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First Financial Group Review

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First Financial Group

First Financial Group

First Financial Group is a fee-only firm headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina. The financial advisor offers both discretionary and non-discretionary portfolio management, financial planning and portfolio consulting services. As of December 31, 2018, the firm currently has $121 million in assets under management (AUM). It serves more than 600 clients. 

First Financial Group Background

Tommy Lewis, First Financial Group's founder and president, established the firm in 1994. The firm offers advice on a range of investments. These include mutual funds, equity securities, corporate debt securities, certificates of deposit (CDs), municipal securities, investment company securities, U.S. government securities, options contracts on securities and commodities and others. 

Though the financial advisor chiefly offers portfolio management, financial planning and portfolio consulting services, it also provides asset preservation and protection services.

What Types of Clients Does First Financial Group Accept?

The firm provides investment advisory services for individuals, trusts, estates, corporations and other business entities. 

First Financial Group Minimum Account Sizes

First Financial generally requires a $325,000 account minimum. The firm may waive the value for clients who have the potential to increase their AUM. It may also combine account values, between family members or spouses, to help clients meet the minimum. 

Services Offered by First Financial Group

First Financial’s services include:

  • Portfolio management
  • Financial planning
    • Broad-based planning
    • Annual retainer services 
    • General consulting services 
  • Portfolio consulting
    • Quarterly portfolio reviews
    • In-person reviews
  • Asset preservation and protection
    • Insurance policies
    • Life
    • Disability 
    • LTC insurance policies

Investment Philosophy

FIRST Financial believes in tailoring its investment advice to meet each client’s specific investment objectives. The firm touts on its website that it works to empower clients to make smarter financial decisions and that it prioritizes every client’s unique financial situation. At the beginning of each advisory relationship, the firm says it uses client factors such as risk tolerance and other factors to determine the appropriate investment strategy. 

When making investment decisions, the firm may also use investment methods such as fundamental analysis, cyclical analysis, margin transactions and long-term purchases. 

Fees Under First Financial Group

For portfolio management services, the firm bases its fee on a percentage of AUM. The annual fee is billed and payable quarterly in advance, based on your account value on the last trading day of the previous quarter. Fees are generally negotiable, and the firm may quote a fixed fee for smaller accounts. The firm may also combine family accounts to determine the necessary advisory fee. 

For portfolio consulting services, FIRST financial also bases its annual fee on a percentage of client assets. The fee is billed quarterly in advance, and the firm may negotiate rates depending on individual client circumstances. The firm’s financial planning services consist of broad-based planning, annual retainer services and general consulting services. The fee for broad-based planning is $3,500, and it’s payable in advance. Clients will pay $4,000 for annual retainer services, while the firm’s general consulting services run for a negotiable fee of $500 per hour.

The fee schedules for portfolio management and portfolio consulting are shown below:

Portfolio Management:

Amount of Assets  Annual Fee
Up to $249,000 2.00%
$250,000 - $999,999 1.50%
Greater than $1,000,000 1.00%

Portfolio Consulting:

Amounts of Assets Annual Fee
Up to $249,000 2.00%
$250,000 - $999,999 1.50%
Greater than $1,000,000 1.00%

What to Watch Out For

There isn’t much to be wary of when it comes to First Financial. The firm doesn’t have any disclosures, and it has a fiduciary duty to its clients. 


The firm doesn’t have any disclosures, according to its most recently filed Form ADV.

Opening an Account With First Financial Group

If you’re interested in investing with FIRST Financial, you can contact the firm’s client services email, or you can visit the firm’s office. You can also set up an appointment with an advisor by contacting (919) 876-4926. 

Where is First Financial Group Located?

First Financial Group only has one office which is located in Raleigh, North Carolina at 1100 Logger Court.

Tips for Becoming a Better Investor

  • Before you make an investment, you’ll want to consider things like your risk tolerance, time horizons and investment objectives. This will ease the process of asset allocation. If you’d like to see how much your investments could potentially earn over time, consider using SmartAsset’s investment calculator.
  • If you’d like professional advice with your investments, SmartAsset’s free financial advisor matching tool will pair you with up to three local advisors suitable to your needs.

How Many Years $1 Million Lasts in Retirement

SmartAsset's interactive map highlights places where $1 million will last the longest in retirement. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any city to learn about the cost of living in retirement for that location.

Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology To determine how long a $1 million nest egg would cover retirement costs in cities across America, we analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors. We then applied cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research to adjust those national average spending levels based on the costs of each expense category (housing, food, healthcare, utilities, transportation and other) in each city. Using this data, SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%. This reflects the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. Then, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would cover retirement expenses in each of the cities in our study. Cities where $1 million lasted the longest ranked the highest in the study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research