Although my Yeshiva background most probably doesn't place me in a position to give good investment advice, I thought I'd give it a shot for the end of fiscal 2017. After all, everyone reviews their portfolios at year's end, so maybe some advice from divergent sources would be useful. Here are a few sectors that are worth considering for 2018 (with a Jewish twist of course!):

Energy Sector: With the future of fossil fuel energy looking ever more uncertain, investing in clean, renewable energy is increasingly important. An often overlooked clean energy source are Shabbat candles. Lit by women and girls on Friday evening as Shabbat begins, the gentle glow of the candles infuse the home with a quiet, spiritual light, helping us reconnect with our Neshama (Godly soul) and sweeping us into 25 hours of bliss. The Zohar writes that the energy produced by the Shabbat experience is enough to last us all week. 

Mental Health: The importance of maintaining a healthy emotional and mental state of being is increasingly recognized as paramount. Putting on Tefillin every morning is a proven technique to enhance both mental and emotional well being. The hand Tefillin, placed near the heart, remind us to leave room for God in our hearts. The head Tefillin remind us of the need to fill our minds with the spiritual nourishment of Torah study, providing us with a deep sense of purpose, calm and satisfaction.

Real Estate: Since the subprime mortgage crisis in 2008, much of the housing sector has rebounded. Retail and commercial space are not doing as great, but have definitely improved. A time honored method of bringing peace, security and blessing to the home or office is placing a Mezuzah on each doorpost. The handwritten Mezuzah scroll, one of the Torah's 613 commandments, reminds us that enjoying Judaism to the fullest is only possible when we bring it home as well. Every time we see the Mezuah on the door, it reminds us about God, and serves as an encouragement to do another Mitzvah or act of kindness.

Higher Education: Despite a recent Politico article highlighting the negative affects that the GOP tax plan might have on Higher Ed, the American university remains the 'envy of the world' according to a November article in the Boston Globe, with over 500 billion dollars in endowments. While Higher Education teaches students how to achieve material success in life, the vast wealth of Torah study teaches us why we are here and how to find meaning in life. From Jewish law to history to Chassidic philosophy, there's something for everyone. Adding a daily dose of Torah study to your life is sure to be something you'll really enjoy. 

Financial Sector: Banking profits are near their 2007 highs, and in June all 34 banks in the Federal Reserve's annual stress tests passed - the first time that's happened since the exercises began in 2009. That said, accurate predictability is never possible - what's here today can be gone tomorrow. Charitable giving, or Tzedakah, is a segment of this volatile sector with steady returns no matter the market. Whether it's a dollar bill to a homeless man, donating to a charity in Israel or to your synagogue, or bringing toys to hospitalized children, giving Tzedakah is our way of acknowledging that what we have comes from God. It's an investment that no one can ever take away.

Publishing: Amazon started out as an online bookseller in 1994. Since then it has remade the world of shopping, from books to tomatoes. Yet there will always be something special about reading a book in your hand - even Amazon itself now operates 13 brick and mortar bookstores, with plans for more. Having Torah books on the shelf at home are sure to add a positive vibe to the living room. In addition to reminding us of the importance of Torah study, having a home filled with Torah books and Jewish literature are sure to set a positive tone.

Food industry: Traditional food companies such as Kraft, Nestle and General Mills are busy removing salt, sodium and added sugars from their foods. Consumers now want to know what a food company stands for and what is and is not in the products it sells. Another critical element of this industry is kosher. While many think that food becomes kosher through a Rabbi's blessing or the like, kosher is really a group of dozens of food-related commandments in the Torah. Ranging from not mixing meat and milk, to only eating the meat of animals which have split hooves and chew cud, only eating fish with fins and scales, and many more, the food -related Mitzvahs comprising the kosher diet are God's method of ensuring that our bodies remain spiritually pure.

Social Media: When Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook in 2004, I don't think even he imagined the whirlwind of social change it would bring. From the Arab Spring in 2011 to the smartphones of over one billion users, social media has connected us in ways hitherto unfathomable. Yet as we become closer, it is this very technology that keeps many of us apart. Smartphones appear at the dinner table and Whatsapp replaces face to face conversations. A 2015 article by the BBC writes that the average child sends 6 and 1/2 hours in front of a screen each day - and that was 2015. The most fundamental Mitzvah of all 613 is loving your fellow as you love yourself - and not only on Facebook. Engage with people, smile, share, go for coffee, forgive mistakes, and simply connect in a real way. We're all much more similar than we are different.

That's my take on investing this year, what's yours?

Rabbi Avrohom