oracle of louisville

Slow and Steady

photo shows blue, partly cloudy sky and brown stalks of rice plants

I’ve got something to say—about rice.

I know. I’m not a foodie. This is not a food blog. But hear me out. A retired client and amateur nutritionist opened my eyes about rice.

I’ve always had issues with white rice: I generally want to eat the whole pot. It’s handy, it cooks up so quickly, but to get full from it, I keep eating and eating.

“That’s not what you need,” the client told me. “They take the good stuff out so it will cook faster.”

Brown rice isn’t “minute rice”: it’s 45-minute rice. But the slow route preserves the stuff we really need. We don’t throw out the good stuff for immediate gratification. And if you want to think about the big picture, remember that this grain has been a food staple across the world for thousands of years. No wonder. It packs a punch, if only we handle it responsibly.

We are not nutritionists (although when you and I visit, you may still hear me talking about brown rice!). But this lesson is still paying off in other ways. Did anything sound familiar as I relayed all this?

In their rush to get in on the action, some new investors head for day-trading. It scratches an itch, but it’s focused on the smallest time frame. Investing for the long haul? That’s where the good stuff is, we believe. (No guarantees.)

There are benefits in the waiting. Preservation, patience—sometimes we need a dash of each.

Clients, email or call to talk about this or anything else.


Content in this material is for general information only and not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.

All investing involves risk including loss of principal. No strategy assures success or protects against loss.


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The Plan that Grows with You

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Maybe the idea of “the finish line” is overrated. You know about my long-time goal of working until I’m age 92, so this sentiment shouldn’t be a shocker.

But we’re thinking about other ways this idea applies. A lot of investment wisdom suggests finding strategies that work with your current life stage. What milestones are coming up? What are you working toward right now? What can you prepare for? Even in this approach, though, life shouldn’t be treated like a checklist.

It’s definitely a journey—and you can’t plan for all the stops along the way. Our approach has to reflect that reality.

Psychologist Carol Dweck studies motivation and mindset. Her take? If things feel fixed or set in stone, look out: that attitude may be a signal that you’ve shut down in the face of change.

We’re not saying that flip-flopping or changing for its own sake is the way to be, but we can’t grow unless we’re willing to change.

“Opening yourself up to growth makes you more yourself, not less,” Dweck explains in her book Mindset. Dweck encourages us to continue to “learn and help learn,” and that’s an idea we can get behind.

You can be a whole person every day you live, but that doesn’t mean your living is ever finished. That’s how we feel about our work, too: a strong financial advisor isn’t a teacher or guide necessarily. An advisor can be a partner on that path. We can map an approach that is complete, robust, and comprehensive—but you better believe that the plan should be able to grow right along with you.

Clients, write or call when you’d like to talk about this, or anything else.


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

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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Rough Markets: When the Wisdom of the Crowd Becomes Herd Mentality

photo shows a mountain stream

Clients, some of you have reported that some people around you are finding it inexplicable that you haven’t yet sold out of the stock market, given its rough times. One of you even heard the prediction, “You’re going to lose it all!” These conversations are happening at coffee time, out to dinner in a group, at every kind of casual gathering.  

We often think of peer pressure in connection with children. But there are strong forces at work among not only children: it’s also retirees and everyone in between! 

In ambiguous situations, humans tend to copy what other people seem to be doing. If we don’t know what to do, we may assume that others do. So we emulate them. This type of behavior is sometimes referred to as “social proof”: we take our cues from others when we feel unsure what to do. 

In some social groups, people react to rough markets by selling out; in other groups, people cling to the long-held belief that investing is too dangerous for anyone. If everybody in your “group” seemed to be doing the same thing, you’d have lots of social proof to reassure you that, surely, you must be on the right path. 

But this social influence can hold more weight in our choices than it deserves. Yes, someone marching to a different drummer can seen as a rebuke. The contrary behavior—going against the crowd—is full of resistance. Sometimes it takes a big splashy effort to swim upstream! Hence the hectoring and lecturing. 

But we choose our own course, and it does not start or end with what others think about us. 

You can see the core principle at work: “avoid stampedes.” We believe this has kept us out of fads—and pointed us to bargains. We think going against the crowd may be profitable, though no guarantees of course. 

If your friends hassle you about your investing, be kind to them. You can always change the subject if you need to. Maybe in their mind, fear is in the driver’s seat right now. Or maybe they’re in the grips of peer pressure. 

Either way, we know what we’re about. And that’s enough. 

Clients, if you would like to talk about this or anything else, please email us or call. You are among the best clients in the world, a group where you may find all the proof you need that being contrary may be a great thing.


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Rough Markets: When the Wisdom of the Crowd Becomes Herd Mentality 228Main.com Presents: The Best of Leibman Financial Services

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

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/.

I. AM. EXCITED.

Maybe you’ve noticed… but I can be an enthusiastic fellow! But some believe emotions don’t have a role in investing… I’ve got some thoughts.


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