Helping kids learn about money and how it works is an important job as parents and mentors to grandchildren.
I know you've heard us talk about the share, save, spend strategies that we've employed with some success. Recently I was having a conversation with my kids over the stocks that they own, and I thought it might be inspirational to those of you with young ones.
On my computers at work and home, they are defaulted to open up to Finviz.com, which is a free website that gives me an overview of how the stock market is going. If you go into the S&P 500 section, you can see the 500 biggest companies in that particular index and how they've done over various periods.
With this initially intimidating to read matrix, we had a fun time going over the various stocks and what they do, and how our kids are interacting with these brands. The tickers can often be easy to guess, for example, “AMZN” is Amazon. If you go to the website, you can hover over the symbols, and it will tell you what they are. The size of the box represents their market capitalization or total dollars in the index. Then
We also talked about broad categories like making money for college, and it was really brought home for McKenzie my 8-year-old when I told her I think she's up about $500 on her stocks this year for school.
In no particular order, we've got Google, which also includes the ever-popular YouTube which our kids seem to watch hours of.
Facebook that they're not on yet, but they definitely know that mom and dad like to post pictures of them there; Microsoft which not only was founded by the famous Bill Gates who most of the kids have heard
We also talked about Amazon where they love to order their toys and their do-dads for school etc.; Walmart; Costco where mom shops every couple of weeks; Target; Disney; Comcast, the vendor for our internet; Exxon Mobile where we get our gas; Chevron where their uncle works.
We talked about Wells Fargo where we bank; JP Morgan that they've heard of; Visa and MasterCard; and PayPal we sometimes use to buy things online.
Of course Apple, and they loved hearing about Coca-cola and Pepsi. In fact, we have an idea for this Halloween to give out Mountain Dew 2 liters; we'll see how that goes over with mom and with parents.
Proctor & Gamble, and even Nike, General Motors, Ford, Boeing that makes airplanes. General Electric, United Health Group, CVS (they know about they buy candy there) and several others.
Now, these are just the US companies. We could continue along this exercise, but I think the gist is there, and it's a fun way to bring it home for the kids to understand that they actually own small pieces of the companies that they interact with on a daily basis.
Thanks for taking a look!
Tom Gartner, MSAPM, CFP®
This article represents opinions of the authors and not those of their firm and are subject to change from time to time, and do not constitute a recommendation to purchase and sale any security nor to engage in any particular investment or legal strategy. The information contained here has been obtained from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed for accuracy. Screenshots are from the past year as of 10-23-18.