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WOLFE'S WORDSJune 15, 2008
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Financial Conversations With "Der Tate"
by: Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe
Important dates

This Month...

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Master storyteller and raconteur, Myron Cohen (1902-1986), told the humorous story about a Chicago school teacher who asked, "Billy, if your father borrowed $200 and promised to give his benefactor $10 a week, how much would he owe at the end of eight weeks?"

"Two hundred dollars," came the quick reply.

"I'm afraid you don't know your lesson very well," scolded the teacher.

"I may not know my lesson," answered Billy, "but I know my father!"

Since time immemorial, we knew that "tate" had all the answers. The 1955 TV program, "Father Knows Best," just confirmed the fact. Mike Brady told his children that "Money and fame are very important things, but other things are more important--like "dos folk" (people/populace).

Shown below are some of the financial Q/A discussions we hear today--discussions between a father and a "zun."

Q. "Tate, how come you didn't invest in Visa stock when it went on sale for $44 a share? Visa is something that everyone (well almost everyone) uses and there is a good chance that Visa stock will go up considerably. This was an opportunity to buy the IMP of something you use every day."
A. "You know how I feel about a 'kredit-kartl." I agree with Jonathan Pond, a financial planner, that 'in the wrong hands, this is like giving your kids matches in a fuel-storage facility.'"

Q "Poppa, can you PLEASE buy me the video game, Grand Theft Auto IV. Guinness World Records named the video game's launch the most profitable entertainment release of all time."
A. "You're meshuge! Violence in video games warps the mind of 'yung' players and turns them into real world thugs and killers. The game's rating includes a strong warning that it contains 'intense violence, 'blut,' strong language, strong sexual content, partial nudity and use of drugs and alcohol.'"

Q. "Daddy, are you going to switch to Vonage and save $300 a year on your 'telefon' bills?"
A. "Sha! Quiet. Go study for your SAT! Get a high score and you'll save me $100,000."

Q. "Tate, is it true that [in 2006] Katie Couric earned 15 'milyon' dollars or $60G a day to read the news on the CBS Evening News?"
A. "Yes. And did you know that Barbara Waters once walked into a room and heard her daughter talking to a friend. She heard her say, 'My mummy can't drive a car, you know. My Mummy can't fix a fuse. My Mummy burns the meat loaf. Come to think of it my Mummy can't do anything but talk."

Q. "Tate, doesn't the custom of answering a question with a question mean you don't have to know anything?"
A. "Klap mir nit a kop arayn!" (Stop talking so much! Don't bang into my head.)

Q. "Tate, my prom is just a few weeks away. I love the Keira Knightly dress from the movie, 'Atonement'...and the Kate Hudson dress from 'How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days'...and the Charlize Theron dress worn on the red carpet at the 62nd Golden Globes. Can we go to 'Fapitz'd' on Old Country Road in Westbury for a dress?"
A. "Did you hear what David Letterman said about Hillary Clinton's wardrobe? "Today she was wearing a certified pre-owned pantsuit."

Q. "Tate, the price for a gallon of regular 'gazolin' hit a record of $4.11 yesterday. Can you imagine how expensive it is to send a man into orbit in a space vehicle? Maybe $14 'bilyon'?
A. "Sure. The same old story. If you got gelt, you could travel!"

Q. "Pop, did you read that American Airlines will be charging passengers $15 to check their first bag each way, or $30 round trip? And the fee for an unaccompanied minor--age 15 and under--rose to $150."
A. "Yes. What next? The American Airlines flight attendant will announce, "To operate the mask, put a quarter into the slot in front of you." (Bramhall's World cartoon)

Q. "Tate, I read that the Surgeon General has warned the U. S. that we're in the midst of an obesity epidemic. The average U. S. citizen eats 12 lbs. of chocolate annually. And, there could be a genetic explanation for the Sweet Tooth. Craving sweets may be in my genes."
A. "You're a 'krassavitseh' (beautiful woman). But, remember what Confucius Cohen said: People who eat lots of sweets will soon develop larger seats."

Q. "Papa, are you going to spend your federal economic stimulus payment for a family vacation to Disneyland?"
A. "No, we're taking a 'staycation'--a holiday that takes place either at or near home. On second thought, your mother and I may take a PILL GRIM AGE--a visit to Canada solely for the cheap prescription drugs." (Thanks to Peter Metrinko for creating this term.)

Q. "Dad, did you see the price of bagels at SuperSol?"
A. "Yes, and George Bush said that 'he was amazed' at the capabilities of an electronic checkout scanner!"

Q. "Tate, what are the two agencies that redistribute great fortunes?"
A. "Taxation and offspring!"

Q. "Tate, what did the doctor mean when he said that you're suffering from 'Impedimentum Memoriae'?"
A. "It's a Latin term for a mental block that makes it hard to remember the current name of your bank. Ours went from Lincoln to Anchor to Dime Savings to WaMu in less time than it took our 1 year C.D. to mature."

Q. "Daddy, I read that some banks are charging you to do business with a live human being."
A. "Yes, and that's the same bank that asks us to trust them...and they tie down the pens."

Q. "What's a 'downward readjustment'?"
A. "A depression!'

Q. "Tate, what is 'deterrency'?"
A. "It's a Rich Hall Sniglet meaning ruined currency found in pants pockets after laundering."

Q. "Tate, what is the meaning of this Yiddish proverb:
"Shpor, shpor, kumt der shvarts yor un nemt alts gor"?
A. "You save and you save, and then a lean year comes and takes away everything."

Marjorie Gottlieb Wolfe follows the Jewish Theory of investing:
BUY Rosh Hashana; SELL Yom Kippur.


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