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Case Studies

Our Case Studies Speak to Our Long History of Investment Success

We’re proud to share specific insight from our history of successful investment management and portfolio management in these case studies.

Joe & Suzanne - Becoming Retirement Ready

Do I have enough money to retire? How will I get my money when the paycheck stops? Should my allocations change now that I’m going to retire? Will my spouse be OK?


These were the questions Joe, a 68-year-old executive, and Suzanne, a 60-year-old stay-at-home mother, was losing sleep over. They had spent many years raising their four children, putting them through college, and successfully guiding them toward meaningful careers, and it was now time to concentrate on their own financial future. After asking friends who they used as financial advisors, they contacted JSA.

The Approach

Our first discussion concentrated on what Joe and Suzanne wanted to achieve with their accumulated wealth. What was the purpose of their money? Once we understood this, we were able to consult with them on portfolio allocations and account distribution strategies that would protect them from running out of money and increase the chance they would achieve their goals.

The Outcome

After understanding their purpose and goals, our advisors allocated the couple’s portfolio in preparation of retirement, identified Social Security strategies and worked with their CPA to make sure their accounts were well-positioned to take advantage of the drop in taxable income at retirement.

Joe and Suzanne now feel optimistic about their financial future and are ready to retire with confidence.

Frank & June - Achieving Multi-Generational Goals

I know we’re going to be OK, but what can I do to help my children and grandchildren? Are there better ways to help my family? Will these gifts promote laziness among our kids?


When Frank and June came to us a decade ago, Frank was a retired partner from a law firm and June was active with volunteer work at the local children’s hospital. Now in their early 70s, they weren’t worried about running out of money, but wanted to share their wealth with their children and grandchildren in a meaningful way.

The Approach

We sat down with Frank and June to get to know them better and ascertain the goals that inspired them to save for this moment. We also met with the couple’s children and grandchildren to determine how the gifts might help them achieve their own personal dreams. The last step was to consult with Frank and June’s estate attorney to make the necessary adjustments to their estate plan, reflecting their goal to make lifetime gifts to their family members.

The Outcome

Once we knew more about Frank and June and their objectives, our advisors helped them set up an annual gifting strategy that provided a reasonable amount of cash to the children and grandchildren but imposed the understanding that the gifts were clearly elective for Frank and June to make. This insured that all family members understood that they still needed to work hard and make their own way.

Additionally, after working closely with their estate attorney, we structured a legacy gift to the children’s hospital where June spent so many of her days as a volunteer. June feels proud to be able to help the local community and a cause she is passionate about.

Frank and June now have peace of mind that they are leaving the right legacy behind to support their offspring and help prepare them for a better life.

Amanda: Setting up Small Business Employees for Retirement

Now that I have my succession plan in place, how do I work it into my retirement plan? Am I offering a fair and objective retirement plan to my employees?


Amanda is an entrepreneur who had spent the last 10 years building a successful multi-office dental practice. After finalizing her succession plan with another dentist in her office, she came to us for a discussion about how the payments she’s receiving will fit into her retirement plan. Additionally, Amanda wanted to make sure her employees were well-situated for retirement through the company’s 401(k).

The Approach

Our advisors spent time with Amanda, discussing her post-retirement goals and dreams. Moreover, through our conversations, it became clear that Amanda felt a high level of responsibility to her employees and their financial futures. She expressed concern that the office’s current 401(k) offering was structured more to the benefit of the insurance company than to her employees.

The Outcome

With a clear understanding of her goals and working directly with her CPA, we were able to build a retirement income plan that insured she was going to have enough cash flow to fulfill her dream of traveling the world and providing for her family.

After a comprehensive analysis, JSA was able to structure a 401(k) retirement plan for her practice that placed the emphasis on giving advice to her employees, not on making the plan provider wealthy. We built in a schedule of regular one-on-one meetings with her staff in which we were able to provide truly thoughtful advice and ensure employees weren’t paying commissions to a company that had no interest in their individual objectives.

John: Understanding Options Post-Divorce

What exactly do I have now that I’m divorced? How should my investments be allocated? How will this change affect my financial future?


In his mid-50s, John was suddenly faced with managing his own finances upon the finalization of his divorce. John had spent the majority of his years working for a large biotechnology company when his wife served him with divorce papers. John’s wife, a CPA, had always managed the family finances, which left John with a very limited understanding of what the family actually had in terms of cash, investments, and assets.

The Approach

With the divorce finalized, John came to JSA to gain a better understanding of how much he had, what it could provide, and what his purpose for the money was. We conducted a thorough analysis of the assets he received as a result of the settlement and sat down with John to review our findings.

The Outcome

As a result of our process, John consolidated many accounts with a minimal impact on his current year’s taxes, updated his beneficiary to reflect the settlement, and implemented a strategy for the alimony payments he’d be receiving. We also discussed how a divorce would affect his future social security and pension payments.

John was able to leave our office feeling that he had an understanding of his current accounts and how his investment strategy would help him achieve his goals.

Frank: Revamping a Non-Profit's Investment Strategy for Long Term Success

Are we doing all we can do to support our mission? Do we have enough money to continue the work of the organization, even in years of low membership?


Frank, a current client and board member of a local charitable organization, approached JSA asking these questions. Frank had been active with the charity for many years and believed strongly in the work it was doing to help the area’s homeless population. At a recent board meeting, Frank asked his fellow board members to describe the organization’s current investment strategy. No one could answer him. It was at this point that he came to us.

The Approach

Our advisors took time to get to know more about the organization’s mission, goals, and financial position, plus what they hoped to achieve with their investments. After a comprehensive review, it was clear to us that the cash position of their portfolio was too heavy. Additionally, with no official investment policy, current board members had no clear guidance on the purpose of their investments.

The Outcome

JSA helped the charity build an investment policy statement to guide current and future board members on investment strategy moving forward. Moreover, we helped reallocate its current investments with the right mix of assets to provide much-needed support, particularly in years of low donations.

Frank and the rest of the board members are relieved that the organization is in a better position to carry out their mission without having to worry about whether they can continue their work when charitable giving slows.