These days, kids are forced to grow up pretty fast. Between increasing academic standards, social media, and a digitally-driven world filled with amusing names and funny cat videos, our children are constantly bombarded with information at all hours of the day and from all directions.
Suffice it to say, these trends won’t be disappearing anytime soon and kids need to be prepared as early as possible for the rigors of adulthood in a fast-paced and demanding society. Finances, of course, play a huge role as they evolve into productive and responsible adults, and they face significant hurdles just to gain financial fluency.
Since we all want our kids to have it better than we did, teaching them about the basic concepts behind investing and how to best get their money to work for them is something that should be introduced sooner rather than later.
The Stock Market Game
Although certainly nothing new, the old-fashioned stock market game continues to be one of the best ways to introduce the basic concepts of investing to your children. Rather than relying on digital devices, however, you could try taking the traditional approach by using the business section of the daily paper to both choose and track the stocks you’re using in the game. By avoiding such devices, you’re enhancing the benefits of the highly collaborative, hands-on, and communicative traits of the game.
Furthermore, encourage your kids to track the stocks of companies that make the products and services they enjoy most, whether that’s a videogame maker, and electronics manufacturer, or a media conglomerate. This way, a child already has a vested interest in the game through existing connections with what they enjoy.
Use the Digital World to Your Benefit
Obviously, there’s no denying that younger generations are already firmly entrenched into the digital world. To that point, unlike the stock market game, there are particular apps and games that are specifically designed to introduce basic financial concepts to kids in their own terms.
From budgeting to investing, cash flow to debt management, many of these platforms do a wonderful job of reducing complex concepts in ways that make them intuitive and readily absorbed by children as young as five.
Taking advantage of these solutions – along with more traditional ones like the stock market game – can give your child a significant head start in developing healthy financial habits that will serve them their entire life.
Jeremy Wallace is founder and chief investment officer at Wallace Hart Capital Management, an independent financial services firm committed to offering comprehensive advice and customized services. Jeremy has 20 years of experience in the financial industry and is passionate about helping clients preserve and enhance their wealth so they can pursue their passions. Jeremy graduated from Emory University with a degree in international economics and a certificate in financial planning. Outside of the office, Jeremy spends most of his free time with his wife, Julie, and their three children, Isabel, Lincoln, and Reid. He is an avid Chicago Cubs baseball fan, and he enjoys golfing with his wife and traveling with his family. Learn more about Jeremy by connecting with him on LinkedIn.