Month: August 2022

Live It Like You Mean It

photo shows sunrise over a lake at the Louisville State Rec Area

You may know already: we generally advocate simplicity in most things. Once our basic needs are met, we’ve got some choices to make. So how do we keep things simple?

When it comes to budgeting, this takes the form of “paying yourself first.” You save and invest to meet your goals, and then spend the rest as you see fit. No need to track every nickel; you will get where you want to go so long as you’re getting yourself paid.

But it doesn’t hurt to also review your outlays in greater detail once in a while. Fixed expenses are those that cannot be changed in the short run: if you don’t pay the electric bill, the company will shut off your power. You have to pay the bills. Total up these kinds of items. You’ll need to know what sort of fixed expenses you can expect each month in order to figure out how much is discretionary—what’s left over for the things you want?

This exercise can be useful because it may point you to those expenses that are regular but are not fixed. For some, it might be a gym membership that doesn’t get used. It might be a streaming subscription for shows you don’t watch anymore. These services are just a few examples: there are plenty of things in life that we try out or that once made sense but no longer serve us.

And when we root these things out, it’s like giving yourself a raise!

We each have long-standing habits or hobbies whose costs we may not have considered for quite some time. Taking a fresh look at our spending gives us a chance to make intentional choices about how we live, going forward:

  • What are you not doing that you wish you were doing?
  • What do you wish you had that you do not have? A few more adventures, a new skill or pastime, something for the house or the yard?
  • Where might your money save you some time?

And the big question: what would you have to change in order to afford that new choice?

This isn’t necessarily “just” a budgeting question, because rather than shift your spending around, you might elect to invest more each month. All else being equal, investing more means you reach financial independence sooner. Access to options: that’s what we’re buying when we pay ourselves first.

We don’t mean to make any of this prescriptive. After all, you are the one who must live your life—not us! We just suggest that taking a step back to look at where our money goes, being intentional about how we spend, these are things that come naturally when we try to live life on purpose.

Clients, if you would like to talk about this or anything else, please email us or call.


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Getting Back to Basics

The pandemic forced many companies to shake things up. But perhaps because of these challenges, some of the most basic, “boring” companies on our radar have been making some of the most interesting changes!


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Which Came First? The Bargain or the Growth Stock?

graphic shows an image of a hen and an image of a basket of eggs both taped to a chalkboard

It’s a classic thought experiment. “Which came first: the chicken or the egg?”

Clearly, the egg came first; that’s where chickens come from! But, wait. Who laid the egg?…

There’s a similar conundrum found in our work. In business and investing, we like to look for strong companies—ones that spend wisely, save well, and try to build an enterprise that can remain durable across changes in the economy. Often, these companies must have a strong balance sheet (i.e., more cash than debt) in order to grow to the size of an industry leader.

Clients, in the early stages of the pandemic, we invested in some companies leading their industries. Our original investing thesis was that even if the virus took its toll and a worst-case scenario occurred, people would still need the staples.

People would still need groceries.

People would still buy meat.

People would still order prescriptions.

While we were sure these everyday items would be impacted by pandemic life, we also believed they would likely survive—in one form or another.

Now many of these market leaders have been able to use the resources of a market leader to continue to evolve and transform organically. They may seem like “boring” companies on the surface, but in times of challenge, they are acting like growth stocks: many have been the first-movers among their peers, making plans that could shift their whole industries.

And believe it or not, we bought some of these companies as bargains. So which came first?

It’s fun being us. Clients, we are always looking for opportunities. Are you seeing anything that we should be watching? Let us know. And when you want to know more about what this all means for your portfolio, call or write.


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Which Came First? The Bargain or the Growth Stock? 228Main.com Presents: The Best of Leibman Financial Services

This text is available at https://www.228Main.com/.

Slow and Steady

photo shows blue, partly cloudy sky and brown stalks of rice plants

I’ve got something to say—about rice.

I know. I’m not a foodie. This is not a food blog. But hear me out. A retired client and amateur nutritionist opened my eyes about rice.

I’ve always had issues with white rice: I generally want to eat the whole pot. It’s handy, it cooks up so quickly, but to get full from it, I keep eating and eating.

“That’s not what you need,” the client told me. “They take the good stuff out so it will cook faster.”

Brown rice isn’t “minute rice”: it’s 45-minute rice. But the slow route preserves the stuff we really need. We don’t throw out the good stuff for immediate gratification. And if you want to think about the big picture, remember that this grain has been a food staple across the world for thousands of years. No wonder. It packs a punch, if only we handle it responsibly.

We are not nutritionists (although when you and I visit, you may still hear me talking about brown rice!). But this lesson is still paying off in other ways. Did anything sound familiar as I relayed all this?

In their rush to get in on the action, some new investors head for day-trading. It scratches an itch, but it’s focused on the smallest time frame. Investing for the long haul? That’s where the good stuff is, we believe. (No guarantees.)

There are benefits in the waiting. Preservation, patience—sometimes we need a dash of each.

Clients, email or call to talk about this or anything else.


Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.


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