Wealth Planning

Helping maximize your wealth by minimizing your taxes

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An effective strategy to maximize wealth includes combining comprehensive tax & wealth planning with tax-aware investing. We emphasize to our clients that it isn’t what you earn that counts, but what you keep after taxes.

Reach out to us to see if you could meet your goals more easily and preserve more of your wealth with a comprehensive tax strategy.

Speak with a Wealth Advisor

How we use tax & financial planning to lower taxes:

Reviewing tax returns to optimize tax situation

Reviewing federal and state tax returns is a must. This tax knowledge helps identify areas for potential tax reduction opportunities and is also key in implementing the most appropriate portfolio.

Devise tax-efficient withdrawals strategies

Assist you in accessing your portfolio via withdrawals that are tax efficient. This incorporates understanding your tax situation as it evolves over time to distribute from your taxable, tax-deferred and tax-exempt accounts in order to minimize taxes.

Implement tax deferred savings vehicles

Understanding your income sources and assisting you in implementing tax deferred savings vehicles to reduce your current tax liability.

Roth Conversion Analysis

Determining whether and how much to convert from pre-tax accounts (e.g., Traditional IRA) into ROTH IRA accounts.

Help structure deferred compensation payments

Assist in developing a future pay out strategy (e.g., timing and duration) for deferred compensation arrangements. This incorporates multiple tax and non-tax factors with multi-year projections.

Create stock option exercise plans

Understanding the different types of options you may have, vesting schedules, expirations dates, etc. to devise a tax-efficient option exercise strategy for optimizing after-tax wealth.

Utilize insurance strategies

Understand whether insurance may be a viable tool to aid in tax deferral and/or minimization.

Gifting strategies

Incorporate gifting strategies into your planning – whether it be to charity for tax and philanthropic benefits, or to heirs for income shifting to lower your tax burden.

Utilize DSTs, 1031 exchanges, & OZ

When selling real estate or other appreciated assets, we can help defer taxes via Delaware Statutory Trust, IRC Section 1031 Exchanges or Opportunity Zone Investments.

Diversifying concentrated stock positions

Create plan for diversification including the utilization of tools such as Charitable Remainder Trusts, Exchange Funds; Coordinate with tax loss harvesting and annual capital gains tax budget.
We combine the strength of great investment strategies and solid wealth planning to optimize each client's unique situation.
John Hakopian , President

How we use tax-efficient investment management:


We use direct indexing which allows us to build customized client portfolios with the added benefit of opportunistic tax loss harvesting. Where appropriate we use ETFs instead of mutual funds because ETFs are more tax efficient and cheaper.


Private Real Estate-tax deferred income due to depreciation


Treasuries-CA income tax free; CA Munis-Federally and CA Tax Free

Asset location (e.g., purposeful placement for optimal tax results)

Taxable income in tax deferred accounts; High turnover less efficient asset classes in Roth accounts

Donating appreciated assets

Donor Advised Funds

Retirement Income Calculator

Our Team

Meet Our Skilled Team of Advisors and Wealth Planning Experts

Learn more about minimizing your taxes with proper planning

Speak with a Wealth Advisor



Please Remember: Different types of investments involve varying degrees of risk.  Therefore, it should not be assumed that future performance of any specific investment or investment strategy (including the investments and/or investment strategies recommended and/or undertaken by First Foundation Advisors-“FFA”), or any non-investment related content or recommendations, will be profitable or prove correct. FFA is neither a law firm, nor a certified public accounting firm, and no portion of the content should be construed as legal, tax or accounting advice. The scope of the services to be provided depends upon the needs of the client and the terms of the engagement.

Please Note: Projection/Assumption Limitations. The purpose of the projection is to provide a guideline to help determine which scenario best meets current and/or anticipated financial situations and/or objectives, with the understanding that either is subject to change, in which event FFA remains available to discuss the projection and assumptions with the client.

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Investment and Advisory Services provided by First Foundation Advisors, an SEC-Registered Investment Advisor. Trust Services and Insurance Services are offered through First Foundation Bank. First Foundation Insurance Services license number #0H38553.

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