Monday, November 30, 2015

Transformational Personal Financial Life Planning: Money 101 Good(s) & Service(s)

Transformational Personal Financial Life Planning:
Money 101 Good(s) & Service(s)

Transform= change, alter, renovate, make over

          Money (the current currency) is goods and services.
          However, money (goods and services) cascades to other representational values sequentially and or concurrently as follows:

  • Survival requiring goods and services
  • Not being dependent on others for goods and services (so called ‘independence’)
  • Not taking crap (‘FUability) by having goods and services
  • Not compromising principles therefore choice by having goods and services)

But money – and the amount therefore may also represent

  • Comparative net worth – net worthiness – status- versus others (be it relative to one’s dastardly brother in law, neighbor or Fortune 500) by having MORE  goods and services
  • A goods or services palliative creating altered (not altar-ed) states to divert, avoid, fill in one’s life
  • Goods and services enabling making a difference – whether for show relative to others (see comparative net worthiness above) and or one’s sense of elevated self (of modest stature or not)

But money – and the goods and services it converts to the underlying ‘value(s)’ – has the potential to become ‘transformational’

  • A means to enable the manifestation of meaning IN one’s life
  • A means to materialize the spiritual IN one’s life and others’ lives anonymously in deference to the will of the higher power one believes & has faith in

99%+ of Personal Financial Planning -even Personal Financial Life Planning (1)- regardless of assertions otherwise and irrespective of compensation method (yes, my ‘fee only’ colleagues) has catered to the Yetzer Hara inclination of MORE . This “personal financial planning” has genuflected to ‘not being dependent (fear), FUability, and or comparative net worthiness (without monetizing the client’s own adaptability and resourcefulness proven in difficult periods) – accented with comparison to external indexes (Dow Jones etc for More) though with a wink and a nod to goals. This ‘personal financial planning’ (reinforced by asset under management compensation) is systemically about managing assets (asset management) NOT managing goals – as behavior (compensation) is a function of its consequences. This personal financial planning is just a Trojan Horse for asset management and allocation.
And yes, while there is for estate and tax planning purposes engagement in charitable discussions and trusts  which may ‘coincidentally’ continue the renumeration of the planner (indirectly or directly through an affiliated Trust company) while appealing to named (vanity) recognition.

Yes, due to the primary fear of extinction (which is identified with the physical body) man’s foremost strategy against the inevitable is acquisition be it delusional or just palliation which inherently leads to the tactic and pursuit of MORE MORE MORE.
And yes, this underlying fear gives rise to the overriding personal financial terror and trepidation of outliving one’s money (goods and services – taking crap, being dependent, not having choice)
But there is a second concern that increases in frequency and severity especially for those getting up there in years. No longer believing in their invulnerability of the younger years, given their rotational ‘this’ and that’s,’ and those more frequent (when not awakened by age related conditions at 2 am in the morning) 2 AM eyes open staring at the ceiling increased ‘wonderings’: ‘is that all there is’ (before going back to sleep) waking up and increasing the dosage of their palliations and diversions.
Yes, goods and services may divert and palliate (the 50 year old male with a perm & the face life) with increase reoccurrence the hole in the soul manifests and presents itself in different ways as enunciated as:

  • making a difference (without busting a gut in 20 minutes at a level that it took 20 years in their vocational activities)
  • ‘the next chapter’
  • ‘something’s missing’

The aforementioned  ‘the hole in the soul’ is the lack of meaning IN one’s life or as Victor Frankel wrote ‘the will to meaning’ is devoid.

          Transformational Personal Financial Planning be it the approach I’ve suggested in different evolutions from ENOUGH to now ENOUGH: Jewish Personal Financial Life Planning™(2) or another process – aligns personal resources with life values and goals towards and yes, funding to enable ‘meaning IN one’s’ life for transcendence – transformation…for one’s good and one’s service.

Some things should stay as they are (conform), some reformed, others chloroformed, but the alchemy of personal financial planning requires transformation
"Just A Man of Dog"

          Otherwise, stick to the MORE, MORE, MORE – what are we all MORE ticians (e.e. cummings) remembering more, better, now which has a habit of becoming less, worse, later and MORE MORE MORE is just MOREphine for MOREons. Something to ponder during those 2 AM enlarged prostate callings and staring at the ceiling

 (1)    Today’s personal financial life planning seems to be ‘yakety yak’ (I’m your best friend) to retain asset under management compensation of 1% rather than to empirically concretely get to align the assets (financial and otherwise) with the client’s mission, meaning IN his or her life (especially given the planner hasn’t figured it out for himself or herself to be their own message).
(2)    ENOUGH: Jewish Personal Financial Life Planning™: healing personal financial anxiety, puttin’ money in its place, to connect to elevate and transcend to one’s significance & assignment: what one is meant to do and meant to be with ENOUGH to live on for ENOUGH to live on…

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The Hobbit: The Yetzer MORE & 'My Precious'

The Yetzer MORE & My Precious  
from The Lord of The Rings
(The Two Towers)

The Yetzer MOREring
(The Precious)

Gollum: We wants it, we needs it. Must have the precious.
Gollum: He wants the Precious. Always he is looking for it.
And the Precious is wanting to go back to him... But we mustn't let him have it.

            Ever ever so gently, when my Hebrew school report cards came out, my Bubbe  (Tillie) Schwartz would sit down in her chair in the dining room and get out her change purse. With failing eyes piercing through her bifocals, she would gingerly open up that little change purse and take out a dime, putting in on the adjacent cabinet for each ‘excellent.’ (I had very few excellents in Hebrew School as the best students in public school, in competition, sought to be the worst Hebrew school students.) Still, hunched over that precious little change purse, Bubbe would close it ever so gently putting it back into her apron – giving ‘her boylah’ – the two or three dimes – if that.

            What goes up must not go down because ‘it’s ours, our precious” due to the infection of Yetzer MORE.
When there were years where relative to the goal and the risk, the allocation outperformed the required rate of return for the goal, I repeatedly reminded clients and others to remember this as ‘you will be giving some of this back in the future.’ Furthermore, when a fund, for example, did 2x or 3x the required rate of return – I made a point to remind them of the eventual part give back let alone don’t continue to expect this.
Of course, the clients and friends said they understood and recognized this eventuality but when it occurred – the Yetzer MORE  got the best of them forgetting the aforementioned counsel, forgetting that each stock, bond, mutual fund etc is just 1 ingredient in the goal – focusing on the one ‘bad’ one (not the goal even let alone ‘the good ones.’)
The Yetzer MORE – manifests itself as ‘my precious’ no different than for Gollum – and once the stock, bond, whatever is up – it’s theirs forever at that level (unless it goes higher) and any diminution is taking away, stealing their ‘precious’ even if still on target to or maintaining Enough…
The irony #1: ‘my precious’ more, better, now has a habit of becoming ‘less, worse, later’ in the Sisphusian pursuit of Precious MORE

Where is the power of The Yetzer MORE  derived from?
The Yetzer MORE is a derivative of the Yetzer Hara (the not good inclination) which itself comes from Cain – Acquisition.
And why Cain (as in Citizen Cain) Acquisition?
Acquisition is the perceived antidote or at least palliative to fear of extinction – our sense of self which we identify with our ‘precious’ body let alone being ‘dependent’ and taking ‘crap’ (not having choices being ‘in control.’)
Thus, The Yetzer MORE is not offset by:

·         faith in God and or
·         faith in one’s own adaptability and resourcefulness and or
·         knowing what ENOUGH IS, and or
·         meaning IN one’s life (which is relegated, or put off as ‘being to busy getting More to have ENOUGH which is never ENOUGH’ though at the same time concerned even complaining  about ‘what next in their life,’ or the ‘next chapter in their life’)

The Yetzer MORE OVERRIDES – Hi Ho Silver!! – (is it a good buy?).

The Yetzer MORE is Gollum’s my precious. And my precious is a Yetzer MORE phing of The Yetzer MORE.
And remember: one can die from an overdose of MOREphine – my precious.

Hi Ho Silver!! – (is it a good buy?)

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

SIN (Chet), Lacking & MORE

 SIN (Chet), Lacking & MORE

            From an etymological perspective, SIN is derived from the Greek meaning ‘missing the mark.’
            In 1 Kings 1-21, SIN (chet in Hebrew) connotes lacking.

            The concept of  MORE is the insinuations that:
1.      without MORE one is lacking and therefore LESS or
2.      one has LE$$ and therefore not as worthy.

‘Having’ LESS implies lacking (NOT having or being ENOUGH) which ‘if only’ there was MORE one wouldn’t be – missing the marking (Greek) or chet (SINning).
            How clever the chetting of the Yetzer MORE & its advertising acolytes pitching selling if only’ MORE or you are less’ and therefore you need MORE. Derivatively, systemically even some of our organized pulpit religions sell ‘AFTER LIFE INSURANCE  (MORE) subsidized by tax deductible contributions to get MORE .

           Thus, personal financial planning’s MOREon-chondria contextually is understandable as well as reinforced.         


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

The LESSons of ‘MORE \ MORE - The Yatzer MORE

The LESSons of ‘MORE \ MORE

            While the ‘yatzer tov’ and the ‘yatzer hara’ are respectively literally defined to be the so called  ‘good inclination’ and the ‘evil inclination,’ the implication of the ‘yatzer hara’ is according to others:

·         ‘away from the will of God, and or
·         the instinctual inclination which would dilute the deliberate evil demonic force (though these forces in excess can lead to evil (Genesis Rabbah 9:7
·         when controlled by the yatzer tov, can lead to socially desirable results.

            A derivative of the yatzer hara, for purposes of the ensuing hypothesis is ‘The Yatzer MORE ’ – the force, the inclination towards ‘MORE MORE MORE.’ Per as ‘The Yatzer MORE: there is never enough compounded by the fear of less, less, less as manifested & materialized by the rationalizations of never ending ‘if onlys’ (indicating the self unfulfilling prophecy in one’s ‘lacking & lacktose intolerance.’)
            Further MORE, the Yatzer MORE cannot be cured – only managed (a very very low probability – not even 1%) by the Yatzer Tov. Recognition Shaddai is Enough  and understanding & even verbalizing ‘what is ENOUGH ’ is just lip service as  the Yatzer MORE, a derivative of the Yatzer Hara,  is reinforced genetically and by society (be it communism, socialism, capitalism).
The Yatzer MORE pervades – it’s just a matter of who gets what in splitting up the pie – whether earned, a matter of theft however masked (restitution, entitlement ((rationalized as fairness, social justice, income inequality, and generally being offended)), crony crapitalism or Dachaa vacations houses for the Politburo.)

            And yet, the ever increasing level of anxiety & rotation thereof, cultivated & promoted by the Yatzer MORE, is unnecessary and irrational (again with the understanding the Yatzer MORE cannot be cured only managed.)

            After 20 years of practice, 2 editions of ENOUGH , subsequently another 5+++ years of blogging on ENOUGH ( and taking calls another 20 years from former clients and friends (though out of practice) who say they believe and understand ‘ENOUGH’ (The Yatzer Enough??) without question, without question the Yatzer More still dominates them. In comparison, the Yatzer MORE  is the perennial playoff New England Patriots and the Yatzer Enough is Washington Generals basketball team (2)
            Instead of asking the question when one stock, in one mutual fund, which is merely one holding in one objective’s portfolio, is down, do I still have ‘ENOUGH ’ nor remembering this mutual fund for years way over performed the needed rate of return for the objective (often 2 years or more of rate of return desired in 1 year), forgetting the fit of this fund within the context of the objective, there is ever increasing anxiety in the conversation highlighted by ‘but, but, but’ focusing on ‘less’ (the derivative of the Yatzer MORE  drive)..
(Of course, forgotten is the one stock within one of the funds that skyrocketed – because that was already pocketed, and what was pocketed should never be ‘lessened’.When this was pointed out to several, the response was, ‘yes, I know. I know you are correct. I understand ENOUGH’ and 30 seconds later for 15+ minutes right back  to MORE  and less.)
            Noteworthy:” the Yatzer Hara’s note of MORE drowns out the music of ENOUGH  – while the anxiety laden focal point becomes the ‘missing tile’ (2) or the Iranian Persian Flaw (2) (except for Obama, Hillary & Kerry) rather than the objective.


I have come to the conclusion after these 40 years of writing, consulting, doing workshops, preaching ENOUGH the comparative hurriCAINe of The Yatzer MORE  has won hands “down.” The Yatzer MORE dominates, overrides, and governs (it’s just in hibernation once in a while). Yes, this Yatzer MORE behavior is an inbred inclination. The Yatzer MORE inclination fosters the belief and action that there is  never enough while advancing the faith, trust, and yes idolatry in intangible and tangible assets disregarding the adaptability, the resourcefulness, and the ‘empirical figuring it out’ of the individuals themselves in themselves who assembled, gathered, reshuffled, and or combined the assets. At the same time implicitly The Yatzer MORE  discountd & or dilutes acknowledgment of Hashem (Shaddai- Enough) who created the assets to be assembled, gathered, reshuffled, and or combined.

I figured it out
I figured it out
With a pencil and a pad I figured it out!
Lyrics from the Pajama Game song 7 ½ cents

We undervalue our ability to ‘figure it out’ – our adaptability and resourcefulness. On corporate balance sheets, assets and liabilities are calculated to determine ‘net worth’ (yes, net ‘worthiness’ of all words). On these corporate balance sheets, there is typically an asset titled ‘goodwill.’ Goodwill arises when a company acquires another entire business. The amount of goodwill is the cost to purchase the business minus the fair market value of the tangible assets and the intangible assets that can be identified, and the liabilities obtained in the purchase. Essentially ‘goodwill’ represents the going concern value – dare one say - the energy that assembled, gathered, accumulated, combined and or reshuffled both the assets above and beyond the mere financial value of the intangible or tangible assets.
Yet, a value for one’s personal "goodwill" that assembled, accumulated, reshuffled, etc the assets representing the ability to ‘figure it out,’ (our adaptability and resourcefulness’ our going concern value) is not reflected nor calculated for our ‘net worth – net worthiness.’
(The Yatzer MORE is obviously in charge of Generally Accepted Accounting Principles – ironically otherwise known by the acronym GAAP. A coincidence?)
As a result, we undervalue our wealth (adaptability and resourcefulness – the ability to figure it out)- worshipping the idol of net financial assets (net worth)  that could be devalued tomorrow.
Therefore, The Yatzer MORE ’s personal financial anxiety reigns – buy Xanex.
And so much for acknowledging the Creator.
            And yet, this is irrational – per the following exercises.

In remembering one’s difficult periods life, answer and fill in chronologically the following:

Difficulty                       How resolved                 How stronger for it






Did you not endure these periods? Did you not come back from them? Did these periods, in fact, make you, in some respects,  even stronger? Did the descent (difficulty) lead to ascent?
Did money really get you through these periods or did your own adaptability and resourcefulness – ability to figure it out?
And, in the future, should, for example, a devaluation occur, will it not be your adaptability and resourcefulness that will allow you to secure the "currency of the realm" to accommodate to the situation?
We confuse money (the current currency) with our wealth - our resourcefulness and adaptability to figure it out.

Furthermore, even when confronted with this empirical reality, there is always another but:

·         I’m older now
·         That was then, this is now
·         I don’t have the energy
·         It’s a different world
·         China’s impact
·         The demographics have changed
·         Average middle class income is down
·         Jim Cramer says
·         That was then; this is now
·         The economy is artificial with the Federal Reserves low interest rates
·         Social security is a ponzi scheme
·         And the golden oldie that never gets old, ‘you don’t understand…I have to make more to have enough which I can’t tell you what enough is’
·         etc

            And so, we believe in money – the current currency (which can be devalued) – MORE & less than our own resourcefulness and adaptability (that assembled, gathered, accumulated and combined Hashem’s created assets) that we ‘figured it out’ - than ourselves - let alone Hashem- Shaddai (Enough).

1.- The Missing Tile Syndrome – focuses on what we don’t have (what’s missing) rather than what we have
The Persian Flaw - The Persians believed only God was perfect so carpet makers would intentionally place flaws or mistakes in the carpet.
2.- The Washington Generals were an American exhibition basketball team, best known for their spectacular losing streak in exhibition games against the Harlem Globetrotters. (i.e. The Harlem Globetrotters 2000+++ wins against the Washington Generals 1 win.)