First Financial Networks takes a balanced approach for client portfolios with respect to risk tolerance, stage of life, and liquidity. More specifically, we offer life-event investment guidance for our clients such as marriage, divorce, birth, death, retirement, or a job change. The majority of our clients house their accounts within the LPL Strategic Asset Management program (“SAM”), which is a transparent, fee-based system for managing assets utilizing low-cost institutional class mutual fund shares. In addition, we offer our unique cycle program, which is designed to trigger two to four portfolio review calls per year. We encourage clients to meet face to face for at least one of the reviews.
We use various approaches to help ensure a smooth transition from one generation to the next, providing advice and assistance for both estate management and disbursement. We provide concepts for various net worth levels in this regard, in order to assure tax efficient wealth transfer for all of our clients. Our advice includes, but is not limited to the following: establishing and funding revocable trusts to avoid probate, wealth transfer through education funding and charitable gifts, the creation of Credit Shelter Trusts, and the often-overlooked step of properly retitling assets. Careful consideration is given to specific family needs and circumstances. In addition, we have a network of specialized attorneys around the country for referrals, as the information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized legal advice.
We have numerous approaches when taking into account taxes that could affect our clients, employing strategies that minimize annual income and capital-gains taxes. When creating client portfolios, we take into consideration all taxes that may apply both now and in the future. We also plan tax-efficient distribution strategies, provide advice as to how to best handle inherited IRAs, and outline options for funding education. We suggest that you discuss your specific tax issues with a qualified tax advisor.
Insurance provides financial security for families and can be an effective tool in overall estate planning. Insurance is a complicated product, and we pay special attention to help ensure our clients understand the pros and cons of each specific product. As an independent insurance broker, we strive to find the most cost competitive products to satisfy client needs. We also discuss which type of life insurance is right for you, and we provide tips and advice on the following: how to prepare for an insurance medical exam, how to assess costs/benefits of long-term care insurance, and whether charitable gifts through insurance trusts might be suitable for your individual needs.
Building a business is challenging, and taking the business into the future with the next generation is even more difficult. We discuss tax-saving strategies for the self-employed, create an exit strategy with Buy/Sell Agreements, and assist in selecting and establishing retirement plans. We review various alternatives to provide a smooth transitional process and coordinate with our clients other financial professionals.