HWR- Issue #47

Now a joint publication of the FJMC and MRJ

 Issue #47 - October 25, 2017

Todays issue of HWR includes:

  • Questions to ask about artificial sweeteners,
  • Education on opportunities in Infrastructure Investing and
  • Opening the door to important family conversations.

This publication is somewhere between a blog and a compilation of personal and professional insights.  We are particularly interested in publishing articles from compassionate professionals in under-reported areas like mental health and psychology, as well as tips and resources for investing from financial planners, professionals and investors.  We are not against articles that are financially or personally remunerative to the writer as long as there is significant educational content and remunerative relationships are made clear. 

FJMC is a special organization that allows each person who chooses to participate to become better fathers, friends, and people. It is an introspective organization that affords us the ability of self expression.


Artificial Sweeteners - Are any artificial sweeteners safe? – Gary Smith DVM

This is a great question. When we go out to dinner or out to lunch with friends all of us frequently see artificial sweeteners being used, but do we really know what they are doing to us.  It may seem trivial but these can have profound effects because they are so much a part of what we consume.

There is still much research emerging on artificial sweeteners and their effects.

Unlike other artificial sweeteners, Stevia is an extract from the Stevia plant.   It is a bit more natural then other sweeteners. It is also in brand name sweeteners Truvia and Pure Via.  

In a review by the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health in Zurich, researchers wrote that Stevia extract appears to be properly broken down by the colon. 

There is a major concern with another artificial sweetener - Sucralose the main ingredient in Splenda.  It is not easily broken down, but worse it stops your colon from breaking down glucose.

Another study by the University of Florida points out that Stevia helps reduce blood sugar spikes after eating.  It also increases the body’s sensitivity to insulin.  This means you can better control the breakdown of sugar in your body.

There are some conflicting studies on Stevia and blood pressure. There are suggestions that Stevia lowers blood pressure.  If that is true it could be dangerous to those on blood pressure medications.  If you are using Stevia please talk to you doctor about the blood pressure issue.

Personally, I use cane syrup or raw local honey as a sweetener. Also, I use grape jelly that is free of preservatives or sugar or sweeteners.  Raw local honey also has some anti-allergy properties. My wife uses it religiously on a daily basis and it has significantly reduced her allergies.  She does not take medicines anymore. 

I hope you enjoyed this health tip. Please give comments or questions and send to Gary Smith DVM gvet@me.com.  Gary Smith, a long time donor to FJMC, is Chairman of the FJMC Foundation for Jewish Life and an inveterate proponent of healthy living practices and knowledge based investing.  If you appreciate Gary’s contributions, make your own to the Foundation for Jewish Life by contacting him at gsmith@fjmc.org.


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

Infrastructure: An Investment in Our Future – Josh Kohn, Founder, Silkworth Capital Partners

With all of the recent headlines about increased spending on infrastructure, we should try to understand the implications for us as investors.

Infrastructure serves as a foundation for long-term economic growth. It spans multiple industry sectors and connects people, resources, and information. Infrastructure investment improves water quality, delivers energy and electricity, boosts transportation access, and increases broadband adoption.

McKinsey Global Institute estimates that nearly $50 trillion (yes, with a T) is required in the next two decades, merely to keep pace with projected economic growth.

Historically, investments in infrastructure were limited to the largest pension funds and endowments. However, it is now possible for individuals to build a portfolio of stocks of companies devoted to sectors such as water, utilities, pipelines, airports, ports, toll roads, and cell towers.

 Investment in infrastructure can potentially provide the following benefits:

  • High barriers to entry and monopolistic characteristics – capital intensive, large scale assets with high development costs prevent significant competition
  • Steady, predictable cash flow with strong yield – assets are long-lived and backed by long-term contracts or concessions, which support predictable returns to shareholders
  • Inflation protection – regulated price mechanisms or concession increases linked to inflation
  • Low sensitivity to changes in GDP – inelastic demand for essential services; tend to be much less sensitive to business cycle fluctuations

Publicly listed infrastructure securities could be an ideal fit for the portfolio of those in retirement or nearing retirement age. In addition to favorable dividend yields, publicly listed infrastructure investment may provide strong diversification potential with a lower fee structure as compared to private funds or partnerships. In addition, it is highly liquid, with high levels of disclosure, low investment thresholds, and no need for investor operating expertise.

Silkworth Capital Partners was founded in 2016 by Joshua Kohn with the intent of bringing institutional investment expertise to individual, advisory, and institutional clients. Silkworth Capital takes a holistic approach to investing and focuses on the key mega-trends across infrastructure sectors that will impact the world in coming decades.  Silkworth Capital product offerings include long-only and long-short infrastructure funds, as well as an Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) focused fund.

To learn more, see www.silkworthcapital.com or email jkohn@silkworthcapital.com

Silkworth Capital Partners is a financial contributor to the FJMC and Josh Kohn is also an FJMC member. 

Family Conversations at the 2017 FJMC International Convention – Richard Gray

Programming at the 2017 FJMC International Convention highlighted Family Financial Conversations. The format used in the Hearing Men’s Voices protocol worked well in helping attendees to be better family conversationalists.  Family financial conversations is positioned as just edgy enough to provide for interesting, important and accessible conversation starters for families to help build trust and understanding among generations and siblings.  At convention the HMV sessions were grounded with lists of conversation starters and facilitators who helped us follow the HMV rules of talking about first hand experiences and the importance of privacy among group participants. 

Men’s clubs or synagogue groups can bring this important program to your community and to your region.

Richard Gray, an FJMC donor, is a past FJMC international officer and past New England Region President who likes to hang out with great guys and finds FJMC a good place to work to make a difference.  He and Gary Smith lead the Wealth Management initiatives in FJMC and are part of the group building Family Conversations.  Richard is editor of the HWR newsletters along with Gary Smith. 

Full Disclosure, Mark Druy, an FJMC donor, is the publisher of this newsletter which is a publication of the FJMC.

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.

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 6:30 pm, October 25, 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.

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