Category: News

A note from Lee R. Johnson, Jr., CFA, Chief Investment Officer, Great Valley Advisor Group

Inflation continues to be a hot topic these days and the Fed gave us a big signal on their position back in June by saying it’s “transitory”. Now we can all see inflation taking shape here in our everyday lives if you look at the steady rise in prices at the gas pump, grocery stores, across retail and of course commodities. But the question is will it hold at these elevated levels or will it come down like the Fed is saying? Well right now the market is signaling it will come down. That’s shown by looking at the 10-year yield which has been steadily decreasing to the 1.2-1.5% range since the Fed met back in June. And even before that, the yield had been coming down since March when it was at 1.75%. Now that’s certainly something to think about because you would think if prices are going up then shouldn’t the 10-year yield be too? Like what was happening earlier this year? And why is the Fed saying it’s transitory? To answer that you have to look at what inflation actually is.

It’s no more than how much money people have to spend for whatever is available to buy. How much money is a function of the money supply which the Fed controls. And of course, what’s available to buy is a function of the supply chain. Now since the pandemic began last year, the money supply grew exponentially to as high as 40% growth. It has since come down to 15% but that’s still at unprecedented levels which we haven’t seen since the 1970s. That’s crazy and any way you slice it, that simply means we have more money in the system than usual. And we all know the supply chain challenges we’ve had. So with more money and less supply that’s a double whammy for inflation which is exactly what we’ve been seeing lately with y/y CPI now being reported in the in the 5% range on the last two reads for May (5%) and June (5.4%). But as supply chain logistics improve, available goods to buy will begin to normalize back to replenished levels which will then cause inflation to come back down from current highs. That’s the “transitory” effect the Fed is referring to. But that’s not to say that inflation is going away anytime soon. Surely not and that’s where the balance between these two factors will play a big role in how it settles in. There is also another key component to keep in mind here and that is how fast money is being spent. Which is known as the “money velocity”. That also plays a part in inflation. Now that was dismally low during the pandemic and remains low to this day. But if you think about the popular finance concept of “reversion to the mean” then naturally inflation should get a boost as money begins to change hands faster. The question is when and how much it would contribute once the imbalance between money supply and supply chain settles in. That remains to be seen and that’s why everyone is so focused on what the Fed is saying these days because it’s right in their wheelhouse of their “stable prices” mandate.

So, as the economy continues to heat up, all eyes will continue to be on them and when they expect to begin a “tightening” cycle. Because even though inflation is “transitory” right now, it is certainly here to stay. And as always, the Fed will pick their spots to take action where they deem necessary. Which from observing them over the past several years it’s very apparent they are purely data driven and will react to what the data tells them. The next Fed meeting in Jackson Hole in August will definitely shed more light. This is certainly a very interesting stretch here as we continue through the summer months, and I would expect to see some moderate volatility as the market continues to process new data on the reopening cycle. Especially in light of the new Delta variant news that’s coming out. Like we saw on last Monday’s big 700-point drop on the Dow and the rest of the week in comeback mode.

We have been positioning the models we manage all year for the recovery, and we will continue to do so. Our latest rebalance on July 2 addressed this by adding exposure to consumer discretionary and bank loans, holding our positions in financials, tech and the vaccine trade and lowering duration to help mitigate interest rate risk since we expect interest rates to go up longer term.

If you have any questions or want to learn more about the GVA Asset Management models, please feel free to reach out to

Thank you!

Investment advice offered through Great Valley Advisor Group, a Registered Investment Advisor.

Great Valley Advisor Group Acquires U.S. Financial Advisors: Acquisition expands GVA’s footprint to New England and adds significant wealth management capabilities and resources

PAOLI, Pa. — May 11, 2021 — Great Valley Advisor Group (“GVA”), a technology-driven full-service registered investment adviser (“RIA”), has acquired U.S. Financial Advisors (“USFA”). The acquisition expands GVA’s presence in the Greater Boston, Massachusetts, region and adds to its overall wealth and investment management capabilities for high-net-worth (“HNW”) individuals.

Based in Braintree, Mass., USFA is a full-service RIA that provides comprehensive and customized investment, insurance and wealth management services for its clients. Under the leadership of President and Chief Executive Officer John Napolitano, CFP®, CPA, USFA has grown to over $725 million in assets under management and has a network of advisors across the county. The full USFA team is joining GVA. Napolitano will lead GVA’s dedicated HNW practice, which will maintain the USFA branding and offer family office services. The HNW practice will include five additional advisors.

“John and his team have built a strong reputation of excellence in the industry,” said Ryan C. Todd, CPA, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of GVA. “Their experience and expertise in serving the HNW base aligns with our focus on elevating our offering and positioning us for future growth. We are excited to integrate the USFA team with our GVA community.”

Napolitano added: “The team at GVA shares our approach to client service, our passion for wealth management and the dedication to growing our advisors’ careers. Our partnership with GVA and the resources its leadership team offer will support our focus on building a dedicated HNW practice and providing the integrated and comprehensive support this specific client group needs.”

“Our focus is on empowering and supporting advisors to grow their businesses, and the relationship we have built with John and his team is a perfect example of this philosophy in action,” said James J. Spinelli, Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director at GVA. “John is clear in his vision and where he intends to make the most impact in the next phase of his career. We are thrilled he is aligning with GVA to make this vision a reality.”

GVA has focused on growth in recent years, strategically adding resources that will benefit the advisors in its network. The firm introduced its dedicated asset management arm, Valor Asset Management in 2016 and has expanded its in-house technology resources and tools for advisors in the last five years. GVA has completed several successful acquisitions in its history and has built a network of nearly 100 advisors across the country. The firm was supported by LPL Financial’s M&A Solutions new premium buyer program in completing the USFA transaction.

“The GVA team has been strategic in its development, building the right capabilities and structure to support a deal of this magnitude,” said Jeremy Holly, LPL Senior Vice President and head of Advisor Financial Solutions. “Our M&A Solutions team supported GVA and USFA throughout a formal sales process, positioning GVA as a qualified and value-added buyer and ensuring the firms were a good fit. We believe this acquisition will be a true benefit to their current and future clients.”

The acquisition closed on May 10, 2021, and will increase GVA’s assets under management by over $725 million. GVA was advised by Stradley Ronon. Financial and legal terms of the deal were not disclosed.

About Great Valley Advisor Group

Great Valley Advisor Group (“GVA”) is a technology-driven full-service registered investment adviser. GVA partners with select independent financial advisors by providing customized technology, investment strategies, compliance, and proprietary compensation tools to help them grow their businesses. Our advisors have the choice and flexibility to run their businesses the way they want. GVA provides advisors with support to get started and technology to help the firm thrive.

For more information, visit

GVA Supports the Travis Manion Foundation at the 13th Annual USMC Memorial Event

GVA believes in giving back to our local community and supporting those in need.  The charities we have chosen to support hold special meaning to us. While GVA supports many great causes, we focus on organizations that support veterans, children, and mental health awareness.

One charity we’ve had the pleasure of supporting is the Travis Manion Foundation (TMF.) Inspired by a legacy of service, TMF strives to unite and strengthen communities by training, developing, and highlighting the role models that lead them. TMF was founded in honor of 1stLt Travis Manion, USMC, who made the ultimate sacrifice for the safety of his patrol in 2007.

GVA particularly supports TMF because we feel a sense of duty to give back to those who have served and fought for the greater good. Military families make a huge sacrifice and we choose to support them in any way we can.

Not only is Travis’ story and the foundation dedicated to him an inspiration to us all, but the core values they promote align particularly well with the change we wish to see in the world. Those values include:

  • Build, Measure, Learn, Repeat – which embraces the entrepreneurial spirit and encourages a bias for action
  • Be Accountable – Do the right thing at all times
  • Purpose begins with Passion – We enjoy building relationships with one another and take pride in having an impact on our communities. 
  • Out of Many, One – Differences make us stronger and a more unified community
  • Fueled by Gratitude – Anything of great value requires great sacrifice to achieve.
  • Failure is a Bruise, Not a Tattoo – We are resilient. We are hopeful. We stay in the fight.

This week we had the pleasure of supporting them with a sponsorship at the 13th annual USMC Memorial Event where GVA’s James Spinelli participated in a golf tournament.

See below for a recap of our amazing day with beautiful weather. Learn more and get involved at

Your Scheduling just got Smarter. Great Valley Advisor Group Partners with OnceHub

GVA is proud to partner with OnceHub, the leading provider of smart scheduling solutions, to provide you and your clients with a seamless and professional experience when it comes to booking both virtual and face to face appointments. With the ScheduleOnce online appointment booking tool, you receive a link to a fully branded landing page with YOUR photo, contact information, and calendar availability that is easily accessible to clients and prospects who need to meet.

Best part of all… If you are currently utilizing GVA’s Online Portal, this service is included!

ScheduleOnce Reviews and Pricing - 2020

This solution directly integrates with both your Salesforce and Outlook calendar!

If you would like to sign up for this service, please email Colton Pence, stating you would like to sign up and either Colton, or another member of the GVA team will reach out.

Great Valley Advisor Group Adds Bernicke Wealth Management

The $530M Wisconsin-based independent RIA joins GVA advisor network to take advantage of compliance support and enhanced technology resources

Great Valley Advisor Group (“GVA”), a technology-driven full-service registered investment adviser (“RIA”) that partners with select independent financial advisors to support growth and provide access to superior practice management and business strategy resources, has added Bernicke Wealth Management (“BWM”) to its network of advisors. BWM joined GVA via its hybrid affiliation model.

Based in Altoona, Wisconsin, BWM is an independent wealth management firm that provides comprehensive investment management, estate and tax planning strategies for wealthy individuals and families. Under the leadership of Founder and President Ty A. Bernicke, the firm has grown to a team of 21 employees and manages over $500 million in client assets. BWM aligned with GVA as it sought the opportunity to maintain its independence and grow, and it will take advantage of GVA’s expansive advisor network, as well as the technology and compliance solutions.

“GVA is dedicated to supporting advisor growth and long-term practice success by providing access to best-in-class technology and compliance solutions,” said James J. Spinelli, Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director at GVA. “As the BWM team diligently searched for the right partner, GVA stood out as a natural fit.”

“We are an independent firm and safeguarding this independence was of chief importance to our team,” said Bernicke. “We sought a partner who we could trust to help us grow our business and who would support the practice philosophy that is core to our work and client service. The real value in joining GVA is realizing the distinct competitive advantage the partnership provides in terms of compliance and technology solutions. We’re excited to join the GVA network and take advantage of its benefits.”

With a centralized focus on helping financial advisors grow and achieve long-term independence in their businesses, GVA partners with select advisors and offers customized and integrated technology tools, comprehensive compliance oversight and back-office services, asset management, succession solutions, and proprietary advisor billing and compensation software. Advisors can affiliate with GVA by joining the RIA, utilizing its Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction (OSJ) or via a hybrid model. The GVA advisor network includes 26 offices across the country, who collectively manage over $3.25 billion across its advisory and brokerage businesses.

“We recognize that independent advisors have worked tirelessly to build their businesses and emerge as leaders in the industry,” added Spinelli. “Yet they face mounting challenges to maintain these levels of success. Our goal is to help them grow their businesses by removing some of the operational and compliance burden. For example, in addition to our in-house compliance team, we also partnered with Cipperman Compliance Services for external oversight. GVA gives advisors and their teams the flexibility to focus on client service and creating solutions for their clients.”

BWM joined GVA on June 18, 2020. The firm will maintain its BWM branding and Wisconsin headquarters.

GVA Welcomes Millstone Wealth Management

Millstone Wealth

Great Valley Advisor Group (GVA) is excited to welcome Travis Hansberger and Tyler Pahl, along with the entire Millstone Wealth Management team to GVA’s RIA Only platform. Millstone Wealth Management reports having served approximately $220 million in advisory assets*. They join us from Thrivent Financial.

About Great Valley Advisor Group

Great Valley Advisor Group (“GVA”) is a technology driven full-service Registered Investment Advisor. GVA partners with select independent financial advisors by providing customized technology, investment strategies, compliance, and back-office solutions. With access to multiple custodians and third party money managers, our advisors have the choice and flexibility to run their business the way they want. For more information, visit

*Reported assets and client numbers have not been independently and fully verified by Great Valley Advisor Group.

GVA enables Financial Plan Billing through AdvisorBOB!

In addition to advisor splits (fee splitting), admin fees, program fees, manager overrides, and standard billing requests already established within AdvisorBOB, GVA has enabled financial planning functionality within AdvisorBOB to all advisors of the firm immediately.

Whether you collect a one-time, or subscription based payment, this information is securely stored and processed on a frequency basis. The overview includes frequency, creation date, amount, status, and more!

Interested in learning more? Contact GVA Today!


LPL Financial Eliminates the Hybrid RIA Minimum Asset Requirement

Earlier in the year LPL Financial had a minimum asset requirement of $50M to join any Hybrid firm at LPL, including Great Valley Advisor Group. Say Goodbye! As of October 22, 2018 LPL is eliminating the minimum advisory asset requirement based on data suggesting it was not effectively contributing to growth. For more information regarding this strategic change, please visit the URL below.

GVA Launches a Proprietary Salesforce Risk Questionnaire

GVA advisors may now send risk questionnaires directly to their clients from within their Salesforce account. This new technology allows the advisor to gather important risk information through an online questionnaire taken by the client. Once the client completes their risk questionnaire, a record is created in Salesforce, and the appropriate risk score populates on their profile.

Want to send questionnaires weekly, quarterly, annually? No problem! The frequency is up to you, as each response will create a new record under the client, and save any of the old responses within the system. You may either send the questionnaire directly to the client, or complete while in the office during a meeting.

Earlier this year GVA introduced their fact finder for initial account opening. A quick secure link which helps the advisor gather important client information for opening up accounts in good order. We have integrated both to ensure your client opens their account and gathers a risk score right from the start, leaving the meeting to talk about their accounts and not paperwork.

Want to learn more? Contact GVA today to get started!

GVA Partners with Cipperman Compliance Services

Great Valley Advisor Group announces partnership with Cipperman Compliance Services

Great Valley Advisor Group, headquartered in Wilmington, DE is proud to announce that after a rigorous due diligence process we have selected Cipperman Compliance Services (CCS), located in Wayne, PA to provide compliance support to the firm. CCS is a nationally recognized industry leader that provides outsourced compliance services to the investment management community. With 80-plus relationships, CCS qualified professionals have the knowhow to protect the firms’ reputation and meet the demands of the regulators.

“Compliance is a top priority for us at Great Valley Advisor Group” said James Spinelli, COO, Managing Director. “We selected Cipperman because of their proven experience in the investment industry – delivering customized materials and testing capabilities. According to Todd Cipperman, Principal at CCS “Compliance is all we do. We have no distractions. Our high-touch engagement combined with the teams in depth regulatory analysis delivers confidence, independence and accountability.”

About Great Valley Advisor Group (GVA)

Great Valley Advisor Group delivers support and confidence to independent advisors through a customized RIA platform. Offering a plug and play structure provides the new advisor with access to a customized CRM system, customized document management tool, compensation software, as well as additional tools right at their fingertips. Our dedicated support team focuses on providing the best possible service to each advisor, hosting monthly & quarterly update calls, as well as making sure they get the right answer for their clients.

For more information about Great Valley Advisor Group call 302-483-7200 or visit our website