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Dear Future College Student

Dear Future College Student

| March 31, 2020

Here Is What You Own in Your College Fund! 


Our nine-year-old daughter, Mackenzie, hopes to go to the University of Minnesota to be a dentist.  The other day she asked me how much she has for college.   


While initially I deflected the total amount, and later decided to share it with her quietly, I wanted to emphasize with her that the amount wasn't as crucial as her understanding that she owns parts of American businesses to help her invest in the future. 


If you have a child or grandchild in college savings programs with us, here are some of the top holdings from the largest first, and what the companies do: 


  1. Microsoft – Tech company founded by a world-changing genius who is now working to help others with his money.  See the documentary on Netflix if you are interested in learning more.  They make software that powers most computers, and of course, Xbox.   


  1. Apple – I think you know about them, all our iPads, iPhones, iPods, and iWatch, etc.! 


  1. Amazon – Where we get our packages, seemingly weekly, and the omnipresent Alexas all over our house and in Dad’s car.  Amazon is giving regular stores quite a challenge these days. 


  1. Intel – Makes a lot of the microprocessors for our computers, that are now everywhere, which drive our world of today. 


  1. Comcast – Dad loves to complain about the internet bill overages.  Though, we’d have a very different life without access to the internet and TV from this communications company. 


  1. AT&T – 4 of the family cell phones are with AT&T.  They have been providing telephone and other services in some form or another since 1877, shortly after Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone. 


  1. JP Morgan – Is named after the famous financier who helped save Wall Street from panic in 1907.  He even knew the original Nikola Tesla (as in Tesla cars) back in the day!  It’s a big bank, tech company, investment company, and so much more.   


  1. Facebook – You know this one, although, I fear it might be uncool for your generation now.  It’s still a neat product. Dad likes that it's easy to keep in touch with old friends and brag about your kids with photos. 


  1. Pfizer – Remember when you and Tommy asked about those little blue pill ads that advertised all the time during football games?  Well, they make those, and more importantly, lots of other essential drugs that help keep our loved ones healthy. 


  1. Chevron – Your uncle works here, helping to turn old dinosaurs into fuel and other products for us to use.  It’s a global company with operations in Kazakstan, Venezuela, Texas, California, and the Philippines, to name a few places your uncle has worked.   


  1. Exxon – Another large oil company, and they are also getting into renewable energy sources to help cut pollution.   


  1. Google – Great for not only search, but email, maps, storing photos, advertising, etc. 


  1. Nestlé – It isn’t just chocolate; they are the largest food company in the world!  You wouldn’t believe how much bottled water they sell.  They have over 100 factories in 34 countries!   


  1. Wells Fargo – Where mom and dad still bank, but they have been in the news a lot lately for not following the Golden Rule.  You have relatives that work there, and a lot of great people depend on them for banking services and employment.   


  1. Bank of America – Another large bank. 


  1. Alibaba – A series of website stores somewhat similar to eBay, but in China and growing like crazy.   


  1. Berkshire Hathaway – Is a mix of many companies owned by one of the best investors of all timeWarren Buffet.  They sell car insurance, houses, candy, shaving cream, Coca-Cola, and they even own railroads!   


  1. Visa – A large credit card company.  They make a lot of money by lending money to people for things they can’t yet afford.  Be careful with credit cards; the debt can be hard to get out of because they charge so much in interest. 


  1. Charter Communications – Another communications company similar to Comcast. 


  1. Walt Disney – You’ve been to Disneyland; they also make movies and recently came out with Disney Plus, which, as you know, is like Netflix or Amazon Prime. 


I recognize that this can be a scary time for many of us with the news cycle, but it's a reminder that panicky times like this are a great time to contribute to a long-term college savings account.   


The younger the child, the better! 


I even find it psychologically pleasing to pump money in on periods when the market is doing poorly, for these little ones. 


If you have any questions about college planning, investments, or how to get the investments more conservative as the children approach college, please don't hesitate to reach out.  We'd be happy to help! 


Thanks for taking a look!