long term investing

It Goes Up and Down: Some Questions for a Moment Like This

graphic shows "up" and "down" on a chalkboard with checkmarks next to them

The history of the stock market can be summed up pretty well: it goes up and down. As for the future, we cannot know for certain whether it will continue to go up and down—or on what schedule—but it seems reasonable to take the liberty of guessing this whole “up and down” thing may persist.

When things are down 20% from their most recent peak, and we recognize it goes up and down, this may well be as good a time as any to invest.

We might have a recession, but current lower prices already reflect a lower outlook. You could say sentiment is already in the mix, already baked into prices. And anyway, where there’s a recession, there’s surely a recovery to follow.

Do we know the timing? Nope. But we never do. (That’s where the whole up-down thing comes back into focus.)

There is much we do not know, but we have faith that perhaps our guesses may be good enough to get by. We believe, for example, that in the future there is money to be made by companies that meet our needs. We have a hunch we will continue to eat, shop, entertain ourselves, wear clothes, go places, communicate, create, and do all those other things humans tend to do. And we have an opportunity now to invest in companies that could provide those things then.

Clients, some things to consider at such a moment as this:

  • Is there room to start or add to a Roth or IRA?
  • Should some funds in a stable-but-stagnant form perhaps be invested for long-term growth?
  • Would a Roth conversion make sense given these lower prices?

It goes up and down. And when we invest for the long run, we commit to the ups and the downs both. One never knows when the trend will change, just that it very well may.

If it’s time for you to add to long-term holdings, please email us or call the shop—anytime.


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It Goes Up and Down: Some Questions for a Moment Like This 228Main.com Presents: The Best of Leibman Financial Services

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Raphael, Donatello, da Vinci… Markelangelo?

photo shows paint jars and brushes on a painted surface

When you mow a lawn, or paint a wall, or run a race, every bit of effort moves you closer to the end. There is only progress. You see tangible, visible results: grass clippings pile up, or the paint covers more of the wall, or the finish line gets closer. 

Long-term investing is different. On nearly half of all days, the broad market averages go backward. This has also happened over whole years, about one out of four historically.  

When we paint a wall, there are no forces moving with us and wiping away one stroke of paint for every four we make! 

So in this respect, investing is more like creative work. An artist who paints might have to add layers over their earlier work to create the effect they want. They might even use a palette knife to—yep—remove paint and clear a space for something different. 

Maybe investing and creating both require a long view, guided by a vision of what might be. Both pursuits require the patience to work at it even when results come only in fits and starts. No guarantees in either arena, but we don’t know which ideas will pan out without the pursuit.

I’m no artist, but that sure is what investing feels like. 

A lap with the mower provides its own immediate feedback. When we make an investment, the early results could be positive or negative, and it may feel like a coin toss. Only as the months and years roll by do we see the fruits of our work. Some backward movement, sure, but we expect to see progress across the process. 

We cannot do this work for just anyone. It takes people who have perspective, the ability to take that long view, to have faith that we are on the right track even when temporary setbacks engulf us.

Fortunately, here at 228 Main we have the best clients in the world. We are grateful for you. 

If you would like to talk about progress toward your goals (or anything else), please email us or call. 


All investing includes risk including loss of principal.


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Raphael, Donatello, da Vinci… Markelangelo? 228Main.com Presents: The Best of Leibman Financial Services

This text is available at https://228main.com/.

Next Needs and Wishes that Wait

We can do it all… but not all at once. How you might prioritize all the most important financial goals on the path ahead. What are the next needs versus the wishes that can wait?


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In Any Language, There’s One Simple Investing Goal

Hope, optimism, belief, confidence… In our line of work, it doesn’t matter how you say it. We’re banking on the idea that, overall, we’ll see more up than down.


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The Price Is Right! Come on Down… or Up!

A bargain is a bargain, right? We seek those opportunities that may be undervalued by others right now. But there are other types of bargains lurking, too: those opportunities that get the label of overvalued right now… but may actually have years of growth ahead of them!


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Where Risk-Mitigation Misses Its Mark

photo shows an arrow in the center of a bullseye

Did you catch any of the Olympics? With so many stunning performances, we’ve got competition on the brain. The human mind is a funny thing, though: sometimes we’re so keen on not losing, we don’t notice when we’re getting in the way of our own wins.

We don’t want to risk wasting our chance. It happens to people when it comes to investment decisions, too. The Financial Times recently put it this way:

“Think of your life like an archer releasing just one single arrow at a target. Naturally, you want to make your one shot at life a good one—to hit your bullseye—and this is why you mitigate your risks: to improve your precision (or the tightness of the grouping of your potential arrows) as well as your accuracy (or the closeness of that potential grouping to your bullseye).”

Let’s break that down. We very much want to hit that bullseye, so we will do what we can to get rid of the wild shots: through practice and experience, we realize they are the most painful and obvious problems, right?

The Times continues, however, that we often end up “improving precision (removing our bad potential arrows) at the expense of accuracy.” When we control for a more limited, consistent potential performance, we may be sacrificing our proximity to the target.

The price of so-called safety is often hidden and certainly too high. Mitigation tools can omit “the great shots that could have been” for the sake of reducing “the bad shots.”

To a degree, it’s understandable: the bad shots can be so noticeable, of course reasonable people want to avoid them! Those missed shots, on the other hand, will never be as obvious, so who’s to say they hurt that much?

But long-term investors do know the costs. A few opportunities here and there, over a long stretch, can add up.

And we want to help you work what you’ve got.

Clients, need to talk about the shots we’re taking? Write or call, anytime.


The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which strategies or investments may be suitable for you, consult the appropriate qualified professional prior to making a decision.

Investing involves risk including loss of principal.

No strategy assures success or protects against loss.


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

Three Rocks

photo shows river rocks on the ground

I have a yard now that was sadly neglected for years. My ambitions for it are modest. I still cut the grass with a checkbook, but I myself am working in fits and starts to reshape it into something better.

With many trades facing supply disruptions, price spikes, and labor shortages, it seems prudent to defer some projects until things loosen up. So… I have not called in the landscaping company yet.

In the meantime, there is a space that would benefit from a layer of rock. On my daily walk, I am picking one up and bringing it home. Three days into this plan, there are three rocks. They weigh about a pound all together.

The internet suggests I might need a ton of rock for this area—2,000 pounds. If I maintain the current rate of rock accumulation for, say, 300 days per year, it would take me 20 years to get a ton of rock. Twenty years to cover what I need.

I’m struck by three things: how insignificant three rocks seem against the total need, how simple arithmetic shows it could be accomplished over time, and how similar this all is to the challenge of saving money for retirement.

The first month’s deposit in a long-term investing plan might be a tiny fraction of 1% of the eventual sum accumulated over 20 or 30 years. It might feel like three rocks compared to a whole ton!

But simple arithmetic provides some hope.

Clients, if you would like to talk about your own accumulation plans—or start one with a younger relative in mind—please email us or call.


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Living on Purpose

photo shows a highway stretching out into a blue sky

Some say the young believe themselves immortal. When our whole lives seem to be ahead of us, it feels like there is plenty of time to do whatever we intend to do.

But we know the mortality rate is 100% in the long run. More than 3 million people died last year in the United States, about 1 person in 100.

And in our experience, many people coming to grips with their own mortality come to believe that life is short—no matter their age.

If it’s true, then how do you fill in the blank? “Life is short, I better ___________.”

In the prior chapter of my life, we filled in the blank with “we better have a little fun every day.” That’s still appropriate in this chapter, but I ponder what else fits in the blank these days.

Interestingly, some things are so basic to our natures they go without saying. A person who is consistently kind and empathetic to others might not think to fill in the blank with “be kind” because it is assumed. So thinking about how you might fill in the blank is another way to be intentional about how you live, to do things on purpose.

Maybe that’s what all this is about. By the end of the road, I’d like to know that I meant the things I did and did the things I meant to.

How about you?

Clients, life is short. How can we serve you—and help you connect your money with your one precious life? Call or email, anytime.


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