Author Topic: Ask Conservatarian any investment or personal finance question  (Read 3407 times)

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Offline Conservatarian

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Ask Conservatarian any investment or personal finance question
« on: October 06, 2009, 05:56:11 PM »
But please, please, please don't ask me to predict the future. 
I haven't gotten my official 'Oracle' certification yet, but I'm working on it.

I can help with your 401k investments, stocks, bonds, CDs, small business retirement accounts,
whatever can be answered on this forum.  I can also discuss anything
related to stock market, risks, coin tossing, making decisions under uncertainty,
investor psychology, real estate investments, rent vs. buy, and anything else I haven't thought of.

For more detailed/private questions feel free to PM me. 

Offline muman613

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Re: Ask Conservatarian any investment or personal finance question
« Reply #1 on: October 06, 2009, 07:50:02 PM »
Hi,

What brings you to JTF? Do you share our opinions on word events?

And you shall call out and say before the Lord, your God, "An Aramean [sought to] destroy my forefather, and he went down to Egypt and sojourned there with a small number of people, and there, he became a great, mighty, and numerous nation.
Devarim/Ki Tavo 26:5

Offline Conservatarian

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Re: Ask Conservatarian any investment or personal finance question
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2009, 03:23:31 PM »
I share too many opinions.  I may chime in on certain topics such as self-defense and firearms, but
right now I believe I can offer some investment/financial advice on this forum for people some of whom may
be struggling financially on how to weather this (possibly long) recession.

There are many lessons in the Torah which teach us about prudent money management.
Until recently I've only been interested in the money part, but I've since found how modern math can actually furnish proof for some events described in Torah.

The first is the flood.  Noah did his homework.  He could have said, I've never seen
a flood that big, so I won't bother doing anything.  This right there is the first lesson.
The second example is Joseph and the Pharaoh.  Modern math actually tells us
that the water level of the Nile exhibits the kind of behavior described in the Torah,
that is, a long period of plenty can be followed by a long drought (this is actually
part of a well-known principle of scaling).  This has been proven
mathematically.  Joseph seemed to have known that, and even though this may not have happened in
his lifetime, his prudent management of resources was the reason Egypt prospered during
a long drought.  So whether its a big and sudden change, or a slow and long one,
these two lessons are very important in understanding how markets work.
This is my primary interest, and this is what I'd like to share with anybody who's interested.

Moshe92

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Re: Ask Conservatarian any investment or personal finance question
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2009, 04:44:09 PM »
Are you a conservative and a libertarian? Is that what your username means?

Offline Conservatarian

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Re: Ask Conservatarian any investment or personal finance question
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2009, 05:29:40 PM »
I am a conservative in many ways. But in many ways I'm also a libertarian. Strong defense, weak government.
Strong morals but stay out of people's lives. 

Offline White Israelite

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Re: Ask Conservatarian any investment or personal finance question
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2009, 06:43:22 PM »
I need to invest 5,000 USD, suggestions?

Offline muman613

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Re: Ask Conservatarian any investment or personal finance question
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2009, 07:47:24 PM »
I share too many opinions.  I may chime in on certain topics such as self-defense and firearms, but
right now I believe I can offer some investment/financial advice on this forum for people some of whom may
be struggling financially on how to weather this (possibly long) recession.

There are many lessons in the Torah which teach us about prudent money management.
Until recently I've only been interested in the money part, but I've since found how modern math can actually furnish proof for some events described in Torah.

The first is the flood.  Noah did his homework.  He could have said, I've never seen
a flood that big, so I won't bother doing anything.  This right there is the first lesson.
The second example is Joseph and the Pharaoh.  Modern math actually tells us
that the water level of the Nile exhibits the kind of behavior described in the Torah,
that is, a long period of plenty can be followed by a long drought (this is actually
part of a well-known principle of scaling).  This has been proven
mathematically.  Joseph seemed to have known that, and even though this may not have happened in
his lifetime, his prudent management of resources was the reason Egypt prospered during
a long drought.  So whether its a big and sudden change, or a slow and long one,
these two lessons are very important in understanding how markets work.
This is my primary interest, and this is what I'd like to share with anybody who's interested.


I would like to point out some Jewish understanding about Noah {Noach}. He didn't do any 'homework'... He was told by Hashem to build the Ark and he did so... It was not because he wanted to... It took Noach about 120 years to build the ark. Hashem had hoped that Noach would attempt to bring the people of the generation to repent, but he kept to himself... This is why Noach ended up falling in the end...

Also the issue about Pharoah and Joseph... Once again this was not due to any intellect from Joseph... He simply interpreted Pharoahs dream like he interpreted the cup bearers dream. As Joseph points out, his interpretation came from Hashem and not from his own ability.

http://www.learningtorah.org/DvarTorah/ViewDvarTorah.aspx?dtID=631

Quote
BIG BOAT

Our first question: What was the terrible sin of Noah's generation that God sought to destroy them? The Talmud (Sanhedrin 57a) tells us that the world was immersed in jealousy, greed, theft, violence, lying, intolerance, deception and fraud. The worst of all transgressions? Explain the great commentators Rashi and Ibn Ezra: People exploited each other sexually.

Before God sends the Flood, Noah spends 120 years building an Ark. (They lived long in those days.) This was no ordinary boat. It measured larger than a football field and contained over a million cubic feet of space! It was outfitted with three separate levels: The top for Noah and his family, the middle for the animals, and the bottom for the garbage.

(Which, by the way, shows the Torah's unique concern for the environment: Even while the world was being destroyed, they wouldn't throw the garbage overboard!)

But there are obviously many ways by which God could have saved Noah. So why did Noah have to bother building an ark? And why did it take him 120 years?!

The Midrash says that God specifically wanted Noah to undertake a strange and unusual project, to arouse people's curiosity. God accentuated the oddity of it all by having Noah construct this huge boat - not at the sea shore - but on a mountain-top! This way people would ask Noah - "What the heck are you doing?!" - and Noah could engage them in discussion about the global crisis, and how catastrophe could be avoided if people would change their ways.

Well, 120 years is a long time, and you would think that Noah would have convinced a lot of people to get back on track. But alas, instead of reaching out to influence others, Noah saw the Ark as his own ticket to survival - a chance to build a big wall and insulate himself from the evils of society.

Regarding Pharoahs dream you can learn from this:

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/557137/jewish/Why-did-Pharaoh-accept-Josephs-dream-interpretations.htm

Quote
All the advisors around gave their opinion. According to the Midrash, some said that the dreams were hinting that Pharaoh would have seven daughters born to him and these seven would die shortly thereafter. Others explained that he would conquer and then lose seven countries. However, Pharaoh was not satisfied until Joseph came along and offered his divinely inspired interpretation.

What was so unique in Joseph's interpretation that was lacking in the others'? Joseph answered a question that perplexed everyone. At one point in Pharaoh's dream he saw the seven skinny cows at the same time that he saw the fat ones. The same thing occurred in the second dream where he saw the skinny beaten ears together with the healthy ones. Whatever the seven cows or ears were to represent, no one seemed to figure out how there could be both the good side of the coin and the opposite at the same time.

Until Joseph came along.

Joseph offered Pharaoh his interpretation of the dreams: The seven fat cows and healthy ears represented seven years of plenty; the skinny cows and beaten ears represented seven years of extreme famine.

He then continued to give his advice--although he wasn't asked to do so--and in so doing he clarified everything: During the first set of seven years they should harvest and store as much grain as possible so that when the seven years of famine arrive the Egyptians will have what to eat.

By offering this advice, Joseph was actually answering the million dollar question: How was it possible to have the good and bad at the same time? During the first seven years the second set of seven years of famine was already in existence as they were preparing for it by collecting and storing all the surplus grain. When the famine finally arrived, although nothing grew from the earth, the first set of seven years was still at their side as they had all the food from that period stored away. Thus the seven skinny cows stood side by side with the seven fat cows.

Now, Pharaoh was satisfied.1
And you shall call out and say before the Lord, your God, "An Aramean [sought to] destroy my forefather, and he went down to Egypt and sojourned there with a small number of people, and there, he became a great, mighty, and numerous nation.
Devarim/Ki Tavo 26:5

Offline Conservatarian

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Re: Ask Conservatarian any investment or personal finance question
« Reply #7 on: October 08, 2009, 05:58:40 PM »
I share too many opinions.  I may chime in on certain topics such as self-defense and firearms, but
right now I believe I can offer some investment/financial advice on this forum for people some of whom may
be struggling financially on how to weather this (possibly long) recession.

There are many lessons in the Torah which teach us about prudent money management.
Until recently I've only been interested in the money part, but I've since found how modern math can actually furnish proof for some events described in Torah.

The first is the flood.  Noah did his homework.  He could have said, I've never seen
a flood that big, so I won't bother doing anything.  This right there is the first lesson.
The second example is Joseph and the Pharaoh.  Modern math actually tells us
that the water level of the Nile exhibits the kind of behavior described in the Torah,
that is, a long period of plenty can be followed by a long drought (this is actually
part of a well-known principle of scaling).  This has been proven
mathematically.  Joseph seemed to have known that, and even though this may not have happened in
his lifetime, his prudent management of resources was the reason Egypt prospered during
a long drought.  So whether its a big and sudden change, or a slow and long one,
these two lessons are very important in understanding how markets work.
This is my primary interest, and this is what I'd like to share with anybody who's interested.


I would like to point out some Jewish understanding about Noah {Noach}. He didn't do any 'homework'... He was told by Hashem to build the Ark and he did so... It was not because he wanted to... It took Noach about 120 years to build the ark. Hashem had hoped that Noach would attempt to bring the people of the generation to repent, but he kept to himself... This is why Noach ended up falling in the end...

Also the issue about Pharoah and Joseph... Once again this was not due to any intellect from Joseph... He simply interpreted Pharoahs dream like he interpreted the cup bearers dream. As Joseph points out, his interpretation came from Hashem and not from his own ability.

http://www.learningtorah.org/DvarTorah/ViewDvarTorah.aspx?dtID=631

Quote
BIG BOAT

Our first question: What was the terrible sin of Noah's generation that G-d sought to destroy them? The Talmud (Sanhedrin 57a) tells us that the world was immersed in jealousy, greed, theft, violence, lying, intolerance, deception and fraud. The worst of all transgressions? Explain the great commentators Rashi and Ibn Ezra: People exploited each other sexually.

Before G-d sends the Flood, Noah spends 120 years building an Ark. (They lived long in those days.) This was no ordinary boat. It measured larger than a football field and contained over a million cubic feet of space! It was outfitted with three separate levels: The top for Noah and his family, the middle for the animals, and the bottom for the garbage.

(Which, by the way, shows the Torah's unique concern for the environment: Even while the world was being destroyed, they wouldn't throw the garbage overboard!)

But there are obviously many ways by which G-d could have saved Noah. So why did Noah have to bother building an ark? And why did it take him 120 years?!

The Midrash says that G-d specifically wanted Noah to undertake a strange and unusual project, to arouse people's curiosity. G-d accentuated the oddity of it all by having Noah construct this huge boat - not at the sea shore - but on a mountain-top! This way people would ask Noah - "What the heck are you doing?!" - and Noah could engage them in discussion about the global crisis, and how catastrophe could be avoided if people would change their ways.

Well, 120 years is a long time, and you would think that Noah would have convinced a lot of people to get back on track. But alas, instead of reaching out to influence others, Noah saw the Ark as his own ticket to survival - a chance to build a big wall and insulate himself from the evils of society.

Regarding Pharoahs dream you can learn from this:

http://www.chabad.org/library/article_cdo/aid/557137/jewish/Why-did-Pharaoh-accept-Josephs-dream-interpretations.htm

Quote
All the advisors around gave their opinion. According to the Midrash, some said that the dreams were hinting that Pharaoh would have seven daughters born to him and these seven would die shortly thereafter. Others explained that he would conquer and then lose seven countries. However, Pharaoh was not satisfied until Joseph came along and offered his divinely inspired interpretation.

What was so unique in Joseph's interpretation that was lacking in the others'? Joseph answered a question that perplexed everyone. At one point in Pharaoh's dream he saw the seven skinny cows at the same time that he saw the fat ones. The same thing occurred in the second dream where he saw the skinny beaten ears together with the healthy ones. Whatever the seven cows or ears were to represent, no one seemed to figure out how there could be both the good side of the coin and the opposite at the same time.

Until Joseph came along.

Joseph offered Pharaoh his interpretation of the dreams: The seven fat cows and healthy ears represented seven years of plenty; the skinny cows and beaten ears represented seven years of extreme famine.

He then continued to give his advice--although he wasn't asked to do so--and in so doing he clarified everything: During the first set of seven years they should harvest and store as much grain as possible so that when the seven years of famine arrive the Egyptians will have what to eat.

By offering this advice, Joseph was actually answering the million dollar question: How was it possible to have the good and bad at the same time? During the first seven years the second set of seven years of famine was already in existence as they were preparing for it by collecting and storing all the surplus grain. When the famine finally arrived, although nothing grew from the earth, the first set of seven years was still at their side as they had all the food from that period stored away. Thus the seven skinny cows stood side by side with the seven fat cows.

Now, Pharaoh was satisfied.1


Noah had free will to do what he liked.  I believe that's part of the deal.  Joseph was smart, and probably knew something
that didn't make it into the Torah.  He did not just make a random guess.  He could have come out seeming like a fool if
the drought only lasted 1 year instead of 7.  Call that a lucky guess or an informed one, but the lesson is still valid, imho.

Offline Conservatarian

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Re: Ask Conservatarian any investment or personal finance question
« Reply #8 on: October 08, 2009, 06:07:10 PM »
I need to invest 5,000 USD, suggestions?

I guess it would help if you answered a couple of questions first...
1) Short term or long term? (how long?)
2) Do you have an emergency reserve (at least 1 year's worth of what you spend)
3) Do you have an investment portfolio already?

Basically, first thing is you pay off your high interest debt.  Then build up your reserves.
And only then invest.  If you are at that point, the question is, will you be setting
and forgetting?  Or will you be adding more?

Open a ROTH IRA.  You can contribute $5k for 2009 by April 2010.  If you are going to add more,
I can give you a simple portfolio you can build in 2 steps.  If you want safety - CDs or money market is ok.
If conservative investment - an short term bond would do.  A bit more risk and higher yield - intermediate term bond.

Once you figure out where you are, I can suggest some possible choices for you.

Good luck,
Conservatarian


Offline muman613

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Re: Ask Conservatarian any investment or personal finance question
« Reply #9 on: October 08, 2009, 11:03:16 PM »
Regarding Joseph, it was his interpretation of Pharoahs dream which led to him being appointed to be virtually second in command to Pharoah. It was his ability to interpret dreams which Hashem gave him, and not his intellect, which led to his release from the dungeon he was being held in {because of the incident with Potiphars wife}. Nowhere is it taught in Torah that Joseph received any lessons in anything other than Torah so it doesnt make sense to me that somehow he knew this mathematical principle you talk about. Also it is a very important part of Jewish belief to know that our skills are only gifts from Hashem, and not due to our own intellect or skill. I dont think it is a good lesson to say that because Joseph was 'good at math' he was able to save the entire civilized world. It is because he was destined, as he dreamed when he was a child... His brothers were extremely jealous of him because he boasted of dreams where he was lording over them...

Of course everyone is entitled to believe what they want. But according to strict Jewish interpretation your ideas are foreign.

And you shall call out and say before the Lord, your God, "An Aramean [sought to] destroy my forefather, and he went down to Egypt and sojourned there with a small number of people, and there, he became a great, mighty, and numerous nation.
Devarim/Ki Tavo 26:5

Offline Conservatarian

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Re: Ask Conservatarian any investment or personal finance question
« Reply #10 on: October 09, 2009, 12:18:37 PM »
Regarding Joseph, it was his interpretation of Pharoahs dream which led to him being appointed to be virtually second in command to Pharoah. It was his ability to interpret dreams which Hashem gave him, and not his intellect, which led to his release from the dungeon he was being held in {because of the incident with Potiphars wife}. Nowhere is it taught in Torah that Joseph received any lessons in anything other than Torah so it doesnt make sense to me that somehow he knew this mathematical principle you talk about. Also it is a very important part of Jewish belief to know that our skills are only gifts from Hashem, and not due to our own intellect or skill. I dont think it is a good lesson to say that because Joseph was 'good at math' he was able to save the entire civilized world. It is because he was destined, as he dreamed when he was a child... His brothers were extremely jealous of him because he boasted of dreams where he was lording over them...

Of course everyone is entitled to believe what they want. But according to strict Jewish interpretation your ideas are foreign.



Didn't say that.  I said that somehow he knew the truth.  With modern math we can now confirm that what he knew was right on the money.
Thats all I'm saying. 

Step back for a second.  Forget everything.  Just think abot the river Nile and what Joseph said.  Put two and two together, RIGHT NOW,
and we got a lesson in finance we can draw from it.  No more, no less.