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NavStar Financial Services

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Suite 2202
Mooresville, NC 28117

704 663 7482

NavStar Currents

What's Going on with Health Insurance?

Posted by Larry Jones on May 6, 2021 9:30:00 AM

Those Evil Insurance Companies

It's that time of year again. The annual rate increases are about to be announced by the major insurance carriers ( see Health Insurance Implosion). Once again, we expect them to be substantial. Health insurance, before it became mandated by law, was somewhat affordable. Today, the policy that used to run $350-400 a month is today approaching the $2000 level. That's if you can get coverage at all, with Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, and United Healthcare all considering exiting the market. What's the matter with these companies? Don't they care at all about us? Can't the government force them to stay in the market?

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Investment Advice for the Average Investor

Posted by Larry Jones on May 4, 2021 9:30:00 AM

Of all those reading this, half are below average!

Am I insulting my readers?

No, of course not! I'm making a mathematical statement. Half of any group is necessarily below the average of all of them. When it comes to investing, however, studies have shown that there is a huge gap between what the average investor should earn, and what they actually do. For example, the S&P 500 over the long term has historically earned north of 7%. The average investor doesn't quite reach that level, and comes in at around 3%!

What?! How can that be?

According to Terrance Odean, a finance professor at the University of California at Berkely,

"Many of the mistakes that investors make come from a lack of understanding of the innate disadvantages they face."

According to Odean, individual investors are anything but rational, and can be their own worst enemies. My experience also bears this out.

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Case Study - 81 Year Old Widow

Posted by Larry Jones on Apr 29, 2021 9:30:00 AM

Although the person I'll reference in this study is fictional (I'll call her Mary), her circumstances are certainly not. Let's take a look at Mary's financial situation:

Mary is a widow, and her husband Bud passed away five years ago. Her financial situation is still very similar to what it was before Bud died.

She has $350,000 in a brokerage account, which is an IRA, and another $50,000 in bank CD's. She has an accountant who does her taxes, a financial advisor from her bank, and an attorney who has helped her prepare legal documents, such as her will. She has no trusts. Her sources of income are social security, a survivors pension from Bud, and a 4% drawdown each year from her IRA. 

One afternoon Mary has a stroke. She loses the ability to speak and all mobility.

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Topics: Case Studies

Investment Advice: Five Things That Your Stockbroker Won't Say

Posted by Larry Jones on Apr 27, 2021 9:30:00 AM

Did you know...

that before 1980 less than 5% of Americans were invested in the stock market? That's kind of hard to believe when you've just seen the latest report on the Dow in the evening news, followed by several commercials from investment firms, and even a cable channel devoted to Wall Street!

But our parents were probably not part of all this. They accumulated wealth in more traditional ways, and took much less risk. Why do we take such risk with our money today? Because we have been educated by the Wall Street machine to believe that we have to.

As an investment advisor, and a financial planner, I would agree that over the long-term there isn't a better way to grow assets than in the market, which has traditionally returned north of 7% year after year OVER THE LONG HAUL. But what if you are a retiree, or getting close to retirement? Can you really be happy about losing half of your portfolio in a few months, and then waiting six years for it to come back? That's what happened in 2008-09. What if you suddenly had to pay for long-term care just as your portfolio hit bottom? Would you still be excited about Wall Street? By the way, in the 30's, after the stock market crash, an entire generation never trusted Wall Street again, or banks!

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Topics: Investment Advice

How About Financial Services That Come to You?

Posted by Larry Jones on Apr 22, 2021 9:30:00 AM

Is your time important to you?

Have you ever scheduled a service call only to have them tell you that someone will stop by your home sometime between 8AM and long as they can get to you that particular day? Aargh!!

If you're like me, your time is a very valuable resource to you. Few things get my goat like someone presuming that they know better how to spend my time than I do. Come on. In this day of instant communication can't we do better than this?

It might come as a surprise to your cable technician, but many TV viewers have jobs. We might even consider it more important to keep that job than to watch Dr. Phil's latest episode about gender-confused insecure college dropouts who hate their lives. 

When you need to see a doctor you must take time off from work. Your car needs repair and you have to be absent from work...again. Your aging parent needs care, and ...well, you get it.

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Topics: Financial Services

What should a good financial services firm offer it's clients?

Posted by Larry Jones on Apr 20, 2021 9:30:00 AM

Why are financial firms popping up everywhere?

I was driving recently and listening to a local radio station. In the space of half an hour there were at least four radio ads from financial firms. I got home and opened my mailbox to extract a couple of invitations to dinner seminars from other local financial firms, of which I get about 7 or 8 each and every month. I really believe that any retiree in this area could knock off several hundred dollars of food expense from their budget simply by attending these seminars regularly! 

What's up with all these financial firms? Are so many really necessary? Are some better than others? Do they all do the same thing?

We are the most prosperous nation in the history of the world. A constitutional framework of government, and an entrepeneurial spirit has produced the robust economy that benefits us all. With increased wealth, there is a greater need for intelligent decisions regarding that wealth, and I believe that the level of financial literacy is at an all time low. Hence, the rapid explosion of financial "advisors." It's simply supply and demand in action.

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Estate Planning Can Be A Matter of Trust

Posted by Larry Jones on Apr 15, 2021 9:30:00 AM

Is what you own really yours?

Walt Disney was valued at more than $23 million when he died. Yet, after estate taxes and probate costs nearly $7 million of that was lost to his descendants- nearly 30% of his net worth! Elvis Presley lost 73%.

If you are a high net worth individual, and the above examples make your stomach queasy, you have 3 viable options available to you. You can (1) spend everything you have and die just as you go broke, (2) give everything to charity, or (3) engage in advanced estate planning. 

I'm convinced that the only folks who have substantial amounts of their estates taken away at death are those who have chosen to remain ignorant in legal tax strategies, which are available to everyone who will take the time and trouble to investigate them.

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Topics: Estate Planning

Estate Planning Basics: Does it Matter How Assets Are Titled?

Posted by Larry Jones on Apr 13, 2021 9:30:00 AM


Will the death of your partner rock your financial world?

Did you know that the number one reason for widows to be in poverty is because their spouse died? In other words, before that person passed away everything was rosy. Your financial plan absolutely needs to take the death of your partner into account (as well as their long-term care needs). Failure to do this is simply negligence.

One of the things I'd like to talk about this time has to do with the subject of titling your assets. This is something that sometimes doesn't get as much attention as it should, but doing it wrong can have very undesirable consequences.

For example, suppose that you and your partner own a brokerage account worth $1 million dollars. Your partner's share in this account is $500,000. The account is titled as TOC, which means Tenancies in Common.

Life is beautiful. Then, one day your partner is bitten by a rabid dog, and after biting many of her old acquaintances, dies shortly thereafter. When the will is read, your partner has specified that she'd like to leave her portion of the brokerage account to her son, Otis, who is an alcoholic living in Mayberry, NC with his alcoholic wife Agnes. You haven't seen either of them in twenty years.

Can she do that?


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Topics: Estate Planning

4 Steps to a Sound Long Term Retirement Plan

Posted by Larry Jones on Apr 8, 2021 9:30:00 AM


Are you an optimist or a pessimist?

I believe that the vast majority of people are pessimists when it comes to religion and politics, but when it comes to their finances they are mostly optimists. The banker loves to sell you a variable mortgage because he knows that rates will go up, but you, being the eternal optimist, are sure they won't. We buy things on credit because we believe we'll have more disposable income next year than we do today.

But when it comes to retirement planning, it might be a good idea to take a "what if?" frame of mind as you make your decisions. Here are 4 areas that you should consider.

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Topics: Retirement Planning

Tax Strategies: Are Municipal Bonds Really a Good Idea?

Posted by Larry Jones on Apr 6, 2021 9:30:00 AM

Everybody "knows" that folks in high tax brackets should hold municipal bonds in their portfolio. Right?

I've seldom met a holder of municipal bonds who weren't extremely proud of their accomplishment. After all, they're getting growth at the expense of Uncle Sam. That just has to be good.

But the truth is that muni's may actually create more tax problems than they solve. Other tax strategies might work better.

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Topics: Tax Strategies

What you don't know can hurt you!

As a fiduciary I am required to always act in your best interests, and as a professional planner, it's my job to be familiar with all types of possible solutions and financial vehicles. In short, I have no interest in selling any particular product or any affiliation with a particular company. I work for my clients.

Are you:

  • concerned that your tax bill is too high?
  • tired of watching your nest egg decline by significant amounts every 5-7 years?
  • wishing you could find more free time?
  • looking for ways to help protect yourself against litigation that could destroy all you have worked for?
  • worried that Uncle Sam is going to enjoy your retirement more than you are?

If any of the above describes you and you'd like to get a question answered then just click the button below and we'll be in touch.

Let's Meet!

p.s. we have the ability to meet virtually regardless of your location! Give us a shout!


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