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Investing for Kids: Teach your kids to be investors

September 22, 2017

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Last Update: August 2021

Hello, Tackle Traders!

Feels great to be back after taking a little break from blogging but certainly not from trading. I do want to thank Jessica Marinho for holding down the fort in my absence. She’s an amazing woman with great positive energy that is just infectious and she’s just awesome in every way imaginable. I met this young lady in Salt Lake a month ago during the Team Tackle meeting and she shared with me that at one point she was struggling with trading and how listening to a Trading Justice podcast I was on inspired her to get her momentum back. I ask her to share her story hence becoming the first guest contributor to Women in Trading. In case you missed it, catch her blogs here and the Trading Justice podcast:

Now, this week’s blog is not necessarily geared to the ladies or the gents but rather to our kids and I thought I’d share how I got my kids interested in trading and investing in a way they could understand and be engaged. I, like most parents, want to provide for my kids and raise them to be responsible and teach them right from wrong. The old cliché of “go to school, get good grades and get a good paying job” was the song I sang for a long time. However, thanks to the mindset shift that happened when I started trading and surrounding myself with mentors and coaches that song is no more! I told it to “hit the road jack!” LoL!

Also as parents, we tend to overdo it with toys, electronics, and clothes when it comes to our kids. We want them to have a better life than we did and justify that by buying them things. However, let’s stop and think about that for a moment. When our kids see an ad for something they want and they beg and plea until we eventually give in, whether we instantly go out and buy it or give it to them on their birthday, what are we essentially teaching them? We are teaching them to be consumers! Give me now or give me later, the message is still the same. I was no different with my son whom from the age of 3 or 4 was an owner of his older sisters iPod because she at the age of 8 had been upgraded to an iPhone. It is shocking as I type this just how early we expose our kids to electronics.

Anyway, these little munchkins from the time they discovered the app store have made Apple a lot of money because of the number of times I forgot to remove my card number from their accounts and they went on a buying frenzy of .99 cents on games and life points on Sims Freeplay. Can you imagine a bank statement with a page full of Apple charges all with .99 cents! It is funny now but I was not laughing then.

So a while back my now 9-year-old son ran out of storage on his iPod because, well you guessed it, he has too many games and not enough storage! In an effort to create more storage, he started deleting apps of games he no longer played and other apps not relevant to his world. He then came across the stock app and I could hear him getting frustrated over not being able to delete the “stupid stock app” as he called it. Now I do not know whether it was a glitch but that app would not delete and somehow an idea popped in my head and it has proven to be the best idea ever as it relates to spending money on the kids. I told him since we can’t delete the app, let’s see if the app can make us some money. We opened up the app and added the APPL stock symbol and I told him that I would allow him to buy more storage and allow him to download games and buy points to whatever as long as I made money from trading APPL. The deal being, he would have to look up AAPL and tell me the price of APPL, and if it was up more than .99 cents he could then download .99 cents worth of games/points. If APPL was down no downloading games. Oh, my goodness that solved my battles of “mommy can I download a game from the app store, it’s only .99 cents” forever!!!!! This boy was on that stock app more than he was on the games themselves just waiting for Apple to go up .99 cents.

I took it a step further and applied the same rules to Chipotle and Panera Bread. I would first have to make money trading their favorite places to eat, and then we’d go and spend our money there. Slowly the Consumer First Mindset started to shift and they would ask me if I made any money trading before asking whether we could go out to eat. They do not always check the prices of these stocks every day but they know if they want something, they must tell me what the price of the stock is and whether or not it is up or down. I then proceeded to open a paper trade account and bought the shares of APPL to show them how much they earn when the price goes up. The most recent trade I did, which was very cool, was day trade Chipotle when it had a recent virus scare at a store in VA. I day traded for about an hour. My profit target was to make enough to be able to treat them to one outing at Chipotle when they got back from Kenya. Let’s just say we can eat there at least five more times before I have to trade Chipotle again but *shhh!* don’t tell my kids that.

As a new trader, I remember running scans looking for trades to put on my watch list and thought that’s one way of building a watch list I wasn’t too familiar with some of the companies so oftentimes I would not trade them. Then, one of the coaches talked about trading what you know or what you spend money on as another form of building a watch list that made all the difference. You may scratch your head for a minute trying to think of what you spend money on, however, once you get a pen and paper and get going you will find a lot of companies you spend money on that are publicly traded. Apple was first on my list I do not need to explain why. LoL!! You may find that your utility companies are the only companies not publicly traded so for those you may consider sector ETFs, such as XLE for energy and XLU for utilities. You could also add the commodity ETFs for oil and natural gas, USO and UNG. So get out there build a watch list of companies you like and your kids like, engage your kids to make trading a family affair and most importantly, teach your kids to be investors first and consumers second.

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