Ypsi financial planning business serves athletes and entertainers, gives back to community


Money isn’t always easy to make or to save, especially in a time when finding work is challenging and expenses like rent and groceries have increased significantly. When it’s difficult to save and build finances, a financial advisor could come in handy to aid in learning about investing to build wealth, or crafting a personal budget that fits your lifestyle. 

Ypsilanti’s Rickstar Financial not only provides these kinds of personal finance services, but also strives to give back to the community and teach young people about how investment works. And Rickstar Financial founder Richard Griffin hopes to see more of those young people enter the field of financial advising themselves. Griffin originally operated in his hometown of Ann Arbor before bringing his 30 years of financial expertise to downtown Ypsi.

“We want to teach people to build that financial team, and we try to offer resources for other educational opportunities,” Griffin says. “At the end of the day we want you to save, and get help somewhere you respect and know is qualified.”
Rickstar Financial founder Richard Griffin.
Rickstar specializes in advising professional athletes and entertainers, but also welcomes clients who are just getting their start in investing. Griffin says his firm’s location in the heart of downtown Ypsi makes Rickstar more accessible to a variety of clients, both from Ypsi and throughout the rest of the country. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, Rickstar also operated a Miami office, but Griffin says the pandemic didn’t fundamentally change the structure of his business.

“We’re looking to grow. We want to bring people back to the office. We’re gradually getting back there,” he says. “Our mouse trap doesn’t really stop.”

In addition to traditional advisory work, Griffin and Rickstar consistently engage with the greater Ypsi community by sponsoring events like the John E. Lawrence Summer Jazz Series or hosting local workshops and seminars on retirement planning and budget building. Although it’s not related to finances, Griffin says one of his “biggest accomplishments” is helping to bolster the Washtenaw Junior Football Program, which has been in operation since 2003.
Gerald Albright performing at the John E. Lawrence Summer Jazz series.
“Sports can normalize going to college for kids,” Griffin says. “I take great pride in being a part of restarting that, and it’s great that it’s still going.”

Griffin also hopes that his continued work in the community will interest more teens and young adults in financial planning – both to set themselves up for financial success after high school or college, but also as a possible career path. He hopes Rickstar’s seminars and workshops will help young people to realize his business is just as fulfilling as it can be lucrative.

“I want to get more young people of color into financial planning,” Griffin says. “I want more young people to understand what a financial advisor is and that it’s a decent profession to be in.”
Rickstar Financial founder Richard Griffin.
For more information on Rickstar Financial, visit the firm’s website.

“I’m just Ricky from Ann Arbor,” Griffin says. “I’ve had so many people and programs help me get me where I am, and now I’m trying to do the same thing.”

Rylee Barnsdale is a Michigan native and longtime Washtenaw County resident. She wants to use her journalistic experience from her time at Eastern Michigan University writing for the Eastern Echo to tell the stories of Washtenaw County residents that need to be heard.

All photos by Doug Coombe.

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