During this Holiday season I saw a commercial produced by a company that reminded me of how quickly life goes by. The scheme was a man pushing a small boy that looked to be about 7 years old on a swing in the back yard; he pushes the young boy and the boy and the swing go out of frame and when the swing comes back the boy now looks to be a 200 pound adolescent and knocks the wind out of the man pushing the swing. The tag line says “Life comes at you fast”.
The other day, I received a Christmas card from a good friend of mine in Virginia and inside the card was a picture of her two beautiful children ages 9 and 12. I have been residing in another state for 5 years now and I haven’t seen them for sometime and only remember the youngest as a baby lying in his bouncy chair. My friend wrote me a little note in the card to tell me that her oldest was in the 7th grade and the youngest in the 4th. I thought to myself “wow, where does the time go?”.
Since we are all aware that time is our greatest commodity, it’s time to prepare for the coming New Year and make some plans regarding finances. This month I am going to give you some investment tips for children, Parents and Empty Nesters in order to better prepare yourself for the future. Today, we will focus on the children and give you some investment ideas for them.
- Open a savings account for your children to begin putting all of the money they receive from Birthday’s, Holiday’s or chores and let them make a deposit each month. When you allow children to go to the bank and make deposits themselves, it will give them a sense of ownership as well as train them for the future in learning how to save on a consistent basis. (If you have issues with your credit or you have your own poor savings habits, please find a responsible, trustworthy relative that will take on this task and set up an account for them to begin saving).
- Have your children follow the 10-10-80 plan. (Some people refer to it as the 80-10-10 rule, but I believe that you have to give first, save second and live on the rest). Make sure that the first 10% of your gifts or earnings go to a charity or your local church for your tithes. The next 10% should be put into a savings account or invested and the remaining 80% can be used at your discretion (I.e. buy that toy or game you always wanted)
- Research the internet with your children to find out information on company’s where you can purchase stock for your children. When you get children involved in the process even when they aren’t making decisions, it makes them feel valuable. There are a lot of company’s that have been in business for years and have very stable stock that will slowing give you a return on your investment. If you start your child at the age of 5, by the time they turn 18, I dare to say you should have a nice little nest egg awaiting for them.
- Get your children involved in Collecting; by putting their money into things that will give them a return in the future (I.e. bonds, gold, coins) Collecting and investing will empower your children and when they are older they will learn to make sound decisions. I know tweens and teens are really into material things such as clothing and shoes, but try to get them to understand the power of the dollar and what it can do for them in the future.
- Let your children begin to think about investing in themselves by becoming entrepreneurs. Whether it’s opening up a lemonade stand outside the home and selling cool drinks in the summer or mowing the neighbors lawns or shoveling snow or maybe your child has musical talent, let them expound on that by selling their music at school or putting on a talent show in the neighborhood. It doesn’t matter what they do, it only matters that you encourage them to do something with the gift that they have been given.
Once you make children understand that money is something that can work against you if you spend it unwisely or it can work for you if you learn to invest wisely; they will have the information they need in order to succeed in life. I believe every child should invest in themselves first and then get involved in the market. Remember before you do anything, make sure that you research, research and research some more because there are a lot of scams out there waiting for the uninformed.
Since we are moving into a brand new year, 2007, I am believing that this year will bring perfection and completion in your lives. Pray first, Listen and then Act Accordingly. Have a fantastic New Year!