teamwork makes the dream work

Three Cheers for Larry!

Coincidence, good timing, good fortune… Whatever you call it, something wonderful happened to bring Larry Wiederspan into my life and later into our shop. Clients, three cheers for Larry as he closes a chapter working here at 228 Main.


Want content like this in your inbox each week? Leave your email here.

Serendipity, or, the Mark and Larry Story

graphic shows a framed collage of headshots of each of the six members of the office staff (Patsy, Larry, Mark, Caitie, Greg, and Billy)

It’s the way events might occur by chance, to our happiness or benefit. 

It’s coincidence. 

It’s good luck. 

And maybe sometimes it’s providence. All of these could define the word “serendipity.” And all describe my long association with Larry Wiederspan. 

I met Larry in one of my earliest incarnations in business, as a life insurance agent working with country banks and bankers. The owners of a small chain of banks asked me to go out west to see one of their branch office managers at a location 200 miles away, in the middle of Nebraska, to implement a benefit plan. 

We hit it off. I ended up making return trips to work with Larry and even his wife Marilyn on their own plans and planning. As my skills and services evolved, they came along with me. 

Over the years, some of Larry’s strengths came to the surface: integrity, diligence, good faith, attention to detail, and friendliness. Then serendipity struck about ten years ago, when I learned that they were thinking about a move to my neighborhood after Marilyn’s retirement. His characteristics and traits were something that our shop needed, and he was about to join the neighborhood. 

At the time, increasing regulatory requirements meant that files needed updating and business processes became more cumbersome—precisely when family health issues took me out of the shop for weeks at a time. I could easily have been that person who had a great business until… illness befell the family. 

Larry retired from his banking career, a higher-stress and longer-hours endeavor than the more relaxed pace of the position we created for him at 228 Main. Larry and Marilyn moved closer to their grandchildren. It was a big win for everyone. 

Clients, you and we obtained the benefits of knowing and working with Larry. We’ve enjoyed Larry’s association for longer than we expected we’d get, as he enjoyed his work too. 

But he tells us the time has come for more retirement-type activities and less work. We’ll soon be short the regular company of this conscientious and pleasant fellow who means so much to us. We are still here in part because he was here for us. 

My gratitude will never repay the debt I owe Larry.

There is some chance a special project or circumstance may bring him back for a spell, but at this time it would be appropriate for you to join me in thanking Larry for his many years of service here, if you are so moved. 

In the meantime, clients, we’ll still be taking care of business—and we’re learning how to do that without Larry’s help. Call or email us about anything you might need. 

Cheers, Larry! 


Want content like this in your inbox each week? Leave your email here.

Play the audio version of this post below:

Serendipity, or, the Mark and Larry Story 228Main.com Presents: The Best of Leibman Financial Services

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

The Best Way to Be Two-Faced

In Roman mythology, Janus was the deity of beginnings, endings, and transitions. He was all about passageways and traveling. I’m thinking about him as I reflect on where 228 Main has been—and where it’s headed.


Want content like this in your inbox each week? Leave your email here.

Do We Reap What We Sow? Some Notes on Trust

photo shows rows of corn with the sun rising behind them

I’m reflecting on an experience a friend had recently, one of those unexpected and painful situations that leave you reeling. This may sound “personal” and not “business,” but you already know there is only one integrated Mark. And this bears on our work with you.

There is an element of trust in all of our doings. Whether I’m working with you or with another business owner in beautiful downtown Louisville, we have to trust that each of us is going to work to get on the same page and stay on the same page. We’re all in this together, after all.

Our historic building here at 228 Main—once headquarters to The Louisville Courier—is in its second century. When repairs are needed, I have to trust the person I hire to do what they say they will do. They have to trust that I will pay as agreed.

It gets a little stickier when it’s not clear what is being bought and sold. A service you’ve never sought out before, a sales professional you’ve never worked with… These can feel like uncharted waters. And it can feel adversarial with one party on one side, one on the other.

When we feel like we have to defend our own interests, it is harder to remember that both sides usually want the same thing—an agreement.

That agreement may be richer if we can rely upon each other for perspective and guidance. But to do so, we have to accept that we’re working together, each seeking to understand the other. We can formulate a better agreement if we’re not on two warring teams.

In high-trust situations, we end up not only with a good deal that’s mutually beneficial. We can sometimes also end up with a warm relationship with another human being, in all their interesting particularities.

“Business at the speed of trust” is a thing. The price of not trusting is a cynical, legalistic approach to everything. It’s defensive and less collaborative in spirit.

And sometimes, when we come across a hurting human, we pay the price for trust. It’s getting sucker-punched! It’s finding that the topping on the coffee is shaving cream, not whipping cream.

I’m sorry that my friend had to pay that price recently. The hurt is real. Real and worth it, in my opinion, as the price of trusting in general. A lot like the price of loving, or the price of friendship, or any other human interaction where we are vulnerable.

If there are two ways of being, we try to practice the one that opens us to more trust, more love, more connections—a better happier life and once in a long while, a punch in the nose. It’s not okay to lash out of course, but we don’t control the emotions and actions of others. We put ourselves out there and see what happens. We help ourselves recover and get whole, then we try again.

Clients, I will strive to be conscious of the blessings of our mutual trust, and I strive to be worthy of yours. Thank you for engaging with us—and reach out when there is anything you need to acquaint us with.


Want content like this in your inbox each week? Leave your email here.

Play the audio version of this post below:

Do We Reap What We Sow? Some Notes on Trust 228Main.com Presents: The Best of Leibman Financial Services

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

A Thanksgiving Message: On Giving Thanks When It Matters

Won’t you join me? I’m getting in the spirit! A little personal reflection for this fine holiday week.

Want content like this in your inbox each week? Leave your email here.

In Business to Talk All Day

graphic shows Polaroids picturing the logos of social media platforms and our newsletter and weekly videos

Dire need first drove us to it. Fortunate circumstances made it possible. Now, with more dedicated resources than ever, it’s clear that 21st century communications have transformed our work with you. 

Now we are striving to be available in the forms and places that suit you best. And believe it or not, we think our communications with you are an important part of our mission to try to grow your bucket. 

Clients, maybe you’ve experienced this in your own work and communities. Keeping the channels open is not an extra step you add onto your relationships: communicating is just part of it!

Our work is really a joint venture, a collaboration with you. It does not matter if we can find favorable investment opportunities and manage portfolios in advantageous ways if clients don’t understand why we are doing what we are doing. They might feel driven to sell out at what could be the wrong time. No guarantees that our views are right, but at least you will always know what they are. 

This is why our bountiful communications with you are so key. You know what we are doing; you see our principles in action. With all that, you tend to stick with the program at crucial times when it might otherwise have been difficult to do so. 

For instance, with the best clients in the world, we can take on unpopular but potentially profitable ideas. And we don’t need to jump on every fad or chase popular but overpriced concepts. Each week you hear from us—and get our take on which stories are actually news worth knowing. 

We’ve been working on improvements in our communications program across the last year. Whether you prefer to read, or listen, or watch, you can find us! Have you caught us on our website, or visited the podcast, or watched us on YouTube? Or do you like your content best on social media? 

Here is an update of where you can find us: 

  • The blog at 228Main.com now includes an audio version of every post, playable right below each story. 
  • Want audio only? It’s available as a stand-alone podcast on SpotifyGoogle, and Anchor
  • The weekly “Clients, You Know What I’m Talking About!” videos and more are available on our YouTube Channel. Subscribe or drop in anytime. 

  • The email newsletter “The Weekly Note” rounds up the best of the blog, socials, and updates—short and sweet, in your inbox just once a week. Leave your email here to get it. 
  • You can also find news and notes and commentary from us daily on socials, at FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn

Clients, you can make it interactive any time you want, by replying to an email newsletter, calling, or stopping by 228 Main. We love to hear from you! 


Want content like this in your inbox each week? Leave your email here.

Play the audio version of this post below:

This text can be found at https://www.228Main.com/.

Our Schedule Is Your Schedule

photo shows a pen pointing at a calendar with the word "You!" circled

The best clients in the whole world rarely disappoint. We’ve built trust together across decades of conversations, in some cases. Newer faces have gotten to know me and my work, online or through friends and relatives.

But there are certain things that just break my heart to hear from you.

“I know you’re busy…”

“Mark, I’m so sorry to bother you…”

“I don’t want to take your time…”

Ouch. I can feel the pain even as I type those words! Let me set the record straight.

Sure, I’m busy. If there were three of me, we’d all be busy. But I choose to direct my time toward your business: your plans, your goals, and our discussions about all of the above!

One of my staff members once told me it wasn’t possible for me to waste their time, because there’s no way they would allow that! If I were in danger of wasting their time, they would tell me. (We’re all adults here, right?)

Clients, you can trust me to be direct about my schedule and my priorities. And my goodness, you are the reason I’m here. I’ve got a whole team to help me with the details, so I get to spend more of my time doing more of what I love: my day job.

My time is your time is our time. When you’re ready, reach out.


Want content like this in your inbox each week? Leave your email here.

Play the audio version of this post below:

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

The One and Only Us

graphic shows a framed picture on a wall with a collage of all six 228Main.com employees smiling

Clients, I’m one of a kind. I’ve worked many years and traveled many paths to be the person I am today.

Even though I’m the one and only Mark Leibman, I get to do what I do as part of an amazing team at 228 Main. I notice this truth now more than ever.

The enterprise has three core activities:

  • We talk with you about your plans and planning, to sort out how best to connect your money to your life—your goals.
  • We research and manage investments, striving to grow your long-term buckets.
  • We take care of the logistics and paperwork you need to try to get where you are going.

I sometimes say I am in business to talk all day, but as you can see from these notes, it takes the whole team to make that possible.

Four of us here in the shop contribute to our communications. Three of us collaborate on investment research and analyze portfolios. Two focus on logistics and paperwork, taking care of details.

While I spend the most time with you, Caitie Leibman directs our communications, which really is just another way to talk to you, with contributions from Greg Leibman, and Billy Garver, and me. Greg, Billy, and I work on research and portfolios. And Patsy Havenridge and Larry Wiederspan take care of service—the paperwork and logistics.

The buck stops with me, of course: I take responsibility for investment decisions and trading and recommendations and everything, but I could never accomplish by myself the things we are able to do as a team. We are working with more than $100 million for clients in twenty states.

I’ve often said that if there were three of me, we’d all be busy. But the world does not need any more copies of me. Every member of the 228 Main team knows that the better off you are, the better off we will be—and they each contribute skills and abilities I don’t have.

I couldn’t be more proud of them.

Clients, is there anything for which you could use our team’s perspective? Call or write, anytime.


Want content like this in your inbox each week? Leave your email here.

Play the audio version of this post below: