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January 24, 2017 / 26 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘loss’

The #1 Thing You Should Know About Real Estate Investing in Israel

Sunday, June 17th, 2012

If you buy a property as an investment, there are two ways you can profit – either you sell it for more than you paid, and/or you collect rent. Let’s look at each of these and see why they often don’t work out:

Selling for a profit

If you buy a property for an investment, hoping to sell years down the line at a profit, remember, that it’s not always easy to sell an apartment. Though people talk about the dearth of housing in Israel, there are “For Sale” signs all over, even in Jerusalem. The best way to ensure a quick sale of property is to sell it at a low price, often at a loss. But even if you don’t need the money and can afford to hold onto the property, remember you have the “friction” of buying and selling in the form of taxes, lawyers’ fees, real estate agents, assessors, mortgage costs, and more.

Collecting rent

In some parts of Israel, rental income represents 2% of the value of the property. So if you’re looking at a rental apartment to provide cash flow, you haven’t found the best return. Moreover, there’s no guarantee that you’ll have renters for 12 months a year. If you presume that, on average, you’ll only be full 10 or 11 months a year, account for the fact that your income would be around 8% lower than if you were full all year round. And if you can’t rent the property out at all, then your money is tied up in a non-performing asset.

So if you are considering investing in real estate in Israel, the #1 thing that you need to know is that buying physical real estate could be a bad investment. That’s why for real estate investing, I prefer using REITs (real estate investment trusts), which trade on a stock exchange, pay dividends, are easy to buy and sell with low cost, and can be bought in the form of a mutual fund.

There are many reasons to buy property in Israel, not only financial. Some Zionists want to solidify their connection to Israel, or hope to one day retire there. Before you buy real estate (or any investment vehicle), make sure you understand your motivation and the pros and cons.

If you want to know about practical investing in Israel, sign up for my company’s investment newsletter and get a free investment ebook as a gift.

Doug Goldstein, CFP®

Are Diamonds Forever?

Friday, June 1st, 2012

This is in no way intended to dampen the enthusiasm of kallahs flush with excitement over their upcoming nuptials, but who hasn’t heard a “lost diamond ring” story or, for that matter, experienced firsthand the traumatic loss of a precious piece of jewelry?

In the recent past, the media featured a story of a Swedish vegetable grower who pulled a carrot out of the ground and was shocked to find her wedding ring wrapped around the vegetable. She had lost the ring sixteen years earlier and explained that her pet sheep had eaten it and “deposited” it in the compost heap where the ring’s owner eventually harvested her carrot crop.

We should all be so lucky in retrieving our lost treasures. I won’t soon forget the story of a young, naïve married woman who, some several years back, was duped into believing a tall tale a couple of strangers regaled her with on a Manhattan street. A man and woman, pretending to have suddenly stumbled upon some valuable papers lying on the ground, soon had the newly married chassidic wife parting with her jewelry as a way of showing good faith in partnering with them in a purportedly lucrative business venture — one that would have supposedly netted them dividends beyond their wildest dreams.

By the time the poor woman realized she’d been hoodwinked, she was stripped bare of all of her kallah trinkets, and at the end of the day, literally, had to face not only her spouse but her dumbstruck in-laws as well. Take heart, dear reader, for the story has a happy ending. No, she never recovered the jewelry, but her husband and new family proved to be tremendously supportive and sympathetic, and the young couple went on to build a bayis ne’eman despite the harrowing affair.

And what of those mysterious losses — earring(s), rings, and whatnots that have a way of vanishing from one day to the next? Heaven only knows how many baubles are forever buried in crevices behind yesteryear’s archaic radiators or behind sheetrock walls with central vacuum system inlets (those small circular openings children love to hurl things through).

Responsible adults can lose themselves too. Just ask the Floridian husband who tossed his wife’s $10,000 custom-made wedding ring into a trash heap. She had handed it to him as she was stepping into the shower, but instead of placing it in her jewelry box, he discarded it along with an old razor he’d been holding in his hand.

By the time the realization of his blunder dawned on him, the garbage collectors had done their thing. Undaunted, the negligent hubby donned goggles and protective gear and dove into the smelly county dump. After a half hour of wading in the most “absolutely disgusting” rubbish, he hit pay dirt when he located the pricey ring. “It was like winning the lottery,” he declared triumphantly.

My cousin Rachel can probably identify with that feeling of euphoria. Over thirty years ago, around Pesach time, her diamond ring was nowhere to be found. Presuming it went the way of the household chometz, she gave up on it. Her husband pacified her with a facsimile in the form of a cubic zirconia as a Shavuos gift.

Eight years and three kids later, my cousin rummaged for some old baby clothes her two-year old could dress her doll in, but the frustrated toddler soon handed the ill-fitting stretchy back to her mom — who reached into the foot of the outfit and fished out none other than her long lost ring. (Tucked in a pocket of a smock she had worn while Pesach-cleaning, the ring had apparently become enmeshed in the stretchy during a wash cycle.)

As the saying goes, you win some you lose some. Today many couples choose to forgo the costly real thing for a more modestly priced imitation (which to the untrained eye will pass as genuine more often than not). This would certainly help lessen one’s grief over being looted by sticky fingered domestic help.

Take the Monsey family whose live-in housekeeper absconded with $20,000 worth of jewelry in an almost clean getaway. Apprehended by detectives at the airport as she was about to board a flight back to her native country, she justified her thievery by claiming she hadn’t been paid all of her wages. Not so, countered her employers who had the forethought to secure some form of identification early on and thus had a name and passport number to go by.

Sometimes we have only ourselves to blame. Years ago, we stopped at a highway rest area where I could conveniently change my baby’s diaper. Not wanting to risk scratching him with my cherished opal-and-diamond ring I’d just received for my birthday, I removed it and placed it on the counter next to the changing table. I remembered leaving it there just as soon as I returned to our car, but it was too late. Some rest room patron had evidently found it hard to resist.

So how do we handle knowing with relative certainty that a prized possession is gone with the wind? To believe that Hashem in His mercy and benevolence has spared us a worse fate or inconvenience is a far better option than eating our hearts out. As the Yiddish expression goes, “Zol zein a kapora” (it should be an atonement).

My memory takes me back to my last year of high school, when a girl who had graduated the year before and had just become engaged, dropped in to bask in our adulation and collect our good wishes. As we surrounded the kallah and oohed and aahed over her sparkling diamond engagement ring, she smiled broadly and said, “It’s my chosson who is the real diamond.”

Now that’s a diamond forever (a gem of a guy?) and one of the more important lessons we took home with us that day.

Rachel Weiss

It’s My Opinion: Tantrums

Thursday, May 10th, 2012

The recent loss by the Knicks in game two of their playoff series with the Miami Heat resulted in more than the loss of a basketball game. In an explosive postgame meltdown, Knicks star Amare Stoudemire lost control and punched the glass case of a fire extinguisher. His outburst led to 15 stitches in his hand. Stoudemire left Miami bandaged up and wearing an arm sling.

Tantrums, unfortunately, are not just the behavior of frustrated toddlers. Many adults give themselves permission to act out their anger. An explosive tantrum is always a terrible way to deal with a vexing situation.

During a tantrum the thinking part of the brain simply shuts down and the primitive reactionary component kicks in. Psychologists agree that neither promises of incredible gifts nor threats of dire punishments are effective once a child is in the throes of a frenzy. This shutdown occurs in tantrum throwers of all ages. The trick to averting this occurrence is, of course, not to allow one’s anger to rage out of control. Anger management skills are essential.

Jewish tradition treats the results of acting on anger in a very serious way. Rambam warns of the consequences of this phenomenon in a letter of counsel to his son. He writes of the importance of controlling rage. Our sages admonish, “If one becomes angry, if he is a prophet, his spirit of prophecy will be removed from him.” It is common sense to understand that if an individual’s mind is not letting him see the present clearly, it would be impossible for him to have the clarity to see the future.

Amare Stoudemire wound up with a bloody hand and as a derided target for tabloid headline writers. He said, “I am so mad at myself right now. I want to apologize to the fans and my team….”

It’s normal for human beings of all ages to experience a full range of emotions. Anger is one of them. People are “wired” differently and can respond differently to the same provocation. Our job is to harness our reactions and attain mastery of our own behavior.

Shelley Benveniste

Met Council and NYC Food Bank Launch Virtual Food Drive for Passover

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

This Passover season, more than 100,000 Jewish families in NYC will find themselves struggling to put food on the table, according to the Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty. Many households have lived through job loss, dwindling savings and maxed-out credit cards.

Met Council and the Food Bank For New York City, two of New York City’s major hunger-relief organizations, have partnered to fight hunger by launching an interactive Virtual Food Drive, which will remain live through April 14, 2012.

Unlike a traditional food drive, the Virtual Food Drive mirrors the experience of online grocery shopping.  Users will be able to choose staple Passover items to fill a shopping cart and then check out to make a secure donation.  Thanks to Met Council and the Food Bank’s wholesale purchasing power and efficient distribution models, dollars are stretched to ensure the maximum impact is made through each donation.

On the reverse side, some 15,000 Jewish homes will be issued pre-paid debit cards — from $50 to $300, depending on family size and needs — to help with the cost of Passover holiday preparations.

“There is a sense that Jewish poverty is an oxymoron, people don’t think that there are poor Jews out there,” said Met Council CEO Willie Rapfogel. “Passover is a time of year when people ask for help. Everything in the ‘fridge and pantry can’t be used. They need everything.”

 

Jacob Edelist

Rav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, ZT”L

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012

The Jewish Press joins Klal Yisrael in mourning the loss of Rav Chaim Pinchas Scheinberg, a world renowned Talmudist and posek, longtime rosh yeshiva of Yeshiva Torah Ore in Jerusalem, and one of the foremost figures in the yeshiva world for three quarters of a century.

Recognized in his early years as a Talmudic prodigy, he developed a reputation for heroic immersion in Torah study, often at the price of great physical deprivation. A prolific writer, he authored several important works, including Tabaas Hachoshen, a comprehensive analysis and explanation of the seminal classic Ktsos Hachoshen, by R. Aryeh Leib HaCohen Heller, long regarded as an essential exploration of the Torah laws governing business and financial transactions.

Over the years he directed the education of thousands of students, many of whom went on to leadership positions in Jewish religious, educational and communal circles.
May his memory be a blessing.

Editorial Board

Meet Josh Mandel, Rising Ohio Jewish GOP Rock Star

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Meet Josh Mandel, who won the Ohio GOP primary and will take on Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, in the fall. A new-age GOP, his fiscal policy comes down to this: he says the country needs to undertake “sweeping regulatory reform.”

Mandel, 34, has been compared to the other dashing, young conservative, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.. Next week, Rubio is coming to Ohio to campaign with Mandel. “This guy is the real story coming out of Ohio,” one longtime GOP consultant in the state tells me. “He’s the rock star of the party.”

He has a serious battle ahead, against incumbent Brown, who holds a double-digit lead over the former Marine in polls. But he is not discouraged.

Brown will “still be beating us in the polls probably through the summer, maybe even into the early fall,” Mandel said. “The only poll we care about is Election Day and on Election Day, we’re going to win. He has an advantage in that he’s got great name ID. His name ID, his name recognition, is in the mid-90s. He also has a significant disadvantage in that everyone knows who he is but still less than half the people want to rehire him. Our challenge, our main obstacle, is building up our name recognition, getting known throughout the state of Ohio.”

The Atlantic’s Molly Ball asked what makes Mandel think he’s ready to be a U.S. senator. She reports: “Mandel looks me gravely in the eye” and responds:

“The Constitution,” he says, pausing for effect, “says that you have to be 30 years old. And I think the people who wrote the United States Constitution had a wisdom about them that was very special, and a vision for America that should be appreciated.”

Another long pause. “I served two tours in Iraq? In the Marine Corps?” he says. “I’m the treasurer of the state of Ohio, where, when the United States credit rating was downgraded for the first time in American history, and 14 government funds around the country were downgraded, we earned the highest rating we could earn on our $4 billion investment fund. Where we navigated the European sovereign debt crisis with a yield, rather than a significant loss like so many other — er, unlike so many other — a loss — you know what I’m trying to say. With a yield rather than a loss, when so many other corporations and organizations and governments lost money around the country.”

Mandel is a strong supporter of Israel. He and his wife Ilana were married in Jerusalem in 2008.

Mandel was a member of AIPAC at the Ohio State University. In 2008, he attended the 2008 AIPAC Policy Conference in Washington, D.C, where he gave an address, and was quoted as saying “It was inspiring, the young people so motivated and gung ho about strengthening the Israel-United States relationship…Israel is our best friend and ally in the Middle East and it’s important that we maintain a strong and lasting relationship with them.”

At that conference, Mandel stated Iran was a threat, and discussed his divestment initiatives as a legislator in Ohio.

In February 2009, during Operation Cast Lead, the Israeli government issued a statement thanking Mandel for his support of the operation.

In May 2009, Mandel was a panel participant at the 2009 Awards and Installation Dinner held by the World Alliance for Israel PAC in the Los Angeles area.

In 2010 the OhioDaily obtained a copy of a letter sent to then Republican Treasurer candidate Josh Mandel from Canton, Oh. Rabbi Leah Herz, who scolded the young Mandel for race-bating:

Mr. Mandel, I do not question your heroism, and like all decent Americans I applaud your sacrifices while serving in our military.  As a Rabbi however, I say, “shame, shame” on the way you have behaved.  You are not a Nice Jewish Boy.

OK, so not everybody loves him…

Tibbi Singer

German Federation Condemns Fans Who Hitler-Saluted Israeli Player

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

The German soccer federation condemned an anti-Semitic act involving Kaiserslautern’s Israel striker Itay Shechter, 24, and says such abuse has to be “nipped in the bud” and “we must act decisively.”

Shechter was subjected to a verbal racist attack while training with his German league club on Sunday, when a group of between five and 10 fans in a crowd of at least 100 chanted anti-Semitic slogans and gave Nazi salutes.

Berlin’s Israeli Embassy condemned the insults.

The club’s official fan group has apologized for the situation. The club says fewer than 10 fans were involved and belonged to a hooligan group banned from games.

Shechter, who is on the DL at the moment, has so far scored three goals in 19 league appearances for Kaiserslautern, who are second from bottom of the league.

Sunday’s taunts came the day after his team’s 4-0 defeat by Mainz – their fourth straight loss – in which Shechter did not play.

It’s a known fact that Germans don’t take lightly to losing (see European history 1914-1945).

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/german-federation-condemns-fans-who-hitler-saluted-israeli-player/2012/03/01/

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