Thursday, October 22, 2009

Re-Balance Your Portfolio

Here is my latest personal finance column for the Jerusalem Post:

It's almost exactly two years since global financial markets traded at all-time high levels. These last two years have seen markets drop by 60 percent, and then stage a furious rally to recoup some of the losses. Read More....

Monday, January 26, 2009

Guma Aguiar Gift Bolsters Nefesh B'Nefesh

Nefesh B'Nefesh, the Aliyah organization announced today in a press release that they have received a very large gift.

According to the release: " Nefesh B'Nefesh today announced the receipt of a major gift to support the organization's work in bringing Jews from the West to live in Israel. The donor Guma Aguiar, a philanthropist and founder of Leor Energy, gave $8 million to Nefesh B’Nefesh during the period ending December 31, 2008. The organization appointed Aguiar, a board member, to the position of Chairman of Finance.

"This substantial donation demonstrates how the remarkable commitment of Jews who choose to make Israel their home even in these challenging times, is echoed and fortified by the support of generous individuals like Guma," said Tony Gelbart, Co-Founder and Chairman of Nefesh B'Nefesh, "these vital funds strengthen Israel's human resources and ensure its future. The gift has already played a major role in helping Nefesh B'Nefesh bring a record number of newcomers to Israel in 2008."

It's good to know that in trying economic times generous philanthropists can step up donate money to such worthy causes.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Does the Media Have a Double Standard?

Got an email from reader DM, speaking to the media bias:

Headlines On This Date 4 Years Ago:
"Republicans spending $42 million on inauguration while troops Die in unarmored Humvees"
"Bush extravagance exceeds any reason during tough economic times"
"Fat cats get their $42 million inauguration party, Ordinary Americans get the shaft"

Headlines Today:
"Historic Obama Inauguration will cost only $120 million"
"Obama Spends $120 million on inauguration; America Needs A Big Party"
"Everyman Obama shows America how to celebrate"
"Citibank executives contribute $8 million to Obama Inauguration"
Nothing like fair & unbiased coverage of the news !!!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Netanyahu Against the World: Cut Taxes

This is a guest post from

For the first time in months we have a real proposal that will help extricate Israel from the economic crisis. Instead of another proposal calling for spending billions of taxpayer dollars to build bridges that aren’t needed, PM wannabe Benjamin Netanyahu, has called for a comprehensive overhaul in the tax code calling for steep cuts in both personal and more importantly corporate income taxes.
Finally we have someone who understands that if citizens can keep more of there money, they can then invest, spend and save it according to their needs. The problem with all these other proposals is that with big time increases in government spending you end up taking money from individuals and they have less to create new wealth.
According to Globes: “Netanyahu said, “Over the course of four years, we will lower the top personal tax rate from today’s 46% to a level of 35%, and we will lower the top corporate tax rate from 27% to only 18%.”
Netanyahu added, “The tax cut will be spread over the entire term, and lead to everyone paying about 20% less than what they pay today”.
He also called for more privatization of government held monopolies like the electric, and water companies as well the ports.
With the world on fast track to socialism, it’s so refreshing to hear a leader speak with common sense, and a firm knowledge of what will actually save the economy.
I know that certain newly sworn in presidents believe that we all need to suffer in order to fix the economic issues that we all face, and that ‘greed’ was what caused all these problems, but ‘greed’ is what powers the economy forward. It’s not a bad thing but a good thing. the greed that Netanyahu talks about is about letting you and I keep more of what we earn, incentivize us to make more so that w can better our lives. Is that Greed? The fact is that as personal incomes rise, so do donations to charities. It appears that there is a correlation between making more and giving more. That doesn’t sound much like greed to me, and that’s the kind of personal sacrifice that should be encouraged.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tzipi Livni and the Release of Gilad Schalit

It's no secret that I am not the biggest fan of PM wannabe Tzipi Livni, and her speech today helped cement my view. According to the Jpost: "I sent Gilad Schalit [to the front], not personally - but he is an IDF soldier," the foreign minister said during a speech at the Administrative College in Rishon Lezion. "We sent him to defend the country and we have an obligation to bring him back. Livni added: "If Hamas thinks it wants to get something beyond humanitarian assistance, which we will give regardless, we have someone who is very important to us, and, for me; one thing is contingent upon the other."

Huh? Isn't she the foreign minister? Where has she been for the last 2.5 years? Where was she during this war with Hamas? Why did she support a unilateral cease-fire, without gaining the release of Schalit? Why didn't she set the release of Schalit as a goal of the war, to begin with?
And what is the humanitarian assistance to Hamas that she is referring to?

Tzipi, enough already. Admit to your failures and leave us alone.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Expulsion From Gush Katif: Timely Read

I am not in the business of promoting books, or reading them for that matter, but with the Israeli war with Hamas I think it's important to turn back the clock a few years and remember the days of the expulsion from Gush Katif. Thousands of Israeli civilians, of Gush Katif, as well as of three communities in northern Samaria, were forced out of their homes and given nothing in return.

I came across a book called, "The Expulsion from Gush Katif," which is a compilation of articles from some well-know Jewish writers about the whole lead up to and actual evacuation of the Jewish residents of the Gush Katif settlements.

The Expulsion from Gush Katif is a detailed, moving record of these events. It describes the run-up to the disengagement plan, the actual expulsion, and the events that followed.

The link to the website is

It's worth the read.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Caution: Baby on Board

Just wanted to let you all know that with thanks and praise to Hashem , I am happy to announce that my wife gave birth to a spanking baby boy this morning. She did a great job, and was a real trooper.

Mother and baby are doing well.