“Now we’ve got the prior year totally behind us, let’s move this forward. Whether it’s helping a client on a one-to-one basis move closer to their goals and objectives, or people within the company moving the company forward on their goals and objectives. It’ll be interesting to watch what kind of ideas get created when we’re looking forward and trying to move things forward.”

In the 2024 Q-2 edition of the “From the President’s Chair” Quarterly update, John G. Ullman & Associates President & COO, Jason Nickerson, CFP®, EA sits down to discuss the start of 2024, his message for JGUA clients heading into Q-2, his biggest takeaways from Q-1, a leadership change in the Rhinebeck branch and more. The interview has been edited for length and clarity.

 Q: Alright, we’re out of Q-1. What has been your biggest takeaway thus far?

A: For us, the first quarter, coming back from the holidays, marks the beginning of the busiest time of year for us. We start off the year with reporting to clients on the prior year, investment results through Quarterly reports and then move right into producing tax information that compliments the 1099’s that our clients get. Then we are moving right into tax preparation and then we get back to reports again at the end of the first quarter. So for us, like I said, it’s the busiest time of year. But what’s always been impressive in my time here is the team work that goes into producing that much work, in addition to the normal day-to-day stuff that we’re already doing in investment management and financial planning. It’s a level of work that cuts across almost the entire company and it’s very humbling to watch a team that has grown and worked together so well and put in the amount of effort they do roll up their sleeves and get it all done. Everyone doing whatever it takes to have the best outcome at the end of the first quarter.

Q: There are several new partnerships underway in the JGUA Community Education Series. How exciting has it been to see this initiative grow?

A: It’s been very impressive, and frankly I think financial literacy in this country is something that is much needed. There needs to be improvement and there needs to be a lot of headway made in access to trustworthy financial education and information. These partnerships are just one way that I think we can participate in that. Of course, at the end of the day, we want new clients and to work with people for many generations to come. But, this is also a way for us not just to introduce who we are and what we provide for our clients, but to give back to the communities we serve and have given us so much over the years by providing that education in a non-commercial way. By partnering with groups who have a similar feeling or a similar initiative, focusing on the importance of financial education, I hope we can continue to build on this in our own way to address the need for financial literacy.

Q: I want to quickly touch on the Rhinebeck branch, which recently saw a change in leadership with Andrew Baron becoming the lead advisor of the location. How has that transition gone? How has Andrew benefited the Rhinebeck branch?

A: It’s been so wonderful to watch in many ways. First of all, the team that was already there with Peta Bartles and Derek Doyle. Peta, being there for several years now and being a real anchor in the community, helping Andrew get acclimated has just been wonderful to watch. Derek, being a newer advisor, stepped up quite a bit to help. As relatively new as he is, he’s very intelligent and works very hard. He has taken on anything and everything he could, even in his limited time here, it’s been great to see. Andrew is someone I’ve watched sort of grow up in this company. Came in very intelligent, very dedicated to clients and the financial services industry overall. He didn’t come in new, he came to us with a few years of experience, and what a great opportunity for he and his wife and just that team overall. To add vibrancy to that office and I think it’s caused some excitement in the community as well. To have a person like Andrew join, who we think will be long term in that position and long term with the company, that type of commitment is certainly appreciated in the Rhinebeck community as much as it’s appreciated in our local community.

Q: You spoke in our last interview about the strategic planning and implementation that was done during COVID, and how you were proud to see that starting to come to fruition. How has that trend continued since we last spoke?

A: I think we’re at the stage now where we are continuing to find ways within the major initiatives of the strategic plan to improve those initiatives. All the while continuing to look for ways to adapt our business to this changing industry. I think one of the benefits that doesn’t get talked about as much as the results tend to, is the way that this changes the attitude, culture and morale of the company. When there’s a willingness to reinvest into the clients and into our team and overall success of everyone involved in the company, there’s a real grit mentality that comes with that. We’re going to try some things and they aren’t going to work, but we’re also going to try some things and they’re going to work really well. We’re just going to keep plugging away at it and try to find more things that work really well and lean into those things. Strategic planning and implementation is a long-term view and a long road, we still have a long way to go. But from what you can see from the overall mentality shift in the company, that’s very rewarding.

Q: Last question, just like I asked you in the last interview, what can our clients look ahead to in Q-2 of 2024? What’s coming that excites you?

A: Well, second quarter always starts with the end of the first quarter work that I talked about earlier, which is a lot of looking backwards. Year-end reports that look back at the prior year, tax returns and tax information that looks at the prior year, Quarterly reports that look at the first quarter. I think what really gets our team fired up is looking ahead. We have to do these things, but they get really excited about getting out, working with clients, working within the community, about looking forward. That’s where we return to that sort of mentality. Now we’ve got the prior year totally behind us, let’s move this forward. Whether it’s helping a client on a one-to-one basis move closer to their goals and objectives, or people within the company moving the company forward on their goals and objectives. It’ll be interesting to watch what kind of ideas get created when we’re looking forward and trying to move things forward.

About John G. Ullman & Associates, Inc.

John G. Ullman & Associates, Inc., was founded in Corning, N.Y. in 1978. The firm is a Registered Investment Advisor (RIA) registered federally with the Securities & Exchange Commission*. As an independent, fee-based investment management firm JGUA provides comprehensive wealth management strategies and services to their clients. The firm manages over $1 billion in client assets, with a staff of more than 75 employees over four locations, including Horseheads, N.Y., Rhinebeck, N.Y., Charlotte, N.C. and Corning.

If you are interested in learning more about how JGUA could help you, visit our website HERE, or call 1 (800) 936-3785. You can follow us on, LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and The JGUA Blog.

*Registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training