Case studies

Sam and Alice plan for retirement


When their youngest child Tim moved out of home to study at university, Sam and Alice started to think about the next 15 years leading up to their retirement. Sam and Alice would like to continue their current lifestyle and want to make the most of their additional savings, especially now that Tim is mostly independent.  When they retire they would like to renovate the kitchen, continue to enjoy good food and wine, and volunteer as board members with their favourite community and environmental groups.  They both like sailing, playing tennis and they are learning photography.  Sam and Alice would also like to travel to see the French Open and Wimbledon, and take photography tours of Africa, Canada and Antarctica.

Sam and Alice saw a Gold Leaf Financial Planner and discussed their values and goals.  Their adviser recommended keeping their super fund but changing the investments to make sure it was invested in line with their ethical values and that it would grow for retirement.  The adviser also recommended making additional mortgage repayments and salary sacrificing to super.  Sam and Alice will also take some of their long service leave in the next few years to travel to the French Open and to Antarctica as part of enjoying life now.


By following their financial planner’s recommendations, Sam and Alice will be debt free in five years and have an extra $900,000 at retirement.  They will have income in retirement to enjoy good food and wine and there will be funds available for kitchen renovations and overseas travel.

Mandy and Scott's Vineyard Dream


Mandy and Scott always dreamed of buying a block of land in the Yarra Valley to start their own boutique winery.  They also wanted to be close to nature and grow organic fruit and vegetables.   A few years ago, Mandy received an inheritance of $2.5 million from a family member.  She wanted to make the most of this money and prepared to purchase a vineyard.  Although they both enjoyed their jobs, which were highly stressful, they wanted to have a change of pace with more quiet surroundings in 7-10 years’ time.  Mandy and Scott live in the inner northern suburbs of Melbourne and have a $600,000 mortgage.  They researched the price of a vineyard and they would need approximately $3.1 million.  When they purchase the vineyard, they would like to keep their current home as an investment property.

They met with a Gold Leaf Financial adviser who talked to them about their goals and dreams and recommended they repay their existing home mortgage in full.  This would mean they saved on bank interest on the mortgage and they then had additional savings each year.  Mandy and Scott felt happy to be debt free. 


With the remaining funds of $1.9 million the adviser recommended they start an investment portfolio in a range of assets such as shares, bonds and listed property. This was in line with their personal ethical values and would grow over time.  The portfolio was structured in a tax effective way.  Their adviser also recommended they add savings of $4,000 each month into the investment.  When they received bonuses at work, they would use part of the bonus for a holiday and the remainder was deposited into the investment portfolio.  Calculations show that just over 8 years the investment portfolio will be worth approximately $3.6 million*.

They are now on track to make their vineyard dream a reality.


*Note: Monthly savings $4,000 per month, combined bonus of $7,000 per year. Assumed average investment return of 7.2% pa.

Rebecca and Jack start an ethical investment


Rebecca is a nurse at the local hospital and Jack is a university professor.  They have recently inherited $800,000 from Rebecca’s mum and would like to invest this for the future.  Rebecca feels this is a big responsibility and she would like to invest the money in a sensible way.  They would like to use some of the money to pay for school fees when their children are in high school, starting in 7 years.  Rebecca and Jack would also like an investment that is easy to manage and one they can add to each month from their savings in order to grow their wealth long term. 


Rebecca’s main ethical concern is that she does not want to invest in junk food companies.  Jack is concerned about climate change and would like to avoid investing in fossil fuel.  They have both travelled over the years and feel they are lucky to have grown up in Australia and they would like to support education and healthcare. 

Rebecca and Jack met with a Gold Leaf Financial Planner, who helped them to establish a diversified ethical investment portfolio that matches their values as well as their risk profile.  The investment is simple to manage and easy to add to each month.  After 7 years they have seen their investment grow to $1,214,000 and their adviser helps them keep on track, changing the investments from time to time in order to make sure the overall ethical investment portfolio is still right for their risk comfort level, their objectives and their ethical preferences.  Rebecca and Jack are happy to know their money is “doing no harm” and supporting industries making a positive impact.


*Note assumed average investment return of 7.2% pa.

Kate and Matt invest for the future


Kate and Matt have three children and live near the beach in Brighton, a beachside suburb of Melbourne.  Matt’s parents established a successful business many years ago and have recently given Matt $3.8 million to invest for his family.  Kate and Matt love the beach and feel connected to the environment.  They would like to make the most of this generous gift, to provide for their children and also to give back to the community and protect the environment.


They met with a Gold Leaf Financial Planner and discussed their personal values and goals with regard to this investment.  As a result of the adviser’s recommendations, they established a family trust and invested in a portfolio of direct securities that are in line with their personal ethics.  They like having input into the portfolio holdings and having investments that are tailored just for them.  They established a charitable trust which was also invested ethically.  They enjoy distributing the income each year and teaching their children about different social and environmental issues and the positive impact of the charities they support. 

Elisabeth learns about her super investments


Elisabeth likes watching documentaries and in the last few years has become concerned about gambling and animal cruelty including live animal exports.  She is also troubled after watching a documentary which showed the poor conditions of workers in Bangladesh and China. These workers were making clothes that were being sold by many Australian retailers.  


Elisabeth contacted her Gold Leaf Financial Planner and was surprised to discover that her super fund was invested in many areas that she wanted to avoid.  She was happy her adviser had the expertise and experience in ethical investments to change this.  Her adviser recommended a new super fund with investments that align with her personal values and have shown a sound financial performance. 


Elisabeth is happy now that her super no longer invests in live animal exports or gambling.  Instead she is now invested in companies with good labour safety standards, and in activities she considers positive like education and renewable energy.

Case studies


The case studies on this website are based on client experiences.  Names and details have been changed.  The information is of a general nature and we recommend you read the General Advice Warning.

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