Teach Your Children Well
Great words from Crosby, Stills, and Nash to live by. When it comes to teaching finance, we seem to fall behind with that lesson. My parents taught me to be responsible with getting and holding a good job, paying my bills, and enrolling in a 401K plan. Other than that, there wasn’t much more that was passed on to me.
When I reached my thirties, I started to see that I wasn’t really getting anywhere with my financial security other than my 401Ks from two jobs that I had over the years. I had credit cards, but like many Americans, it was hard for my wife and me to pay enough off each month to make a dent in the balances. We decided to “pay ourselves first.” I’m sure that you heard that phrase before that all these financial planners use a lot. Well that’s what we started to do. We put the money in a separate account (one that wasn’t tied to the other ones that we had. When we had enough to open an investment account with an online broker, we made the move.
It wasn’t easy at first to increase the size of the portfolio, but we stayed with it. My daughters were seeing the dedication I had with the stock market and want to learn more. I jumped on the opportunity to teach them everything that I could. The older one didn’t seem too interested in it (since it had to do with math), but my then seven-year-old loved it. I taught her anything that she would understand (and some she didn’t) and she has progressed so much that my wife and I opened an account with TD Ameritrade. She now researches stocks that she likes and comes to me to discuss her findings. I must admit that she probably does more than most amateur investors do.
It’s been three years now that I’ve been working with Jacqueline and the biggest lesson that she has learned is that no one will do for her financially, what she must do for herself. My other daughter doesn’t care about the stock market, but she knows that she must prepare herself for her future. At thirteen years old, she is working on her career to train horses and to retire early with a savings/investment strategy that has already been started. I’m proud of my girls and I know that they will do just fine with their lives.
I know that we have given our daughters the tools that they will need in life to succeed financially.