Preparing our youth to manage and invest the money they plan to make

Delta Jones Walker

Graduation season is upon us! Viewing pictures upon videos on social media never gets old. In fact, I joined the online festivities and posted a few pics as we recently celebrated the high school graduation of my son. As he and countless others head off to college, the minds of parents become focused on the monumental price tag attached to that impending degree.

As a long-time financial advisor, my goal is not only to get my children but my clients’ children and anyone else who’s interested to focus on long-term earning power and how to manage/grow the “big dollars” they plan to make after graduation.

According to the National Financial Educators Council CEO Vince Shorb, “College graduates spend 16 years gaining skills that will help them command a higher salary; yet little or no time is spent helping them save, invest and grow their money.”

Breaking the cycle of debt starts in the home. With our children absorbing just about everything we do and say, we have a captive audience and perfect opportunity to instill in them smart money habits. Here are a few pointers for your graduates:

  1. Have a heart to heart money conversation before your child heads off to school.  Discuss the spending budget, but also encourage them to save starting with all of those graduation funds that family and friends sent their way along with well wishes. Challenge your child to use these monies to establish an account that represents the beginning of their financial “empire.” Offer to contribute to the fund as an incentive each time they meet a saving milestone.
  2. Ask your child to write down a few short and long-term financial goals. There’s a saying that goes “Things become more real once you write them down.” Each of you should keep a copy of these goals and periodically connect to check on the progress. Remember, no goal is too lofty! The higher they strive, the more financially aware they will become.
  3. Introduce your child to the stock market. Your graduate is not too young to start investing. In fact, now is the perfect time while they’re still young with a higher risk tolerance. If you are unfamiliar with investing, then make an appointment with a financial advisor for you and your family, so that everyone can get in the game! Start small and pick a few stocks that pique your interest, and make it a fun, competitive activity.

Whether your child is headed to college, the military, trade school or the armed forces, money will always be a common denominator that will be a part of shaping your child’s quality of life. Your guidance in this process may not always be welcomed, but is definitely critical. Just remind them, “Making money is one thing, but making it grow is even better!”

Connect with Delta Jones-Walker and Atled Financial on Facebook, Twitter: @Atled_Financial and LinkedIn! To schedule a free consultation or a presentation to your group or organization, call 219-513-3710 or email djwalker@atledfinancial.com and mention this column. Topic ideas for this column are welcome!

*Securities and advisory services offered through Woodbury Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA/SIPC. Insurance services offered through Atled Financial Group 717 B Main Street Schererville, IN 46375 which is not affiliated with Woodbury Financial.

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