Contact Us Today!

NavStar Financial Services

219 Williamson Rd.
Suite 2202
Mooresville, NC 28117

704 663 7482

NavStar Currents

Larry Jones

Lake Norman Financial Planner, blue water ocean sailor, dangerous golfer, and PADI scuba instructor (in another life)
Find me on:

Recent Posts

Investment Advice: 6 questions to ask before choosing an advisor

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

Are you any better off than you were a year ago? 10 years ago?

Everyone remembers 2008. There was a nasty period from September of 2008 through February of 2009 where the value of the S&P 500 drew down over 50%! Many who were on the verge of retirement had to rethink their plans, while others who were already retired discovered that they needed to take a much larger percentage of their nest-egg to keep the same level of income.

Let's fast-forward to now. The first six weeks of 2016 was the worst start to a new year in the history of Wall Street. 4th Quarter 2018 was very ugly. My opinion is that most investors have no idea as to how much risk their broker is exposing them to. When it comes to investment advice, are you happy with the guidance you've been getting? In the interests of prudence and common sense, I'd like to suggest some questions you should consider.

Read More

Topics: Investment Advice in a volatile world

Would a good asset protection plan make you a better Doctor?

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


Want to take a guess at what the number one worry of Physicians is?

When a CPA makes a mistake it may result in the client being audited. When an engineer makes an error, it's usually something that can be corrected. But when a doctor makes a mistake, it can result in death for his patient. This is the greatest fear of every Physician. To make matters even worse, lawsuits against the medical profession are running rampant. Why is this so?

The general public believes that doctors live on easy street. While it's true that physicians usually make an above average living, it's also true that they have some significant worries that most of us don't have. Salaries for doctor's have declined significantly in the last ten years, and surveys have indicated that the number one concern facing this group of professionals today is what to do about frivolous and runaway lawsuits, along with high jury awards that can potentially wipe out their personal wealth. Now that's a concern that most of us don't have.

But does this worry affect patient care?

Read More

Topics: Asset Protection: Freeing Doctors to Help Patients

Retirement Income: why do stockbrokers hate annuities?

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

Those evil annuities!

If you have spent any amount of time in internet-ville you've probably seen those "free reports" describing the pitfalls of using annuities to grow your nest-egg. The implication is that shady insurance agents are out there pushing these highly questionable financial vehicles, without telling clients the whole truth about them.

Well, as a fiduciary, how would I rate these things? Would I recommend an annuity for one of my clients? For myself? My Mom?

I'd like to take a few minutes to discuss some of the chief objections to annuities, and then my thoughts on those objections, followed by a summary. So here goes...


Read More

Topics: Retirement Income: Why do brokers hate annuities?

Financial Planning: The 5 questions to ask before picking your advisor

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

Aren't all financial professionals qualified to help me?

If you are going to take advice from someone regarding your personal or professional financial situation, wouldn't you agree that you'd like for that person to be highly competent? "Well, of course," you'd say. But is that what happens for most people? What constitutes a "good" financial advisor?

Actually there are basic standards that must be met for anyone to hold themselves out as a financial advisor. But those standards are usually minimum level licenses, such as a license to sell insurance, or a series license to sell securities. Did you notice the key word that I used in both of those examples: sell?

Licensing is designed to enable measurement of a minimum standard to begin selling a product. And there's the rub. A new-hire with Met Life, or Edward Jones, who has passed the minimum licensing requirements is allowed to hold him or herself out as a financial advisor. And they are expected to sell by the companies that they work for.

Now that's not to suggest that the Met Life agent or the Edward Jones rep is a bad advisor. They may have years of experience and be very knowlegable. But how do you know? Financial planning and "advising" are two different things.



Read More

Topics: 5 important questions to ask your advisor

How to Make Your Small Business Successful

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

Romans 8:28

Do you remember the crash of 2008? I certainly do. It was the year that I began a journey, and that journey was not of my own choosing. Like many thousands of other Americans, the great recession led me from a position of responsibility and secure employment to a place of standing in line at job fairs, and having to re-learn job interviewing skills. No longer was I part of a vital software team making an impact on our world, but now found that sometimes I was just looking for a reason to get out of bed in the morning. It was a very discouraging time, and many folks my age gave up entirely.

Looking back on those years now brings a bitter-sweetness to my mind because it was that hardship that caused me to shift my focus toward pursuing what had been a passion of mine, investing and finance. Before, these things had just been a hobby. Now they would become my bread and butter. After spending a year with a financial services firm, I made the decision to hang my own shingle and NavStar Financial Services was born (originally it was Navigator Financial). I've not looked back since. Many college classes, trainings, and certifications, as well as rejections have brought me to today. It hasn't always been easy, but it has been the ride of my life, and I've seldom been so challenged, and rewarded by a job.

Going to work for myself was a major turning point in my life. It requires wearing many hats, being able to think on the fly, and sometimes sacrificing the absolute best for the "absolute best you can do in the time available." 

Looking back to 2008, I'm grateful to God that I lost my engineering job. It was perhaps, professionally, the best thing that ever happened to me.

Read More

Will a Personal 401-K Get You to Your Retirement Goal?

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

Self-Employed Lives Matter!

In 1978 our tax code was amended to allow the creation of a tax-deferred savings vehicle for employees. It was defined under section 401(k) of the Internal Revenue Code, and quickly became one of the best known employee benefits. Known as the 401(k) plan, it was great for individual investors because tax-deferred growth was a huge benefit over the long haul, was great for employers because it allowed more flexibility than pension plans, and (I'd say) it was also great for the economy as well. Massive employer matched investments fueled a great stock market bull. It was a win-win all around!

There were, however, some drawbacks. The plans were subject to ERISA rules, which defined specifically how the plans could and could not be implemented along with contribution limits and other administrative details. Discrimination between one employee and another was absolutely not allowed, which is a good thing. One of the rules that many didn't like was that self-employed people had no access to this powerful retirement savings vehicle.

In 2001 that changed with the Economic Growth and Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (EGTRRA), and the personal, or Solo 401(k) was born. Now the self-employed worker can take advantage of this powerful savings vehicle too.

Read More

Topics: Tax Deferral

If You Live a Long Life Will Your Legacy Survive?

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

A Very Difficult Choice

Is living a long time in your future?

You hope so, don't you. It's likely that you will, in fact statistics show that of a married couple over 65, the odds are that at least one of them (probably the wife) will live to be at least 90. What would that scenario do to your legacy?

What a silly question, you might say. But just exactly IS your legacy? It simply means how you are remembered by those who survive you. Most would like to think that when they're gone those that are left behind will remember them fondly. We'd like to know that our family's financial needs are taken care of. That's the reason why you use the services of financial professionals, isn't it? Then why is it that so few advisors address the subject of long-term care?

The typical scenario goes something like this: the husband has some type of medical event, such as a stroke or a diagnosis of Alzheimers disease, and now the wife has to make a choice.

Does she use the money that they have set aside to take care of her husband, the money that she needs to live the kind of lifestyle they had always planned for, or does she take care of him herself?

Most of the time she will choose to do it herself. She will then keep this up until her own health begins to suffer, and then she'll begin spending down their assets because she simply can't do it alone anymore. If this goes on long enough both her health and lifestyle will be drastically changed.

For an advisor to neglect this subject is professional malpractice!

Read More

Topics: Long Term Care

The Sweet Spot in Retirement Income Planning

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

Golf, the Sport of Kings

Almost every time I play a round of golf I vow that it will never happen again. I don't believe I have ever hated anything as much as I hate this aggravating and extremely difficult sport. If only I could quit. But something about it keeps bringing me back to try again. That something, is the sweet spot!

Now, I've learned when speaking to other golfers that I am the only one who has these difficulties. It seems that every single person I ask, "how was your round?" will reply that it was an awful day. "I got stuck in a bunker on number three and barely broke 75." It's that kind of crazy talk that really gets to me, and I'm sure it would make even Jordan Spieth nervous to hear it. A typical round for me includes many different activities. Bird watching in the woods is always pleasant. I'm reminded of boyhood trips to the beach as I play in the sand, and I know my putting brings back memories of windmills and dinosaurs. I'm usually just about to throw my clubs when it happens. I take a correct stance, an enviable swing, and, ping! I hit that sweet spot and observe a 250 yard drive straight as an arrow. All thoughts of golf enmity disappear instantly and from now on no greens fee is too high. I'm ready for Pebble Beach! That sweet spot is a beautiful thing, and is responsible for the millions of dollars spent each year by amateur duffers. You can't argue with the sweet spot.

If you're a golfer you know exactly what I'm talking about. But did you know that when it comes to retirement income, there's a sweet spot there as well.


Read More

Topics: Retirement Income

Estate Planning: Some Living Trust Case Studies

Posted by Larry Jones on Jul 1, 2021 9:30:00 AM

The Tsunami of Death

When a parent dies, or even worse, both parents, a tsunami rolls toward the survivor(s). Along with the emotional strain comes financial concerns, and legal. All of this hits at the worst possible time, a time when the children are least emotionally prepared to take them on. It can be truly an awful experience.

In the last two blogs I've written a bit about revocable living trusts, and how they can be such great stress relievers. Now I'd like to present some practical case studies on their use. (to see the previous blogs see: blog 1, blog 2)

Read More

Estate Planning Tips: Four Common Misconceptions About a Living Trust

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

A Matter of Trust

In my previous blog I spoke about the importance of having a revocable living trust in your estate planning toolkit.  This type of trust can do several things for you, such as reducing the amount of taxes and fees your estate will pay, shortening the amount of time that beneficiaries will have to wait to take ownership of assets, and removing all of the transactions from the public eye.

Trusts can be an invaluable tool in your estate plan. Irrevocable trusts are usually used by higher net-worth folks to escape the absolute pillage of their estate by the government. There are also some significant tax advantages found in gifting to these trusts, as well as to charities.

The immediate tax advantages with a revocable living trust are less dramatic. However, for the person with an estate of less than $5 million the living trust is much more commonly utilized. Sometimes people confuse the two types- revocable vs. irrevocable - and the benefits that each kind provides.

Read More

Topics: Estate Planning

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!


Like this blog? Fill out the form and get e-mail updates. Don't miss out!

Recent Posts