long time horizon

Longing to Be Elsewhen

black-and-white graphic shows a thought bubble with a clock and a calendar in it

Clients, you know I can be a pretty enthusiastic fellow. But I don’t deny that sometimes life can be a grind. Things break and we have to fix them, we sniffle and sneeze with allergies, and there are always bills to pay.

Sometimes we might fantasize that we’re somewhere else, to escape for even just a moment.

It can happen in financial planning, too, but in a different way. Instead of longing to be somewhere else, some people daydream about getting to somewhen else. We can mistake our goals for finish lines: “Once I’m there, things will be okay. Once I get it, I’ll be fine.”

But any worthwhile goal is not just about the finish line. It’s all of it: the preparation, the training, the progress, the setbacks, the community of support, and everything in between. It’s the journey and the destination. All of it.

As we aim our plans and planning toward our goals, it’s good visualize multiple steps along the way—not just the end. What will get me where I want to go? What milestones will mark my progress? What pain can I expect along the way?

In mindfulness meditation, practitioners make a distinction between pain and suffering. Pain is what happens here, a direct result of something painful. A strained muscle sends signals to our brain that tell us we’re experiencing discomfort.

Suffering, however, is the next layer beyond the pain. You can think of it as our feelings about our feelings, like despairing about the fact that now we’re injured and our progress is stymied. That feeling is not the same as the pain that radiates from the muscle: it’s radiating from our minds. It’s a story about the pain.

Pain may be a given for us mortals in our fragile human bodies. But what if suffering were optional? Instead of wishing away each temporary discomfort, we might hang with it—here, in the present.

We can’t selectively escape. When we wish to be elsewhen, we’re not only fleeing the bad: we forego any of the good that might also be here in the present.

Good thing we’re here to keep each other company, huh? Clients, what can we be doing for you? Call or write, anytime.


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Letting Go of When

Any worthwhile goal is not just about the finish line. And good thing: we’re investing for the long term, and a lot can happen between now and the milestones we seek!


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Warning: Enthusiasm Ahead!

photo shows silhouette of person with their arms in the air triumphantly on a mountain at sunrise

But you knew that.  

I read a thing the other day, explaining how you should take the emotion out of investing. This seemed a little off to me, so I googled “take the emotion out of investing”: 13 million links popped up. 

Evidently, it’s a popular notion. 

This school of thought holds that if you have an investment plan, it can be followed only coldly and rationally and logically, without emotion. Emotions can supposedly lead you astray, so it’s best to ignore them. Wait… 

When your accounts hit $1 million for the first time, aren’t you going to whoop and holler? 

If stock in a company we’ve long admired falls into bargain territory, shouldn’t that get our blood pumping? 

I’m here to tell you, when we find a table-pounding opportunity, we’re going to pound the table! 

The key distinction is, emotions don’t make decisions here. Our decisions are based on our tactics. Our tactics arise from strategy, which springs from our principles, which are rooted soundly in our values. 

Is it always easy? No. Is there joy without pain? No. 

But once a decision is made—and we have an understanding about how that might benefit your bucket, your outcomes—you better believe I am going to be excited. 

No guarantees, except for excitement. 

If you want an emotion-free Spock to handle your business, go for it. They’re not going to be working to age 92, though. For that, you need the joy that excitement brings!


Investing includes risks, including fluctuating prices and loss of principal.


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The History of the Stock Market: A 5-Word Story

The entire history of the stock market fits into five simple words: it goes up and down. We can’t know the schedule ahead of time, and this can stir up some stress in the short term. But it seems reasonable to guess this whole “up and down” thing may persist.


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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

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

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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Play the audio version of this article below:

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

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

Time Machines and Time Capsules

Both could serve their purpose, but which sounds more useful, more versatile: a time capsule or a time machine? Well, the two might have something to teach us about our investment vehicles. More on the blog.


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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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