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Why Did I Name This Site “The Aleph Blog?”

I’ve been asked about the website name a number of times lately, so I want to explain the reasons behind the name.  Now, two of the reasons were listed on my first post:

Thanks for coming to the Aleph Blog. This is a work in progress, and suggestions are solicited for both style and content.

The Aleph Blog derives its name in two ways: first, Aleph is the Hebrew equivalent of the Greek Alpha. Alpha is what is desired out of investment managers — outperformance versus a client’s benchmark. I have my methods for doing so that I have described over at RealMoney, and will continue here at my blog. Second is that the Hebrew letter Aleph corresponds to the word for “Ox.” Well, what’s more bullish than an Ox?

I look forward to communicating with my readers, and building this site into something that a lot of people can learn from and enjoy.



That was nine months ago.  The blog has come a long way since then.  There were several other reasons why I chose the name.  In the mid-90s, I wrote out a business plan for a fund that I called the Aleph Fund.  My goal was to create a Value investment shop called Aleph Investment Advisors, or something like that.  Why Aleph, though?  Why not Alpha?

Aside from the fact that “alpha” has been grabbed by others, I’m a little quirky.  Friends of mine call them “Merk Quirks.”  Because “alpha” is overused as an investment word, but the concept has validity, I decided to adopt the Hebrew version (aleph) in place of the Greek version.  My rationale involves my view of Western culture.  Given the influence that the Bible has had on Western culture, I view the Jewish impact to be as great as the Greek impact, but the Jewish part is underappreciated.  To most Christians, the part of the Bible written in Hebrew (Old Testament, Tenach) is more opaque than the part written in Greek (New Testament).

I’m a Reformed Presbyterian.  We view the Bible as a whole, and our pastors learn Hebrew (admittedly rudimentary), and Koine Greek.   It’s important that those who lead us be able to understand the original languages as best they can.  For me, I pick up on a bit here and there.  If it wasn’t enough for me to see an “aleph” as the beginning of Psalm 119, it might have been enough for me to see the mathematical “aleph-null” when I was a kid — an expression for the total number of integers.  Aleph is big, very big.

That’s why I called this “The Aleph Blog.”  It dovetails into my personality, and it sets my investment blog apart from blogs that have more conventional names.

With that, I wish you a happy Thanksgiving.



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One Response to Why Did I Name This Site “The Aleph Blog?”

  1. Steve Milos says:


    Happy Thanksgiving to you and all of your American readers. We all have much to thank God for, and I hope it’s a happy day for all of you, full of family, food, and fun. Not to mention football!



David Merkel is an investment professional, and like every investment professional, he makes mistakes. David encourages you to do your own independent "due diligence" on any idea that he talks about, because he could be wrong. Nothing written here, at RealMoney, Wall Street All-Stars, or anywhere else David may write is an invitation to buy or sell any particular security; at most, David is handing out educated guesses as to what the markets may do. David is fond of saying, "The markets always find a new way to make a fool out of you," and so he encourages caution in investing. Risk control wins the game in the long run, not bold moves. Even the best strategies of the past fail, sometimes spectacularly, when you least expect it. David is not immune to that, so please understand that any past success of his will be probably be followed by failures.

Also, though David runs Aleph Investments, LLC, this blog is not a part of that business. This blog exists to educate investors, and give something back. It is not intended as advertisement for Aleph Investments; David is not soliciting business through it. When David, or a client of David's has an interest in a security mentioned, full disclosure will be given, as has been past practice for all that David does on the web. Disclosure is the breakfast of champions.

Additionally, David may occasionally write about accounting, actuarial, insurance, and tax topics, but nothing written here, at RealMoney, or anywhere else is meant to be formal "advice" in those areas. Consult a reputable professional in those areas to get personal, tailored advice that meets the specialized needs that David can have no knowledge of.

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