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Jewish Thoughts on Wealth: Gain Knowledge

By Tim OBrien on 09/26/2010 – 3:10 am PDTLeave a Comment

For those of you new to Free Money Finance, I post on The Bible and Money every Sunday. Here’s why.

In my Sunday posts we’re currently digging into the book The Jewish Phenomenon: Seven Keys to the Enduring Wealth of a People. It notes that Jews are disproportionately wealthy and accomplished and much of this success is due to seven keys which can be traced to the teachings of the Jewish faith.

Today we’re going to talk about one of the “seven keys to Jewish success” that the authors list: understanding that real wealth is portable; it’s knowledge. (BTW, this “key” goes nicely with “key” #3: successful people are professionals and entrepreneurs.)

This whole chapter is an ode to higher education. The authors detail much of the information that we go over regularly here at Free Money Finance, in particular how much more those with a bachelor’s degree earn over a lifetime versus those with no college education (and the more education, the better — in general.) They also give statistics on Jewish higher education (from a 1990 study, so it is a bit dated):

87 percent of college-age Jews were enrolled in college versus 40 percent for non-Jews.

So, more education (in general) leads to a higher income and Jews have more education than average. Hence, Jews have more income than average.

Now of course we know that a higher income doesn’t necessarily lead to greater wealth (they could spend all of their higher income), but it certainly helps. Plus, we’ll see in a later post that Jews also have a good handle on controlling their spending. And we all know that a high income with an ability to control spending are keys to becoming wealthy.

The book goes on to list six ways we all can use what the Jews do in this “key” to the economic advantage of our kids. They suggest:

1. Build your child’s self-esteem.
2. Build the ability to defer gratification.
3. Choose the best education possible.
4. Develop and demonstrate informed and literate habits.
5. Create the education expectation.
6. Keep your skills up to date (as an adult).

I would agree with most of these. The one I might take issue with is #3. I think you want to get the education that costs you the least and still gets you the job/pay you want. I’ve seen too many studies that say the “best” schools don’t really end up getting you much for the extra cost. And I’ve also seen way too many people with enormous amounts of debt because they “had to” go to “the best” school. There’s no such thing as “the best” school IMO.

Any thoughts to add?

Tags: Jewish, ,

Related Articles:

  1. Jewish Thoughts on Wealth
  2. The Jewish Phenomenon
  3. Be Sure To Vote For Your Favorite – Education and Wealth Story
  4. President and First Lady to Host White House Jewish American Heritage Month Reception
  5. Presidential Proclamation-Jewish American Heritage Month

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