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Benjamin Dunbar, CFP® CPWA®

Managing Partner



Ben Dunbar is a Managing Partner at Gerber Kawasaki Wealth & Investment Management. He is also a Certified Financial Planner and Certified Private Wealth Advisor.

There exists a small subset of individuals who – from the day they take their first breath on earth - seem preternaturally perfectly-suited for a specific career. Ben Dunbar was an investor before he could legally drive a car. At thirteen years old, he worked six days a week, earning and saving money as a Little League umpire. By the time he was fifteen, he'd amassed a kid fortune of $15,000. (The average American saves just over $16,000 during their entire lifetime.)

His stock broker grandfather encouraged Ben to invest the savings. Even though he'd yet to take a high school economics class, Ben naturally did what any good Warren-Buffett-in-training would do: he went out and kicked the tires of a few companies. One beaten-down pizza chain was introducing a new line of products. Given that the location was too remote for a bike, Ben asked his mom to drive him to the restaurant so he could sample the reimagined pies. Satisfied after sampling, Ben decided to invest his hard-earned money in the company: Domino's Pizza. While most of his peers were dropping nickels in their piggy banks, Ben went long on Dominoes stock at $13, then sold it at $90 for a 700% profit. Obviously, ka-ching was Ben's thing.

In Japanese culture, Yoichi Senpai describes a mentor who is younger than the students s/he is assigned to instruct. Ben is often the most knowledgeable person in a room full of financial professionals twice his age, hence his GK colleagues' term of endearment for him: “grandpa”. As reward for his unrivaled performance as an advisor, Ben has taken on managerial responsibilities at Gerber Kawasaki and is often invited to share his investment insights on top financial media outlets such as CNBC and Bloomberg TV. He was also recently tapped to lead the firm's growing ESG/Socially Responsible Investment team.

Ben's ancestral roots in Southern California are both wide and deep. He grew up Palos Verdes and earned his BA in Finance in San Luis Obispo. Bump into anyone in Palos Verdes and Ben claims “there's a 100% success rate that they'll know the Dunbars.” Annual family vacations with literally dozens of Dunbars are not uncommon. When he's not crunching investment data, Ben can be found surfing, snowboarding or donating his time and financial expertise to his alma mater, Cal Poly.

CA Insurance Lic:#0K02824

Designation Disclaimers

Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®) certification is an advanced professional certification for advisors who serve high-net-worth clients. It's designed for seasoned professionals who seek the latest, most advanced knowledge and techniques to address the sophisticated needs of clients with a minimum net worth of $5 million. Unlike credentials that focus specifically on investing or financial planning, the CPWA® certification program takes a holistic and multidisciplinary approach.


Minimum qualifications to obtain and maintain the CPWA® certification include: Bachelor's degree from an accredited college or university or one of the following designations or licenses: CIMA, CIMC, CFA, CFP, ChFC or CPA license; A satisfactory record of ethical conduct, as determined by IMCA's Admissions Committee; Five years of professional client-centered experience in financial services or a related industry; Six-month pre-study educational component; In-class program at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business, or online program through Yale School of Management; Final exam for in-class portion (online, proctored); and continued education training of 40 hours every two years.

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and CFP® (with plaque design) in the United States, which it authorizes use of by individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.

For more than 30 years, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification has been the standard of excellence for financial planners. CFP® professionals have met extensive training and experience requirements, and commit to CFP Board's ethical standards that require them to put their clients' interests first.

Candidates for the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification must have a bachelor’s degree (or higher) from an accredited college or university and three years of full-time personal financial planning experience or the equivalent part-time experience (2,000 hours equals one year full-time). Designation training requirements for the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification include completion of a CFP-board registered program, or hold one of the following: Certified Public Accountant (CPA); Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC); Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU); Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA); Ph.D. in financial planning, finance, business administration or economics; Doctor of Business Administration; or attorney's license. Following completion of the course requirements, applicants must complete a proctored final certification exam and continuing education of 30 hours every two years.


January 5, 2024

Ben Dunbar - How To Have The "Money Talk" With Your Kids | Gerber Kawasaki

There’s no easy way to have “the money talk” with your kids, but it’s important to make sure they understand the necessity of creating a financial plan. Check in with Financial Advisor Ben Dunbar to find out the best way to talk to your kids about saving money.

June 21, 2022

Value of a financial adviser clear, questions remain about Social Security: Study

It helps to have the help of a financial adviser during times like these — especially when it comes to preparing for retirement. Financial planning with the assistance of a professional overwhelmingly helps savers feel more confident about retirement than those who don’t seek help. Check out Managing Partner Ben Dunbar tips for preparing for retirement.

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