Long before they’re old enough to have their own investment accounts, kids love to learn about money. To introduce the concepts of spending, saving, investing and giving, we often use a brilliant little book called The Four Money Bears.
Keep it fun.
Kids get excited about the possibilities of money, and what they can do by using it wisely. We recommend keeping things fun. Make an event out of their first trip to the bank to open their first bank account — or to deposit a check from grandma. Check in each year on the interest they’ve earned.
Make saving cool.
Learning to be judicious about purchase decisions is an essential life skill. Present each transaction as a trade-off. Spend money now and you won’t have it to spend later. Spending is fun — so is saving. The more you save, the better off you are.
After college comes a wave of “firsts”.
With the first job come new realities — paying rent, consolidating debt, paying off student loans, purchasing insurance, contributing to a 401K, establishing credit. Young adults thrive when they establish good habits — budgeting, using a debit card instead of a credit card, understanding fees and interest rates, using Mint to track expenses, living within their means. A little timely education on these topics can make a large impact. For some reason, it often sinks in faster coming from an outside expert like us.
Give young adults the chance to struggle.
As parents, we want to save our kids from mistakes and pain. Still, it can be valuable to let young adults struggle when they’re starting out. There’s nothing like that uneasy feeling of going into the red to pique their interest in smart financial management.
Family wealth isn’t a free ride.
We have a lot of experience helping ultra-affluent clients manage the sensitive issues around family wealth. As parents, they want their kids to be productive and self-sufficient, not see family wealth as a golden ticket. They want them to know that wealth brings responsibility, and typically involves philanthropy.
Sometimes parents want to keep the details of their wealth unknown until kids are older and more established on their own. They also want to protect their kids from predators looking to take advantage. These can all be tricky topics. Each one has a solution that starts with clear communication.