401(k) Guidance

Background Information

This information is intended to help you understand your retirement plan investment options, and show you the best way to allocate your portfolio based on your own risk tolerance and investment goals. We offer model 401(k) plans for employees at many prominent companies. If your employer’s plan is missing, send us an email with your fund choices. We’ll analyze it and add it to our list.

All this information is free, and we hope you will share it with your co-workers!


NorthStar applies the same investment philosophy used in the 401(k) plan guidance for our clients in the selection of funds within these model 401(k) plans.

Ideally, the stock portfolio should be equally weighted between domestic and international stocks. The domestic and international funds should each have an overweight in value and small cap stocks. There should also be an allocation to both domestic and international REITs. The bond portfolio should be allocated among intermediate terms, short term, and inflation-protected U.S. government securities.

In practice, a specific 401(k) plan may not offer mutual funds representing all the asset classes we think are appropriate. When selecting funds, we emphasize the lower cost option within the favored asset classes or their closest substitutes, and will then increase the weighting of the chosen funds to compensate for asset classes not represented in the 401(k) plan.


NorthStar Capital Advisors is a Registered Investment Advisor and many of our clients are employed by companies listed here. We’re often asked to review 401(k) plans to recommend asset allocations with the best investment options offered.

We’re pleased to make this information more widely available in the hope that you will consider working with us to help you achieve your financial goals.

Besides advising those working toward retirement, we also advise retirees in the distribution of their assets.

We are compensated strictly through your fully disclosed fees, refusing commissions or any other misaligned third-party incentives.


If you are having difficulty contacting the employer that sponsored a plan in which you participated, you can contact the Employee Benefits Security Administration at (202) 693-8603 or their website.

We are not affiliated with any 401(k) plan, employer, or plan administrator. Individual account information is available to plan participants through the plan sponsor or the plan administrator. We cannot obtain this information on your behalf.

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