Thanksgiving thoughts

In the USA, we celebrate Thanksgiving today. The tradition has less to do with thanking each other for kindnesses extended than it has to do with thanking our Maker for the grace and mercies He extends. It’s a time for counting our blessings.

Avi Ifergan, an asset manager in Israel, shared good thoughts on thanksgiving a couple of years ago in a post called “The Relationship between Gratitude & Value Investing” in his Israel Value blog. (The blog went dormant after Ifergan got a gig with a bank in 2008, but it’s still interesting to browse for comments on investing.)

The point on value investing is that appreciating value in an asset that others don’t appreciate springs from a habit of gratitude in all areas. So investing meets life. He cites examples of humility and gratitude from Warren Buffett and other investors.

Ivergan offers these thoughts on reasons each of us should feel grateful:

If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week.

If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation, you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.

If you can attend a church / synagogue meeting without fear of harrassment, arrest, torture or death, you are more blessed than 3 billion people in the world.

If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof over your head, and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75% of this world.

If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.

If you have ever made a phone call, you are ahead of 50% of the world population that never has.

And if you are reading this blog – and have access to the internet then you are ahead of 90% of the world population that does not have access to the internet.

We have more than ample reasons to be grateful. So, whether you’re in America or a place with other holiday traditions, happy Thanksgiving!

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