First Financial Equity Corporation
First Financial Equity Corporation is a privately-owned, full-service brokerage firm. In fact, it's dually registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as a broker-dealer and investment advisor. The firm partners with other financial advisors, providing them with various wealth management services that they then offer to their clients.
The fee-based firm emphasizes on its website that it believes in a conservative, well-diversified, long-term approach to investing. First Financial has billions of dollars in client assets under management, with hundreds of advisors managing more than 6,000 individual and institutional clients. When it comes to advisory fees, this firm charges asset-based fees, hourly fees, fixed fees and commissions.
First Financial Equity Corporation Background
First Financial Equity Corporation has been in business since 1985. In addition to its dual registration as an investment advisor and broker-dealer, First Financial is also a member of both the Financial Industry National Regulatory Association (FINRA) and Securities Investors Protection Corporation (SIPC).
Jeffrey Graves serves as the firm’s CEO, while Randy Sitzman and Ken Madsen serve as chief operating officer (COO) and chief compliance officer (CCO), respectively.
First Financial Equity Corporation Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
First Financial serves non-high-net-worth individuals, high-net-worth individuals, pension and profit-sharing plans and government entities.
The firm generally requires a minimum investment of $25,000. This minimum doesn’t apply to retirement accounts, and First Financial may accept investment accounts with less than $25,000 depending on the specific circumstances of each prospective client.
Services Offered by First Financial Equity Corporation
This firm offers the following advisory services to its network of advisors and clients:
- Portfolio management
- Risk tolerance determination
- Discretionary and non-discretionary management
- Wrap fee program
- Financial planning
- Tax planning
- Retirement planning
- Risk management
- Investment planning
- Estate planning
- Pension plan consulting
- Educational seminars
First Financial Equity Corporation Investment Philosophy
First Financial uses several methods to conduct investment research and offer personalized advice. Among those are fundamental analysis, technical analysis, charting analysis and cyclical analysis. The firm also utilizes long-term purchases, short-term purchases, short sales, margin transactions, option writing, tactical asset allocation, strategic asset allocation, market timing strategy and modern portfolio theory.
First Financial mainly invests in exchange-traded equity securities, U.S. state and local bonds, investment-grade corporate bonds, securities issued by pooled investment vehicles, cash, cash equivalents and other investments.
First Financial Equity Corporation Fees
For financial planning and consultation services, hourly fees typically range from $50 to $350. Flat fees for those services range between $500 and $1,500. In many instances, First Financial uses investment advisor representatives (IARs) to provide investment advisory services and other services. Asset-based fees for such services cannot exceed an annual rate of 2.50%, according to the firm’s brochure. Third-party manager programs range between 0.35% and 2.00%.
What to Watch Out For
First Financial has six disclosures listed on its record with the SEC. The firm’s most recent regulatory violation took place in 2019 after FINRA found the firm failed to file certain U4 updates on time, failed to maintain appropriate written procedure for compliance and failed to file the CEO certification for the 2014 to 2016 period. The case was settled with a $200,000 fine and censure.
First Financial offers both investment advisory and brokerage services. Some advisors may earn additional compensation from investment product and securities sales. This can create a potential conflict of interest, but this firm says it operates under a fiduciary duty.
Opening an Account With First Financial Equity Corporation
First Financial offers multiple options for getting in touch. One of those options is to visit the firm’s Arizona office or any of its other offices. You can also contact an advisor at (480) 951-0079.
All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
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