Michelle Lynn Smalenberger

Michelle Lynn Smalenbergerage 34

Vice president, Kabareck Financial Advisors

Fast Facts

  • Wanted to be a teacher growing up
  • Took vocal lessons from 7th grade through college
  • Guilty pleasure: Wheel of Fortune

Michelle Smalenberger is on a quest to ensure young professionals pursue a path that leads to financial security.

She’s created a young professionals program at Kabarec Financial Advisors to nurture clients early in their careers so they have the knowledge and guidance to make the right financial decisions over decades.

“It felt like the great advice that we were giving 50- to 80-year-old clients was really applicable to younger people, too, so they could set themselves up for a great future,” Ms. Smalenberger said.

The idea for the program came to her after talking to friends and other millennials about their fear of making the wrong financial decisions. For instance, one friend who had just become a doctor with a $300,000 salary wanted to make sure he was spending and saving at the right level to provide for his four kids – and to pay off his student loans.

In addition to providing a valuable resource to clients, Ms. Smalenberger has helped her eight-person firm grow its assets under management to $200 million, and today, as vice president, plays a vital role in developing and mentoring new hires.

A Kansas native, Ms. Smalenberger joined Chicago-based Kabarec as a paraplanner shortly after graduating from Kansas State University 12 years ago with a degree in personal financial planning. She’s also attained the certified financial planner designation.

Outside of her career, she volunteers in classrooms through Junior Achievement, teaching children as young as first grade about financial concepts and how those matter in their communities.

– Liz Skinner

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