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7 financial principles of the richest people! Ask the wise man

7 financial principles of the richest people


SUMMARY: Choose your travel companions carefully.

People who do not know how to consult others cannot be helped. – BENJAMIN FRANKLIN,

Don’t do it alone.

God bless Americans.

We are a thoughtful,

compassionate and charismatic people.

We stand for what is right.

We fight for the oppressed.

We meet needs anywhere in the world.

We are willing to give our money and our time,

and even our blood.

We speak out against injustice.

And another thing:

We often express opinions about everything.

When it comes to sports,

we freely tell coaches how to manage the game and handle their athletes.

We let our players know when we feel they are not working hard enough.

When they don’t play correctly,

we let them know.

How could they be so stupid?

Why can we just sit in the stands

or watch television and see clearly how to play properly,

but the players can’t?



One time, while sitting in an airport somewhere,

waiting to fly somewhere,

I had some free time before boarding my upcoming flight

– just enough time to get my shoes shined.

I hope to sit in silence

and enjoy an example of the age-old art of shoemaking.

The shoe shiner politely asked me what I did for a living.

When I told him I was an investment manager,

the look on his face showed his eagerness to share his thoughts

with me on international investing.

I have received advice from many people every step of the way in my life.

It’s always interesting,

but not always useful.

I bet you guys have had similar experiences.

Solomon said,

“All the ways of a man seem right to him” (Proverbs 21:2).

That’s for sure.

Everyone has the right to their opinion,

but just having a formed belief cannot make that opinion true.

Likewise, just because one believes a position

to be wrong does not make any truth any less true.

The question is:

How can we discern wisdom based solely on opinions?

Is there a difference?

Should we consider someone

who has demonstrated considerable wisdom in one area of life

to be an “expert” in other areas of life?

When it comes to managing our investments,

this becomes an important challenge.

Many sources of opinions on real investments “invested”

in offering a particular opinion.

You may ask: “What?

Is that so?”

That’s a good question,

and I hope to answer it in this part.

A few years ago,

I was having dinner in upstate New York with Andy Rooney,

host of CBS’s 60 Minutes television program

It was a beautiful autumn evening.

The leaves are changing color,

and one

The strong but still unobtrusive breeze reminded us that

it was in winter season is approaching.

Our dining table is located in the backyard of one’s house

Famous real estate trader.

Mr. Rooney and I are both friends of the landlord.

Actually, I just am a business assistant,

and Andy is his neighbor,

but in that special evening we felt like friends.

As we dined by candlelight and moonlight,

Andy and I felt we had a few things in common,

including a love of red wine.

At first, I was the one who talked quite a bit,

mainly answering Andy’s questions about the country’s financial situation,

and how an investor should be able to make a profit in that situation.

As we talked,

Andy continued to nibble on the grapes.

When it was Andy’s turn to lead the conversation,

he was a man of influence.

Along with a few other guests,

I felt like I was participating in a 60 Minutes program.

It’s like I’m listening to a hottest record. Mr. Rooney,

or Andy – we agreed to call each other by his first name

after drinking our second bottle of wine – was very excited.

His bragging gradually turned to talking about the investment industry.

Andy asks – and then answers himself

– in a way that only Andy Rooney can,

“What do stockbrokers do?

It seems like they didn’t accomplish anything, or even if they did,

it wouldn’t work

It’s like they can’t build anything.

They are merely providing opinions.

I think they get paid dirty money regardless of whether they are right or wrong.”

With the declaration still hanging in the air,

he took a sip of his wine.

The others laughed,

but I immediately knew he was right.

I replied,

“I should add,

stockbrokers are being paid more and more commissions

to provide more opinions.”

Andy looked at me as if to say,

“You really understand that, don’t you?”

I nod. His boast was not meant as a joke,

but as a profound insight.

It is important for investors to see through the motivation

of the person giving the advice and ask the following:

Who is the first beneficiary of this advice?

Is this advice given solely for the benefit of the person being advised

or is there an underlying motive?

For example, think for a moment about your doctor.

Can you imagine if that person would give health advice based on the commission the advisee pays?

Every time your doctor recommends a procedure,

you must ask yourself,

is the procedure in his or her best interests or yours?

We’re talking about colon screening.

This is the same thing we are discussing here,

just replacing your financial well-being with your health.

Are you getting good advice?

Is your advisor thinking to serve your best interests or serve him?

Is it wise to blindly follow that advice without discerning the quality

and motivation behind this opinion?

Solomon told us,

“The one who walks with the wise will become wise,

but the one who walks with the foolish will be harmed.” (Proverbs 13:20).

So the next question would be:

Do you go with the wise or with the foolish?

Consider this:

Newspapers are in the business of selling advertising.

TV shows are doing it too.

Financial newsletters are soliciting subscriptions.

The motive is the same:

to make money.

This is not inherently bad,

and these sources of information can be useful,

but you should always consider their source and motivation.

The newsletter may be written by people

who are comfortable giving advice

but have never taken responsibility for managing other people’s money.

Making a recommendation is one thing,

but making a recommendation

and being held accountable for it is another.

The person who gives advice

but doesn’t manage money has nothing to sell but his newsletter.

On the other hand,

someone who sells a newsletter

and also sells money management services can use the newsletter

as a means of attracting new customers for his

or her money management business.

Who should you trust?

The answer lies in motivation, not information.

Newspapers, television and newsletters can provide useful information and knowledge,

but it is you who must distinguish good information from clever sales strategies.

Working with a financial advisor is another matter.

The trust factor is perceived more easily.

One question needs to be answered to evaluate the advice:

Does the advisor earn a commission because you implemented his advice?

If the answer is yes,

how do you know who the real beneficiaries of that advice are?

Are you feeling a little depressed?

Don’t be discouraged.

At least not yet,

because it will get worse before it gets better

– but it will get better.

Let’s get on with the bad news first,

then we’ll look at some answers.

Many times I have heard the saying:

“If I can’t believe it

I will do other people’s financial advice myself that,

because surely I can believe in myself.”

So here’s the bad news:

We’re going to have a lot to learn about believing in yourself.



Here are two very important lessons;

The first lesson is learned from me,

the second lesson is learned from King Solomon.

If you only choose to study one lesson,

choose the second lesson.

(I don’t consider my advice to be on par with King Solomon’s.)

Lesson number one,

“If it were easy, everyone would be doing it.”

The second lesson,

as Solomon said:

“He who believes in himself is a fool,

but he who walks in wisdom is safe.” (Proverbs 28:26).

So, we must

What to do now? Learn about yourself.

There is a fascinating field of research called “behavioral finance.”

There have been many books and articles written on this topic.

My intention here is just to introduce you to the idea of it.

Hopefully, this will pique your interest

and help you avoid common mistakes in “doing” investing on your own.

So, what is behavioral finance?

Albert Phung described it thus


According to conventional financial theory,

the world and its people,

almost everywhere,

are justified in wanting to “maximize wealth.”

However, there are many cases where emotions

and psychology influence our decisions,

causing us to behave in unpredictable or irrational ways.

Behavioral finance is a relatively new field;

it seeks to combine behavioral theory

and cognitive psychology with conventional economics

and finance to explain why people make irrational financial decisions.

Now wouldn’t that help you build confidence in managing your financial contracts?

Let’s look at just a few behavioral finance aspects that you may find useful.

Remember, there are many people who have written on this topic,

and I think they can help you whether you invest on your own

or invest with the help of an advisor.

So please dig deeper.

“Asymmetric emotional reactions need to correspond

to asymmetric portfolio intentions.”

(I feel smart just after writing this statement.)

It’s much simpler than it looks,

so bear with me.

The emotion you experience

when you make a 10% profit on your investments

is completely different from the emotional reaction

when you lose 10%.

In financial terms, the two numbers are the same,

but we react to them differently.

Try to remember when you learned that

your investments had increased by 10%.

You might crack a smile, think you’re a genius,

and feel very happy.

On the other hand,

for most people,

when they learn that the value of their investment has decreased by 10%,

the reaction often comes along with the statement

“What did I do wrong?”

Or, “It will be difficult to make up the loss.”

Or, “I’m going to fire my broker.”

Or, “My wife would probably kill me.”

Use whatever example you like,

but the reality is that the emotions associated

with gain are very different from the emotions associated with loss.

That’s what I mean by “asymmetric.”

These two emotions are not the same.

Continuing to test this idea,

you can apply this theory to any area of your life that involves positive

and negative outcomes.

For example, your boss comes up to you to talk about your salary.

One possibility is that she gives you a 10% raise.

Your reaction will probably be,

“Great, I can use that extra money.”

On the other hand,

what if your boss says she has to reduce your salary by 10%?

Think about what your reaction would be?

Will you be terribly disappointed?

Are you shocked?

Or will you start looking for another job?

Do you understand what I mean?

The two emotions are not the same.

So, how do you apply this idea to defining your investment portfolio?

Apply this idea to head consultations

How private?

First and foremost,

you must clearly understand your goals and objectives your personal.

Everyone I met said,

“I want dark maximize profits and take little risk.”

I don’t want to make you right sad,

but this is a statement that somewhat goes against the purpose.

It is important to determine priorities.

It’s not that you can’t hope to achieve both goals,

but one goal must be prioritized over the other goal.

I will share with you a big secret.

It is necessary to determine the advantages first to protect your money.

To achieve both goals yes effectively,

you must guard against losses.

Think of it this way:

If you started investing with $100

and lost 50%, now you only have

It’s only 50 dollars.

Up to now,

the Math problem is still quite simple.

Come here

This new difficulty,

how much percentage do you need to earn to make up for it?

Have you lost 50%?

Not 50% but 100% of the remaining amount.

You need to double your money to make up for half of it

that you have lost.

Think about this the next time you get a “free” consultation.

it’s cruel that making money is twice as hard as losing it.

How do you go about investing your money,

or designing a portfolio to suit your asymmetric goals

and emotions with your actual investments?

I use a number of alternative investments,

for example,

hedge funds and long/short equity funds.

I recommend that you learn more about these types of investments

before adding them to your portfolio.

No one is too stupid to not be able to give advice to others,

nor is anyone too wise to not easily make mistakes

when not listening to anyone’s advice except their own.

A person who is taught by himself is a foolish teacher. – BEN JONSON,

Here’s another theory to consider

before you make your investment decisions.

It is called “inertia investing”.

This idea is quite easy to understand.

You can laugh,

but don’t underestimate its power.

Inertia investing is the belief that

when the market is going up,

it will continue to go up,

and when the market is going down,

it will continue to go down.

Here are some facts

and stories to help you understand this idea.

Think back to 1999.

The stock markets were going crazy.

Every time you turn on the TV,

you see stories like,

a kid who was only 21 years old made millions dollars,

maybe hundreds of millions,

when his Internet company goes public.

In addition, there were advertisements in newspapers, magazines,

and news reports proclaim

that mutual funds are giving their investors high double-digit returns.

No one wants to miss out on the wealth that is coming their way.

In reality,

Even experienced financial “experts” have spoken

that the “rules of the game” have changed.

They say, it’s no longer important company that is profitable

and thanks to which it is possible to make a lot of money,

What’s important is that the company creates a foothold in the internet,

it can only be an Internet company.

“The market is going up fast,

so get on board and ride with your life.”

The financial press tells us that

if we can’t make money in a market like this,

we’re crazy.

“This time is different from.”

Have you seen the emotional power that inertial thinking brings

to your investment decision-making process?

How about this fact:

During this madness,

more investment money flowed into technology-based mutual funds

than at any time in history.

The flow of money into mutual funds helps us identify those worrying moments,

when investors rush headlong into a particular industry.

Look at the high-tech bubble and it’s clear.

In the five months from November 1999 to March 2000,

$47 billion was invested in technology funds.

By the end of March, technology fund assets reached $163 billion.

Thus, one-third of these funds’ assets were invested within 6 months, or less.

That said, how wrong can crowds really be at key inflection points?

Do I need to remind you what happened after more than 30 months next?

NASDAQ index tracks public stocks high technology is dominant,

starting to decline by about 75%5

When I write articles

In mid-2008, it has not yet recovered to its March value 2000.

People thought this market was on the rise

Stop point. Cover of the March 2000 issue of Money magazine

“Invest in the hottest market ever.”

This question said a week

before the market took a nosedive in the most in history.

Do you believe that?

Here’s another example of inertial investing that hides the other side of the coin.

It’s not just when the market is rising

that investors make bad decisions and advisors give bad advice.

In October 2002, the market reached a very low point in its cycle.

The Dow 6 has fallen about 32%,

the S&P 500 7 has fallen about 45%8

and the US stock market has begun a new upward trend.

This is one of the best times in years to buy back stocks.

But what did the average investor and advisor do?

They bought bonds because they believed stocks would continue to fall

(classic inertial investing).

They’ve already lost so much money

that they don’t intend to burn it again.

Investors, following the advice of their advisors,

have poured more money into bond funds than at any time in history.

Seek the advice of your elders

because their eyes have seen the face of the years,

and their ears have been seasoned with the voice of Life.

Even if their advice might offend you,

still pay attention to it. – KAHLIL GIBRAN,

This cycle of buying when stocks are going up

and selling when stocks (or any type of investment)

It is going down is the opposite of what big investors do.

What experienced investors do is called investing against the market trend.

These “witches” buy when others are selling

and sell when others are buying.

It sounds reasonable,

but this is very difficult to do properly.

These two theories within the topic of behavioral finance

It will hopefully help you filter out the noise in investment advice.

There are many principles in behavioral finance,

including bias when viewed (similar to investing based on inertia),

herd mentality,

overconfidence and overreaction.

As I said before,

This research is of great importance,

both for investors and people adviser.

I hope you will have enough time to learn more things about behavioral finance

to see how it will affect you.

I suspect you’re asking yourself:

(1) How can I find trustworthy investment advice?

(2) If I cannot trust my ability to make decisions,

where do I turn?

Before we get to some answers,

here’s a form of advice you should take with a grain of salt.

This type of advice is not actually specifically about investing,

but is more predictive in nature.

For example, an economist may provide an opinion on

how the economy will perform in the coming months or years.

Another might provide estimates of how many jobs will be created or lost,

how many homes are being built,

how much consumption or consumer demand there will be,

sales in the upcoming Christmas season

– so you can visualize the big picture.

This type of consultation may not provide a specific recommendation investment

but can certainly affect how you invest,

or may even lead you towards other types of investments.

When listening to “big picture” advice coming from experts economy like that,

I thought of something I heard from a famous financial expert:

“When I grew up,

I always wanted to become a businessman become an economist.

Never wrong, just need to correct it.”

There’s nothing wrong with listening to economists

and financial experts main have been properly trained,

but their opinion – like

All opinions – should be carefully considered.

Economists can edit a forecast,

but individual investors cannot redeem their investments

– they can only reassess and reinvestment.

Such statistics are often revised many times over the course of a year.

As an investor,

you should never make a decision

If you rely solely on this type of advice,

you should use only the figures.

Statistics as one source of additional information.

This information should be used more

to support decisions your investment decisions

or can help you determine the buying

or selling timing of an investment transaction.



So, where do you go to get investment advice?

I have not tried to steer you away from the sources of information

This news, which wants to help you know your needs,

understand your motives your counselors,

that you may best discern,

the word helpful advice with advice given just to make a buck rose.

Once you learn

– and have to practice

– to the internal antenna’s you are tuned right,

to catch the channel

“They are selling to me what is this”,

so that you will become proficient in discerning good advice,

It will be helpful with the advice

“I want to influence you so I can get a commission”.

In the world of investment consulting,

I feel very strongly is any person

who can generate a joint commission regarding the advice given by them,

it should be considered with the Crown degree of skepticism.

The best platform for advisor-investor relationships is a fixed fee agreement.

Let me take a moment to talk about the contrast between the four

Fixed-fee investment consulting

and commission-based partnerships.

Let’s say you participate in a retirement savings plan (IRA) worth $200,000.

Maybe you worked 20-30 years to accumulate numbers this money.

Is this amount important to you? Bet yes.

This may be all, or a significant portion,

of the money you spend the remaining days of your life.

If you lose your account.

With this money, how badly will your life be affected?

We is talking about your future,

and possibly your friend’s future your life too;

And maybe it’s a gift you want to leave behind for children.

Most likely,

this is the most important amount of money you used to have to manage.

When you seek investment advice,

you pay for those tips.

So far, there have been no problems.

Generally, you can pay the fee in two ways.

The first way, and

By far the most popular,

is working with a broker based on commission.

This person may work for a big investment company on Wall Street,

or a small company, or even is an independent broker.

This broker can even tell tell you that

he can work for you for payment commission or in the form of a fee.

Either way, he also takes a commission and so you never know.

Surely, the advice he gives is in your best interest or his own.

If you choose to work with a fee-only advisor,

and I’m talking about an advisor who cannot properly receive a commission

you and your advisor will agree on a shipping fee year.

This fee will most likely be a percentage of the total investments in your account.

Money may not buy happiness,

but it can make it a person becomes miserable in some very beautiful places.- ANGEL AYSA

For example, using the $200,000 above,

the two of you agree to an annual investment consulting fee of 1%,

then your account will be charged $500 a quarter,

and that works out to $2,000 a year.

Once this agreement is in place,

for as long as the advisor is hired to manage your money,

you can be sure that all investments recommended

and on your behalf are made,

as The advisor believes he or she is serving your best interests.

This advisor has absolutely no conflicting incentives to do otherwise.

Now, if you think $2,000 seems a bit steep,

compare it to a typical mutual fund you’d join with an upfront fee of 5%.

If your investment amount is only $40,000,

then you have to pay up to $2,000 in fees.

On the other hand,

even if your broker places you in a mutual fund with class B or class C shares,

which a fee-only advisor would never do,

and tell you without the upfront fee,

the broker is still making extra money,

and that money is coming out of your account.

You can’t see it,

but the fee is there.

So my answer to this dilemma,

where to seek investment advisory advice, would be:

Work through a fee-only investment advisor.

Now, just because someone is a fee-only advisor doesn’t necessarily make them an investment expert.

You should still find someone with a long track record

who has many clients for you to consult with.

In general,

I have found that fee-only advisors tend

to be professionals in the long-term investing industry

who have established a solid track record

or they would not choose to become reciprocate

Fee-only environments tend to shift much of the risk that you,

as an investor,

take and place it on the advisor.

There is no way for an advisor to make a living from his practice

unless he generates positive returns in both client service and investment performance.

Finally, on this subject,

our great teacher King Solomon said:

“He who ignores principles [instructions] will suffer poverty and shame,

but he who pays attention to correctness [instructions] advise]

and you will be honored” (Proverbs 13:18).

That aphorism contains very valuable advice.


Ask yourself

1. Am I listening to opinions from the right people?

2. What do those who give that advice gain in this matter?

3. Does this investment benefit my advisor more than it benefits me?

4. What is driving my decisions? Affect? Fearful? Cupid? Hope? Wiseness?

5. Does my advisor put my best interests first?


Things to do wisely

1. Take the time to find you a reputable flat fee broker.

2. Teach yourself how to distinguish between sales offers and solid advice.

3. Be open to advice.

There are still many good advisors in this world.



PROVERBS 15:22 – Plans will fail without advice,

but if there are many advisors they will succeed.

PROVERBS 21:2 – All the ways of one

Everyone seems right to him…

PROVERBS 16:16 – A slow-witted person is wiser in his eyes

than seven people who answer hesitantly.

PROVERBS 11:14 – For lack of guidance a nation fails,

but if it has many advisers it will surely win.

PROVERBS 13:18 – He who ignores principles [guidance] will be poor

and ashamed, but he who heeds correction [advice] will be honored.

PROVERBS 13:20 – The one who walks with the wise will become wise,

but the one who walks with the foolish will be harmed.

PROVERBS 28:16 – He who trusts himself is a fool,

but he who walks with wisdom is safe.



Abidan ran slowly along the road leading to King Solomon’s palace.

The sky was a cloudless blue,

and warm breezes were blowing across Jerusalem.

Today it was hot early in the morning,

before the sun reached its zenith.

Summer is not far away.

“Please give alms.

Please give alms to the poor.”

A thin man wearing a dirty robe sat at the crossroads,

his hand outstretched,

shaking like a dry leaf on a dying tree.

“Dude, please help the elderly.

Give alms to the poor.”

Abidan frowned and ran around to avoid collision

and to avoid looking him in the eye.

A joy spread through Abidan’s body,

like warm water.

He had come to enjoy his time with the king,

and the king seemed to enjoy Abidan’s presence as well.

Being taught by the king was an honor,

and Abidan’s status was also enhanced in the eyes of his friends.

He slowed down because he saw a woman holding a child in her arms,

and trying to pick up a fallen bundle of flax.

It was not uncommon to see women carrying heavy packages of grain

or flax on top of their heads as they walked home from the market.

Others also brought their daily food

or water home that way.

But this woman looked tired,

as if life had just dealt her another disaster.

She transferred the crying child to her other arm,

knelt down on the hard pavement,

and used all her strength to pull what was left of the bundle

before the wind blew it out of her reach.

Abidan slowed down and walked around her.

Maybe this time he won’t be late for the meeting with the king.

Abidan arrived at the gate and was surprised

to be greeted by another servant

– a young man, about his own age,

and with skin a little darker than his alert eyes.

A moment later,

Abidan was standing alone in the waiting room in front of the Great Hall.

At first, time passed quickly, then slowly,

as if time was being forced to stop.

He convinced himself that the king was busy with something important,

state affairs, issues related to the Holy Temple,

or some pressing matter.

Abidan waited.

He looked at the floor,

the walls,

the ceiling,

the plaster. He tried to hear if there were any voices,

but this large structure seemed lifeless.

Did the king get the date wrong?

Or has the class been cancelled?

After a while, he became confused.

“Did I do something to offend the king?”

He whispered in the empty room.

His sense of time had become confused.

“How many minutes have I been standing here alone,

or has it been an hour?”

He couldn’t speak.

“Should I stay?”

Should you ask someone?

“Should we go home?”

Abidan decided to wait,

even standing here until the sun went down.

If nothing else happened,

it would prove how valuable he found these lessons.

The young servant reappeared and motioned Abidan to follow him.

Abidan felt a breeze of relief blow through him.

In the end,

everything turned out okay.

Instead of leading him into the yard,

the servant led him to the Palace of Adoration.

Abidan took three steps into the room,

then he stopped midway.

The king was there,

sitting on his throne and staring at Abidan,

his expression stern.

Near the throne,

standing to the left of the king are the old beggar

and the woman holding the child.

person’s face, suddenly he felt cold.

The beggar is the mandarin who often greets Abidan every time

he comes to see the king.

As for the woman, he still found it strange.

“Come here,” Solomon said.

Abidan heard no trace of humor in the king’s voice.

He tried his best to move,

but three pairs of eyes were staring at him

as if working together to force him to step back.

Abidan was glad that the baby was wrapped in a blanket

so he couldn’t see him.

Abidan had only walked a short distance

but he felt as if he had come a very long way.

His knees felt weak,

his stomach turned upside down,

and his breathing was rapid and short.

“It’s… nice to see the King again.”

“Is that so?” Solomon’s voice was as dry as tree bark.

Abidan was speechless.

“Tell me where you are, Abidan.”

“Long live the King,

I am standing in your presence,

in the Palace of Adoration.”

“You saw me here last time, right?”

“Yes, Your Majesty.”

Abidan’s knees felt weak.

“What am I here for, son of Zerah?”

Abidan swallowed.

“The King sits in judgment and advises those who seek wisdom.”

“Is it true that here I have arbitrated grievances?”

Abidan bowed his head,

not daring to face Solomon.

“Yes, sir King.”

“Tell me, Abidan,

do you know why we are meeting here, this morning?”

Abidan didn’t want to speak,

but he found the strength to force the words out of his mouth.

“These two people have a complaint against me.”

The beggar looks different now.

Abidan calmed down to look at that person’s face, suddenly he felt cold.

The beggar is the mandarin who often greets Abidan every time

he comes to see the king.

As for the woman, he still found it strange.

“Come here,” Solomon said.

Abidan heard no trace of humor in the king’s voice.

He tried his best to move,

but three pairs of eyes were staring at him

as if working together to force him to step back.

Abidan was glad that the baby was wrapped in a blanket

so he couldn’t see him.

Abidan had only walked a short distance

but he felt as if he had come a very long way.

His knees felt weak,

his stomach turned upside down,

and his breathing was rapid and short.

“It’s… nice to see the King again.”

“Is that so?” Solomon’s voice was as dry as tree bark.

Abidan was speechless.

“Tell me where you are, Abidan.”

“Long live the King,

I am standing in your presence,

in the Palace of Adoration.”

“You saw me here last time, right?”

“Yes, Your Majesty.”

Abidan’s knees felt weak.

“What am I here for, son of Zerah?”

Abidan swallowed.

“The King sits in judgment and advises those who seek wisdom.”

“Is it true that here I have arbitrated grievances?”

Abidan bowed his head,

not daring to face Solomon.

“Yes, sir King.”

“Tell me, Abidan, do you know why we are meeting here, this morning?”

Abidan didn’t want to speak,

but he found the strength to force the words out of his mouth.

“These two people have a complaint against me.”

“Yes.” Solomon leaned back on his throne. He seemed tired of

“You know my loyal servant.

This woman is his daughter; and the child is his nephew.”

Abidan tried to close his eyes.

He was challenged but could not do it.

“I am so disappointing, Your Majesty. I’m sorry.”

“I don’t deserve your apology.”

“I understand.” Abidan raised his head,

stood straight,

then turned to the mandarin and his daughter.

He said an apology.

Both of them nodded.

The servant turned to Solomon.

“With Your permission,

Your Majesty.”

Solomon stood up and walked over to the woman.

He opened the blanket covering the baby’s face and smiled.

“He looks so handsome.

He will make his family proud.”

Then the king turned to his servant.

“You can go now.

You have done very well.”

A moment later,

Abidan was left alone with Solomon.

He felt like a candle in a stove.

Solomon’s smile at the woman and baby disappeared.

He walked to the steps leading to his throne,

but did not step up.

Instead, he sat down on a stone step.

He patted a spot beside him.

Abidan went there and sat with him.

He waited for the stern words that were sure to come his way.

Solomon took a deep breath,

then exhaled,

and he spoke.

“A person who gives freely may benefit more;

Others keep excessive tips, but will be poor.

A generous person will become rich;

He who pleases others pleases himself.” [Proverbs 11:24-
It took Abidan a moment to realize

that King Solomon had not scolded him.

If anything, he sounded just a little sad.

The king repeated the aphorism and then said,

“Tell me its meaning, Abidan.”

Because he was familiar with the convention between the two,

Abidan repeated the aphorism,

then tried to paraphrase.

“It means, you should not turn a blind eye to the poor.”

“And what else?”

Abidan muttered.

“And, giving can make a person rich.”

“Does that seem right to you?”

“It seems strange to me,

Your Majesty.

How can a person who gives away his money become richer?

“There is wealth of the heart, Abidan, wealth of the soul.

Helping others is part of this rule.

Didn’t Moses record God’s commandment to help neighbors and strangers?

“That’s true, Your Majesty.”

“Hoarding money does not make a person rich,

it makes him miserable.

Do you know the difference?”

“Yes. I believe so.

But Your Majesty,

I have no money.

My family is very poor.

I have nothing to give to the beggars

– I mean your servant.”

“Can’t you give him a moment of respect?

I couldn’t say a word to him,

that I had no money,

and prayed

Did God bless him or something?”

Abidan nodded.

“It’s possible. I could have done that.

Instead, I went my own way, to avoid him.”

“And the woman with the child;

Does she need money?”

“No,” Abidan said.

“She just needs help when she’s in a bit of trouble.”

“But you didn’t spend a few minutes helping her gather her linen

and her bundle.”

“I don’t want to be late,

Your Majesty.”

Solomon frowned.

“You do not honor me by doing wrong,

but by arriving on time.

I would have preferred you to be late

and be righteous rather than be on time and be selfish.”

Abidan lowered his head to the floor again.

“Your Majesty, there are many poor people.

What should I do to help everyone?”

“It’s something you can’t do,

but you can do something.

I did not pass by all the poor people here in Jerusalem.

I only passed by two people.

Abidan, listen to me:

If you cannot give a little of yourself, you will never be

able to create your own abundance.

Do you understand?

“I think I understand, Your Majesty.”

“Creating wealth is good and legitimate,

but not if you don’t use something you have to benefit others.

There will always be poor people,

but that fact does not mean that wise people ignore them.

Do what you can, with what you have,

and wealth will come to you.”

“Wealth is only for the generous, right?”

“That’s right, Abidan. You are right.”

“I’m sorry to disappoint you, Your Majesty.”

Solomon smiled.

“Don’t you think it’s not fair for me to test you like that?”

Abidan shook his head.

“I don’t know for sure.”

“Let me ask you this:

Will you forget this lesson?”

“Never, Your Majesty.

I will carry this lesson with me to my grave.”

“Then, the shame you feel today is worth it

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