Financial Planners Develop a Portfolio to Support Israel and Grow Wealth

Two years ago, Selwyn Gerber, chairman and chief strategist of RVW Wealth, a financial planning company, along with President Jonathan Gerber, wanted to figure out a way investors could support Israel. They looked at the current options and realized they just weren’t enough.

“We wanted to give people access to Israeli capital markets,” said Jonathan, in a phone interview with the Journal. “There was a void we were trying to fill, because there were only two ways to invest in Israel: Israel Bonds, but there’s really no return, or venture capital, which is high-risk. We seek to perform well over time, although as with all equity investments, we anticipate a bumpy ride upwards.”

So, they came up with a new venture called The Jerusalem Portfolio. It offers individuals, foundations and institutions the chance to own fractional interests in a diversified group of industries like banking, finance, technology and the military, and successful public companies in Israel, including, Check Point Software, NovoCure and Elbit Systems. Investors can fund their accounts with a minimum investment of just $180 and take out their money at any time. Since investments are made in the United States, through U.S. entities, investors receive the same protection they would get from any other brokerage house. In 2020, the rate of return on TJP was 26%, and in 2019, it was 17.13%.

“Last year there was a very good return despite a very adverse cultural and political environment,” said Selwyn. “Because TJP is run and managed by people who are CPAs as well, there is almost no current income tax. The nice thing is you help Israel and you have the opportunity do very well in the process. You’re not making some huge sacrifice to invest in Israel. It’s the ultimate form of tzedakah.”

“The nice thing is you help Israel and you have the opportunity do very well in the process. You’re not making some huge sacrifice to invest in Israel. It’s the ultimate form of tzedakah.”

Paul Glasser, vice president of Institutional Development at Touro College, made his investment in TJP. “I’m delighted,” he said. “My wife and I are pleased to own a stake in established Israeli companies, which has proven to be remarkably profitable and rewarding for us.”

Since Selwyn and Jonathan are passionate Zionists, they wanted to create an anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement. “They say don’t invest, and we say invest,” said Selwyn. “It’s a statement in the face of the BDS movement. We also want to create a real bond with Israel. If you’re giving a gift for a wedding or bat mitzvah, you create a real long term vibrant bond between the person who is receiving the gift and the country.”

Selwyn and Jonathan Gerber

RVW Wealth’s commitment to Israel doesn’t stop with the fund. TJP has its own Facebook page with over 104,000 followers, and on it, they circulate good news about Israel on a regular basis. They are also putting out a news blog and newsletters covering technology breakthroughs and  economic activity in Israel.

Plus, for gifts the recipient receives an artist rendering of the Old City of Jerusalem on a certificate in the mail, and they can take private virtual tours of the country as well. Recently, TJP hosted a tour of Ramparts Walk, which shows visitors places like the Western Wall, the Armenian Quarter and the Tower of David.

“We’re raising awareness about investment in Israel,” said Jonathan. “It should be so standard that every Jewish foundation and institution has a silo in their portfolios focused on Israel. It’s really the hybrid between Israel Bonds, which has been a staple of bar mitzvah gifting, as well as one’s own equity portfolio. Why not marry the two together?”

Selwyn said he believes that as Israel and other countries come together, the economy will only improve — and TJP investors will reap the benefits over time.

“Israel is a vibrant economy with a very vibrant stock market and a huge group of successful companies involved in the whole gamut of the economy,” he said. “This is literally serving yourself well by investing in Israel. The Abraham Accords are set to catapult Israel’s economy very strongly forward. That growth will appeal to investors in the Israeli economy. This is arguably the best way to participate in it.”

Kylie Ora Lobell is a writer for the Jewish Journal of Los Angeles, The Forward, Tablet Magazine, Aish, and and the author of the first children’s book for the children of Jewish converts, “Jewish Just Like You.”


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