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A team effort

At Goldstein & Associates, wealth management marries morale-boosting fun

Jon Goldstein seeks a better work-life balance so he can spend more time with his wife and three children, and pursue his dream of landing a 55-inch muskie one day.

Jon Goldstein seeks a better work-life balance so he can spend more time with his wife and three children, and pursue his dream of landing a 55-inch muskie one day.

Photograph by Eric Tadsen

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From the pages of In Business magazine.

Nerf guns and “bacon apologies” are things you wouldn’t normally expect to find in a wealth-management office, but at Goldstein & Associates, Jon Goldstein, CEO and financial advisor, recognizes the importance of keeping things fresh and morale high.

Everyone in the 20-person office has a Nerf gun, and once, after slightly damaging Goldstein’s car, an employee apologized with a large delivery of bacon, Goldstein’s favorite food. “You never want to take yourself too seriously,” he says.

But jokes aside, when it comes to handling other people’s money, it’s serious business, and Goldstein has shined in the industry. This year, he was named the #3 top advisor in Wisconsin by Barron’s, an honor he shares unabashedly with his team.

Goldstein, 42, has a reputation for caring as much for his employees as for the clients they serve. “I hate turnover,” he admits. “I don’t like losing people or having to retrain. It’s just not a model that makes sense.” It’s important, he states, to be especially cognizant of employees’ wants and needs because “if you just treat them like traditional employees, they’ll treat you like a traditional employer.”

He encourages giving back, and this year the company was a major donor to Shake the Lake. “It’s interesting because you like to think that altruism for altruism’s sake is a good thing to have, but it’s good for business, too,” he states.

Fisheries to finance

His road to financial success may have been a bit unconventional. Early on, he was drawn to population dynamics, fisheries, and Department of Natural Resources work. “I like looking through data and trying to analyze things,” Goldstein says. While at UW–Madison, he was conducting research for the DNR and the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission when he accepted a position with IDS Financial Services [which eventually became Ameriprise), and never left.

Interestingly, he found similarities between his two very different pursuits.

“In population dynamics, if there’s a population of rabbits that grows out of control, you introduce a predator, like a fox, to control it. That’s not unlike equations for compound interest and how people latch on. The predator in that scenario would be taxes instead of a fox. It’s the same math.”

(Continued)

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