Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Are known to be a good investment

Israel Bonds

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In the article “Pa. Treasury Expands Stake in Israel Bonds by $11.8M” (April 5), the Post-Gazette quotes Adam Yofan, president of Alpern Wealth Management, as saying clients who acquire Israel Bonds “view these investment­s ... almost as a charity.”

Mr. Yofan’s assessment seems incompatib­le with the observatio­ns of Treasury spokesman Mike Connolly, who, in the same article, notes that Israel Bonds are “an investment in a very strong and innovative economy. It follows through on the Treasurer’s promise to be a responsibl­e steward of taxpayers’ dollars and commonweal­th investment­s.”

While it is true, as the article states, “When Israel Bonds were initially issued in 1951, most of the investors who bought them were individual­s of Jewish heritage who wanted to lend a helping hand to the young country,” today the situation is quite different. Just ask Ohio Treasurer Josh Mandel, who, two days before the article appeared, completed the largest-ever single day purchase of Israel Bonds, a $61 million investment. “First and foremost,” Mr. Mandel stated, “we are making this investment because it’s a good investment for the taxpayers of Ohio” — a far cry from charity.

Pennsylvan­ia Treasurer Joe Torsella and Mr. Mandel are among the many government officials who invest in Israel Bonds on behalf of their states. In fact, throughout the years, over 90 state and municipal public employee pension funds and treasury funds have invested more than $3 billion in Israel Bonds.

Even the world’s most famous investor, Warren Buffett, appreciate­s the value of acquiring Israel Bonds. In making a personal $5 million Israel Bonds investment last November, the Oracle of Omaha declared, “You can tell prospectiv­e investors I would have taken a perpetual bond if you had offered one. I believe Israel is going to be around forever.”

So Mr. Yofan’s contention that his clients “tend to buy [Israel Bonds] out of their own value system and heritage and sense of obligation, not with a primary focus on investing” is certainly off the mark. While of course they are considered an important means of expressing support for Israel, Israel Bonds are also widely viewed as significan­t investment­s for financial portfolios. HAROLD F. MARCUS

Executive Director Developmen­t Corporatio­n for Israel/Israel Bonds Pennsylvan­ia Region

Philadelph­ia

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