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Retirement Planning > Retirement Investing

Eight Hanukkah Wishes for Advisors

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“It’s hard to be a Jew on Christmas, my friends won’t let me join in any games, and I can’t sing Christmas songs or decorate a Christmas tree, or leave water out for Rudolph ’cause there’s something wrong with me!” – “The Lonely Jew on Christmas,” South Park

Kyle Broflovski’s Judaic lament appears on “Mr. Hankey’s Christmas Classics,” an album as tasteless—and funny—as the show itself. While all other South Park residents are busy with visions of dancing sugarplums, Kyle believes he is “stuck” with Hanukkah, a relatively minor holiday on the Jewish calendar that is forced to compete with the most popular holy day in Christendom. After a profanity-laced rant put to song, Kyle is reminded of all the things he doesn’t have to do: he doesn’t have to be on his best behavior; he doesn’t have to give to charity; he doesn’t have to go to Grandma’s house with his alcoholic family. Happiness is restored by song’s end.

In celebration of Kyle’s realization on his personal road to Damascus (yes, a New Testament reference; please no emails), we present eight advisor Hanukkah wishes for 2012.

No. 1: Battle With the Canaanites

In the time of the Judges, Israel’s general Barak—no relation that we’re aware of —engaged the Canaanites with a woefully understaffed and underequipped army. But with God on your side anything’s possible, and the former came out the victor. Whether the current Barack will be as fortuitous in his skirmishes with Congressional Republicans is yet to be seen, but we’re all a bit battle weary. A break from the action to get something done is a most welcome wish.

No. 2: The Book of Job

Maybe they should read this book to help with the unemployment crisis (What? We’re confused?).

No. 3: The Advisor’s Akhrayut

Clarity on the fiduciary standard of care is quickly becoming a perennial wish. The DOL, SEC and FINRA have all weighed in on the topic, but as 2012 begins, we’re no closer to resolution.

No. 4: The Prodigal Un

Forgive the second NT reference, but we’ll all agree the last thing we need is more uncertainty in the global markets. The recent death of North Korean strongman Kim Jong Il, and the rumored promotion of his equally creepy (yet wonderfully cherubic) youngest son, Kim Jong Un, adds the potential for a nuclear nightmare to everything else we’re dealing with. A little sanity from our noisy neighbors in the North may be a little much to wish for, so we’ll pray for a miracle instead.

No. 5: Waiting for a Weizmann

Whatever your political persuasion, the train wreck that has become the Republicans’ nominating process is both fascinating and cringe-inducing to watch. Lead changes, awkward (after awkward, after awkward) debate moments, crazy eyes; just give us the candidate, please. Someone in the mold of Chaim Weizmann, the state of Israel’s first president, would be nice.

No. 6: The European Economic Crisis

Germany struggles to save the continent. How times change.   

No. 7: The Fifth Commandment

Leaving a legacy for children is of utmost importance for most parents. Solving the retirement income puzzle goes a long way in addressing the issue. Helping retirees plan for an affordable quality of life in retirement with something left over for heirs is certainly a great way to “honor” them.

No. 8: More With the Maccabees

The current regulatory environment for advisors is not quite as oppressive as Greek-Syrian ruler Antiochus IV, who forced the Jews to supplant Greek culture for their own, but it’s still pretty heavy. The ruler’s actions led to the Maccabean revolt, which in turn led to Hanukkah. Thankfully nothing as dramatic (or violent) is in the offing, but a little less “help” from Washington in this area would be nice.


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