leibman financial

Here We Grow Again

© Can Stock Photo / ajithclicks

We spend a lot of time thinking about business. Shares of common stock are percentage ownership interests in businesses, after all. But lately we have had to spend some time thinking about our business. It keeps growing.

Our idea has long been that growing your buckets is the best way to grow the business. So we put all of our energy into that task, and talking to you clients instead of strangers. You evidently talk about us–word of mouth is an amazing thing.

We think the best strategy to manage growth is a concept we learned by revamping our communications beginning in 2015. The digital venues like 228Main.com are scalable. In other words, when we communicate to dozens of clients, hundreds or thousands of others can listen in with no additional cost or effort or time on our part.

Scalability in our operations means systematizing the things that would be done better if they were systematized. Scalability in our staff means getting understudies in place for every human activity, and documenting those processes.

When you think about it, our efforts in these areas will make our enterprise more durable and resilient. These are good things for everyone.

The first steps in the scalability project:

1. Hire an understudy for Larry, to work in client logistics (forms, paperwork, and organization). This will happen soon.
2. Develop a custom operating system for the business. Portfolio analytics, our longevity-driven fee administration, task management and client contact records will ultimately all be in a single system. This is in development, and will probably take many months to complete.
3. Hire an understudy for Greg, to work in research and trading. This will be a longer-term project.

Of course, we all pitch in on many different activities as needed to meet your needs. Clients, if you have questions about this or anything else, please email us or call.

Happy Anniversary!

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / mikos

Leibman Financial Services (LFS) was born in August, 1996. It was the culmination of nearly twenty years of prior experience in virtually every aspect of financial services. August 2016 marks the 20th Anniversary of our founding.

While the twenty years before LFS covered a wide range of insurance and banking and investment and benefit products, LFS was intended to focus very tightly on helping people manage their money to get where they wanted to go. This is why we are in business.

And what an incredible twenty years it has been!

  • We were fortunate to be aligned with the independent broker-dealer LPL Financial. LPL provides the platform, resources, and expertise we need to provide state-of-the-art services to you.
  • We were fortunate to land our facilities at 228 Main in beautiful downtown Louisville. It’s a great place to do business.
  • Most of all, we were fortunate to be able to serve so many wonderful people. We are privileged to help with many of life’s most important topics.

A milestone is a natural place to look back and look ahead. We are excited about the future, for a number of reasons:

  1. The gap between expectations and reality as it unfolds is where investment opportunity lives—and we believe the gap is historically wide right now.
  2. We have the largest and most capable staff we’ve ever had, to do the work we need to do for you.
  3. Our range of offerings is expanding to better pursue the diverse needs and circumstances of our clients.
  4. Our communications program expanded dramatically over the past year, with a complete library of our philosophy and methods at 228Main.com and daily commentary in three ‘New Media’ venues.
  5. The founder is intent on working to age 92, and feels better than ever about being able to do so.

A heartfelt ‘Thank You’ to everyone. We are looking forward to the years and decades ahead.

A Time to Reflect

© Can Stock Photo Inc. / Klementiev

These are exciting times. With a birthday approaching, I am halfway to 120 years old. It is a natural place to stop and reflect on the journey so far, and the path ahead.

Twenty years ago, I was planning the concept that turned into Leibman Financial Services. At its heart, the idea was to build a business whose success depends entirely on the success of clients. After two prior decades of working with money in most of its forms, the experience and preparation were in place. The interest and passion was there. All we needed was people who would entrust us with their hard-earned wealth and well-thought plans.

Then you showed up. Thank you. The work is gratifying beyond words. And that leads to the next topic, the path ahead.

I plan to work to age 92. Two of my oldest friends, now gone, worked to that age in their own businesses. They were vibrant and active and happy in their later years, a good model for me.

It is amazing how a cherished objective can shape your actions and choices. I often say it is almost embarrassing to be learning so much at such an advanced age. But this is just lame humor. The need to keep learning and adapting and to stay current with developments in the economy and the markets and the business, and to get the resources and people in place to serve your needs, and the constant search for investment opportunities…all of this is invigorating. I feel like I discovered the Fountain of Youth.

The future is not guaranteed to us, in any sense. We can plan a big retirement party for the year 2048 when I turn 92. But we can’t know that any one of us will be there. So we would also like to extend another invitation, for something a little sooner.

If you would like to have breakfast with me at B’s Diner in Louisville, or lunch at the Main Street Café, just call the shop. We are scheduling through mid-July, so there are plenty of slots. The coffee’s always on, too, so if another time would suit you better, we can do that. Thank you all, so much, for the decades–past and future.

What, Why, How, for Whom?

We’ve been blogging, commenting, tweeting and otherwise communicating for a while now. A diligent follower, after much reading, would be able to determine what we are all about. This memo is to simplify things by putting the basics all in one place: what we are doing, why, how, and for whom.

What we do: Help people manage their finances to pursue their life goals. We get paid as financial consultants who manage advisory accounts on a fiduciary basis—putting client interests first—for a percentage fee. The larger your account, the better our revenues—our sole business objective is to grow your buckets. The talk is all free, as is any supplemental financial planning work to connect your money to your real life.

Why we do it: Mark Leibman is obsessed with the economy, markets, and financial plans and planning. We are contrarians, we do our own thinking, and we find great satisfaction in the gratifying work of helping people realize their plans. Mark plans to work until age 92.

How we do it: The Strategic Asset Management platform offered by LPL Financial is well-suited to our strengths and interests. It affords the opportunity to own a wide variety of investments in an individually managed account, structured to work towards specific goals. Our key activities are talking to clients, investment research, and portfolio management.

For Whom: Our most important work is for those who really need their money managed effectively over the long term. A minority of people have so much they could never spend it all even if it was buried in a jar; others have no long-term resources to manage. We primarily serve the people in the middle.

The most vital qualifications, however, have nothing to do with money. Our methods and strategies require a good philosophical fit with our clients.

1. An underlying confidence that the country endures its challenges and emerges on the far side. You might be a candidate if you understand and agree with our short essay about the end of the world.

2. An understanding that people who live on their portfolios (or wish to) depend on portfolio income to pay bills, not account value. In our working years we tend to focus on account values; in retirement it is nearly imperative to focus on cash flow instead. We explain here.

3. Toleration of short-term fluctuations—volatility—without selling out at low points or bad times. We believe in knowing where needed cash will come from, and having some money in the bank. But long-term wealth needs to be managed for the long term, and that involves ups and downs. We wrote why this is here and here.

Our primary offering, the Strategic Asset Management account, can be an effective strategy for many of our clients. We have other products and services to serve those with less, or people who are saving for a successful future.

We are not a sales organization. We have no “new business” goals. Our object is to grow client buckets. If you believe you could do somebody a favor by recommending us, you may send them a link to http://www.228main.com so they can get to know us, and figure out whether they should call for an appointment.


The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.