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.
Our team of advisors has partnered with employees and retirees from the University of Michigan for the past eight years in managing their retirement plan portfolios. We bring over 45 years of combined investment management experience to bear in reviewing the Fidelity mutual funds and carefully crafting client portfolios. Our partnership with Commonwealth Financial Network allows us to also leverage the knowledge and experience of their Research and Advanced Financial Planning teams in growing and managing your retirement nest egg.
The University of Michigan 401(a), 403(b), and 457 plans have a large menu of investment options that can seem overwhelming. We have constructed portfolios to complement your specific risk tolerance and long-term financial goals, allowing you to delegate those investment choices to an experienced team on a discretionary basis. As fiduciaries in the investing world, we act at the highest level of personal responsibility – we act in your best interests. We will manage your retirement accounts without action on your part, and report to you how they have fared relative to the appropriate benchmark.
We provide investment guidance that is personal, comprehensive, and unbiased. Our advisors are independent advisors not affiliated with the retirement plans or Fidelity, so unlike plan advisors we are able to give advice regarding assets held outside the plan and will take your entire financial situation into consideration.
North Star Financial is neither endorsed by nor affiliated with University of Michigan. Neither North Star Financial nor Commonwealth are sponsored by, affiliated with, or in any way related to TIAA, Fidelity or any of their affiliates or subsidiaries.
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:
"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.
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.
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?"
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 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.
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:
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.