Let’s begin with the bottom line.
As parents, our reason for being here on planet Earth is to pass on to our children the life skills they’ll need to succeed. Everyone talks about leaving a better planet for our children; why don’t we try to leave better children for our planet? I submit to you that two of the most important gifts you can offer them are:
- Giving them the gift of your time — one-on-one.
- Helping them cultivate a financial mindset and money-wise toolkit to ensure their long-term success.
As children, money management may not seem to be an interesting subject for them, unless you make it so. Someday — sooner or later — these financial skills will become a necessity in their lives. Success means a plethora of different things to different people, but 99% of those definitions must be built on a solid financial foundation. Money literacy leads to future financial freedom, which in turn leads to success in life. What follows are a few thoughts, suggestions, and routines that I encourage you to embrace this Holiday Season — indeed all year-round.
- It’s stating the obvious, but parents are critical role models. It’s realistic to assume that children will mimic their parents’ money habits. Act accordingly.
- Make conversations about money and finances a part of regular routines with your family — be it on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.
- Openly discuss your own money mistakes — past or present. There’s a bonding effect that results from those kinds of upfront discussions, not to mention the learning that goes on. Be honest about the consequences of that cryptocurrency trade that didn’t go so well!
- Fact: children are fast learners — much more so than adults. The time you spend with them has immense leverage.
- Keep it simple. You don’t have to jump into explaining Index Funds, ETFs or equities. Start with the basic financial issues such as discussing saving their allowance, explaining credit cards, interest rates and the dangers of debt. My favorite: give them some examples that illustrate the magic of compounding. Then, just for fun, toss in a chat about taxes and our beloved IRS.
- Actions speak louder than words. Help your children open a bank account, or brokerage account depending on their age. Give them a sense of ownership when their monthly account statement arrives in the mail.
- Teach them to listen to money matters, financial topics, and investing ideas. Simple awareness of such topics will have a lasting and positive effect.
- Discuss and explore their saving and spending habits. Talk about how these relate to their “wants” versus their “needs.” Be creative. Make it fun. Be sensitive that it’s different for every person. Most importantly, don’t make it a chore or let it become a stressful issue.
- Finally, you can do what I did — write an investment book with your kid! It’s a stupendous learning experience. I’m being facetious, of course, but books, videos and websites such as StockCharts.com provide an astounding array of interesting topics to share and discuss.
So, I return to the bottom line. Regular one-on-one conversations with your children about money and investing will empower them with essential financial skills and tools and thereby have a positive effect on their future lives.
In closing, I have to say this: don’t expect your children’s teachers or professors to take on this responsibility. It’s all up to you, Mom and Dad!
Trade well; trade with discipline!
— Gatis Roze
BONUS: A gift to you this Holiday Season. Being immersed in Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales, I thought it only reasonable to extend to you my own December Deals.
Our Blu-Ray had been steeply discounted for those of you who might prefer to watch DVDs versus reading our book — The 10 Essential Stages of Stock Market Mastery.
The Asset Allocation DVD that Grayson and I produced is also steeply discounted. This is another great stocking stuffer for parents endeavoring to boost the financial IQ of the younger generation.
Wishing you great investing success in 2024!