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April 17, 2014 / 17 Nisan, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘deal’

Is Sheldon Adelson Destroying Israel’s Newspapers?

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

According to the Israeli financial website Globes, Sheldon Adelson is in advanced negotiations to purchase the Ha’aretz printing plant. The deal is believed to be in the order of $25 million dollars.

Over the past few months, Adelson’s free daily, Yisrael Hayom, has been searching for a new printing facility to replace the Ha’aretz plant where it currently prints its daily freesheet. Ha’aretz’s plant handles the printing for a number of different newspapers.

Adelson had recently been in negotiations with Nochi Dankner, a major shareholder and chairman of publicly traded IDB Group, Israel’s largest diversified business group with assets of more than $30 billion, to purchase Ma’ariv’s Levin Epstein Printing House. But that deal apparently fell through, striking a hard blow for Ma’ariv which is desperately strapped for cash. Ma’ariv has been looking to sell the printing plant and the land it sits on.

Many Israeli newspapers have been firing staff and “streamlining” these past few months. The right-wing Makor Rishon is one notable exception to the rule.

Globes reports that Ha’aretz announced it was firing 70 employees, some 32 from their own paper, and the rest from their financial daily, The Marker. Yediot Achronot will be firing dozens, many of them likely to be dropped from its website Ynet. Ma’ariv recently shut down its weekday print run, and fired 30 employees in June.

Yediot executives are blaming Adelson and Yisrael Hayom for destroying the Israeli newspaper industry, and more specifically, for destroying Ha’aretz and Yediot Achronot with the introduction of the free daily broadsheet.

Florida Woman Sues El Al for Making her Give her Seat to a Haredi Man

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Debra Ryder, a Jewish resident of Florida and an El Al passenger, is asking the carrier for 50,000 shekel ($12,500) in compensation for allegedly switching her seat on a flight from the U.S., after a Haredi man refused to sit next to her. She claims that the flight attendant moved her without her expressed consent to a seat in the back of the plane, a location that did not meet her medical needs.

Ryder is seeking the compensation for emotional distress and gender discrimination.

“In his quiet way, the flight steward hinted that they were religious, that they saw me, and that they were not prepared to get up from their seats,” Ryder told IDF Radio. “It was clear that the flight attendant did not know how to deal with the situation. They didn’t even ask me and I was humiliated. If they had asked, it would have felt different. I never thought I’d have such an experience.”

Ryder’s attorney Orly Erez-Likhovsky, of the Israel Religious Action Center, sent a letter to El Al demanding that it set clear instructions to employees on how to act in such cases.

El Al said in response, “El Al flight attendants, who are in the front line of service with passengers, are faced with varied requests, and try to help as much as they can. The passenger’s complaint will be examined and dealt with.”

Just Keep Doing What You’re Doing

Wednesday, July 25th, 2012

An elephant at Ramat-Gan’s Safari park is receiving the heat prevention treatment from a park employee. In fact, the list of measures taken by Safari employees working with elephants to deal with the summer heat goes:

1. Hose elephant with water.
2. Did we say Hose elephant with water already?

Free Stock Trades Can Make You Lose Money. Here’s Why.

Sunday, July 15th, 2012

Have you ever found yourself buying a t-shirt that you would never normally be seen dead in, simply because when you walked into the store, you saw the sign, “Buy one, get one free”? And what about the window-cleaning gadget that you picked up from a street vendor for only $2 because he promised you that this was a bargain price and it would do wonders for your windows? Both of these purchases were totally useless, and you will probably consign them to the garbage next Pesach. But you still bought them. Why? Because they were either totally free or cost you next to nothing.

Similarly, when you are stock trading, have you ever been tempted to invest in a commission-free trade? These sound really great. You can choose your investment and if you put in a certain minimum, you don’t need to pay brokerage fees. Wonderful – you are saving money. But are you really?

Dan Ariely, a researcher specializing in behavioral finance, talks about “the power of free.” This is when people are tempted to be more reckless simply because the offer is free. Dan noted that when a New York nightclub offered free tattoos to its customers, even though the conditions were very far from optimal cleanliness, many of them actually took up the offer. In fact, his researchers discovered that 68% of those who received tattoos would not have bothered if they had not been free.

When you pay a fee for stock trading, you are less likely to be reckless because the thought of wasting these few extra dollars on something that may not work acts as a deterrent. But when you get a free trade, you may find yourself feeling similar exhilaration to a gambler in a casino. When the roulette wheel spins and he wins a little money, he takes it and throws it back into the game – promptly losing everything. Falsely, he thinks that as he won once, he can keep on winning. A free stock trade, in the eyes of many, has to be a good deal by virtue of the fact that it’s free, but that is not necessarily the case. While you may win some, you are just as likely to lose.

Secondly, you should always ask yourself the question of why something is free. Take a closer look at it. For example, if you are offered an ETF (Exchange Traded Fund) without needing to pay a commission, why is this? Perhaps it is because the ETF is in some niche segment that you would never normally consider and is far less lucrative than other types of ETFs. It is therefore extremely important to remember that even though such a trade is offered as a free deal, nothing has changed about the underlying investment.

The “power of free” is definitely an absorbing subject. If you want to avoid getting sucked into low-quality trades or landing up with a free jar of free lemon chutney when you purchase a hideous red plastic vase for half price at the supermarket, learn more by watching Dan Ariely on YouTube, where he discusses this subject at greater length.

Why Abbas Will Never Make Peace With Israel

Thursday, July 12th, 2012

What are the chances that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas would ever sign a peace agreement with Israel? The answer: zero.

Abbas, who is in his late 70s, has been in power since 2005 even though his term in office formally ended in January 2009.

If Abbas did not sign a peace agreement with Israel when he was a legitimate president during his earlier four-year term in office, he is most unlikely to strike any deal with Israel now that he does not have a mandate from his people.

If he wished, Abbas could have reached a deal with the government of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni. But Abbas, like his predecessor Yasser Arafat, chose to turn down a generous offer that could have seen Israel relinquish control over most of the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Abbas is not interested in reaching any deal with Israel: he knows that such a move would require him to make concessions. Abbas knows that Israel will never give him 100% of his demands; that is enough for him to refuse to sign any historic agreement.

Like Arafat, Abbas does not want to go down into history as the first Palestinian leader to make concessions, especially on sensitive issues such as refugees and Jerusalem.

In 2000, Arafat rejected Prime Minister Ehud Barak’s generous offer, which included more than 90% of the territories captured by Israel in the Six Day War.

Arafat turned down the offer because he was afraid of being condemned by Arabs and Muslims for having “sold out to the Jews.” Arafat was later quoted as explaining that if he made any concessions to Israel he would “end up drinking coffee with [slain Egyptian President] Anwar Sadat up there.”

So if Arafat, the popular symbol and leader of the Palestinians was unable to make any concessions to Israel, who is Abbas to accept anything less than 100%?

Abbas knows that in a final deal, Israel would not permit millions of Palestinians living in refugee camps to enter the country. He also knows that Israel is planning to retain control over some parts of the West Bank and east Jerusalem.

Arafat walked away from the Camp David summit in 2000 because he had been telling his people that anyone who makes concessions to Israel is a traitor.

Similarly, Abbas has also tied his hands by constantly promising the Palestinians that he would never make concessions on the “right of return” and settlements.

Abbas has even gone a step further by mobilizing Palestinian public opinion against Israel to a point where his people are not even ready to see him meeting with Vice Prime Minister Shaul Mofaz.

Abbas’s Palestinian Authority has been denouncing Israel and many of its leaders, including Mofaz, as war criminals. This is why when, two weeks ago, Palestinians heard that Mofaz was planning to visit Ramallah to meet with Abbas, hundreds took to the streets to protest.

Abbas quickly succumbed, and called off the meeting with Mofaz.

The next time Abbas plans to meet with any Israeli government official, Palestinians will once again take to the streets to protest.

The motives of the protesters are understandable. Why should they approve of such meetings while Abbas himself has been telling them for many years that Israeli leaders are war criminals and do not want peace?

If Abbas is not even able to hold a meeting with a senior representative of the Israeli government, who said that he could ever reach any peace agreement with Israel?

Abbas’s problem is more with his people than with Israel. Not only does Abbas not have a mandate to reach any deal with Israel, he has also lost much of his credibility among Palestinians for his failure to end his dispute with Hamas and to implement major reforms in his ruling Fatah faction

Today, Abbas is not in a position that allows him to sell to most Palestinians any agreement he reaches with Israel. Even if he were to bring home an agreement that includes 100% of his demands, most Palestinians would still receive it with full skepticism because it would be coming from a leader who does not have a mandate to make even the slightest concession.

Don’t Wait Until You’re 100 to Give Away Your Assets

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

Recently, an eighty-year-old client shared some important news with me. He had just received an inheritance from his mother, who had passed away at the ripe old age of 100. His mother had been fabulously rich, but towards the end of her life she had slowed down, and therefore had little use for her money.

“As for me,” her son sighed, “I’m no spring chicken myself, and I don’t see myself needing so much of it either. But I sure could have used it when I was younger ….”

My client’s story is not that unusual. Many times, people may work hard to build up savings, but their loved ones only reap the benefits after the older generation has left this world. This doesn’t only apply to family members, either. How many times do you see on the sides of a large building a sign saying, “Built in the memory of …,” or read about the “John and Jane Doe Memorial Fund?” Do you ever wonder if the aforementioned John and Jane Doe look down from the Other World to see what is being done with their legacy? Or, how about a trust that isn’t being distributed exactly according to its founders’ wishes? Maybe they could have been involved in some of the projects, making even better use of their assets. Perhaps they would also have gotten greater joy out of it if they had lived to see these achievements for themselves.

At the same time, the amount of money that you can give away is always relative. Obviously, the more that you have, the more you can give, but you need to make sure that your own financial situation is secure so you don’t suffer as the result of over-generosity to your family or to various charitable causes.

How do you know how much to give?

First, consult with your financial adviser and determine your net worth. Together, consider how much money you need to be able to live a fairly comfortable life. Make sure to account for the unpredictable nature of life and the markets, and then consider gifting some of the excess.

Philanthropist Lewis Cullman said, “It’s better to give money away when you’re alive than to give it away in your will because what do you care what people say? When you’re dead, you won’t be around to hear it.” When I interviewed Mr. Cullman on the Goldstein on Gelt show, he told me that he once asked Warren Buffett why he didn’t give away even more money to charity (This followed an initiative when Warren Buffett and Bill Gates signed the Gates-Buffett Pledge promising to donate at least half of their wealth over time to charity, and invited other wealthy figures to join them). When I asked Mr. Cullman why fifty percent of Warren Buffett’s wealth wouldn’t be a good deal, he replied, “It’s a very good deal. But if you have $30 billion and you give half of it away, you’ve still got $15 billion and that’s a lot of money!”

If you want to watch your grandchildren or your favorite causes benefiting from your assets, consider meeting with your financial advisor and creating a financial plan to determine exactly how much you can gift. Get a free ebook to gain more inspiration to gift your funds by reading the thought-provoking interview with Lewis Cullman.

A Dumb Investment Someone Wants to Sell You Now

Sunday, June 24th, 2012

Can you imagine the following story ever happening to you?

An elderly lady came into my office a while back and told me that she was a novice investor who was very lucky. “Lucky?” I asked. She explained that she was lucky enough to meet a nice, kind person who had sold her a unique investment of raw land that was destined to be converted into a major city one day. When I asked her more questions, she had no idea, claiming that she didn’t understand investments, but was just so lucky that one day she would be rich.

“So what’s the problem?” I asked.

“I need more monthly income,” she admitted.

Here’s what really happened to her: The client was approached by a salesman who said that if she bought into his raw land deal, she would quintuple her money. Since the deal was raw land, there were no renters, and therefore no income from the deal. Thinking that there was a great future to this proposition, the client bought one unit of the deal. Then, when she realized how rich she could become, and since she desperately needed more money, she went to the bank and borrowed some money to buy another unit. Now she owned two units of raw, non-producing real estate, and had to make monthly payments to her bank to pay off mortgage she had taken out to purchase it.

When the client realized that she had used up all of her money for a high-risk investment and, as a result had negative cash flow, she came to me. I called the salesman and asked how she could get out of the deal. He said that the units were not sellable until the whole project was complete. The deal never worked out and now, years later, this poor lady is still suffering.

I don’t know if the raw land will ever be converted into a city. It seems unlikely to me, but I’m not an expert in real estate or city planning. However, I do know that even if the investment itself isn’t dumb, it was a poor idea for the salesman to sell it to this lady. It certainly wasn’t appropriate for her.

When you read these stories, you may think that “it could never happen to me.” However, anyone can make a mistake in judgment when it comes to investing, just like anything else in life. Therefore, when it comes to your own financial dealings, don’t just examine the potential return of an investment. Rather, consider whether the investment program itself is right for someone in your situation. If you have stories like this to share, please send an email directly to me at doug@profile-financial.com or contact me through my website.

 

Ulpana Residents Surrender to Government Evacuation Order

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

A press release issued by the residents of Ulpana Hill in Beit El reveals that over the past ten days representatives of Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak negotiated with Rabbi Zalman Melamed, dean of the Beit El yeshiva which owns the Ulpana homes, as well as with community leaders including head of the Beit El municipality Moshe Rosenboim. The negotiations yielded a guaranteed deal to build 300 housing units in exchange for the ones being evacuated following a High Court decision.

Ulpana residents’ spokesman Harel Cohen told the Jewish Press emotions ran deep among the locals, who still see the entire affair as the manipulation of Israel’s government by a minute and well financed leftist cadre, against the wishes of Israel’s voters and their representatives.

Cohen said that he and his neighbors were comforted by the fact that as the negotiations were going on, several dozen babies were born to Jewish families in Judea and Samaria, who will soon enough shift the demographic balance once and for all and bolster Jewish rule over the Jewish homeland.

Rabbi Melamed mourned the unavoidable decision, saying it was like a father being told he had to give up a son and in return would receive ten others.

“But we are men of peace,” the press release concluded. “Struggles between brothers tear up the entire public, and especially our own public, and depletes creative powers which will better serve in rebuilding the nation and the land.”

Altogether, 33 families will be evacuated.

Israel’s Army  Radio reported that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will bring the deal before to the new ministerial committee on the settlements on Wednesday.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/ulpana-residents-surrender-to-government-evacuation-order/2012/06/20/

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