In 2019, we are excited to announce some major news, major updates, and major upgrades.
First and foremost, this month we are celebrating our 20-year anniversary! I am so grateful for all of your support. We literally would not be here without you. Thank you.
I would like to introduce you to two new team members.
Rachel Lubahn recently joined the Smalley Investments family as our Client Ambassador. She is terrific and her role is centered around providing outstanding customer service to our retirement plan clients, our endowment fund clients, and our workers’ compensation fund clients. Rachel brings with her a strong background in service as she is involved in several community engagement endeavors throughout Lansing, as well as having served as the Executive Director of the First Tee of Mid-Michigan, a non-profit that focuses on building character in young people through the game of golf. She also has an excellent background in golf, having been the Big-Ten women’s golf champion while attending Michigan State University. I’m really excited she is on our team and I know she is going to help make the client experience in 2019 fantastic.
Mo Parisian has customer service in her DNA and joins our team as the new Office Coordinator. Those of you who have hockey players or ice-skaters may remember Mo from her days at Suburban Ice Rink. She has also been a nanny to triplets (!), an insurance office receptionist, and an author. Mo’s role will be to greet clients, schedule meetings, process paperwork, and help coordinate the workflow of our growing firm.
As you know, Ryan Balks has served as the paraplanner on our team for a while and has already become an all-star. Ryan is responsible for running our financial planning software, putting together our meeting materials, and helping to craft the portfolios for our clients. He is also able to handle any service issue you may have, from questions regarding the reinvestment of dividends, to making sure distributions are taken, to making trades at your request. Ryan has more than 10 years of experience, and we are lucky to have him on our team.
In addition to our personnel upgrades, we are also upgrading our technology. Not only have we recently purchased new computers for the entire office, we have also added software to enhance the client experience. Commonwealth’s Investor 360 web portal allows you to see all of your accounts that we manage for you. However, now it is even more powerful, as we can connect your outside accounts like your 401k, bank accounts, mortgage, and credit cards. This feeds directly into our upgraded financial planning software in real time, so your plan is always up to date.
As an accompaniment to the new financial planning software, we are also introducing an interactive tool to help assess the risk that you’re willing to take for your long-term investments. After a few quick questions, the software provides you with a Risk Number based on your individual responses. We can then run an analysis of your portfolio and make any changes necessary to ensure that all of your investments are coordinated with your overall Risk Number. This is especially helpful in an environment like the one we’re in now.
Lastly, we are implementing the use of a tactical strategy with some of our clients in 2019. With this strategy, each month, we use buy and sell signals to determine the allocation in the tactical portion of the portfolio. Of course, this strategy does not guarantee a gain or avoid a loss, but it can provide some diversification and add a more active component to the portfolio.
As we kick off the new year, we will be reaching out to sit down and review your portfolio and financial situation. We will take the time to acquaint you with our latest technology, including our new risk tool, our new financial planning software, and our upgrade to Investor 360, as well as discuss if using a tactical strategy might be right for you. Of course, if you have any questions or would like to learn more, please do not hesitate to contact us.
We are really exited about 2019. Celebrating 20 years of working with our fantastic clients is a wonderful milestone for us, and we are proud to continue serving each of you. Here’s to the next 20 years.