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Rabbi Evan Moffic centers today’s discussion around Joseph from the Bible. He introduces him as the first real estate magnate and his recognition of 7-year economic cycles. Rabbi ends the show by discussing using our gifts for good and focusing on adversity.
Welcome to the Solomon Success Show where we explore the timeless wisdom of King Solomon and the Bible as it relates to business and investing false prophets and get rich quick schemes are everywhere. Let’s not be distracted by these. Instead, let’s go to the source, the eternal principles that create a life of peace, power and prosperity. Here’s our host, Jason Hartman.
Rabbi Evan Moffic 0:32
Welcome to the Solomon success Show. I’m Rabbi Evan morphic, a friend and client of Jason, and he was kind enough to extend the opportunity to meet to guest host the show. I am a rabbi and an author, believe passionately that the Bible has a message, a deep message for people seeking success, people seeking meaning, people seeking the true nature of wealth. It’s a wonderful guide to a life have meaning and a life of purpose because we invest not just to acquire wealth, we invest we work to live a life of happiness. And that’s what the Solomon success principles teach us. And I’ll be sharing insights and principles and actions that we can take in our lives right now. And in the foreseeable future, to live the kind of life we dream of. Now, if you turn on CNBC or the Bloomberg Television Network, you get tons of stock symbols, we know that we’ve turned it on even if we’re not investors in the stock market, we probably a pass through CNBC or Bloomberg. And then while the tickers going below us, we’ve probably seen somebody pontificating and predicting where the stock market is going. They’re telling us Oh, it’s going to be going up. We’re going to have a 15% increase by the end of the year or we’re about to enter a bear market, it’s going to go down 20% and it’s not just limited to the stock market. If you pick up A real estate publication, you probably will see people predicting, oh, prices in this market are going to be up 15% this year, or prices are going to level off this year. People predict, we look for guidance for the future. And yet, if you have read any studies, if you’ve simply lived and experienced history, you know that most predictions are usually wrong. It’s an impossible art. It’s not it’s not a science. And it’s not an art, it is extremely difficult to predict the future. That’s why capitalism works. That’s one of the reasons we have free markets is there is a sense of our individual actions, change and shape the markets. It’s not something that’s fixed. It’s not something that’s planned far ahead. The dial, the dynamism of capitalism allows makes it impossible to predict the future. In fact, right now I’m recording it’s late June, and the 10 year bond which shapes the interest rates that we get is below 2%. And that was thinkable six months ago, just was reading that there was a survey of 63 economists, and none of them zero out of 63. economists believe that we would be below 2.5% interest rates on the 10 year bond. And that shapes of course, mortgage rates, we don’t need to get into the details of what all that means. But the purpose is 63, very smart economist, not one of them predicted where we would be today. You know that predictions are usually wrong. We’re simply human beings. We’re not God, unless you are a human being who is blessed by God with the ability to predict. And that, of course, brings us to the person we’re going to look at today. And that’s Joseph. Joseph is sort of a precursor to Solomon in the Bible, Joseph, if you don’t know the story, Joseph is an Israelite who was born of Jacob and his brothers sell him into slavery. they despise Joseph because he is the favorite son. His father makes him this coat of many colors, and he wears this coat around in front of his brothers flaunting his status. And then he tells his brothers his dreams and his dreams involve all of his brothers bowing down to him. It’s not a mystery as to why they didn’t like him and why they ultimately sold him into slavery. But when he arrives in Egypt as a slave in the household of a nobleman named Potiphar, he quickly distinguishes himself as very good at what he does. Ultimately, though, he ends up in prison. And while he’s in prison, he starts interpreting dreams, and he’s very effective at it. And then one day out of the blue, he’s called out of prison into Pharaoh’s court in order to predict when a Pharaohs dreams Pharaoh has this dream of seven lean cows eating seven fat cows, has seven week ears of corn eating seven healthy years years of corn, and Pharaoh doesn’t know what to make of this stream. And so Joseph is called in and Joseph interprets the dream and says there will be seven years of plenty, followed by seven years of famine. He not only interprets the dream, he offers an action plan. But before we see what that action plan is, because that’s the key thing that we’re going to learn from. It’s quite interesting. Many modern economists say that Joseph understood a seven year economic cycle, right that we live in a kind of economic cycle today, although we’re in the longest running bull market right now, there are cycles when the economy heats up, overheats, and we go into a recession, then ultimately, spending lifts us back out of the recession. Perhaps Joseph intuited that economic cycle in ancient Egypt, be that as it may, whatever the answer is, whether he was blessed by God or whether he simply understood the economic cycle, what he does is he creates a plan, where 20% he essentially puts in a 20% tax, and that tax is used to create food storage. So all the food that’s produced in Egypt at that time is stored And then after the seven years of plenty, that food that’s been stored is used to sustain the people during the seven years of famine. But then what Joseph does is he uses the grains that he had stored in order to essentially purchase land from the Egyptians, for Pharaoh. He essentially saves up his reserves for difficult times. And then when the economy gets difficult, he buys land on the cheap. He’s not taking advantage of the situation. People knew Joseph clearly had understanding and had informed others that they were stockpiling in order to defend themselves during a famine, but certain people over consumed probably we don’t have those details. We’re probably over consumed during the seven years of plenty. And those like Joseph who had saved resources could then purchase land during the downturn during the seven years of famine and through that wisdom through that preparing himself for the difficult times. Joseph ultimately acquires huge swaths of land. But Joseph doesn’t only use that land for himself, he essentially uses the land to save the Egyptian people. Because Joseph had stockpiled goods, the Egyptian people are able to eat and survive. And Egypt grows wealthier, because people from around the world are coming to Egypt to to get food to sustain themselves against the famine in their own lands. So Joseph is a master administrator, economist, leader, and perhaps the first land magnate in all of Western history. So what can we learn from Joseph aside from his plan to save resources for times of depression, recession? I think there’s a lot of great insights that we can learn as human beings, as investors as people seeking to live a life of success. The first is that we should use our gifts for good Joseph is a consummate administrator, and somebody who can interpret and plan for the future. And so he uses that gift in order to save Egypt. He initially we actually see the growth in Joseph’s character. In his early days. He’s a narcissist, he’s a total egomaniac. He tells his brothers, look, I’m much smarter, I’m much more better looking. I’m the favorite child, you’ll be eventually bowing down to me. He essentially is sort of like an arrogant little kid. But he grows as a person and he uses his intelligence he uses his skills in order to save Egypt. So perhaps whatever skills we have, whether we’re a good public speaker, whether we are good at running numbers, use our gifts for good. That good not only helps others it helps ourselves. The second lesson I think Joseph teaches us and of course success principle is to have patience. Joseph had a 14 year plan right Jason asked us if you if you listened to creating well show we To create five year plans, Joseph had a 14 year plan for Egypt. And he knew what was going to happen he prepared for it and he executed that plan. Whatever we do in life, in our investments in our career, we need to plan and we need to have patience, things don’t work out as quickly as we wish they would. In Hebrew, the word for patience, South la nuit, is also the word for suffering. being patient is very hard. And yet it’s essential. One of the things that Jason teaches about real estate is it’s a way of putting time on your side. Instead of fearing aging. We actually enjoy aging because we’re building wealth over time. Real estate is not a quick way to make money. It’s a once in a while, I guess it can be, but it’s usually something that’s patient over time we build wealth. Joseph teaches how to plan and prepare and build for the future. The third lesson, I think Joseph teaches us Is that in times of trouble? We have to focus on getting through them, you know, the seven years of famine, I imagine they weren’t easy. There was enough though food in order to sustain to sustain the people they got through it, kind of like having cash flow during times of recession. You know, one of the things that Jason is talked about in the 2008 2009 2010 housing recession, people who had rental homes that were cash flowing, were okay, maybe the value of the home went down. But that didn’t really matter if you were still collecting rent. And so having some sort of ability to sustain ourselves, not get wildly rich, but sustain ourselves during times of difficulty is important. That’s why one of Jason’s commandment is buy your investment. That makes sense when you buy it. Don’t be counting on a great level of appreciation there should already be built in protection with cash flow or With the reconstruction costs of the home have some sort of protection. And this doesn’t this lesson doesn’t just apply in real estate. It applies in everything that we do. We should choose a career where our skill set can be portable. If the company that we work for now, were to close down does the skill set that we have, apply and work in another place have skills that work in different economies in different places. That’s an essential lesson, Joseph was able to essentially keep the Egyptian people alive and sustain the people by having that extra food during this time of crisis. fourth lesson, this is something we all need to hear every now and then, is to be humble. One of the interesting things about Joseph one of the reasons he’s still revered as this great biblical figure, he said he was extraordinarily humble. He always said when everything’s worked out, as he had predicted, whenever he interpreted a dream Well, he said, It’s not me. It’s God. Isn’t that very profound, and whether we’re personal Have faith or not having humility, understanding the role of luck. We all are so lucky to live in the time in which we live, to have the resources to invest the time the technology to be listening and learning from people around the world. This is the best time to be alive, as Jason often says, it’s a wonderful time to be alive. And we should be humble whenever we achieve. Remember, it’s not only because of what we did, yes, we have to work hard. Yes, we have to use our intelligence. But there are also so many other unseen forces that get us to where we are. The fifth lesson, and again, something that’s very difficult, but so important, is to forgive. Remember, Joseph’s brothers sell him into slavery, they despise him. And yet, when they come to Egypt, seeking food during the time of famine, and they come before Joseph, what is Joseph do? He forgives them? He tells them What you did was all part of God’s plan. Whether Joseph actually believed that or not, whether he still harbored anger in his heart. None of that really matters. What matters is he repaired the relationship. They went on. They lived his brothers, he forgave. Forgiveness is not easy. Because I think sometimes we confuse forgiveness with condoning. We think if we forgive somebody, we’re essentially saying what they did was okay. But that’s not true. Forgiveness is the religious word for moving on. We can’t wallow in pity. I often say when we refuse to forgive someone. We’re often letting a grudge take up psychic space in our brains. We are holding ourselves back. We’re letting somebody else stop us from going forward. Joseph didn’t let that happened. He immediately was able to move on and live. How do we do that? We have to think Find a way to forgive. It’s not condoning. It’s simply understanding perhaps that we’ve made mistakes too. And we seek forgiveness from others. And so we grant forgiveness to those who seek it from us. In Judaism, it’s quite interesting. And I think this is a really important principle for our relationships and for how we work together with others in the world. In Judaism, the word for sin is hate, which means missing the mark. It actually comes from the bow and arrow from from the archery it’s the same terminology used in shooting an arrow, that sometimes we shoot and we missed the mark. And that’s natural. And so we’re all going to make mistakes. And when we forgive others, we essentially restore that relationship. We allow life to go as it should go, and we all miss the mark sometimes. What else can we learn from Joseph, the original real estate magnate? Perhaps one other final lesson, a bonus lesson. We always have to create the sort of Win Win situations. What does Joseph do for Egypt? He essentially saves Egypt and saves the Pharaoh. Joseph does everything one could actually there are some people who criticize Joseph who say he served Pharaoh more than he served God. But truthfully, what he did was he used the capital that Pharaoh had in the power Pharaoh had to gather resources, invest, buy more land to strengthen Pharaoh, one could say perhaps he should have done more for the Egyptian people besides saving them, but he worked together with Pharaoh. He helped Pharaoh and he helped the people. So whatever we do in our lives and our real estate and our investing, if we can figure out ways of helping everybody in an agreement, you know, a good agreement, a good real estate deal Jason has taught this the best real estate deals never close. If those are the deals where and when somebody is really getting something and someone else is really getting hurt. Ultimately, people find out if they’re getting hurt. So the really the best deals, the ones that do close are those where everybody wins something, everybody gets something that doesn’t mean that it’s the perfect deal for everybody in the long run. But when we strive to create situations where we’re helping somebody else, and in doing so helping ourselves, that’s truly the best kind of work, the best kind of deals. And that’s what Joseph did. He saved Egypt. He helped Pharaoh, he saved himself. And then eventually he saved his family because of his wisdom and his decisions. So in the Solomon success principles, everything we do, the way we build wealth, is by serving others and doing good for others. That’s the core principle. That’s something we have to constantly keep in mind. We’ll learn a little bit more about Joseph next week. And eventually we’re also going to see the way that Joseph’s real estate progress expressed itself in other biblical Again, I’m so glad to hear from you if you want to connect with me. You can always email me at Evan EV A n at Rabbi are a BB i dot m e or Rabbi Moffitt, m o ff ic.com. And I wish all of you a week filled with success and meaning shalom.
Rabbi Evan Moffic 17:23
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