First Foundation Advisors is a large, fee-only financial advisor firm with its headquarters in Irvine, California. The firm has billions of dollars in client assets under management (AUM) and employs a large team of advisors to help manage that money. It works with both individual and institutional clients and provides them with comprehensive financial planning and portfolio management services.
First Foundation Advisors holds the top spot on our list of the top financial advisors in the city of Irvine. First Foundation also operates as a retail bank, providing things like checking, savings and business products.
First Foundation Advisors Background
First Foundation Advisors was founded in 1985, though it wasn't until 1990 that it became registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as an investment advisor. The firm was originally called Keller Group and prided itself on the fact that it was one of just a handful of firms to provide truly fee-only investment management.
First Foundation Inc., a publically traded company, owns the firm in its entirety, though the ownership of First Foundation Inc. may change regularly. John A. Hakopian is the president of First Foundation Advisors, and Rick Keller, who is a certified financial planner (CFP), is its chairman.
First Foundation Advisors Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes
First Foundation Advisors works with a wide range of both individual and institutional clients, though the majority of its client base comprises individuals both with and without a high net worth. Institutional clients include one other bank, one other investment company, charitable organizations and businesses.
The firm generally requires a minumum asset base of $500,000 for advisory services. This minimum may be waived or negotiated at the firm's discretion.
Services Offered by First Foundation Advisors
First Foundation Advisors works with clients to provide both investment management services, retirement plan sponsor services and financial planning services. Investment management may be carried out in a number of different ways, such as through wrap fee programs, unified managed accounts (UMAs) or other tailored discretionary and non-discretionary accounts. The firm may use unaffiliated private investment funds, as well as other funds for which the firm serves as a sub-advisor. The firm also has multiple programs that guide its investment strategies.
The firm also offers stand-alone financial planning and consulting services. Advisors may provide advice on matters such as estate planning, investing, retirement planning and more. Advice does not have to be strictly investment-related.
First Foundation Advisors Investment Philosophy
At First Foundation Advisors, advisors tend to work with clients to provide tailored investment services and strategies based on their financial needs and objectives. Advisors meet with clients to determine important information about their financial situation before making decisions about how to properly allocate the assets in their portfolios. Advisors may also provide financial planning services in conjunction with your investment portfolio.
When it comes to selecting investments for client portfolios, advisors at the firm use fundamental, technical, charting and cyclical methods of analysis. Overall, the firm's investment strategies are focused on the long term.
Fees Under First Foundation Advisors
First Foundation Advisors charges fees for investment management services based on a series of fee schedules. Fees are based on a percentage of each client's total assets under management and the program they are invested in.
|Equity and Balanced Accounts Program Fee Schedule|
|Portfolio Value||Annual Fee|
|More than $5MM||0.50%|
|Fixed-Income Accounts Program Fee Schedule|
|Portfolio Value||Annual Fee|
|More than $10MM||0.25%|
|Fixed-Income Short Duration Accounts Program Fee Schedule|
|Portfolio Value||Annual Fee|
|More than $55MM||0.05%|
Certain accounts may have performance-based fee arrangements based on a share of your portfolio's capital gains. However, this may only come into play if the client has at least $1 million under the firm's management, or they and their spouse have a combined net worth of at least $2.1 million.
When it comes to stand-alone financial planning services, clients are typically charged on an hourly basis. This fee ranges up to $350 per hour.
What to Watch Out For
Certain accounts may have performance-based fee arrangements with clients, which is a potential conflict of interest. That's because advisors may be inclined to take additional risks in pursuit of higher returns. However, the firm is still a fiduciary, legally obligating it to act in the best interests of clients at all times.
Opening an Account With First Foundation Advisors
There are plenty of options for opening an account with First Foundation Advisors. You can go online to see if there's an advisor or a bank branch near you. You can also call (949) 476-0300 and ask to be connected. If all else fails, you can always send an email or visit the firm's support page.
All information is accurate as of the writing of this article.
Tips for Finding a Financial Advisor
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