Coronavirus and financial freedom - your investments

‘Emergencies’ have always been the pretext on which the safeguards of individual liberty have been eroded. –Friedrich August von Hayek

Calculating taxes (photo credit: INGIMAGE)
Calculating taxes
(photo credit: INGIMAGE)
 It’s springtime and that means allergies. Every year many of us suffer. A week and a half ago, I thought I was starting my annual bout. In fact, a friend gave me some over-the-counter allergy medication that he “swore” would have me living as if the spring bloom never happened. 
The pills didn’t really work and then on Shabbat morning as I drank some wine and had some bread, I noticed that I had lost my sense of taste. I didn’t really have a sense of smell for a while because I was all congested from the allergies. 
Well, that Saturday night I went to take a corona test and voila, it turned out to be positive. Keep in mind that I had been fully vaccinated exactly two months to the day before my positive test. Yes, I was one of the lucky ones to beat the odds and get corona even though I was vaccinated.
Always looking for a way not have to help clean for Pessah, in my wildest dreams I never thought that catching the virus and going into quarantine would be my excuse. 
At this point, I want to thank my dear wife, who worked serious overtime to get the house ready for the holiday, took care of my food needs by preparing meals for me every day of my ordeal, and made sure that I stayed in my room and didn’t start wandering around the apartment potentially infected others. 
Knowing that I was going stir crazy and climbing the walls being locked up in a small bedroom for a week and half, nonetheless she looked out for the greater good of the family, and kept me in there. She was and is truly amazing.
For the last week, we have been celebrating leaving slavery and becoming a free people. In the tractate of Pessahim 10:5, the Mishnah states that “man is obligated to view himself as if he himself left Egypt.” In other words, we must internalize the fact that we were once slaves, but now we are free. Although we are free in a spiritual sense, are we financially independent? Have you put off saving for the future? 
Do we still rely on our parents for help? Has overdraft become a way of life? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then our eating of the ‘bread of affliction’ may have more than one meaning.

BEGIN SAVING

There is a common perception that only people with a lot of money can make money. Not true. If you want to achieve financial independence, you need to start investing. By saying “financial independence,” I don’t mean getting rich. 
Rather, I mean that you are self sufficient, have retirement savings and don’t fret when your toilet breaks and you need to scramble for cash to pay a plumber to fix it. Don’t think that $25,000-$50,000 is not enough to start with. With that sum you could start an investment account. You could make a down payment on a rental property. But if your mindset is that you are destined to always have a small nest egg and always be reliant on someone else, you will never get anywhere.
As I have written many times, the majority of Americans between ages 20-35 have zero retirement savings. Do you think it’s just because they are young and things will improve with age? Well it’s even worse for older Americans, as half of those over 53 have no retirement savings. It’s so important to start investing as soon as possible. If a 25-year-old with $10,000, started adding an extra $320 a month at a 7% annual compound rate of return until they turned 65, they would end up with $1 million. 

START BUILDING WEALTH

Another mistake is thinking it’s impossible to save while living in Israel because according to “conventional wisdom” it’s impossible to save on an Israeli salary. This really is not the case. 
If you make saving a priority, then you will be surprised at how much you really can save, even in Israel. We all tend to make certain lifestyle choices which impact our financial situation. Whether it’s living in a certain community or choosing to take a particular vacation, our expenses are directly impacted by these decisions. But if we make financial independence a priority, we can make the lifestyle changes necessary to save a couple of thousand dollars a year to get on the path to financial security.
 Chag Sameach!
 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. 
The writer is a licensed financial professional both in the US 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]