Erik H. Nelson

Director of Financial Planning

Erik joined Dowling & Yahnke in 2019 as a Financial Planner and now is the firm’s Director of Financial Planning. He manages the financial planning team and serves as a technical leader for complex planning issues and initiatives. Prior to joining Dowling & Yahnke, he served in financial planning and advisory roles over the last five years with two local investment management firms in San Diego.

Erik holds a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ (CFP®) designation and Certified Private Wealth Advisor® (CPWA®) certification. He has a Master of Science in Business Administration (MsBA) in Financial & Tax Planning from San Diego State University. Erik completed his undergraduate work in Business Administration and Finance at San Diego State University.

Erik is a native San Diegan who currently resides in La Jolla and is an avid sports fan.

What inspired you to work in the financial industry?

I began my higher education in the sciences because of my athletic upbringing, but I quickly realized they weren’t my true interests. I began to explore other areas and figured out that finance was a good avenue. I had always been good with math and enjoyed numbers and statistics. Finance, especially personal finance, has always been a great blend of balancing quantitative logic with qualitative considerations. It requires discipline, which I find challenging and rewarding.

Why did you join Dowling & Yahnke?

The firm’s reputation within the community and industry preceded itself. The opportunity to be part of that team gave me the chance to provide superior service to our clients, as well as tremendous personal and professional growth. After joining the firm, it became apparent that the team we have here earned that reputation with a genuine culture of care, excellence, and integrity.

What is your favorite place in San Diego?

Mount Soledad. The view is so peaceful and serene, and you can see nearly all of San Diego County. It really makes me appreciate how lucky we all are to live in such a wonderful place.

What is your favorite vacation spot?

Lake Tahoe. There is something about being by a lake and on a boat that is both relaxing and fun all at the same time. It’s exactly how I want to spend my vacations.

What is the best concert you ever attended?

The California Honeydrops at the Belly Up. The Belly Up is my favorite venue in San Diego and the band’s live performances make it impossible to not have a great time.

What is your favorite family tradition?

Weekly family dinners. I’m lucky enough to have my whole immediate family living in San Diego, so for everyone to make time each week to get together, enjoy each other’s company and catch up, I know that is something not everyone is able to do.

What is your favorite hobby?

Anything sports related, playing or spectating. The competition and camaraderie that comes from sports has provided me with some of my best memories and lessons, which I apply in all aspects of my life.

What is your personal motto or mantra?

If you take care of the little things, the big things take care of themselves. We focus so much on whatever the end goal is, that we can end up neglecting the seemingly smaller actions, behaviors, and habits that are so critical to getting us to where we want to end up.

I am happiest when:

I’m with friends and family. Life is all about creating and nurturing relationships, so spending time with the people I care most about is when life is most enjoyable.


  • San Diego State University, BS Business Administration, Finance
  • San Diego State University, MsBA in Financial & Tax Planning