Gary Cook


Gary Cook Financial Planning

Financial Advisor

Gary Cook


Gary Cook Financial Planning

Financial Advisor

As a fee-only financial planner, my focus is to offer unbiased financial advice to help you achieve your life goals. - Gary Cook, CFP®

(805) 705-5023

Fee-Only financial planner located in Santa Barbara, CA, serving clients locally and across the country

Gary Cook is a Santa Barbara, CA fee-only financial planner. Gary Cook Financial Planning provides comprehensive and objective financial planning to help clients organize, grow and protect their assets through life’s transitions. As a fee-only, fiduciary, and independent financial advisor, Gary Cook is never paid a commission of any kind, and has a legal obligation to provide unbiased and trustworthy financial advice.

Gary Cook is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional or CFP®. This rigorous credential is an assurance that you will receive sound advice provided by a professional with the education, experience and ethics to help you meet your goals.

Additionally, Gary is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA), which means he has passed the Series 65 exam and is registered with California’s Department of Business Oversight to provide advice about securities such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and exchange traded funds.

Gary completed the Professional Financial Planning Certification Program through UCSB, a comprehensive graduate-level education in all aspects of a healthy financial life. A graduate of Arizona State University with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, Gary has over 30 years of experience in technical, financial and management planning acquired through his tenure at ATK Space Systems, General Electric and the Boeing Company. Many years of Project Management experience honed the same skills needed for adept Financial Planning: thorough research, in-depth analysis, effective synthesis, creative problem solving and exceptional client communication. In addition, he owned a successful franchise operation with three locations on the Central Coast.

Gary has been mentored by Phil McKenna, CFP®, who has been serving clients through his own Financial Planning practice in Santa Barbara for more than 30 years.

He holds membership in NAPFA, the leading professional organization of Fee-Only Financial Advisors – highly trained professionals who are committed to working in the best interest of those they serve. Also, Gary is a member of the Garrett Planning Network, an association of hourly-based, Fee-Only Financial Planners who share a mission to make competent, objective advice accessible to all people.

Gary has been active in the Santa Barbara community by volunteering his time to support Habitat for Humanity and the Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition. His passion for travel has led him to explore 40 countries. He loves spending time with Holly, his wife of 38 years, and his two adult children, who have grown to appreciate his sound financial advice.

Financial Planning Services and Fees

Your current financial situation and future needs are as unique as you are. Together we will clarify what services and support you require, which means I provide just as much or as little financial planning and advice as will help you achieve your goals.

You can choose to hire me to conduct a Comprehensive Financial Plan or you can choose one or more specific areas of focus:

Focused Financial Services   

  • Investments - Initial Review and Balance   
  • Investments – Annual Follow-up Review and Rebalance   
  • Overhaul, Restructure, Consolidate Accounts   
  • Cash Flow Analysis   
  • Debt Reduction Plan  
  • Social Security Optimization Analysis   
  • Annuity Contract Review  
  • Pension Elections Planning   
  • House Sale, Refinance   
  • Estate Planning, Conceptual  
  • Insurance Review and Recommendations

An engagement typically take 4-10 hours.  My fee will reflect the actual time involved in meeting with you in person or over the phone, researching and analyzing your current situation, and providing specific recommendations. I will provide an estimate of fees at the end of the Get Acquainted Meeting, when we have fully identified your needs.

Because I provide my services on an hourly Fee-Only basis, this means you will never pay a commission or hidden fees. Nor will you ever pay for more financial planning and advice than you need. You will never need to meet an account minimum to work with me, I will never require that you turn over your assets for management, nor will you pay unneeded, ongoing fees.

Fee-Only, Fiduciary, Independent: Three Important Criteria to Consider When Choosing a Financial Advisor.


  • Comprehensive Financial Planning
  • Retirement Income Planning
  • Investment Management
  • College Education Planning
  • Tax Planning

Ideal Clients

  • Retirees and Near Retirees
  • Growing Families
  • Business Owners and Executives
  • Sudden Money Situations
  • Novice Investors

Working Together

  • In-Office Meetings
  • Virtual Meetings
  • Clearly Defined Fees
  • No Product Sales
  • Complimentary Initial Consultation

Professional Designations & Affiliations

  • Certified Financial Planner (CFP)
    Gary Cook is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professional - Click for Verification

    CFP® professionals are held to strict ethical standards to ensure financial planning recommendations are in your best interest. What’s more, a CFP® professional must acquire several years of experience related to delivering financial planning services to clients and pass the comprehensive CFP® Certification Exam before they can use the CFP® designation.

  • Garrett Planning Network - GPN
    Gary Cook is a member of the Garrett Planning Network. Click here to learn more.

    Everyone needs competent, objective financial advice from time to time. The Garrett Planning Network has a nationwide membership with hundreds of independent, Fee-Only financial planners providing advice to people from all walks of life, without minimum account requirements, sales commissions, or long-term commitments. Our members proudly embrace their fiduciary duty, always placing their clients' best interests first.

Contact Gary Cook

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Office Locations:

  • 709 Cathedral Pointe Ln
    Santa Barbara, CA 93111

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