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Age 10

So they want to be an Influencer…

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It’s true, ten-year-olds aren’t supposed to be on social media. They aren’t supposed to leave cereal bowls under their beds either. And yet, here we are. 

Yes, your kid may still — for now — be outside the grips of Snapchat, TikTok, and Insta, but the YouTube celebs have got their attention, and there are probably a few things to consider.

When LEGO polled kids between 5 and 12 about their career aspirations, vlogger/YouTuber beat out teacher, musician, athlete and astronaut. Social media’s having an impact on your child’s life, and it’s a good time to talk about what that really means. 

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Did you ever ask your parents for sugar cereal after hearing it was magically delicious? How many X-ray glasses and/or shrivelled sea monkeys did you have by age 8? Kids are easy to sell to, and now they get sold to irl and in the metaverse. It’s natural, then, that your kids may be connecting more stuff with a happier life. That’s worth deconstructing – why do we need money? Is money for stuff? Experiences? Security? 

And, what happens if you buy a lot of stuff? Do you, say, run out of money?

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Rihanna sued her accountants in the 2010’s after almost going bankrupt from overspending. The defendant responded by saying, “was it really necessary to tell her that if you spend money on things, you end up with the things and not the money?” Sure, it seems obvious that spending more money leaves you with less of it. But, if you leave money out of the discussion at home, you may find your kid learning money lessons the hard way. 

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With full-grown adults giving into the allure (and the embedded ads) of fancy living and frictionless buying on social media, it can be hard for your perfect child to know how to make the right moves. Take some time to talk through online protocols. No snap purchases. Suggest they run all posts by you. Help them understand, really understand, that whatever they put up on social may follow them around For Life, and can affect everything from job prospects to earning potential. (Even if they grow up to be a TikTok celeb…)

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Age 9

How to value… value.

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A Charles Schwab survey in 2019 revealed that when it comes to feeling personally wealthy, 72% of people say it isn’t about a dollar amount, it’s about the way you live your life. 

Start Here.

Let’s get real. Social media is edging its way into your kid’s life, and it will try hard to convince them that happiness is somewhere beyond them. Now’s a great time to start casually defining what a rich life might look like. What kinds of experiences are important to your nine-year-old? What would they like their life to look like in 10, even 15 years? Setting tangible goals makes it easier to prioritize when it comes to money. Forgoing something now feels less painful, if you know it’s for the sake of something you’ll care more about later. Goal setting in general leads to more consistent levels of success.

It’s a good time to start thinking about value. Ask your nine-year-old about what they value most in their life right now. Do your best not to judge the answers. We hear a lot of “bacon”, so… 

As they circle round their answers — family, pets, friends, trips, home, the environment, their Xbox, bacon — chat about how many of the items on their list actually cost money.  

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The great takeaway for your nine-year-old is that money doesn’t always equal value. Choosing a job you love over one that pays more, for example, might connect value with your values. And the tradeoff of a lower salary for work you care about, or a healthier life balance, may not feel like a tradeoff at all. Money is a tool, not an end point, and if you can instil this in your nine-year-old, those are powerful words to live by. 

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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. 

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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…) 

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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.

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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. 

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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. 

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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.)

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Age 2

Toddle all the way to the bank.

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Your child is a toddler. As of today, they can reach everything, and go everywhere. What they can’t reach, they want, immediately. Anything on a shelf is a battleground. The grocery store is your new Waterloo. 

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Life may not be a rehearsal, but life with a two-year-old should be. Grocery shopping with your little person? While you’re on your way, walk through everything you plan to buy, aloud, together. You’ve just turned the grocery store into a scavenger hunt. A small victory. Will this work? Momentarily, perhaps. And while it won’t stifle the occasional yelp for a unicorn cake or dinosaur confetti, it will instil in your child’s subconscious an early understanding of budgeting, financial planning, and patience.  

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Studies show that delayed gratification is a lesson that can be learned at two. That lesson pays dividends for life — for you and your child. Have your unicorn cake, and eat it too. 

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Age 1

The financial literacy you need, in the 15 seconds you have.

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Here’s the secret it takes most people a lifetime to learn: when it comes to time and money, having one can make up for not having the other. 

Right now, your baby’s got a potent mix of time and a lot of admirers. Put both of these things to work.

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Odds are, your baby’s still the only thing that your family and friends want to talk about. Cash in on this social currency while your kid’s still rolling into fam bbqs like some A-list celeb. In other words, while the people you love are up in your baby’s business, let them actually become your baby’s business.

Yes, some stuffies will stand the test of time, but odds are nothing will come close to the value of an investment made now for the long term. Need a story to illustrate the power of time and compounding? Try this anecdote, with thanks to Morgan Housel, author of The Psychology of Money… 

Whoa.

If Warren Buffett had invested like many people do — started at 30 with $25 000, retired at 60, and still made his 22% annual Berkshire Hathaway returns — today, he’d be holding about $15 million. 

(We’d still take his investment advice.) 

BUT, because he started investing at 10 and kept going, Mr. B’s fortune has rocketed past $100 billion. 

Okay. A few takeaways. One, your offspring is currently 10 years ahead of Warren Buffett. And, while we’re not suggesting your child become a pint-sized tycoon, we are saying that the greatest commodity your baby has right now, (aside from good genes and heavy cuteness), is time. 

Sometimes, TIME = MONEY, but right now, TIME > MONEY. 

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Age 0

In the beginning, there was a baby. And this made you realize…man, they’re expensive.

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You have a baby! Welcome to the greatest, most sleep-deprived club on the planet. So far, you’re doing everything right.

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One of the most important things you can do as a parent is help to secure your child’s financial future. And, by opening a Wealthie account, you’ve just done that. 

Your work here is done! Take a nap. Wake up when your kid is 25. 

Oh, we kid, we kid. But for real, you’re accomplishing something rare. You’re giving your child a 30-year headstart on the average investor. Three decades of time and compounding will help to quietly grow a meaningful nest egg, ready for your little person when they need it and, (thanks to 20 years of wise words from Wealthie), when they’re ready for it. 

Yessss.

You’ve started early. Now, your job is to keep going. Work to make consistent, manageable payments a habit. $10 a week in a diversified portfolio (like your Wealthie account) at 6% a year, builds almost $60 000 by age 25. Pair that $60K with two decades of Wealthie’s smart financial education, and voila, the world’s in great hands, all thanks to you.  

So, Welcome to Wealthie. Celebrate yourself.