client communications

Fresh as a Rose

photo shows pink, yellow, and red roses in a garden

Maybe you remember having to write a persuasive paper or give a persuasive speech in school. The structure of such a composition could be pretty simple: describe a problem, then present a solution to that problem. Done.

I remember this kind of prompt when I see ads today for certain products, especially those related to… the nose.

“Your neighbors will notice your home smells like garbage… if you don’t buy this spray.”

“You’ll never find romance… without our mouthwash.”

Advertising in this country has relied on these types of messages for decades. In fact, the first commercial deodorant makers realized that in order to survive they would need to convince Americans that sweating was an embarrassment. (Your human body leaks? How unseemly!)

Fast-forward, and these products do sell! Scented garbage bags, room sprays, and body washes have become staples for many households. And don’t get us wrong, we’re not suggesting these products don’t have their uses and pleasures. But it’s pandering to exaggerate about “how much poorer your life will be without this one specific solution I have to offer… and it’s available! Call now!”

We’ve got nothing to sell. We’re not going to provoke a sense of shame or pretend to be high priests. Wherever you are, wherever you’ve been, (however you smell?!), we are here to try to help you strive toward your goals—however you identify them.

The problem/solution formula makes plenty of sense in its own way: of course we want companies and brands to help us improve our daily lives! On the other hand…

We don’t need the world to believe it stinks to be of service to others.

Clients, we’re here for you on your schedule. Let us know how we can help.


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In Business to Talk All Day

graphic shows Polaroids picturing the logos of social media platforms and our newsletter and weekly videos

Dire need first drove us to it. Fortunate circumstances made it possible. Now, with more dedicated resources than ever, it’s clear that 21st century communications have transformed our work with you. 

Now we are striving to be available in the forms and places that suit you best. And believe it or not, we think our communications with you are an important part of our mission to try to grow your bucket. 

Clients, maybe you’ve experienced this in your own work and communities. Keeping the channels open is not an extra step you add onto your relationships: communicating is just part of it!

Our work is really a joint venture, a collaboration with you. It does not matter if we can find favorable investment opportunities and manage portfolios in advantageous ways if clients don’t understand why we are doing what we are doing. They might feel driven to sell out at what could be the wrong time. No guarantees that our views are right, but at least you will always know what they are. 

This is why our bountiful communications with you are so key. You know what we are doing; you see our principles in action. With all that, you tend to stick with the program at crucial times when it might otherwise have been difficult to do so. 

For instance, with the best clients in the world, we can take on unpopular but potentially profitable ideas. And we don’t need to jump on every fad or chase popular but overpriced concepts. Each week you hear from us—and get our take on which stories are actually news worth knowing. 

We’ve been working on improvements in our communications program across the last year. Whether you prefer to read, or listen, or watch, you can find us! Have you caught us on our website, or visited the podcast, or watched us on YouTube? Or do you like your content best on social media? 

Here is an update of where you can find us: 

  • The blog at 228Main.com now includes an audio version of every post, playable right below each story. 
  • Want audio only? It’s available as a stand-alone podcast on SpotifyGoogle, and Anchor
  • The weekly “Clients, You Know What I’m Talking About!” videos and more are available on our YouTube Channel. Subscribe or drop in anytime. 

  • The email newsletter “The Weekly Note” rounds up the best of the blog, socials, and updates—short and sweet, in your inbox just once a week. Leave your email here to get it. 
  • You can also find news and notes and commentary from us daily on socials, at FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn

Clients, you can make it interactive any time you want, by replying to an email newsletter, calling, or stopping by 228 Main. We love to hear from you! 


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This text can be found at https://www.228Main.com/.

The One and Only Us

graphic shows a framed picture on a wall with a collage of all six 228Main.com employees smiling

Clients, I’m one of a kind. I’ve worked many years and traveled many paths to be the person I am today.

Even though I’m the one and only Mark Leibman, I get to do what I do as part of an amazing team at 228 Main. I notice this truth now more than ever.

The enterprise has three core activities:

  • We talk with you about your plans and planning, to sort out how best to connect your money to your life—your goals.
  • We research and manage investments, striving to grow your long-term buckets.
  • We take care of the logistics and paperwork you need to try to get where you are going.

I sometimes say I am in business to talk all day, but as you can see from these notes, it takes the whole team to make that possible.

Four of us here in the shop contribute to our communications. Three of us collaborate on investment research and analyze portfolios. Two focus on logistics and paperwork, taking care of details.

While I spend the most time with you, Caitie Leibman directs our communications, which really is just another way to talk to you, with contributions from Greg Leibman, and Billy Garver, and me. Greg, Billy, and I work on research and portfolios. And Patsy Havenridge and Larry Wiederspan take care of service—the paperwork and logistics.

The buck stops with me, of course: I take responsibility for investment decisions and trading and recommendations and everything, but I could never accomplish by myself the things we are able to do as a team. We are working with more than $100 million for clients in twenty states.

I’ve often said that if there were three of me, we’d all be busy. But the world does not need any more copies of me. Every member of the 228 Main team knows that the better off you are, the better off we will be—and they each contribute skills and abilities I don’t have.

I couldn’t be more proud of them.

Clients, is there anything for which you could use our team’s perspective? Call or write, anytime.


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Why the Headlines Don’t Matter

photo shows an out of focus stack of folded newspapers on a wooden table

You know that we love all the benefits provided by 21st century communications. We can connect with you almost instantaneously, in a variety of ways.

But in the last few decades, these speedy possibilities have driven many outlets into what’s called the 24-hour news cycle: parties with messages to share feel the pressure to deliver their coverage the fastest.

In some arenas, the speed matters. (Can you imagine a traffic report coming out after the fact?)

We don’t feel that pressure. We don’t worry about churning out our stories at 228Main.com.

So why don’t we have posts every day? Why don’t you see my face on your screens all the time?

Because the news cycle is all about directing resources trying to capture attention… And we’re not in the business of “capturing” anything.

Instead, we like being consistently present. Our media give us an outlet to think more deeply about our principles, make sure you know what we’re working on, and communicate important strategies for the big themes in your (our clients’!) lives.

So when can you expect to hear from us?

  • A little each week, online, where you can take in as much as you want. (Not getting our stuff? Drop your email here for our 5-minute weekly digest.)
  • When there’s a new bargain we’re excited about.
  • As there are changes that could affect your portfolio.
  • If your goals and plans and planning reach new milestones.

So here’s what the 228 Main news cycle comes down to… The calendar is not the boss of us. The internet is not the boss of us.

The financial news outlets aren’t even the boss of us.

You are!

Clients, got something we need to hear? Call or write, any time.


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

Making Connections

© Can Stock Photo / alphaspirit

A client recently talked about a friend, searching for an investment philosophy that works. (This sometimes happens after a person withdraws from investing for loss of faith in the markets or an advisor.)

The questions to me were, how do I help my friend understand your philosophy? What is the best way for her to learn about what you do?

I am always aware of our day job: taking care of your bucket as best as we are able, striving to help you get where you want to go. Talking to strangers, even friends of yours, always ranks lower. These days we are quite occupied with our day job.

It takes time for people to understand whether we might be a good fit for them. We know we are different. Our old-fashioned philosophy and methods are a labor of love – and require more effort than simply filling up the pie chart like the computer tells you. A contrarian approach is not for everyone.

Fortunately, there are three ways you can help a friend like that, without getting in our way at all.

  • Forward a weekly email newsletter you find interesting, with links to our current thoughts.
  • ‘Like’ or share our content on Facebook or other social media. That is a way to spread the word.
  • The most foolproof way: provide us a name and email address so we may send the weekly email newsletter, with links to new articles and videos and other short notes.

We’re too busy with our day job to make unsolicited calls. We will make time for your friends who call, when we can. It is always helpful if they have first had a chance to see what we are about.

You know this already, but our approach is not suitable for everyone. We do not cater to short-sighted thinking or overly pessimistic long term views. All of the communications we put out for you may be read by bystanders or eavesdroppers, without cost in time or money to us. That means we can start on the same page when we do talk one-on-one, a big time-saver.

If you would like to talk about this or anything else, or sign up a new subscriber, email us or call.

Better Safe Than Sorry

© Can Stock Photo / Subbotina

2020 will certainly go down as a memorable year, between the changes in our every day lives and the economic and market developments. My years as caregiver for a person with an extemely fragile immune system has given me a sense of caution about the coronavirus. (Cathy continues to influence me!)

In the spirit of ‘better safe than sorry’ we are seeking some modifications in our work with you. The median age of our advisory clients is in the area of elevated risk, and many of us have other risk factors as well. Here are the things we can do to limit exposure and illness among us all:

  • Many service matters can be done by phone or email; most forms can be signed electronically. This reduces traffic in 228 Main.
  • Schedule appointments in advance, to minimize the chance to be in a crowded place.
  • One on one consultations can be done by phone at your option; we will soon be able to video conference if you prefer.

Of course I will meet with you in person if you need that. We work with you on vital subjects, and we want you to have what you need. For the present we see no reason to suspend face to face visits.

We are doing what we can in the shop to keep it safe, wiping down public surfaces and shared objects, making hand sanitizer available. Handshakes and hugs need to stay virtual for now, not physical.

The best thing that can possibly happen is for everyone to be laughing at me in a few weeks for the needless over-reaction. I desperately hope for that outcome.

Having some experience with respiratory failure leading to death, I’m just wary of a virus that can produce that in a slight fraction of cases in a period of a couple weeks. Thank you for humoring me on this.

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