client services

Three Cheers for Larry!

Coincidence, good timing, good fortune… Whatever you call it, something wonderful happened to bring Larry Wiederspan into my life and later into our shop. Clients, three cheers for Larry as he closes a chapter working here at 228 Main.


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Serendipity, or, the Mark and Larry Story

graphic shows a framed collage of headshots of each of the six members of the office staff (Patsy, Larry, Mark, Caitie, Greg, and Billy)

It’s the way events might occur by chance, to our happiness or benefit. 

It’s coincidence. 

It’s good luck. 

And maybe sometimes it’s providence. All of these could define the word “serendipity.” And all describe my long association with Larry Wiederspan. 

I met Larry in one of my earliest incarnations in business, as a life insurance agent working with country banks and bankers. The owners of a small chain of banks asked me to go out west to see one of their branch office managers at a location 200 miles away, in the middle of Nebraska, to implement a benefit plan. 

We hit it off. I ended up making return trips to work with Larry and even his wife Marilyn on their own plans and planning. As my skills and services evolved, they came along with me. 

Over the years, some of Larry’s strengths came to the surface: integrity, diligence, good faith, attention to detail, and friendliness. Then serendipity struck about ten years ago, when I learned that they were thinking about a move to my neighborhood after Marilyn’s retirement. His characteristics and traits were something that our shop needed, and he was about to join the neighborhood. 

At the time, increasing regulatory requirements meant that files needed updating and business processes became more cumbersome—precisely when family health issues took me out of the shop for weeks at a time. I could easily have been that person who had a great business until… illness befell the family. 

Larry retired from his banking career, a higher-stress and longer-hours endeavor than the more relaxed pace of the position we created for him at 228 Main. Larry and Marilyn moved closer to their grandchildren. It was a big win for everyone. 

Clients, you and we obtained the benefits of knowing and working with Larry. We’ve enjoyed Larry’s association for longer than we expected we’d get, as he enjoyed his work too. 

But he tells us the time has come for more retirement-type activities and less work. We’ll soon be short the regular company of this conscientious and pleasant fellow who means so much to us. We are still here in part because he was here for us. 

My gratitude will never repay the debt I owe Larry.

There is some chance a special project or circumstance may bring him back for a spell, but at this time it would be appropriate for you to join me in thanking Larry for his many years of service here, if you are so moved. 

In the meantime, clients, we’ll still be taking care of business—and we’re learning how to do that without Larry’s help. Call or email us about anything you might need. 

Cheers, Larry! 


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Serendipity, or, the Mark and Larry Story 228Main.com Presents: The Best of Leibman Financial Services

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

How Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

The team at 228Main.com is growing! You might get to see a new face or hear a new voice, courtesy of our partners at LPL. Let me introduce our latest client services teammate.


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Here We Grow Again: Welcome, Whitney!

headshot of Whitney Engle

One of the blessings of our enterprise is the way it grows, by word of mouth. One friend helps another by introducing them to us, or putting them on our email newsletter list, or forwarding a blog post. When we focus on growing your buckets and meeting your needs, our needs get met. 

Growth brings challenges, of course. We have staffed up from time to time in recent years to continue taking care of the business. Now we are embarking on a new and more flexible arrangement. A few benefits to our latest expansion: 

  • We get the expertise we need to keep our operations and logistics flowing more smoothly. 
  • We add another lovely teammate to help serve the best clients in the whole world! 

With that in mind, we want to welcome the newest member of our team. Whitney Engle comes to us by way of LPL Financial’s Administrative Solutions program. She is a full-time LPL employee, well-versed in all the systems and processes. She now works with us from afar, though the distance is no obstacle. Phones and email help bring us together; it’s one thing I learned with all of you in the last chapter of life. 

I believe the core activities of our enterprise are investment research, portfolio management, and talking to you. But nothing happens until the details are handled, and they are crucial. So Whitney is joining a client services team—along with Patsy Havenridge and Larry Wiederspan—that plays a vital role. 

We’re grateful for Larry’s long service; hard to believe it goes back eight years! And Patsy, four years in, has been a joy to have in the shop. With Whitney’s help, we are better equipped than ever to take care of business. 

Whitney will assist us with paperwork and logistics: it’s the work we may need to create new accounts, monitor requests, interface with mutual fund companies, guide us through home office processes, and help with a variety of other tasks. 

When she’s not hard at work, Whitney tells us she enjoys spending time with her two boys, taking care of a menagerie of animals at home, and cruising the country roads on a skateboard. 

Another friendly face joins the team, and we are glad to have access to a talent like Whitney through our partners at LPL. We’re looking forward to an arrangement that’s good for you and good for us. For the months and years ahead, staffing is key to helping us help you. So we’d like to offer a hearty welcome to Whitney! 

Clients, when we need to chat about anything, be sure to reach out—anytime.


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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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The Twenty Stock Concept: A Deep Dive

Clients, you know that our communications are you-centric: we prefer to focus on the situations, challenges, and concerns facing you. But from time to time it makes sense to talk about the tools and techniques we use to meet those issues. Let us give you some background and then introduce a strategy that’s become an important tool in portfolio reviews: the Twenty Stock Concept.

There are many ways to invest for the long haul, and we strive to participate in the growth of the economy over time. Many people’s financial objectives require the growth of capital, whether to improve their financial position, build toward retirement, or preserve purchasing power.

We manage individual stocks for people (which, by the way, is one of the services that sets our shop apart). Because we prefer to invest in the ownership of carefully chosen companies rather than buy investment products made of hundreds of holdings, it’s become more and more important for us to develop a systematic and efficient way to monitor and adjust portfolios over time.

At any given time, our Buy List includes 30 to 35 equity opportunities, which we supplement with more diversified ballast holdings. Client accounts may then wind up with even more names in them, as sometimes positions are held even after they’ve rotated off the Buy List. Doing it this way creates a lot of moving parts…

… which is where the Twenty Stock Concept comes in! This strategy helps us pare things back to only those parts of our investment philosophy that we feel are most fundamental. This list of holdings becomes the template from which we work for new portfolios and for reviews of existing portfolios.

The foundation of the Twenty Stock Concept is great companies trading at fair prices. These are usually blue-chip companies that dominate their sectors. They are our first picks, and we expect to hold them for a long time. We usually have 10 to 12 of these blue chips on our list.

To round out the list, we select what we perceive to be the best opportunities from the rest of the Buy List. These will include cyclical companies that we hope and believe we are purchasing at favorable points in the cycle. The rest of the opportunities may include other bargains from anywhere else in the investment universe.

Because the Twenty Stock Concept is a starting place, a template, not all of our holdings are fundamental enough to make the cut.

What gets left out? Our main investment approach also includes a handful of speculative growth-seeking holdings. Some of these may be smaller, unproven companies that we see explosive potential in. Others are regional or sector plays in areas that may or may not pan out. We think there is a place for these holdings—otherwise we would not have them to begin with. But some clients may not need or want the turnover and volatility they bring.

As an in-house system, the Twenty Stock Concept serves two functions for us: it allows us to provide a focused offering for those who prefer to own a smaller number of names, and it gives us a consistent approach that we makes our services available to smaller accounts than we would otherwise have the capacity to manage.

No guarantees, of course. We base our work on our opinions; no matter how carefully we do our research, sometimes the future confounds us.

But it is intensely interesting, and often rewarding. Clients, if you would like to talk about this or anything else, please email or call.


Investing involves risk including loss of principal.

No strategy assures success or protects against loss.


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