rifka headshot_Fb

About Rifka

I never planned to be an investment banker, or a banker of any kind. I never planned to be a public speaker, or admin a Facebook group and I certainly NEVER planned to write a book!

My plan after high school was to help people manage their personal finances – but that wasn’t a profession. So instead I got a degree in business and finance, as well as an internship at Moshe Jonas Investments. I went on to get my licence as an portfolio manager and spent nine wonderful years at the firm. For logistical reasons I eventually left the firm, put my license on hold, and moved into banking. I spent two years there managing the investment and foreign currency desk at Fibi/Pagi bank.

I really enjoyed my work, and even though I was working with people and money, i wasn’t exactly helping people with their money – at least not in the way I dreamed of.

There were a number of things that struck me during my career in investments and banking.

  1. People were frustrated with not being able to understand the banking system in Israel, a system that is very different than many other countries.
  2. No matter what income level, many people were unaware of their spending
  3. It wasn’t about what people earn, rather what they do with it.

After seeing these issues time and time again my dream to make finances relatable and understandable to people living in Israel became stronger. I knew that my true calling was to help people live financially smarter.

In 2009 I finally took a the leap of faith and handed in my notice of resignation – everyone in my field was shocked! Not only was I stepping away from a safe, secure position, but also because I handed in my notice on the worst day of the year’s stock market crash. Though not many saw it at the time, to me it was clearly an optimal time to make a significant move towards making my passion my business. It’s been 8 years and I haven’t had even one day’s regret of resigning from my position and opening my financial consultation business.  

Since setting up my financial consultation business in 2009 I have had the privilege to work with both clients seeking to better their personal finances as well as small business owners to help them reach their financial goals.  

I set up a Facebook group with the goal of connecting English speakers  who wanted to live financially smarter in Israel. In just a few years this network has grown into a resource almost 20,000 members – that’s not a number I ever imagined it reaching when it started!

Lecturing at u.s. embassy, tel aviv

Lecturing at U.S. Embassy, Tel Aviv

I’ve been invited to speak on topics related to finances, addressing groups at the American Embassy in Tel Aviv , Nefesh b’Nefesh, AACI, Emunah, MATI, Temech, Ima Kadima, Modiin Olim Center, Israel Translators Conference, and other organizations in Israel. I also travel regularly to north America with Nefesh B’Nefesh to speak and consult potential olim on how they can make their dream of Aliyah a financial possibility.Most recently I published a book, Smarter Israeli Banking, adding “author” onto the long list of things I never planned on being or doing in my life!

Currently I’m working on two online courses so that understanding how to be smarter about finances in Israel is more easily accessible to those seeking it (you can pre-register here).

There were parts of my consulting business that I hoped (and planned) for – and many I did not.

I dreamed of reshaping people’s relationship to money.
I created an approach to finances that was understandable and relatable.
I knew that working one on one with clients I could help them make smarter choices and change behavioral habits.

I never imagined I’d be a financial speaker, an author, admin a group in the thousands or run an online course – but I found that insiders information needed to be accessible to the people living in israel, and so I took the steps to share them.

Check out my service page and find an outlet that suits you best. Whether it be a consultation, attending an upcoming speaking engagement, reading Smarter Israeli Banking, joining the conversation on Facebook or pre-registering for one of my upcoming courses.

I really enjoy my work with clients across Israel and abroad, and am excited to continue sharing new developments with you, so stay in touch!

Sharon Altshul Photographer

Warmly,
Rifka Lebowitz