North Star Financial Advisors - Home

Nstar Banner
 

 

Welcome to North Star Financial Advisors

We are here to guide professionals, business owners, and retirees on their journey to provide the best possible life for their family and themselves. We are independent advisors obligated to the highest fiduciary standard.  We love being that trusted advisor and strive every day to earn the title.

failure success
 

 

How we strive to serve every client:

Care for our clients in the way that we’d want for ourselves. We founded this company to be the kind of place where we’d want to be clients. We would want to be respected, informed, heard, with no question that our needs always come first. 

Focus on long term relationships. Having been in the business a long time, we’ve learned that each person travels a unique path to financial success.  

Practice the "Three P's" for prudent investing.   At North Star Financial, we follow prudent financial principles when investing your money.  We adhere to a risk-managed investment approach that emphasizes the importance of asset allocation and having a well-diversified portfolio.  By doing so we attempt to:
 

  • Protect your investments against full market loss in declining markets
  • Perform by generating some measure of inflation-adjusted gains in a trendless market
  • Participate by capturing healthy returns generated in rising markets
 

"In the long run, people hit only what they aim at..."

 - Henry David Thoreau

 

Asset allocation and diversification programs do not assure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets. No program can guarantee that any objective or goal will be achieved.

Investment Management

 

Money is a tool. We view our clients' portfolios & income as a means to an end.  So we ask: what is the money for?

Diversified Portfolios, Strategically Managed. Our clients delegate the time consuming task of choosing how their money is invested. We construct a portfolio with a range of assets (stocks, bonds, real estate, cash, commodoties, etc.) modeled to your specific goals, time frame, and tolerance for risk.  We focus on low-cost investment vehicles such as ETFs, stocks, and less expensive mutual funds to enhance returns. 

Reviewed with you. As part of our regular planning meetings, we provide reviews of your portfolio performance based on comparisons with established benchmarks appropriate to your situation. 

*Diversification does not assure a profit or protect against loss in declining markets, and iversification cannot guarantee that any objective or goal will be achieved.

Retirement Strategies

Helping you decide that your job is now optional:  Retirement has evolved for many people to mean "what's next?"  

Planning for your retirement is a multi-phase process. Together, we will use sophisticated financial planning software to integrate your goals and your resources while modeling financial risks to stress test our conclusions. We will work with you to implement a plan designed to accumulate and grow investments earmarked for retirement.  Along the way we will develop with you the strategy to collect income - your "retirement paychecks" - in a tax-efficient way.  

For your company 401(k), we can help you manage that account  We answer questions such as "How much do I need to contribute to be tracking for my ideal retirement?" and "What mix of the offered investments is right for me?"

University of Michigan. We are approved as advisors to manage client portfolios in the University of Michigan Retirement Plan's Fidelity 403(b), 401(a) , and 457 retirement accounts.  This is a service that can be provided on a stand-alone basis.  We conduct regular research on plan investment options and rebalance accounts systematically with clients as part of this consulting service.  

Tax Planning

While financial decisions are rarely made solely on their tax impact, tax is sometimes the tail that wags the dog. That consideration is always front of mind as we make investment and planning decisions. Major goals of tax planning are minimizing income tax liability and ensuring that when you pass, Uncle Sam is not your primary beneficiary.

Risk Management:

Risk management refers to the protection of assets or income so they will be used for the purpose that you intend, even if bad things happen.  Premature death, prolonged illness or disability, property loss and lawsuits need to be proactively considered.  We also believe that people need to seriously consider the risk of living an extended life with chronic illness.  We will assess your risk and any policies currently in place.  Together we will decide what should be done to mitigate these risks.

Charitable Giving & Estate Planning

Estate planning refers to creating a master plan for the management of your property during life and the distribution of that property at death. We work closely with attorneys and CPAs in devising clients' strategies for meeting all of their goals in contributing to causes and leaving a lasting legacy. 

The most basic documents of an estate plan (a.k.a. the Four Horsemen) include:

  • Financial Powers of Attorney to arrange for continued management of your affairs while incapacitated.

 

  • Medical Powers of Attorney appoint a person to act on your behalf concerning medical decisions when you are unable to do so.  A medical power should also include instructions regarding the use of extraordinary medical measures to prolong life.  This feature is often called an Advanced Health Directive, and may be a separate document. 

 

  • Last Will and Testament exists primarily to handle custody of minor or disabled children and to give specific bequests of property. 

 

  • Revocable Living Trusts have become a primary means of delivering assets to heirs as a way to avoid probate.  Historically, it has also been used to reduce estate taxes.  However, this strategy has become less important with the increasing amount of assets exempted from federal estate tax.

 

Charitable giving: Recent changes to the tax code have complicated the tax benefits of charitable giving. We can help navigate your tax return and your donations. Appreciated real estate and appreciated securities provide opportunities for gifting property to charitable causes.  Likewise, qualified accounts such as IRAs are a primary source of tax-smart giving.  For more complex situations, we are able to support clients by managing the portfolios in their charitable remainder trusts, private foundations, and donor advised funds.