / May 2016

New Rules Let Investors Buy Shares of Crowdfunded Startup Firms

Would-be investors considering crowdfunding a startup should think less about hitting the jackpot and more about their financial plan, notes Steve to Anne Kates Smith.

This article was originally published in the May issue of Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine; it syndicated to


Nerdwallet / February 10, 2016

Equity Crowdfunding: Cool Concept, But Should You Invest?

Crowdfunding is the current hot way to source funding from the public collective. But is it right for your portfolio? Steve weighs the pros and cons.

The article syndicated to Nasdaq, CS Monitor,  NewsOK, and the Chicago Tribune.

Medical Economics / January 25, 2016

Not Married? Protect your finances, STAT!

Steve Branton weighs in on pro forma tax returns, and how they might benefit unmarried individuals in long-term, committed relationships who are close to retirement. By Janet Kidd Stewart for Medical Economics.


Nerdwallet / November 25, 2015

Don't Let Holiday Gift Giving Derail Your Financial Plan

Although delighting your loved ones with gifts can be exciting, no one likes a credit card hangover in January, or the feeling of having overextended yourself at the expense of your own long-term planning goals. Learn ways to set cash aside for gifts.

This article syndicated to Nasdaq.


Nerdwallet / September 15, 2015

Expecting Kids in Bay Area? Understand the Real Costs

Steve Branton discusses the real cost of raising a child in the Bay area.


Investors Business Daily/ September 11, 2015

Millennial Bait: What Financial Advisors Use

Steve Branton talked about millennials and the importance of utilizing communication methods that speak to their unique view in today's financial market.


StockOpter / NerdWallet  / July 28, 2015

Steve Branton chimes on why you shouldn’t have too much of your company stock.


The Dallas Morning news / PressReader / July 20 2015

Financial implications of the same-sex ruling  for older couples

Implications of same-sex decision for older couples

Steve Branton is quoted on the impact of a recent ruling and its impact on a variety of couples.


Senior Financial Planner
Mosaic Financial Partners

September 2011 – Present

Associate Advisor
Hilltop Advisors LLC

January 2010 – September 2011

Client Service Manager
Hilltop Advisors LLC

January 2008 – December 2009

Project Manager, Client Service
Tizoc's International

March 2001 – December 2005