Archived Newsletter Articles

Advisor Compensation 101

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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…

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Self-Directed Accounts—Be Careful!

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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…

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Social Media and Our Finances

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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…

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The Buffett Challenge: Year 9 Update

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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…

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

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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…

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Should Investors Sell After a “Correction”?

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Stock prices in markets around the world fluctuated dramatically for the week ended August 27. On Monday, August 24, the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 1,089 points—a larger loss than the “Flash Crash” in May 2010—before rallying to close down 588. Prices fell further on Tuesday before recovering sharply on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Although…

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The Wisdom of Yogi Berra

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September 22, 2015 marked the passing of baseball legend Yogi Berra at the ripe young age of 90. The Hall of Fame catcher was also well-known for a lifetime of malapropisms, many of which we have quoted in the pages of this newsletter over the years. Beneath the surface, his quotes often contained simple, easily…

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The Myths of Bonds

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Bonds have a place in just about every portfolio. At Northstar, we prefer to buy bond mutual funds rather than individual bonds for many reasons, but they serve the same purpose: To lessen the high volatility associated with equity investing. Unfortunately, many bond investors have different goals in mind, and those goals are often based…

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Giving Back

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Sometimes we just need to give something back. No, I’m not talking about the stock market as of late, however, I can certainly see it there too. I’m talking about doing something to make the world just a little bit better. As some of you know, our son was diagnosed with a serious mental illness…

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The Patience Principle

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Global markets are providing investors a rough ride at the moment, as the focus turns to China’s economic outlook. But while falling markets can be worrisome, maintaining a longer term perspective makes the volatility easier to handle. A typical response to unsettling markets is an emotional one. We quit risky assets when prices are down…

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What To Do With a Stinky 401(k)

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An employer-sponsored retirement plan, such as a 401(k), can offer many benefits to help you build retirement savings. Standard plans offer: Convenient, routine contributions through payroll deduction. Once you set it up, it just happens each paycheck. No bill to budget for and pay. This makes it more likely you will continue to make contributions…

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Estate Planning for Unwed Couples

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As more and more long-term couples delay marriage or choose not to marry, estate planning becomes more complicated. That’s since in addition to a great party and the fattiest cake known to man, marriage offers a range of end-of-life benefits not given to couples who choose to remain unwed. A quick review of some documents…

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