HWR- Issue #42

Now a joint publication of the FJMC and MRJ

 Issue #42 - March 21, 2017

Convention registration is open (http://convention.fjmc.org).  Convention will be held in Washington DC. July 18-23rd.  What better place to host a convention.  It will be our most memorable convention ever.

It is a great place to bring the family. There will be an amazing range of things to do from a wealth conference to a silent auction to building great relationships among Conservative and Reform Jews from all over the world.  Yes, all over the world. We will be having a Wealth Conference and conducting in FJMC’s newest program, FFE - Family Financial Education.


Macular Degeneration

Macular degeneration is an age-related eye disease.  As people age, there is some increased likelihood that they might get macular degeneration.  Elliot Feldman, director of a low vision independence program in Boston, Massachusetts gives us some explanation of the disease.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology defines age-related macular degeneration (AMD) as a deterioration or breakdown of the eye's macula. The macula is a small area in the retina — the light-sensitive tissue lining the back of the eye which is the part of the retina that is responsible for your central vision, allowing people to see fine details clearly.

There are two types of macular degeneration:

  • Dry macular degeneration with drusen

Most people who have macular degeneration have the dry form. This condition is caused by aging and thinning of the tissues of the macula. Macular degeneration usually begins when tiny yellow or white pieces of fatty protein called drusen form under the retina. Eventually the macula may become thinner and stop working properly.

With dry macular degeneration, vision loss is usually gradual. People who develop dry macular degeneration must carefully and constantly monitor their central vision. If you notice any change in your vision, you should tell your ophthalmologist right away, as the dry form can change into the more damaging form of macular degeneration called wet macular degeneration. While there is no medication or treatment for dry macular degeneration, some people may benefit from a special vitamin therapy regimen.

  • Wet macular degeneration

About 10 percent of people who have macular degeneration have the wet form.  It can cause more damage to central or detail vision than the dry form.

Wet macular degeneration occurs when abnormal blood vessels begin to grow underneath the retina. These new blood vessels may leak fluid or blood, blurring or distorting central vision. Vision loss from this form of macular degeneration may be faster and more noticeable than that from dry macular degeneration.

The longer these abnormal vessels leak or grow, the more risk there is of losing more of  detailed vision. Also, if abnormal blood vessel growth happens in one eye, there is a risk that it will occur in the other eye. The earlier that wet macular degeneration is diagnosed and treated, the better chance someone has of preserving some or much of their central vision.  A common treatment is to get injections in the eye to stop the bleeding.

Neither dry or wet macular degeneration can be felt and the vision loss is imperceptible.  Many people are not aware that they have macular degeneration until they have a noticeable vision problem or until it is detected during an eye examination.  That is why it is so important to get regular ophthalmic care.  With or without treatment, macular degeneration alone almost never causes total blindness.

The symptoms of macular degeneration are blurriness, dark areas or distortion in your central vision, and perhaps permanent loss of central vision. It usually does not affect the side, or peripheral vision. For example, with advanced macular degeneration, someone could see the outline of a clock, yet may not be able to see the hands of the clock to tell what time it is.

We use our central vision to do almost all of our daily living skills; reading, writing, operating controls, eating and much more.  Powerful optical devices can be helpful but the most effective way to maintain functionality is to use alternative strategies to do tasks.  These strategies include better lighting, using more contrast and using adaptive equipment.

Having macular degeneration can be very challenging and for some people, devastating.  The key for successfully dealing with macular degeneration is to adapt.  Learning to do life skills using alternative strategies is the first step.  Many people find it very helpful to get some counseling.  We men are socialized to be “macho” and independent.  Getting help coping with a new reality can make a profound difference.

Feel free to contact me (Gary Smith DVM, gvet@me.com) for more information or questions.  We would like to thank Elliot Feldman one of our primary contributors - If you have any questions you can direct them to Mr. Feldman or our Medical Editor - Dr. Steven Mandel from Lenox Hills Hospital in NYC at  drmandel1979@aol.com  or Elliot Feldman, proud member of FJMC and Managing Director of Visions of Independence, at feldydad@verizon.net or by phone at 617-548-4488.

Source material is from The American Academy of Ophthalmology.

In our new format we have formed a great team of Doctors and Psychologists to give you the best possible health tips in terms you can understand.  Our new team consists of our new Co-Medical Editor - Dr. Steven Mandel Pediatric Neurologist, Dr. Seth Cohen, Dr. Joel Kurtz, Gastroenterologist; Dr. Mitchell Ross, Cardiologist; Dr. Dale Levy, Thoracic Surgeon; Dr. Gary Katz, Psychologist; Dr. Bob Braitman, Pediatrician; Elliot Feldman, CEO low vision occupational Therapy Clinic; and Elisabeth Mandel, Licensed Marriage and Family therapist.

We want to thank our newest co-editor Dr. Steven Mandel from Lenox Hill hospital in NY.  He and the medical team we created, are responsible for the increased quality and professional information provided in the newsletter.  Richard, Steven, and I are passionate about bringing this information that will help give us all a better life.

For questions please email the editors Richard Gray rwgray1@gmail.com, Gary Smith DVM gsmith@fjmc.org, or Dr. Steven Mandel- drmandel1979@aol.com


We would like to thank our sponsor RCA, Retirement Corporation of America. They have graciously been our primary sponsor for the last 2 years.

Legendary investor Jim Rogers was right. As he once said, "Markets often rise higher than you think is possible, and fall lower than you can possibly imagine.”  We are in this situation now. Everyone is still fearful and may not be invested.  But you have to do what you are comfortable with doing.

Increasing Your Income Every Year

Wow! What a concept! Is this possible!  Actually it is one of the ways “people get rich”.  It is the safest way people get rich. By saving money each paycheck, placing it in a quality stock or mutual fund, letting it accumulate interest and or dividends over a long period of time - 15 to 40 years or more - is the safest way to get rich.

This requires patience, riding the waves of up and down markets, and just basking in the enjoyment of watching your wealth grow.  This is a most magnificent way of investing for your and your children’s future. It can start the minute they are born.

I will bet you almost everyone knows how much money they have in their accounts.  How many people actually know how much they get in dividends and interest on a yearly basis?  Perhaps this is a more important figure because it shows the growth of your portfolio. Believe me you will be quite surprised when you hit the 5, 10, 15 year marks and see how much it has grown.  You shouldn't measure your wealth by the balance of your bank account, but by the income it generates.

And a dividend is even more than just an income stream... Dividends are vital to the overall returns of your portfolio. According to studies, dividends have accounted for about 43% of the performance of stocks in the S&P 500 since 1926.  This means that if stocks returned 7% a year, dividends would represent 3% of the returns.

That difference grows over time (an effect called "compounding"). An investor who collected and reinvested dividends from 1940 to today would have earned 10 times as much as an investor who collected the capital gains on stocks alone.

The dividend that is paid is called the dividend payout ratio. This is the percentage of earnings the company pays out as dividends, usually on an annual basis. You can find dividend-payout ratios for most stocks on “Yahoo Finance” under “Statistics”.  (For an example look at the Apple Statistics page)

Let’s take an example: In early 2003 I was looking at Microsoft for my profit plan.  They were paying about 4% dividend after they had dropped about 60% from the “.com” debacle.  They were still down about 40 % as they recovered.  I found out that they were going to give shares as a special dividend for shareholders of a certain date.  So I bought Microsoft. They have raised their dividends every year by 15-25 % for 25 years.  I received the additional shares. In 2008 I was faced with a serious decision on whether to sell Microsoft and many of my other stocks.  But My long term outlook for Microsoft had not changed. Microsoft’s dividend was safe so I stuck with Microsoft.  The stock paid a generous dividend throughout the recession.  This effectively increased the value of my shares. Now in 2017 Microsoft has almost doubled. The same has happened with Coke, Johnson and Johnson, Exxon Mobil and several others. 

The take away is with a little patience a small investment can yield some great dividends for you and your family for years to come. Your future can be sealed when you are very young by using some of these really long tested ideas

This paper is based on personal experience and articles read in the newsletter by Stansberry’s Retirement Millionaire and Yahoo Finance.

We would like to thank you for your subscription. Please sign up for the Wealth Conference when you register for Convention. It is our 3rd conference. Most of the conference fees will be underwritten by our sponsors.

We appreciate you giving us feedback so we can continue to bring you amazing tips on health and wealth. If you would like to get in touch with us email either Richard Gray or Gary R. Smith, DVM.

The Wealth Conference at our International Convention in DC in July 2017 (to be immediately followed by the Womens League (WLCJ) Triennial convention will be a wonderful way to keep up with what is the latest in Wealth Management.  Each issue we will try to fill  you in more about this.

We hope that you enjoyed this issue and will consider sharing with other members of your club, family, and friends.  Ask them to opt-in and receive this newsletter.  We are building a nice following and appreciate your support.  Dr Steven Mandel is our Medical Editor and Richard Gray and Gary Smith write the wealth articles.  We are looking for guest writers; if interested please contact with Richard or Gary.If you're receiving this from a friend forwarding you the newsletter, you’ll need to ‘opt-in’ to receive this newsletter.  To opt-in, and receive this bi-weekly publication, click on the following link, and provide us with your email address: https://fjmc.org/civicrm/mailing/subscribe?reset=1&gid=1302.

Email sent at approximately 11:30 pm, March 21, 2017

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This work is based on current events, interviews, corporate press releases, and what we've learned from several mentioned health and wealth newsletters. It is also based on some personal experiences. It may contain errors and you shouldn't make any investment decision based solely on what you read here. It's your money and your responsibility. FJMC is not making specific recomendations of stocks or bonds just possible ideas that might be considered for research and investing purposes. This information is being provided for informational purposes only.

FJMC - Federation of Jewish Men's Clubs - Involving Jewish Men in Jewish Life.  The FJMC involves Jewish Men in Jewish Life through Leadership   Innovation   Community


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