Family Financial

Tammy Trenta-Knowlton, founder and CEO of Family Financial in Manhattan Beach, has worked as a financial advocate for clients for more than 27 years. She provides full wealth management services, integrating financial, tax and legal perspectives to provide holistic advice tailored to successful business owners and affluent families. She primarily practices as a Certified Financial Planner but is also a Certified Tax Planner and a Certified Exit Planner. 

Tammy lives in Manhattan Beach with her husband, Ryan, and her son, Jack. She serves as the treasurer and an active board member of the Parent Teacher Association at her son’s school, American Martyrs.

Share a success story where your guidance significantly impacted a client’s well-being.

A particularly impactful success story from our practice involves a client who lost her husband last year. New to the financial responsibility in the midst of her grieving, we met with her monthly to provide structured support and guidance. We helped set up an automated bill-pay system to streamline her financial obligations and assist in filing a claim for long-term care benefits, significantly alleviating her financial stress. We double-checked that their financial affairs were in order and advised her on the transition of assets when her husband passed. Our hands-on assistance during this personally challenging time ensured she could focus on her emotional recovery without the added burden of complex financial concerns.

Tell us about a unique approach you took to solving a client’s problem.

I’m dedicated to enhancing my clients’ financial well-being beyond advice on marketable securities but in more innovative ways. For one client, I thoroughly analyzed his real estate holdings—an area often overlooked by traditional financial advisors—in order to boost his cash flow. By restructuring his loans, fine-tuning his tax strategies and advising on strategic real estate moves like 1031 exchanges, I helped him save $250,000 annually, increase his after-tax income and accelerate his wealth growth by 1,000% over six years. This approach not only deepened our relationship but demonstrates the impact of creative, customized financial strategies.

How do professional partnerships elevate what you offer?

As a family office advisor, we collaborate internally with financial, tax and legal professionals to optimize the management of wealth. This holistic model allows us to identify missed opportunities and prevent mistakes or oversights. Our team approach helps us handle complex situations comprehensively, with the goal of minimizing taxes and maximizing wealth.

How do you ensure that your professional recommendations align with ethical standards in your industry?

Acting as a fiduciary is a non-negotiable for us in wealth management. As such, we are legally required to act in the best interests of our clients, which builds trust and ensures ethical conduct. Fiduciaries adhere to a higher standard of care when compared to the broker model of advice. Being a fiduciary not only fosters deeper client relationships but also supports long-term success in a competitive market.

Do you provide educational resources to empower clients? 

I place a high value on financial literacy and actively work to educate and empower not only my clients but also their family members. Recognizing the importance of passing on knowledge and skills, I offer an educational course specifically tailored to financially focused individuals who are just getting started.

Additionally, I’ve recently authored a book that serves as a comprehensive guide for high achievers of any age. It outlines the essential skills needed in an advisor and explains how a family office can dramatically accelerate wealth accumulation. This initiative underscores my commitment to ensuring clients and their families are well-equipped to make informed decisions, fostering financial savvy across generations.

How do you assist clients in planning for their legacy and estate? 

It’s vital to start by understanding their values, goals and family dynamics. By incorporating these factors, along with tax planning strategies and considerations for business succession and charitable giving, we can craft a comprehensive estate plan that aligns with their wishes and maximizes the preservation of wealth for future generations. Engaging in discussions while everyone is healthy and involving family members where appropriate help ensure clarity and avoid surprises down the road.

Disclaimer: FF Advisors LLC dba Family Financial is an SEC registered investment adviser. Information presented is for informational purposes only and does not intend to make an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of any product or security. Examples presented are based on actual clients. These examples are provided for educational purposes only. Similar, or even positive, results cannot be guaranteed. Each client has their own unique set of circumstances. Please consult with a qualified professional before implementing any strategy discussed herein. No portion of these examples are to be interpreted as a testimonial or endorsement of the firms’ investment advisory services.

Photographed by Shane O’Donnell