Thoughtful Planning For A Tailored Investor Experience

Retirement saving and planning requires investors to be resilient when the going gets tough. The record market boom today could become tomorrow’s downturn fairly quickly, and investors need to prepare themselves not just financially, but mentally, for the chaos an economic downturn would bring.

An advisor who understands the unpredictability inherent in the market also is a must-have for investors reaching for retirement and who understand the value of protecting their money.

“We realize that markets don’t just go up every day, there are going to be times when the markets are down,” said Chris Santini, president of First Financial Advisors Group. “Because we’re independent it means that we can think outside the box in regard to people’s unique situations and offer alternative investments. … Sometimes even the clients will bring ideas and we’ll evaluate them.”

santini400x300First Financial Advisors Group, based in East Setauket, New York, provides investment management, insurance, and tax planning services* to clients prepared to take charge of their financial future. The firm requires a minimum of $250,000 to $500,000 to sign on as a client due to the high-involvement and personalized service provided, Santini said.

“We’re not just here to open up accounts, we’re here to do comprehensive planning,” he told “Advisors Magazine” during a recent interview.

Clients often experience difficulty finding an advisor they can trust. Part of that comes from the media’s negative portrayal of the financial services industry; and retirement savers should be aware that everyday wealth managers are not jet-setting to Milan and Monte Carlo in their off-hours, Santini said.

“I think this is much more of a relationship business than people perceive it to be, it’s about having mutual trust in each other. I see myself much more as a financial counselor than I do as a ‘stockbroker’ or money manager,” Santini said. “Our client’s knowledge of the financial markets ranges dramatically so we spend a lot of time educating our clients’ so they feel comfortable with the financial plan we’ve created for them.”

First Financial Advisors Group acts as a fiduciary for clients, meaning investors’ best interests come before the firm’s bottom-line. And for Santini, that also means providing unbiased advice on the range of products available.

“Everyone is completely different, it’s totally customized. And that’s why it takes time,” Santini said.

A tailored investor experience is the goal for First Financial Advisors Group and its clients. Santini, who began his career at a large brokerage in the 1980s, struck out on his own so that he could help give clients the flexibility they needed to achieve their financial goals. The firm maintains long-term relationships with clients, some who are second and third generation patrons of First Financial Advisors Group.

The relationships that produce such long-term clients require transparency and frequent communication to maintain, Santini said. A financial advisor, similar to a doctor, needs a full accounting of the client’s history to properly plan for the future.


Maintaining a smaller firm away from the rigidity of the large brokerage firms and Wall Street banks allows Santini to develop those close relationships. The firm’s independence – Santini does not sell any proprietary products – in an effort to help clients feel they can entrust their life goals and financial problems to First Financial Advisors Group.

“I learned very quickly that bigger didn’t necessarily mean better,” Santini said. “I became an independent financial advisor so I could run a practice that was more personalized for my clients’ needs and they could feel like they were more than just an account number.”

For more information, visit:

Security and advisory services offered through Royal Alliance Associates, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC
*Tax services provided by Albanese & Co., PC. Not affiliated with Royal Alliance Associates, Inc.


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