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Yes, We Mind the Wage Gap

Gen Z wants to shrink the wage gap by… talking.

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It’s 2022 and you can ask a woman her age but you still can’t ask how much she makes. Most of us would prefer to talk about anything other than money. We’ll choose marital trouble, mental health, addiction, sex, race, religion, and politics before we’ll wade into salary talk. 

Why does this matter? Silence around money — encouraged by the wealthy since the Golden Age — feeds a wage gap of between 60 to 89 cents on the dollar

The Wage Gap isn’t news. We’ve lived with it for as long as women have worked. We know, for example, that racialized women bear the brunt of the inequality, earning an average of 59.3% of the average white male salary. But even school girls experience a gendered wage disparity. According to the Girl Guides of Canada, young women 12-18 earn almost $3 less per hour than boys at summer jobs. 

Not only does this make us want to talk about money… it makes us want to scream.

If present trends continue, according to the World Economic Forum, it will take the world about 267.6 years to reach wage parity.

Hannah Williams wants to move that date up a few hundred years. The 25-year-old TikToker recently took to the streets to ask her fellow Washingtonians two simple questions: What do you do? And how much do you make? The series (@salarytransparentstreet) has gone viral. Williams hopes her project will break down the social stigma around money talk, and move us toward addressing pay inequality. 

Will it work? It’s working! Williams’ project is part of a growing movement focused on real change. New data shows that about 40 percent of Millennials and Gen Z talk to coworkers about what they earn. Compare this to 19 percent for Baby Boomers.

This spring, New York passed a law requiring employers to disclose salaries on all advertised jobs. And even companies who aren’t forced into transparency would be smart to consider it. The job posting site Indeed Canada recently revealed that posts that include salaries attract 90 percent more applicants. 

That’s something worth talking about.

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A Burger Explains Inflation

Everyone’s freaked out about inflation, but what is it exactly? (Asking for a friend)

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Tell your friend there’s no need for embarrassment. People stress about inflation, but ask them to explain how it actually works, and that gets a little hazy.

Okay, cool. The friend—c’est moi! What do I need to know?

In a nutshell 🌰 Inflation is the rate at which the costs of goods and services increase over time. It gets a bad rap, but a modest level of inflation (around 2%) is a good thing.

As the economy grows, businesses and consumers have more money to spend. That means higher demand, which leads to higher prices. Over time, wages should rise along with inflation (since the price of labour should increase with everything else).

Unfortunately, this recent inflationary spike — to almost 7% — has been too sudden for many salaries to keep pace. So, people are feeling it whenever and wherever they spend.

How do we fix it?

Governments can heat up or cool down the economy by raising or lowering interest rates, making money more or less expensive to borrow. There are other issues that impact inflation, too, such as global supply chain flows and geopolitics.

Zzzzzzz…..

Okay, okay… Do you like burgers?

Wait—what?—burgers!

Welcome back. The Big Mac Index was invented by The Economist as a more digestible way to explain the purchasing power of a dollar around the globe. In 1986, a McDonald’s signature sandwich cost $1.06. In 2022, you need $5.65 to buy the same burger. 

Whazzat?

Inflation makes your dollar lose value over time. As the price of ingredients, real estate, employee wages, and transportation go up, the power of your dollar goes down. It’s one reason people work to grow their money in the markets, instead of holding it all in a savings account. Because on its own, a dollar today’s worth a little less tomorrow.

Can I get a side of fries with that?

Whoa, Rockefeller! Potatoes average an inflation rate of 4.58% per year

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SpongeBob’s Road to Real Estate

A Pants-Wearing Sponge Cleans Up in the Housing Market. Here’s the Takeaway.

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Against all odds, everyone’s favourite sea sponge is doing quite well for himself: he owns his own home! Say what you will about SpongeBob’s fashion, food, and career choices, this kid’s captured a milestone that’s a dream for many. And he’s not just captured that milestone, he’s slayed it.

SpongeBob’s hollowed-out pineapple home is allegedly worth $18 000 000 — almost 3X what Drake paid for his Toronto manse. Consider the view: “This post-modern tropical gem features 360-degree ocean views and three stories of nautical luxury,” boasts a  video on SpongeBob’s official YouTube account. 

Okay, so how did he do it, and what lessons can we soak up from this real estate rockstar? 

Millennial Bob: A fiscally savvy thirtysomething

Thanks to a glimpse fans once got of his driver’s license, we know SpongeBob was born on July 14, 1986 — so, he’s a millennial at age 35. Those who grew up watching SpongeBob SquarePants may find it hard to believe that he’s been more disciplined with his finances than the majority of us, but hey, crazy things happen under the sea. Let’s consider that Bob may be a financial wizard, and deconstruct his money moves.

He’s a famously devoted fry cook — some say the world’s greatest —  at the Krusty Krab, Bikini Bottom’s favourite fast-food joint. Work ethic? Check! Income? … inconsistent. In one episode, according to Spongepedia, Bob claims to make under ten cents a year. In another ep, we learn that he pays his boss, Mr. Krabs, $100 an hour for the privilege of working. We’ve seen him pocket an envelope of cash on payday, so he does get the occasional haul, but really Bob’s the original gig worker. 

The Takeaway

He’s been side hustling since he was 12— jouster, chef, lifeguard, lawyer, the list goes on. Bob started early, put time to work in his favour, and probably learned a thing or two about compound interest along the way. 

Is he investing? Probably. He’s sure invested a lot of time over at Mrs. Puff’s Boating School, where he’s failed to get his boating license 1 258 058 times. Silver lining? He’s saving money on gas and boat payments, and likely making that money work for him in the markets.

And finally, Bob knows a deal when he sees one. Submerged “land” is considerably cheaper to buy than its above sea equivalent. In Canada, a man recently listed  two lots, “presently underwater,” for the bargain price of $99,000. 

Is this the investment property to sink your savings into? We prefer drier. But hey, location, location… floatation!

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The Costs of Wizardry

From Muggle to Wiz, Wealthie runs the numbers.

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From the budding wizards at Hogwarts to the more seasoned wizzes of Lord of the Rings, wizardry is where it’s at. For anyone curious about a career in wizarding, Wealthie looks at the costs of getting off the ground. (haha see what we did there?)

Looking the Part: $35+

A robe was just a scratchy cloak until Madam Malkin came along. She cornered the market on fashion and function. We hunted for the ones that Harry and his pals made famous, but they’re only sold at Universal Studios. So, if you’re a label lover who wants the real deal, you’ll have to budget for it.

Tickets to Universal: $315 PLUS flight and hotel! That’s a lot of IRL money. So, while you’re saving up we’ve found good alternatives at well.ca, Walmart, and Amazon, ranging from about $35-$60, with hood, embroidery, and lining. 

Pro tip: sew in a few pockets to make room for spells and potions. 

Carry a Big Stick: $4.50 and Up

The pièce de résistance!  If you’re serious about wizardry – which we know you are – you’ll need a wand. Wands are an opportunity to express yourself. Are you a no frills kind of wiz? A 14-inch gold-tipped standard, or a basic lucite will run you about $4.50 to $5.50. 

Are you a wizard who loves movies and history? Maybe you’d like to bid on Glynda the Good Witch’s wand, which sold for $400 000 back in 2019!

Hocus Pocus: Misc.

Every great wizard has some potions up their sleeve. Since we could use some money to launch our career, we’re costing out potion ingredients for a spell to help you win at Bingo

2 tbsp Pepper

2 tbsp Mustard (yellow works best)

10 freshly picked Honeysuckles OR 20 grams of Organic Cloves

1 sealable glass bottle to hold all ingredients.

Most of these items, you’ll find at home for free, so cast your spell and let’s get you some dough for a bestie!

A Wizard’s BFF: Priceless

Every wizard needs a companion — one that strikes fear into the souls of their enemies, and is also extremely cute. Like an owl! Did you know that owls are able to turn their heads a full 270 degrees? Oh, and owls have adapted to nearly every ecosystem on the planet? Hoo knew?!

The Eurasian Eagle Owl generally costs between $2,800 and $3,800. Suddenly, a rat like Scabbers looks like a steal. You could train a raven, or adopt a cat. You can even adopt a Great Horned or Saw-Whet Owl for $25 to $100 monthly. Don’t forget to factor in costs for  food, training, and exercise. 

Owning a pet is a pretty serious business, even with magical super powers. So you may want to start by testing out your powers of convincing on the Muggles in your home. 

The wizardry game is a long game. And a fun one. You’re now armed with the tools you need to become a wizard. So, come up with a Wizard name, and don’t forget to trademark it!

Thoughts on pursuing your dreams:

Don’t let the Muggles get you down.

– Ron Weasley

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The Business of Bans

From books to beef to screen time, a peep at the profit margins of prohibition.

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  • Book bans are sending old classics back to the bestseller list.
  • Banning meat’s proved pretty lucrative for one beloved California chef.
  • If your kid is asking for more screen time, order Chinese and tell them they’ve got it pretty good.

The silver lining of censorship (kidding…but also, ka-ching)

Obviously banning books is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad thing (a phrase we learned *from a book*, btw). But is it also good for business? That seems to be the takeaway following the Tennessee School Board’s decision to remove Maus—a graphic novel about the Holocaust—from the eighth grade curriculum. That happened in mid January. In the weeks since, the 1992 Pulitzer winner has cracked Amazon’s top 20, hitting number one in the graphic novels category. 

Similar sales spikes have followed recent crackdowns on The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood) and The Bluest Eye (Toni Morrison). And it’s not always the far right behind the banning: Last year the discontinuation of six Dr. Seuss titles (featuring racist imagery) sent other Seussian titles soaring up the best seller charts. 

It’s something we could be seeing more of. According to recent data from the American Library Association, the fall of 2021 saw the most instances of “book challenges” since the group started record keeping more than 50 years ago. Meanwhile, Maus author, Art Spiegelman, has rebuffed offers from Hollywood to option his book for the big screen. He says the story (where Jews are mice and nazis are cats) is best served by the comic format. And honestly, who needs movie money when you’ve got LeVar Burton AND the moral high ground on your side?

Next up: Why did the lab rendered chicken cross the road?

Lab grown meat is big business and it’s getting a boost from one of the world’s most influential chefs. In 2018, Dominique Crenn banned meat from the menu at her Michelin star restaurant in San Francisco. Her goal was to effect “real environmental change”, and clearly taste didn’t suffer—Atelier Crenn scored a third star after moving to a meat-free menu. 

Four years (and one pandemic) later, chicken is making its triumphant return, following Crenn’s partnership with Upside Foods, the California-based startup at the forefront of cell-based poultry production.

Is this the future of meat? Crenn says yes, and plans to introduce new “chicken” dishes to her menu following regulatory approval. Upside Foods has raised more than 200 million in funding, including an investment from Whole Foods CEO, John Mackey. Just last month, the company acquired Cultured Decadence, another cellular agriculture startup focused on shell-free, cell-based lobster, which sounds a little…well…fishy, but it’s an excellent tongue twister that we won’t knock till we’ve tried it. 

When your kid complains about screen time limits…

…spend a long weekend in China. Tencent Games, one of the world’s largest gaming companies, spent China’s month long Winter Break limiting access to their platform for kids. 14 hours over 30 days.

The policy is in line with a national movement to combat climbing rates of addiction and near sightedness. Last summer the Chinese government banned game play for minors on weekdays and restricted use to three hours on most weekends, encouraging gaming companies to break “from the solitary focus of pursuing profit.”  


These rules took effect last August, prompting stock sell offs and a slump in domestic market growth (a 14.3% decline in just one year). Still, profits are climbing, thanks to robust  global sales. And meanwhile, the policy’s working. Tencent reported that minors now account for 0.7% of time played on their platform, down from 6.4% in 2020.

The outcome? More time to read banned books!

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The Definition.

The Eighth Wonder of the World.

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Compound interest is like “interest on the interest” as the money made on a principal investment in turn earns more money.

Simple interest refers to the money earned on a principal investment. Compound interest, by comparison, is the “interest on the interest”. This means that the money made on a principal investment gets included in the calculation for future interest payments. For patient investors, this is often considered among the safest and most reliable ways to earn money.

Compound interest acts like a snowball rolling down a mountain. It’s been jokingly called the Eighth Wonder of the World, and it sure seems magical when it’s working in your favour. It’s less magical when it’s working on your debt, and it’s why people will tell you to pay down your most expensive debts first, not the biggest.

What’s the best thing you can do with compound interest? Start Early.

  • “Interest on the interest” leads to a snowball effect
  • Among the safest and most reliable ways to earn money
  • Compound interest is more powerful with time, so start early
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Age 8

The one where they start investing.

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Is your 8-year-old wondering why they have to learn about “old person stuff” like money? Have they retired on modding and influencer proceeds? Fine. Time to hook them with stocks, growth, and risk. Start with stocks. A stock represents a piece of a company that they can own. Starbucks (SBUX), Spinmaster (TOY), Disney (DIS), are all companies that your kid can own a piece of now. 

We prefer diversification, but maybe you and your 8-year-old have your eye on a stock you’d like to buy? Great. But first, a #protip. Two, actually:

Boundaries. Research. 

Do your research. Know what you’re buying. Look at the last year, five years, 10. Read up on the company. Look at how (and if) it’s growing. What do you think of the leadership?

Now, get real about risk tolerance — yours and your eight-year old’s. In a phrase, invest what you’re comfortable losing. Because once you’ve bought that stock, chances are you’ll want to check its price. Daily, weekly, then hourly. And traditionally, this is a surefire way to lose all your money. Investing works best with long horizons. Plus the willpower of a Jedi Knight.

Start Here.

As you start your investing journey, there are a few stats worth remembering.

An Arizona State University study found of the 26 000 stocks traded on US exchanges in the last 100 years, 1000 account for ALL profits. 86 stocks account for half of all gains. The average stock has traded for seven years and LOST money, and the most common return for a stock over its lifetime is… -100%.

Let’s take a beat.

OMG. WTF. Breathe. ETFs.

That read like a lot of bad news, we get it. But here’s the thing…

In the history of the markets, over a 20-year period, stock markets have always gone up. They’re one of the most consistent long-term drivers of wealth. But history shows that diversification is key, so you boost the odds of holding at least one (or part of one) of those magical, fairy dusty, 1000 winning stocks.

Exchange-Traded Funds — ETFs — are one way to get instant market exposure and diversification. They give you a slice of each stock in the market they represent. It’s like an all-you-can-eat buffet with limited portion sizes. If you’d like to learn more about ETFs, check out our Glossary. Or, better yet, invest in a Wealthie account!

All you really need to know about investing, though, can be summed up in the two words we know you’re crushing:

Start Early.

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Age 7

Making money moves.

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For a kid, money is magic. It comes from a machine, it lives in plastic cards, it buys toys. We ❤️ magic, but not when it comes to money. It’s time to solve some mysteries. 

Start Here.

What IS money and how does it work? 

Your 7-year-old should know that money works as an exchange. Money makes it easier to trade for the things they’d like to do or buy. It can be earned, spent, borrowed, given, saved, and invested. 

If you plan to hold onto your $ for a while, it’s important to put it to work. $10 today is worth more than $10 tomorrow, because of inflation, yes, but *also* because of the MAGIC of compound interest. (Wait, money IS magic?? Mixed messages…) 

Get This.

Time = (actual) Money. Compound interest is as close to a money tree as your child will get without water or soil. 6% interest on their investment, year after year, means that each year, their principal and their interest are both making 6% interest. THEIR INTEREST IS MAKING INTEREST! 🤯 This is an important lesson about the power of patience… when it comes to money, invest wisely, leave it (mostly) alone to grow, and watch your kid’s savings speed up. 

Your Wealthie account is a great place to watch compound interest in action. You can also use Wealthie’s compounding calculator to look ahead to see what your 7-year-old’s account may look like with 25 years of compounding to help it along.

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Age 6

The one where we congratulate you.

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A Cambridge study says that by age seven, many of a kid’s “money habits” are set for life. Your kid’s only six! As of today, you are ahead of the game. Take a moment to really drink this in.

And we’re back.

Start Here.

Studies suggest that your child will adopt your money habits. Do not panic. We’re here for you. Take a moment to think, really think, about your money habits. How do you spend? How do you save? How do you think about money? Do you worry about not having enough of it? Do you worry about having too much of it?

Write down your thoughts, and write down your habits. Breathe. Scan what you’ve written. You’ll want to judge those habits. Don’t. Write down your parents’ money habits. Look familiar? 

Ferreal?

We pass money stories down for generations. If yours are serving you, great. If not, try this: write down the habits you’d like your child to have by age 25. How can you model those habits, even hint at them, starting now? 

Keep Going.

Start a conversation with your six-year-old. How do they feel about money? If money were a character or a famous person, who would it be? What can money be used for? Expand the answer beyond “it gets me toys” to a larger conversation about the future, about giving, growing, and, obviously, investing.

Why not into your kid’s Wealthie account and chat about why you and the people in your child’s life are putting money away for them, and actively investing in their future. What does the future look like for your six-year-old? What are they growing their Wealthie account for? Ask them for their thoughts, write down their answers, keep them safe, and repeat this every year.

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Age 5

The one about allowance.

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A wise accountant once told us people spend 40% less when they buy with cash and not credit. Is this true? Maybe. What does it tell us? Your little person needs to see and understand money before they start spending it. The majority of us transact with plastic or phones, so kids don’t see money anywhere. It’s tough to value what you can’t see. Good news, your five-year-old will happily save for their goals or simply for saving’s sake, if you normalize and encourage it. 

Start here. 

One great way to make money visible… allowance. We get a lot of questions about allowance. 

Take this Advice.

It’s allowance, not bribery. Think of allowance as a fixed weekly or bi-weekly “salary” for being a kid. Chores? They’re part of being a good citizen. Don’t pay for them. Set an allowance, and keep it consistent. 

I haven’t carried money since the 90s. No prob. A mom we admire uses cotton balls as in-home currency. Her kids’ allowance is paid in dollar balls. Cotton fills a jar fast, which may have your five-year-old vibing like a plutocrat and looking to make it rain. (All fun and games until they ask about tax havens.)

Save Spend Share Shares. Sure, your kid can direct their allowance into separate “accounts”. 50% into saving, 25% into spending, 25% into sharing? Maybe. But while giving is important, don’t overlook the importance of giving time. Experiential giving makes kinesthetic memories. And putting that extra 25% into a “shares” jar to invest could mean your child has a meaningful nest egg to dip into for philanthropy once they’re older. 

BONUS. 

Don’t Create a Wage Gap. These are your child’s formative years. Champion equality. Remember that women still earn 82 cents or less on the dollar, and it might be a good time (and a great conversation) to make that up to the young girls, girl-identifying, and nonbinary kids in your home.

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Age 4

Today, Paw Patrol. Tomorrow, College.

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Think it’s too early to talk about money? Actually, you’re late. Kidding! You’re doing everything right, but talking about money and value early can help form good money habits for life. (Also, since you’re already up for The Greatest Parent Of The Year Award, honestly, who are we to stand in your way?) 

Start Here.

Obviously your kid doesn’t need to know how much money you earn, or how to pay an electric bill (although… super handy), but it’s worth chatting about how people earn money. What would your four-year-old like to be when they grow up? A robot fireman ballerina? Great! Think of the pension! 

So, you’ve started a conversation about earning with your polymath. It’s a reasonable time to talk about saving and why it’s so important. Patience and persistence are healthy financial habits that improve every area of life long term.  Of course, patience + persistence may seem like impossible goals at four years old. So, we like this tip… 

Get This.

The “Batman Effect” suggests that kids will stay with a task longer when they imagine themselves as someone (or something) they believe is a hard worker, like Batman. We’re more of a Miles Morales type of outfit, but anyway, this is a simple way to connect your child’s favourite heroes with some wise financial habits.  

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Age 3

Money and your Threenager.

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Your threenager is watching you, like some kind of baby Netflix. When it comes to money, they’ve picked up a thing or two. They see that money and credit cards get “stuff”. They have neither. Major bummer. 

Start Here.

Counting and stacking coins to make dollars will give your toddler a felt sense of money and a subtle sense of agency and power. Welcome to Step One on the Path to Plutocracy. Kidding, kidding. 

Money may be virtual, but it’s helpful for your kids to see, touch, count, and understand it, before it disappears for them for life. If it’s already disappeared for you, no problem. You can talk about money in a way your kids will understand. Toys and tradeoffs. 

Use moments of decision making (this toy or that toy? This cereal or that one?) to help your toddler understand the concept of tradeoffs. Your kid may not be able to pronounce “resource allocation” but they get what it means, and what it really means is that that little mind is learning how to budget, and quickly becoming a financial genius. 

Get This. 

Studies show we’re willing to pay up to 100% more for something when we pay with a credit card. Learning to recognize money is an important part of building a relationship with value. Start this process now, to help lock in values around saving and sharing. 

(Think of it as the lesson your “Internet Shopping Habit” is sharing with your younger self, who, in this case, is your three-year-old. Whoa, meta.)