Project Genesis

Prescription for Material Wealth

Question: What is the Torah’s prescription for material wealth? I once heard that a person should invest 1/3 of his money in stocks, another third in real estate and the last third in cash. Please provide me some other Torah thoughts and advise.

Answer: The comment you refer to was made by Rabbi Yitzchok, and is quoted in the Talmud (Bava Metzia 42a).

Other than this comment, we do find many instances of business advice, but mostly for specialized industries, not so much of general interest that might be relevant to us today. There are many business laws that must be kept. These are discussed at length in Kitzur Shulchan Oruch/ Concise Code Of Jewish Law, Chapters 62-66, and 179-188.

Perhaps the most constructive advice and command that we find in the Torah is that a person should invest his money with G-d to be profitable. We are supposed to make G-d 10% partners in all net profits after business expenses. This is done by giving a minimum of 10% to causes that do G-d’s work, most notably Jewish charities for the poor, and traditional Jewish education. We are told that if G-d is a partner in your business, you can rest assured that it will be a successful one!

If you are looking for such investment opportunities, I know some advisers that can guarantee an excellent return on your money, not only in this world, but you will be able to “take it with you” in the future.

Take care,
Rabbi Aaron Tendler

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