our mission

Frisky as a Puppy

© Can Stock Photo / mvaligursky

We recently wrote about our plans to keep on managing your needs, and those of the friends and loved ones you keep sending to us. Bottom line, we have to scale up.

Greater effectiveness gives us the time we need to talk to you and understand what you are trying to accomplish. Our systems and our staffing are key to the effort. The scale we are building adds to the resiliency of the organization.

An interesting byproduct of intending to work to age 92 is that the business seems as frisky as a puppy. Why? Maybe because I have thirty more years to work. While some of my colleagues are coasting into retirement, we are planning for the decades ahead.

Those plans are getting exciting.

1. You know about the understudy to our Client Service Specialist Larry Wiederspan: Patsy Havenridge, Client Service Assistant. She is already on the job, working and training with Larry and Greg.

2. Technology Associate Max Leibman is working on a project basis, part-time, building a new operating system for the business. This will last through year-end, or longer. This new system will be a platform to automate and simplify our administrative tasks, freeing up our staff to spend more time with you and on seeking opportunities to grow your accounts.

3. Our Marketing Associate Caitie Leibman, within three semesters of her doctorate in English, is spending some part-time hours for the firm–outside of and without interfering with her current work as Director of the Writing Center at Doane University. Fittingly, she is collaborating with Greg Leibman to improve our communications and provide more consistency.

4. Caitie’s partner, Operations Associate Billy Garver, is also engaged in projects for us. His master’s degree in statistics is a good base from which to add depth to our research and portfolio management capabilities. His work with online course content provides some insight into things we are trying to do with http://www.228Main.com. He will continue to serve on the adjunct faculty at Doane University.

We cannot know whether the current projects turn into more permanent connections with these talented people. But having more of the next generation more involved with 228 Main is wonderful.

Clients, if you would like to talk about this 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.

Doane University and LPL Financial are not affiliated.

The Things We Do Together

things we do

We figured out a long time ago that three things we do matter the most.

Clients, talking with you is at the top. We connect to understand your situation and collaborate with you on your plans and planning. You are the most important part of our business. Otherwise we have no one for whom to research investments or manage portfolios through LPL Financial.

Research and portfolio management are the other two core activities. Our principles drive both of these: avoid stampedes in the market, seek the best bargains, ‘own the orchard for the fruit crop.’ And both are informed by our connection and collaboration with you.

Although each member of the team serves you in multiple ways, we think of our support infrastructure as the trade desk, the research desk, and the logistics desk. (By logistics, we mean taking care of the details of doing business with you.) These functions connect our main activities.

A funny thing happened when we concentrated on the three activities that are most valuable to you. Less pleasant things that dominate the schedules of most financial types simply disappeared: selling, searching for prospects, marketing to strangers. Ever since, we’ve been able to spend a much higher fraction of our time talking with you and striving to grow your buckets.

If your buckets grow, you like it and our revenues grow. Why waste time and energy on strangers when we can invest it in our friends? It sure raises the enjoyment factor for us.

Clients, we do not know if this is of any interest to you. Writing it helped clarify our thoughts about what we are doing and why. If you would like to discuss this or any other pertinent topic, 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.

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

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.