personal relationships

That’s a GREAT Question

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Recently, a client asked a very blunt question. Just in case anyone else is wondering the same thing, I would like to share the answer.

The client lives a couple states away. He was originally referred by a good friend of his, a person we’ve known for a very long time. We had been conversing about a notable investment success of the past year. I detailed the millions of dollars in gains across our whole client list, and then he asked the question.

“So with your ability to find opportunities like that, why are you talking to me?”

Great question. It gets right to the core of my being.

Obviously, it isn’t the money. I could run a hedge fund, or work on investments in an ivory tower somewhere on behalf of investors I never met and did not know. Instead of working with clients every day, I could have managed the people who talk to clients or managed the people who managed the people who talked to clients.

The fact is, back when I was still in my twenties I knew my ultimate aim was to find a group of clients to whom I could deliver sophisticated investment advice, for our mutual benefit. More than twenty years ago I started Leibman Financial Services to attain that goal. The lives I had touched in my previous, more wide ranging career affirmed the course I set.

The widow who was able to retire within weeks of our first meeting, and own her first home a couple years later—my work was key to giving her the confidence to act. I had a positive impact on her life. Nothing else in my career had ever gratified me as that did. Twenty years ago, a handful of experiences like that inspired me.

Now, our business is organized to maximize gratification from work like that. It might be for retired school teachers or truck drivers or business owners or big-company execs or bankers—we serve a niche market of the mind, not some narrow demographic.

This driving force, by the way, also explains why I persevere in my work despite other challenges we face—and why I want to work to age 92. My passion has provided us the material things we need in life—my bills are paid. Now it is about piling up the psychic rewards my work provides. THAT’S why I’m talking to you.


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 performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results.

No strategy assures success or protects against loss.

The Meaning of Life

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If you ask Google “What is the meaning of life?” you’ll have more than 25 million search results from which to choose. We cannot answer the question for you, but the question and its answer influence your plans and planning.

Whether we think about “the meaning of life” or not, each one of us has fundamental values and principles that shape our words and deeds and lives. If we are to rely on one another, we probably need some common ground on these values and principles.

We say this because strategy and tactics in planning and investing arise out of our values and principles. If there is some agreement on values and principles, then our strategies and tactics will likely make sense to everyone involved. But if we have completely different ways of looking at the world, then we would probably have different ideas about strategies to deal with opportunities and risks as they arise.

We work with a diverse clientele, people from all walks of life in every kind of circumstance, across the country. You have your hopes and dreams; our object is to understand them, and figure out what role we might play in making them more likely to happen. You may understand ‘the meaning of life,’ or perhaps like us you’ve concluded that life is a journey on the road to understanding. Either way, aren’t we all trying to make sense of it?

Whatever one might think about the meaning of life, it is certain to be better if we listen to one another, respect the intentions and plans of the thoughtful people around us, and help each other get where we are trying to go.

Although it may not look like it, that last sentence is our business plan. It isn’t like the ones you might find in a business school textbook. There aren’t any numbers or growth objectives or profit goals. Simply put, the better off our clients are, the better off we are likely to be.

That has meaning in terms of the resources we need to serve you, personnel and training and equipment and facilities. It shapes how we spend our time, researching markets and managing portfolios and talking to you and communicating in other ways. And it is a big factor in making our practice sustainable.

What is your fondest wish? What are your major objectives? What is the meaning of life? If you’d like someone to listen to your answers, please write or call. It’s what we do.