Starting ‘Em Young: 5 Tips to Teach Your Kids How to Invest

For most of us, investing is something we only learned as adults but believe it or not, kids can grow their money as they grow up. Warren Buffett says it’s never too early to teach kids about money and investing. Here are five age-appropriate tips to give your kids the million-peso mind set.

by Leah C. Eriguel, 20 June 2017

Our parents grew up with the notion that money was not an acceptable topic of conversation. But times have changed. And now that we’re parents, we owe it to our kids to make them financially savvy as early as possible. Below are five tips about investing to match your children’s age and interests.

1. Start at Preschool Age

TInvestment is work you do now that pays off in the future. While in preschool, start your kids with the basics. Teach them to make the important connections between making efforts now, then reaping the rewards later. Introduce the investor concept when your child finishes a coloring book. Praise your kid for the result of invested time and effort: an awesome work of art.

2. Teach Through Stories

Bedtime storytelling is a great way to prep your child about investing. Before putting out the fairy tale box set you got them for Christmas, read The Little Red Hen to your child. It’s about the hen who invested a lot of time and effort to turn wheat into bread. Her lazy friends just hung around and didn’t want to help her. When it was time to eat, the lazy animals had nothing, so they went hungry. But the Little Red Hen who was all about long-term thinking enjoyed the bread that she worked hard for earlier.

3. Make It into a Game

Once your child is in elementary school, you can use time at the mall as an opportunity to teach your kid about stocks. Show them that when you buy a stock, it’s a small piece of a company you can own. Find out the stuff that your child likes. Jollibee burger? That’s made by a company. But to produce those mouth-watering Yumburgers, Jollibee needs money. To get that money, companies sell what is called a stock. Engage your child by saying, “When you buy a stock from Jollibee, you own a piece of your favorite company!”

4. Show Them How Not to Put All Their Eggs in One Basket

Here’s how you introduce the important investment concept of diversification to your child. “So imagine you own a pizza joint that only sells pizza. You’ll make money as long as people like pizza. But what happens when they start wanting more? They’ll eat at another restaurant. Your pizza-only business could lose money and eventually close down. But if you own stock from different companies, you’re reducing the risk that you’ll lose all your money. Because if some of those stocks don’t do well, your other companies’ stocks could do better.” Inform them of other investment options. One way to invest their money and protect themselves is via insurance. Insurance companies like FWD Life Philippines offer products that protect you and grow your money.

5. Introduce ‘Compound Returns’

When your child hits junior high school, introduce the investment concept of compound returns and how the power of stocks can make you rich. To make this relatable, teach your kid how compound interest works with the “Rule of 72.” This rule says that money doubles at a rate where 72 is divided by the percentage gain. So, if you are making three percent on your money every year, it will double in 24 years; that is, 72 divided by three.