The Smalley Investments team supporting local artists this summer in Lansing during ArtPath.

The Smalley Investments team supporting local artists this summer in Lansing during ArtPath.

I hope you and your family had a great Independence Day.  Other than the fact that my poor dog hates fireworks, Independence Day never fails to be a highlight for us here at Smalley Investments.  Seasons change, and much like the Earth revolves around the sun, in my mind at least, the seasons revolve around summer.  There is no place I’d rather be in summer than Michigan. I hope you have some time to enjoy it.

About a week ago, my wife and I were getting our little cottage ready to rent out for the summer season.  As I was cleaning the rocking chairs, I remembered what my grandmother told me as a child: if you’re going to do something, do it well.  

Do you know how many spindles there are on a rocking chair?  And each one has four sides.  What I thought would take a couple minutes turned into a much longer ordeal when I applied Grandma Gertie’s saying to it.  But in the end, it was the right thing to do.  The chairs turned out great and the renters arrived in time to enjoy watching the fireworks on the porch.  

But along those lines, I am eager to report that we have made some recent additions to the Smalley Investments team.  As you may know, our goal is to provide outstanding and indispensable service to our clients.  Because we have been growing, it is time for us to add staff to continue the service that we provide, and enhance the services that we provide.


In May, Ryan Balks joined us as a Paraplanner.  For those of you not in the financial services industry, that title is given to someone whose focus is financial planning.  Ryan has almost 10 years of experience in working with clients to help them achieve their financial goals.  My objective in hiring Ryan is to have him assist me with building holistic financial plans for our clients in addition to asset management.  It’s not enough to have a well-diversified portfolio if it doesn’t help you accomplish your life goals.  Ryan will lead our planning efforts.  He will also be part of the wealth management team, providing the crucial research and follow up necessary for all of our wealth management clients.  I look forward to introducing you to him the next time you come into the office.

And if you happen to come in before the summer is over, you’ll also have a chance to meet our Summer Intern, Brennan Sanford.  Brennan is a senior at Michigan State University studying finance at the Eli Broad School of Management.  His main focus is helping us update some key software (hint, it might have something to do with financial planning…see above).  In the fall he not only heads back to school, but he will resume his co-captain responsibilities on the MSU hockey team.  Sounds like they will be pretty good this year, too.  

As for the markets, so far this year they’ve been a little flat.  That is not totally unexpected, given the great returns we enjoyed last year. Also, this year interest rates are going up and trade negotiations with our trading partners has turned a bit confrontational.  That may turn out beneficial in the end, but so far it has kept markets in check. That all comes at a time when the national economy is booming (have you seen how low unemployment is?), and corporate profits are up.  But the global economy is not firing on all cylinders.  And geo-political events could prove to be problematic by the end of the year, although they amazingly haven’t had much of an impact in the last 18 months.  As always, those are next to impossible to predict.  

But to bring this full-circle, what is much easier to predict than the short-term gyrations of the stock market, is the long-term probability of success in mapping out your family’s financial goals.  Call us to talk about how we can help you identify your goals and the best way to achieve them.  Financial planning can have a big impact on your goals and on your confidence.

In the fall newsletter, I’ll fill you in on the exciting things that Nicole is doing for our institutional clients.

If you have any questions or would like to schedule a meeting, give us a shout.  In the meantime, don’t forget the sunscreen!

- Joe Smalley


Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network, member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser.


Smalley Investments

213 East Saint Joseph Street

Lansing, MI 48933