Archived Newsletter Articles

The Emerging Market Bounce

150 150 Northstar Financial Planners

By Steve Tepper, CFP®, MBA You’d have to be a little crazy to invest in emerging markets right now. There are so many problems in the second and third world, they could hardly all be listed in this short article. But here are a few key drivers of expected weakness outside of the U.S. and…

read more

Is Your Advisor a Fiduciary?

150 150 Northstar Financial Planners

By Allen Giese, ChFC®, CLU® Look, there are lots of advisors out there to pick from. And there are lots of differences between them. But if there is one thing that separates them more than anything else, one thing that tells you who may really have your best interest at heart, what would that be?…

read more

The Retirement Savings Gap: Bleak and Getting Bleaker

150 150 Northstar Financial Planners

By Steve Tepper, CFP®, MBA It should come as no surprise to readers of our newsletter that most people have not saved enough for retirement. We reported several years ago that about 57% of baby boomers would run out of money within 20 years of retirement according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI). I…

read more

Cybersecurity Best Practices

150 150 Northstar Financial Planners

The WannaCry ransomware attack last month affected individuals and businesses in more than 150 countries and infected more than 230,000 computers. It illustrated yet again the need for everyone using any device connected to the internet to employ best security practices at all times. Ransomware occurs when malicious software is installed on a computer, encrypting…

read more

FRS Pension Option 1 with Life Insurance: Good Idea?

150 150 Northstar Financial Planners

By Allen Giese, ChFC®, CLU® Here’s a concept that if you’re an FRS special risk employee approaching retirement, I’ll bet you’ve heard. The idea is, if you’re married, you choose Option 1 for your pension. That’s the option where if you die before your spouse, then your spouse gets no continuation of benefits—they get nothing.…

read more

The Talk Every Adult Should Have with Their Parents

150 150 Northstar Financial Planners

By Mia Kitner Let’s talk about “the talk.” It’s the talk with our parents that we as adult children tend to avoid—sometimes out of fear and other times because it is, simply put, difficult. The thoughts that may race through our minds tend to revolve around “Will they think I am being greedy?” or “I…

read more

Social Security for Divorcees

150 150 Northstar Financial Planners

By Steve Tepper, CFP®, MBA Spousal benefits are an important part of Social Security, and for many people, those benefits are still available even after divorce. While rules on spousal benefits for married couples are pretty well known to retirees and those retiring imminently, spousal benefits for divorcees are not as well known. The spousal…

read more

Advisor Compensation 101

150 150 Northstar Financial Planners

By Steve Tepper, CFP®, MBA There’s big news in my world: After several months of searching, I have a contract to buy a condo downtown. Without a doubt, my real estate agent’s most important quality throughout this process has been patience! I changed my mind about price range, view, amenities, buying or renting, and many…

read more

Self-Directed Accounts—Be Careful!

150 150 Northstar Financial Planners

By Allen Giese, ChFC®, CLU® Miami-Dade firefighters: In your 457 deferred comp plan or your FRS investment plan, do you use the self-directed account? If you’re not, are you thinking about it? Then this video might be for you. Hi. I’m Allen Giese, and our firm, Northstar Financial Planners, helps Miami-Dade firefighters make better decisions…

read more

Social Media and Our Finances

150 150 Northstar Financial Planners

By Mia Kitner As a millennial myself, I can’t help but be associated with all the positive and negative connotations we hear about our age group. We “live in our phones” and “live in the moment, not thinking about the future” (avocado toast, anyone?). It’s true our phones are more than the mobile devices our…

read more

The Buffett Challenge: Year 9 Update

150 150 Northstar Financial Planners

By Steve Tepper, CFP®, MBA Nearly 10 years ago, Berkshire Hathaway CEO (and arguably one of the best investors on Earth) Warren Buffett issued a challenge to the hedge fund industry—a $1 million bet that they could not put together a portfolio of hedge funds that would outperform an S&P 500 index fund over a…

read more

Love Paying Extra Taxes? Then a Deferred Comp Loan Is for You!

150 150 Northstar Financial Planners

I’m Allen Giese, President of Northstar Financial Planners in Plantation, Florida. Our firm specializes in helping Miami-Dade fire fighters make better decisions with their money. I want to talk to you today about a huge mistake that we see so many fire fighters make, and most of the time they don’t even realize it. It’s…

read more