How can you become financially independent? - opinion

Patience and trust in the process are vitally important if you want to achieve financial independence

US dollar notes [Illustrative] (photo credit: REUTERS)
US dollar notes [Illustrative]
(photo credit: REUTERS)

“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.” – John Quincy Adams

“Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.”

John Quincy Adams

Last week, my wife decided to take our two oldest girls on a trip to Prague. A few weeks before the trip, she mentioned to me that she felt “rusty” in terms of traveling for leisure post-COVID. She had made a few business trips over the last year, but this being her first non-business trip, she felt like she was lost and didn’t know how to plan.

Even when taking a trip we follow a process. Book the tickets and accommodations, make sure passports are in order, plan the itinerary etc.

In this week’s Torah portion of Va’eira, we read about events that ultimately lead to the Exodus from Egypt. Harav Ahron Lichtenstein zt”l wrote, “God promises Moshe that He will deliver the Nation of Israel from their suffering. This long and detailed promise contains five different expressions of redemption. Moshe conveys God’s words to the Nation, but his message falls on deaf ears and cold hearts:”

“But they did not listen to Moshe because of impatience (kotzer ruach) and hard labor (avoda kasha),” (Shemot 6:9).

Illustrative photo of Israeli money (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)Illustrative photo of Israeli money (credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Many different interpretations have been offered for the expressions “kotzer ruach” and “avoda kasha” and the connection between them. Rashbam comments:

“’But they did not listen to Moshe’ – at this stage, even though they originally had faith, as it is written, ‘And the people believed’ (5:31), for they had thought that they would have rest from their hard labor, but now it had only become worse for them.”

In other words, the reason for the lack of faith on the part of the Children of Israel was their disillusionment. In the portion of Shemot, Moshe came to the Nation of Israel and conveyed God’s message of redemption. They heard the words “pakod pakadeti,” which had been passed down among them as the code and signal of redemption, and believed in Moshe, rejoicing and looking forward to an alleviation of their suffering (4:31):

“And the people believed; and when they heard that God had visited (pakad) the Children of Israel, and had seen their affliction, they bowed their heads and worshiped.”

The Nation was now inspired with hope. They believed that within a short time their enslavement would be over; they began “packing their bags” and getting ready to leave. It came as a great disappointment that days and weeks went by, yet they were not redeemed. Their enslavement continued, its conditions growing even more difficult.

The Nation, lacking any historical perspective, was impatient. The people did not understand that redemption is a long, slow process; they expected it to happen all at once. Since there was no visible progress, they were disappointed and started to complain. This is the meaning of “impatience” (kotzer ruach).

To become financially independent, you need patience and trust in the process

PATIENCE AND trust in the process are vitally important if you want to achieve financial independence as well. Living within your means, saving and investing are the time-tested methods to achieve financial security. Slow and steady portfolio growth over the long-haul makes all the difference.

Trying to find the one stock to put all your money into to try and hit a grand slam and become a millionaire isn’t a well thought of financial plan. I’ve written before about a man I know that during the go-go days of hi-tech in the late ‘90’s decided that he was going to put all his hard earned money into Nokia stock, and become a millionaire. Well he made it to almost $800,000 and then the bubble burst, and Nokia started dropping fast and never managed to recover.

In fact, Nokia is now considered by the youth of today as a joke. My trusty Samsung Galaxy 7 finally gave up 3 weeks ago and is now in cell-phone heaven. I was in the market for a new phone, and wanted something with a small screen and didn’t need all the bells and whistles of the latest generation of phones. After they started to get frustrated trying to help me, some of my children said, “Why don’t you just buy a Nokia, haha!”

Another important factor in achieving financial security is the need for patience. Investors get spoiled when markets rise over an extended period of time, forgetting that the market can drop as well. After the 2022 market bludgeoning, I have been speaking with clients wanting to make wholesale changes to their portfolios. I remind them that in 2021 they had approximately 20% returns, so the fact that basically one year of gains has been given back isn’t the end of the world. Especially if you have a long-term outlook.

Don’t think that the best way for financial independence is to get rich overnight. Learn from the Exodus from Egypt. If you truly want to achieve long-term financial security, you need patience and to trust the process.

The information contained in this article reflects the opinion of the author and not necessarily the opinion of Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. or its affiliates.

Aaron Katsman is author of the book Retirement GPS: How to Navigate Your Way to A Secure Financial Future with Global Investing (McGraw-Hill), and is a licensed financial professional both in the United States and Israel, and helps people who open investment accounts in the United States. Securities are offered through Portfolio Resources Group, Inc. (www.prginc.net). Member FINRA, SIPC, MSRB, FSI. For more information, call (02) 624-0995 visit www.aaronkatsman.com or email [email protected]