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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review April 11, 2012/ 19 Nissan, 5772

'How Much Risk Can You Stomach?

By Roger Simon




http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Is your life risky enough these days? I don't mean sky-diving or bungee-jumping risky. I mean ordinary risky.

I mean risky like trying to make and save a dollar. These days, you have to have the guts of a burglar and a cast-iron stomach to do that.

Making that dollar is not so easy. Even if you have a job, you are probably worried about losing that job.

Your company may "downsize." It may shift jobs "offshore." There may be a "reduction in force" to make the company stock look better to Wall Street and make investors — though not you — happy.

But let's say you hang onto your job. You may have noticed that your life is still risky. And that's because your wages are stagnant.

The median income in America is now $52,000 a year, which is about where it was in 1997. Fifteen years pass, and the median income stays about the same? What is up with that?

Palms not sweaty yet? Try this: If you are an average American, most of your wealth is tied up in your house. But, to quote the Sunday New York Times, your home equity (the current market value of your home minus what you owe on the mortgage) "has been devastated by the housing bust."

"Since house prices peaked in 2006," the Times said, "the loss of home equity per homeowner comes to $122,000. Most of the loss — $85,000 — is due to falling home prices.

"And the average home equity per homeowner, adjusted to today's dollars, has fallen to a level not seen since 1968."

Total loss to all homeowners since 2006: $7.4 trillion. (Pretty soon, we're going to be talking about real money.)

But let's say you are among the lucky. I don't mean the real lucky who were born rich or became Wall Street brokers and bankers. I mean the lucky who have some equity in their homes, have a little savings and just want to make a few bucks for retirement.

Good luck with that. If you want a safe investment, one guaranteed by the federal government, you can put your money in a federally insured savings account and make next to nothing in interest.

In fact, even if you put your money in a low-risk money market account that is not insured by the federal government, you will make next to nothing. (Vanguard's Prime Money Market account, which is very popular, currently has a year-to-date return, adjusted for fees, of 0.01 percent.)

Don't spend it all in one place.

There are thousands of other investments, of course: mutual funds, bonds, stocks, gold, silver, platinum, currencies, commodities, art, antiques, baseball cards and columnist autographs. (I made that last one up, but I am sure we could make a deal.)

All those investments involve risk. All investments that pay decent returns are risky. The higher the return, the higher the risk.

So how much risk do you have the stomach for? Maybe very little. But if you are in your 60s, you can get collect Social Security, either partial or full.

How much is this windfall? "On average," Robert J. Samuelson wrote in The Washington Post Monday, "retired workers and spouses receive $1,839 a month" from Social Security.

That is not peanuts, but it ain't caviar, either. Your golden years may be more like your brass years.

So the question for million of Americans right now is: What, if anything, is the next president going to do for me?

The two candidates — President Obama and the almost-certain GOP nominee Mitt Romney — offered differing views recently about what they were willing to promise and how much risk you can expect as part of your daily life.

Speaking Tuesday at the American Society of News Editors, Obama said: "We've sought to ensure that every citizen can count on some basic measure of security. ... No matter how responsibly we live our lives, any one of us, at any moment, might face hard times, might face bad luck, might face a crippling illness or a layoff."

The president promised a social safety net that would protect all Americans. He did not mention the word "risk" a single time.

The next day, speaking before the same group, Romney offered a different vision. Near the very beginning of his speech, he said, "The promise of America has always been that if you worked hard, and took some risks, that there was the opportunity to build a better life for your family and for the next generation."

Some risk, Romney said, was essential. We cannot live a life of government safety nets. "Instead of growing the federal government," he said, "I will shrink it."

By Thursday, the day after Romney spoke, the White House decided to fine-tune things a little. And Obama said in a Rose Garden speech: "One of the great things about America is that we are a nation of doers — not just talkers, but doers. We think big. We take risks."

Aha! The president finally used the "r-word."

"Ours is a legacy of Edisons and Graham Bells, Fords and Boeings, of Googles and of Twitters," Obama said. "This is a country that's always been on the cutting edge. And the reason is that America has always had the most daring entrepreneurs in the world."

So be daring. If you can afford to risk everything and lose everything.

For the rest of us, there is the prayer I first heard in Las Vegas: "Please, G0d, let me break even. I need the money."

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