opportunities

For One Life Only!

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There are restless spirits all around us. The neighbor that seems to be racing everywhere they go, the friend that seems addicted to making big changes. There are people who make us wonder, “When will it be enough?”

Sometimes we are those people. Sometimes we look down only to realize we’re on a treadmill. But here’s the good news: there are plenty of ways to get our needs met, to not want for anything and to not be wrapped up in the wanting. We talk a lot about helping clients put words to their dreams, but dreams need not be lofty. Here are a few guidelines that have proven helpful.

“The right amount is best.” In her book Lagom, writer Niki Brantmark describes this Swedish principle of the same name. Not enough is not enough. Too much of a good thing can be a good thing, but often is not. The right amount is best.

Social comparison, or “keeping up with the Joneses” can corrode happiness or financial health, if we aren’t conscious of our emotions and purposeful about our responses and reactions. It helps to focus on our own needs, rather than what others have. (And I doubt the Joneses care what you have anyway.)

When working on goals, it sometimes helps to define three outcomes: minimum acceptable levels, reasonable targets that feel within reach, and “stretch” goals that require creative thinking and approaches to get to. This may help you be more aware of options and possibilities.

Life is not a cage, and we are not doomed to the hamster wheel. We are each the star of our own personal drama, and we get to decide what works.

Get your ticket, one life only!

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


The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.


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Constellations and Connectivity

photo shows stars in a galaxy

Life in the 21st century can be grand, huh? We’ve got a few things in our research efforts that are proving quite exciting.

Maybe you’re seeing some of the connections, too?

Of all the news, of all the opportunities available, we’re seeing some common threads—ones that may very well be investable.

Specifically, regarding our tech, our platforms, our power: we’re excited about the potential for faster, more efficient connectivity that could drive future growth in the uses we enjoy from our devices… and then ones we can’t yet imagine!

No recommendations, no guarantees, but… it’s interesting.

New tech is one part of this story. We’re welcoming the latest generation of OLED TVs, smartphone screens that flex and fold, and a form of lighting even more efficient than LED. One company dominates the patents and research and royalties for this stuff.

The second bright spot we’re watching: there’s a social media company (that is not in political trouble and not headed by a controversial billionaire). Per Marketscope Research, its earnings are expected to double each year for the next three. No guarantees, of course.

Another dot: certain sector-leading companies are trading at a discount to the market average valuation. In fields from biopharma to grocery stores, from retail health to food processing, their recent dividends indicate yield between 2 and 3%. Further, it costs $10 billion to build a new semiconductor foundry, and the leading provider of custom chip manufacturing has more than 50% of this growing and vital market. It’s not nothing.

Keep in mind it’s going to take a lot of copper—more than we’ve ever mined before—to build out the next energy revolution. It will include solar and batteries and electric vehicles, and stock in two large miners is still trading well below the levels they reached ten years ago.

Clients, we spend more time and thought than ever before in reading and thinking and researching, trying to sort out investable opportunities to grow wealth in this unfolding future.

We’ll have hits and misses and ups and downs; investing can be volatile. But it sure is fun to try to spot these brightest constellations in the investment universe.

Want to talk about this or anything else? Write or call, any time.


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Big Trust

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Many of you know I prefer my exercise in the form of a long morning walk. These constitutionals have become routine as I’ve settled into this chapter of my life here in beautiful Louisville. I have my favorite paths, and the steps have become familiar.

Familiarity is a comfort, in many arenas. People sometimes feel uneasiness in their financial planning, bringing big fears and big feelings to money. And it’s not just those 20-somethings starting out in their careers or with young families or during big moves.

Each new chapter of life can bring unique financial challenges, so even the most familiar paths can seem to shift on us as we go.

I’ve thought about this in terms of my physical wellbeing, too. I have family members who prefer to hop on a bicycle for hours on end, some who hike in the mountains at every opportunity. Those paths seem foreign to me, an avid small-town walking enthusiast.

But then again, I haven’t tried them.

Clients, many of our conversations revolve around imagining new paths forward. It can be thrilling or frightening, joyful or bittersweet. But new paths aren’t about knowing exactly how to get where you’re going. A clear sense of where you’re headed will suffice. The rest is an adventure of details, one step at a time.

None of this is to say we must “conquer” our fear or anything like that. It’s nearly the opposite of that: it’s seeing the fear and choosing to let it ride along—because the trust is bigger than the fear.

Trust that Future You will be able to ride with the feelings as they pop up. You don’t have to know exactly what’s coming: if you believe in your goals and trust your ability to handle the journey, that’s enough to get it started.

Clients, where to next? Write or call, anytime.


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Seasons and Cycles: Things Grow and Things Rest

photo shows four leaves at different point of their life (dark brown, light brown, yellow, and green)

Even in the heat of summer, I can’t help thinking about the cycles of nature—such a useful way to think about the cycles in the economy and the markets.

Winter, the fallow season, is a time for regeneration and recharging, getting ready for future growth. In spring seeds are planted and the first green shoots hint at better days ahead. Then a season of growth produces crops in a cornucopia of kinds and colors, to be harvested in the fall. Then it is time for rest and rejuvenation again.

Likewise, the economy grows and rests in turns. In recessions, excesses get corrected. Overall business activity shrinks. Resources used by businesses generally decline in price. Ultimately, a new growth cycle is spurred by the impulse to make a dollar by meeting the needs of others. Producers of goods and services prosper, until excesses create the conditions for recession again.

Unlike nature, however, the economy has a less-set schedule. The last recession was a just a two-month affair; some are two years long. Growth cycles may also be long or short. And further complicating things, some investments do well when others do poorly.

So we look for companies that have seasons of growth ahead, the best bargains we can find. For some holdings, it pays to own over extended periods, firms that dominate their sectors and will emerge from slowdowns in better a position to prosper in the future.

And when the slowdowns occur across the whole economy, we trust that, just as winter gives way to spring, the economy will find new growth after the recession. It always has, every single time in American history, although there are no guarantees about the future.

Clients, if you would like to get your portfolios in closer alignment with the seasons in the market, please email us or call.


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Seasons and Cycles: Things Grow and Things Rest 228Main.com Presents: The Best of Leibman Financial Services

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WORK YOUR WORTH

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Financial wellbeing is rarely just about the numbers. But there are some areas where investors regularly miss opportunities.

Best of all? Some of them are free.

We’re talking about that collection of qualities that determine our human capital: the attributes, experiences, and habits that contribute to our ability to do our work and do it well.

Each of us has room for growth, and many of these qualities can be worked like a muscle. Generosity? Practice gratitude, and it will flow. Creativity? Get your internal censor a nice comfy chair in the corner of your brain so that you have the space to make something—then go for it.

Notice how we’re not talking about fighting your brain or your sense of self. We’ve known plenty of friends who flushed their energy trying to evict their weaknesses while their strengths—their true talent and potential—withered.

Even better, we don’t have to make these investments in huge, life-altering waves. Many of these qualities compound. Enthusiasm, punctuality, diligence: practice a few small actions and watch the habits improve each other!

Where can you invest in yourself? Your “earning power” is linked to a lot of domains. It’s not just your education or certifications. What areas of knowledge give you a unique perspective? What experiences have shaped you? These are parts of your financial journey that you can actively work on.

You’ll notice this investment is more about reflection than ‘rithmetic—but it’s work that can pay off in many ways. Your investments in yourself cannot be taken away, they adjust for inflation, and they help you lead a more interesting life to boot.

Clients, we’re glad to be part of the journey with you. Write or call when you’re ready to talk about this or anything else.

Setbacks and Setups

© Can Stock Photo / yellowcrest

Time travel is a powerful way to reframe the present. Our collective present is full of challenges and setbacks, but what will this moment mean to you down the road, looking back?

If you’re prone to stay mired in the moment, here’s a game of “I spy” for you: where are the setups among all these setbacks?

You’ve heard it from us before. There’s day-night, day-night. There’s up-down, up-down. Well here’s one for these challenging times: setback and setup.

Some of our acquaintances are facing tradeoffs big and small right now. Less time for work… but more time with the kids. Less time with the gym buddies… but more time out in the sunshine.

In terms of business, our classic principles still apply here. We seek bargains. Economic activity is shifting. Some areas have slammed on the brakes as demand has fallen off; some areas are buzzing in a scramble to keep up with demand.

Just like the setbacks in our individual lives, the business setbacks exist alongside potential setups. Part of our job is to take a good look around to try to spot them. No guarantees, but we wonder what future growth is being watered by the current storm.

We’re not ignoring the storm. This approach, however, helps remind us of the bigger picture. It’s a more complete way to tell the story of a setback.

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