My ‘China’ anniversary and goals-based investing

Now I know many of you, when seeing “China” in the headline, figured that I would write about Coronavirus.

Wedding bands [Illustrative]
‘Marriage is an alliance entered into by a man who can’t sleep with the window shut, and a woman who can’t sleep with the window open.” George Bernard Shaw
Now I know many of you, when seeing “China” in the headline, figured that I would write about coronavirus. Well I did two weeks ago, and my advice hasn’t changed. The China I am referring to this week is about my 20th wedding anniversary. According to, “Traditionally speaking, the material that represents the 20th anniversary gift is china. It brings meaning to the delicate, beautiful and elegant relationship you’ve built after 20 years together.”
This Shabbat the Torah portion of Teruma is read. As I have written previously, one of the topics discussed is the shewbread used in the Tabernacle and later in the Temple. The loaves were baked on Friday and only on Saturday were they put on display, replacing the previous week’s bread. What is interesting is that it’s not fresh bread replacing old bread, rather it’s “day-old” bread that is used. In modern times “day-old” bread is sold at a discount, if not thrown out. It’s hard to imagine that that is what would be used in the holy Tabernacle, and then kept there all week. In the Talmud tractate Chagigah 26b, the shewbread is discussed. Our Sages of Blessed Memory teach that this bread was distributed to the priests nine days after it was baked. Miraculously, the bread was as fresh and warm as when it was baked.
I would like to wish my wife a happy anniversary and that we should merit a marriage like the shewbread that doesn’t get stale. May we continue to relate to each other with the same excitement and optimism for the future that we had when we stood under the chuppah. Like the shewbread, may our love stay warm and fresh until 120!
For me that was emotion overload! I have an image to keep, so don’t think I am getting ‘soft’ in my old age. So what does stale bread and my wedding anniversary have to do with your investments?
As many of you know, I am a big believer in goals based investing. That means a client should measure his progress towards specific life goals such as saving for children’s education, marrying off children or building a retirement nest-egg, rather than focusing on generating the highest possible portfolio return or beating the market. Do you remember back to when you got married? Before life took over and your most philosophical conversation became where to buy the cheapest diapers or whether to use thick or thin dental floss? Back when you became engaged, you used to speak about life goals and dreams. As life takes over, more often than not those goals and dreams become a distant memory.
Investors can’t allow their portfolio to become stale. In order to keep it fresh and updated, it’s imperative for investors to periodically redefine their goals and needs. I had a meeting this week with a woman who said that now that she is ”out of diaper fog” she wants to start organizing her finances. She has had no time because for the last decade because she always had infants in diapers. Is retirement approaching? Do you still have the same type of portfolio you had when you were 45? If so, you may have a portfolio that is far more aggressive than recommended for a person in your age category. If you are nearing retirement yet haven’t given any thought to how you plan on spending time during retirement and how much that will cost, you may be in for a very rude awakening a few years down the road when you start running down your principal. I can’t stress enough the importance of planning your retirement. Obviously the financial aspect of retirement is critical to plan for, but filling up the day in a meaningful way is even more important. Remember back to when you were engaged you sought advice from others newly married? Well, it’s the same concept. Speak to other retirees to understand how they made the transition from working to this new chapter in their life.
Use the example of the shewbread to re-energize your marriage, turn back the clock and start dreaming again. Use this time to redefine goals and needs, and get your portfolio allocated so that you can achieve what you set out to accomplish.
Happy 20th Anniversary, Yael!
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. ( Member FINRA, SIPC, MSRB, FSI. For more information, call (02) 624-0995 visit or email