Sunday, 20 August 2017

Generational Wealth From Scratch



Freshly made strawberry jam - to die for.



So many of us come from very hard working families who sent us off into the world to repeat the process of working hard, perhaps saving a little bit and living honourably.....and our children will do the same.  We are unconsciously repeating the work ethic we have been taught.

Jewish folk however have a different take on work and life. Very different. So different in fact that even under dire circumstances (e.g. attempted genocide) they can start from scratch and within a generation a meaningful life and wealth has returned to be passed on and added to from generation to generation.


Hello Dolly slice fresh out of the oven


My studies of all things Jewish has taught me that Jews see wealth as a spiritual thing - not in the same vein as the Christian prosperity gospel, but rather in the sense that because it is not physical it therefore automatically is spiritual. (I refrain from listing copious quotes from the Torah here!). Wealth is spiritual in the Jewish psyche simply because it can be used very easily to directly positively impact their families, neighbourhoods, cities and countries.


Good, plain, nourishing fare


So many things that we enjoy like excellent medical care, hospitals, education, libraries, universities, good roads, security, peace and excellent infrastructure all cost money...lots of it. Because of this you will rarely find a Jew working on their car or mowing their lawn on a Sunday morning, rather, Jews ensure they earn sufficient income to pay for a mechanic and a gardener. It is a good and spiritual thing to give another person a livelihood and the dignity of a profession and a respected place in a community.

The Jewish community has operated for 1000's of years under the understanding that a happy, safe and thriving community required money (and plenty of it) to circulate. Creating a healthy, happy and secure neighbourhood is a spiritual responsibility of every Jew - they take it very seriously for the most part. Their extra days' work each week gives them the extra 20% of income to invest back into the neighbourhood either directly or indirectly to make a thriving community and to also build personal wealth over the long term.


Matchsticks filled with hot strawberry jam and whipped cream


Jews also never or rarely retire - work and business are the highest moral thing that can be offered to a community and Jews relish working until they can no longer. Knowing that they are providing livelihoods to so many in their neighbourhoods and are often the trusted managers of so many folks' investments is a serious business giving Jews a very deep sense of meaning and satisfaction to life.

Their own invested 20% across a lifetime funds their old age once they literally can no longer work or run a business.  At a 4% draw-down in very old age, this lifetime of investment is not diminished and can then be bequeathed to the next generation who they have taught from childhood to manage money in exactly the same way....this wealth thus snowballs from generation to generation.  In the event of an antisemetic wipe-out, Jews simply start again using the 20% principle and the deep-seated set of beliefs regarding money and within a generation the cycle is reestablished.

This is why Jews can hold and influence over 40% of the world's wealth whilst representing less than 1% of the world's population.


Hot self-saucing pudding and icecream


We too could  break that cycle of 'hard-work-and-only-a-little-to-show-for-it' if we adopt the basic Jewish principles of wealth and teach them generationally to our children. It can be done in a single generation. If we all did it, we would be awash with funding for medical research, great hospitals, excellent universities, wise innovation, socially progressive institutions, efficient food production, affordable sustainable and renewable power sources, legacies for the next generation.....the list is endless.  But no, our eyes are looking to the ground like the ox grinding out the corn instead of committing to ensuring good, moral, tangible things are achieved on earth as they are in 'heaven'.


Ovaltine was 1/2 price - stockpile time.


Head spin??  It is a true paradigm shift that takes a while to settle into the mind.

Take care folks and stay nice.


Mr HM (Phil)



18 comments:

  1. Interesting point of view. Thanks,Phil.

    Caroline

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  2. As always another good post, and I must say again as always your food always looks amazing.

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    1. I keep overdoing the food pics that have nothing to do with the post - ha ha!

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  3. A torture post...being on weight watchers

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    1. Sorry John - I have a bad habit of posting oodles of food pics regardless of the topic.

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  4. Interesting. Do they have tax in the modern Jewish economy? Is that part of the spiritual identification process around money? I see parallels, in our economy, whereby tax is collected from individuals, to pay for the infrastructure upgrades and maintenance.

    What I think has tanked in our economy though, has been the new wave of 20-30 somethings, who aspire to retire before 40. They put all their wealth into shares, real estate, etc, then retire and don't spend much to afford all those decades of none work. Not saying it's a bad thing, but when enough young people are doing it, and at the same time the baby boomers are dying, not much money is going into supporting community professions. It stays in corporate shares, real estate and superannuation.

    Our economy actually generates enough extra funds, to keep various industries/professions profitable, it's just locked away and used for big acquisitions, rather than released at more regular intervals to individuals in the community.

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    1. This is rather fascinating Chris - there are so many ways to dissect this and think about it. the grey brigade are now releasing their decades of saved money through newer emerging businesses that surround aged care and travel - both these are growing markets.
      Tax in modern Jewish economies is the tax of the countries they live in (including Israel) Jews view tax as a necessary contribution to run the infrastructure of modern life via governments, however the preference is to fund private enterprise and leave government to administer and regulate...it is a tricky balance. At the end of the day governments are funded by businesses that are profitable. Jews much prefer that individuals and their companies provide the needs of society as this will guaranteed the leanest model and a real sense of ownership and involvement with society.

      The ancient tithe was used solely to provide an income for the spiritual tribe within Jewish society who administered justice and law that regulated society as well as providing for the poor and needy who genuinely had no families.

      I have a huge conspiracy theory around superannuation - so don't get me started on that!!

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  5. What an interesting post. I think as a response to the environmental crisis and other issues there has been a recent almost glorification of frugality (which can at times look and feel more like poverty). It is good to see the other side of the coin - the tremendous benefits money can provide for a healthy community - education, healthcare etc...The ability to provide work for others is something I hadn't thought of either.

    Phil I'm wondering if most Jewish households are two income families in modern times? Would it be usual for one parent to stay home and keep the home fires burning?

    Having lived as a single parent for many years I can see why Jews would avoid divorce at all costs. I worked 6 and a half days a week for several years but became totally burnt out with no-one to share the load with. After almost ten years of living on a shoestring I now have a partner to share the load with. The improvement in my mental and physical health is enormous. I am hugely grateful that I have been able to grow food, cook from scratch and manage my income frugally, but having more to use and invest for the future is just wonderful.

    Madeleine

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    1. Yes, frugality should not be an end in itself otherwise it turns into personal slavery of a kind.

      Jewish families starting from scratch all work - everyone. Once established then the generational wealth make things far easier. Families and the wise treatment of family wealth are a high spiritual priority in Jewish homes for the most part. There are two main themes within Jewry 1. either start a family business and grow it or 2. get educated and become a specialist in your field.
      Jews understand that it takes a whole family, a whole community and a whole country to make and keep wealth - no one is ever self-made.

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  6. Interesting post Mr.HM, and now after reading the comments, I urge to do exactly what you asked not to get you started on. Superannuation conspiracy theory! Oh go on, please do get started on that. I do really want to hear your opinion as I value your knowledge on financial subjects. I've had a long term distrust of superannuation, but the financial guides tell us we must maximize it. What to do?

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    1. Hmmm - it's a tough topic that makes me pretty cross 'n' cranky. I do not put any extra into Super due to my personal beliefs re Super. Yes, OK, I will do a post on my thoughts on the Super conspiracy theory - it'll take a bit of putting together so you'll have to be patient Sally.

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    2. I'm another who distrusts super. I don't believe I will be seeing it, at retirement. A company just has to go bust, and it's tough luck. All that investing with no guarantees or safety measures in place, via legislation. I believe this will be a reality for all those young people, planning to retire in their 30's. If your money is tied in the stock market, and banking on those dividends to pay the bills, it just takes a crash to set everything back to zero. So this is why I believe in land and building community. I guess this was a Jewish tradition, but also one from my Indigenous ancestors.

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  7. Another great post Phil, good to catch up with your blog again. Best wishes from across the ditch. Wendy (aka Emeline).

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    1. Hello!! how are you? I thought you had stopped blogging and had disappeared. I trust you and Andrew are well?

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  8. Another wonderful and insightful post. I will take time to ponder and analyse all you have written on this theme Mr. HM.
    Blessings

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  9. Loved this post! Thanks for sharing your research.

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  10. Thanks for this post Phil. It has me thinking now. I used to live in a suburban area that was largely Jewish. It was one of the most vibrant and family oriented parts of the city. As a side note, could you put up the recipe for the Hello Dolly slice please? I looked online for one but none of them looked like yours.

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    1. I'll ask Ms HM #1 to rustle up the recipe for you Meg - no worries.

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