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Northstar Wealth Partners Review

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Northstar Wealth Partners, LLC

Northstar Wealth Partners, LLC

Northstar Wealth Partners is a financial advisor firm that's headquartered in West Hartford, Connecticut. Founded in 2009, the firm has grown to work with more than 2,700 individuals, retirement plans and financial institutions. The firm's advisors collectively manage more than $1 billion in assets. 

As a fee-based firm, certain Northstar advisors may earn commissions for conducting securities transactions or selling insurance products. That's different from a fee-only firm, which only earns compensation through client-paid fees.

Northstar Wealth Partners Background

Northstar Wealth Partners first opened its doors back in 2009, when it was established by founding partner Robert Laraia. Aside from Laraia, the firm has four other owners and partners: Theresa Donatelli, Romaine Macomb, J McAraw and Tyler Potts.

The firm employs 13 advisors, one of whom is both a certified financial planner (CFP) and an accredited investment fiduciary (AIF). Laraia also holds a registered financial consultant (RFC) designation.

Northstar Wealth Partners Client Types and Minimum Account Sizes

According to Northstar Wealth Partners’ Form ADV, the firm works with about 2,600 individual clients. All but 144 of them are individuals who do not have high net worths. The firm also works with a few pension plans and banking institutions.

Northstar doesn't have a specific minimum, but if you decide to utilize any of LPL Financial's advisory programs through the firm, you'll encounter some initial investment requirements.

  • Manager Access Select (MAS): $100,000
  • Model Wealth Portfolios Program (MWP): $25,000
  • Optimum Market Portfolios Program (OMP): $10,000
  • Personal Wealth Portfolios Program (PWP): $250,000
  • Strategic Wealth Management Program I (SWM): No minimum
  • Strategic Wealth Management Program II (SWM II): No minimum

Services Offered by Northstar Wealth Partners

The premier offering at Northstar Wealth Partners is its investment management service. An advisor meets with each client individually to discuss their personal needs. Your advisor will continually monitor your portfolio and make rebalancing adjustments on an as-needed basis. Northstar’s investment management and advice is powered by the firm’s extensive in-house research team and system.

The firm is also known for its financial planning services. These can include retirement planning, estate planning, tax planning, charitable gift planning, education planning, insurance analysis, mortgage/debt analysis and more.

Some of the funds that Northstar advises are also sponsored by the firm. Northstar may also provide clients with non-discretionary investment advice on a limited basis. Additionally, the firm occasionally provides wrap fee program sponsors with proprietary portfolio models. 

Northstar Wealth Partners Investment Philosophy

The investment philosophy at Northstar Wealth Partners depends heavily on the specific investment strategy or strategies that are chosen for your portfolio. These are decided based on your risk tolerance, time horizon and financial goals. The firm has a catalogue of strategies that can focus on either a single asset class or multiple asset classes at once.

Equity strategies are typically centered around specific market capitalization ranges. The firm also employs widespread global diversification that may adhere to a certain geographic region or industry sector. If your portfolio calls for it, the firm may expand its investments to cover multiple regions or sectors.

The firm also uses investment strategies that zero in on fixed-income securities, currencies, commodities or a combination of asset classes. In the end, your personal needs will dictate what your portfolio consists of.

Fees Under Northstar Wealth Partners

Northstar Wealth Partners typically charges its clients a percentage-based fee for its investment management services. However, the exact rate clients will pay varies based on factors like investment strategy, account size, services required and more. Consequently, the firm doesn’t have a standard, “one-size-fits-all” fee schedule, though the maximum annual fee rate is 3.00%.

For financial planning services, fees can be either fixed or hourly. Hourly fees can reach as high as $400, while fixed fees generally fall between $1,500 and $50,000.

Retirement plan consulting services operate on either a flat fee or asset-based fee schedule. Flat fees can range from $750 to $30,000. Asset-based fees are capped at 1.25%.

Should you decide to go with any of LPL's Sponsored Advisory Programs through Northstar, you'll pay fees in the following ranges:

Fees for LPL Financial Sponsored Advisory Programs
Program Fee Range
Manager Access Select Up to 2.75%
Model Wealth Portfolio Up to 2.50%
Optimum Market Portfolio Up to 2.50%
Personal Wealth Portfolio Up to 2.50%
SWM I & SWM II Up to 2.50%

When it comes time to charge fees, Northstar will base them on either your account’s quarter-end market value or the average value for the quarter. These are paid in arrears.

What to Watch Out For

Some of the firm's advisors are registered representatives of a securities broker-dealer, which means they can earn commissions for overseeing certain securities transactions. Additionally, some advisors may be licensed as insurance agents, meaning they could earn commissions for selling insurance products, such as an annuity. This presents the potential for a conflict of interest, as these advisors have an incentive to recommend commission-generating transactions. With that said, Northstar Wealth Partners and its advisors are fiduciaries. This means they have a legal obligation to act in clients' best interests at all times.

Disclosures

Northstar Wealth Partners doesn't have any disclosures on its legal and regulatory record.

Opening an Account With Northstar Wealth Partners

There are a few different ways you can get in touch with Northstar Wealth Partners. You can call the firm at (888) 886-7737, or you can visit the firm’s website and fill out the contact form with your name, email address and a brief message.

Tips for Retirement Planning

  • It can be a daunting task to take on the creation of a retirement savings plan completely on your own. Financial advisors can be great partners in this endeavor. Finding the right financial advisor that fits your needs doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with financial advisors in your area in 5 minutes. If you’re ready to be matched with local advisors that will help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
  • Don’t forget to take Social Security payments into account when you formulate what kind of income you’ll need in retirement. If you don’t know what you’re in line to receive, check out SmartAsset’s Social Security calculator.

How Many Years $1 Million Lasts in Retirement

SmartAsset's interactive map highlights places where $1 million will last the longest in retirement. Zoom between states and the national map to see the top spots in each region. Also, scroll over any city to learn about the cost of living in retirement for that location.

Least
Most
Rank City Housing Expenses Food Expenses Healthcare Expenses Utilities Expenses Transportation Expenses

Methodology To determine how long a $1 million nest egg would cover retirement costs in cities across America, we analyzed data on average expenditures for seniors, cost of living and investment returns.

First, we looked at data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) on the average annual expenditures of seniors. We then applied cost of living data from the Council for Community and Economic Research to adjust those national average spending levels based on the costs of each expense category (housing, food, healthcare, utilities, transportation and other) in each city. Using this data, SmartAsset calculated the average cost of living for retirees in the largest U.S. cities.

We assumed the $1 million would grow at a real return (interest minus inflation) of 2%. This reflects the typical return on a conservative investment portfolio. Then, we divided $1 million by the sum of each of those annual numbers to determine how long $1 million would cover retirement expenses in each of the cities in our study. Cities where $1 million lasted the longest ranked the highest in the study.

Sources: Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Council for Community and Economic Research