Wouldn’t you love it if the alphabet for teaching kids were ‘I’ for Investing and ‘S’ for saving! We all would! Apart from the fact that most parents don’t really spend enough time talking to their kids about earning and saving money, it’s probably a miniscule number of parents who actually talk about investing money. There might be times when adults themselves don’t understand too much about stocks, shares and the investment scene. At such times, it makes sense to schedule an appointment with a financial expert who will not only guide you but also your kid through the basics of investing.
Let’s face it, talking about money, investments, stocks, real estate are not going to catch every child’s attention by default. If you sit down an eight or a nine year old and start talking about these things, chances are they’ll fall asleep. What’s important here is to catch their interest. Search up some websites which have some good games that you can make your kids play. They’ll be more receptive and understand more when you talk about stocks, bonds, CDs, etc.
Another good idea is to show your kids how you trade. Especially if you own any stock in companies that you think they might be interested in. Read the Investors sections with them on various websites. Go through these things together. You’ll be surprised at how much your child absorbs when he or she sees that you are taking a keen interest in it.
Encourage your kids to read the financial sections in the newspaper. Or better still, subscribe to a good financial magazine – one that your kids can read and understand of course. If everything else fails, the internet is your best friend. Try and get your kids to learn by reading from any child-friendly websites.
Encourage your kids to follow the stock market. Regularly ask them what they would invest in. Next, track these companies and see what’s happening. It’s a good exercise to do this. Firstly, your children will learn to analyze which companies are good to be invested in. Secondly, since you’re not actually putting in money, it’ll be okay even if they make mistakes. This will help your kids in the future when they actually need to invest.
Finally, remember that saving money, investing it, spending what you have wisely, is all a matter of practice. You can’t imbibe money lessons within a day. Think of it as a process. Deal with a lot of patience and you’ll see that your kids will soon begin being wise little people.