Investing with your child can help them build a nest egg and improve their financial literacy.
Gifting your child with a nest egg of investments is a wonderful idea, and will no doubt give them a kick-start into adulthood.
But some experts say we may be approaching this incorrectly; we could be investing with our children, rather than for them, to give them not just money but knowledge.
Orsolya Bartalis, 39, from Perth does just this with her oldest child, Jordan. “I take 35 per cent of my 15-year-old’s wage [from his part-time job], and we sit down and look at possible investments together,” she says.
“We look at what we’re getting, how secure it is, what the returns are and how long we have to invest the money for. He can then ask questions and we decide whether we invest or not; it’s often property investments.”
Investing in property is something that Cherie Barber, founder of Renovating For Profit is passionate about teaching young people. In her Young Renovators Scholarship Program, she teaches kids aged 12 to 18 about investing in and renovating homes.
“We’re seeing an increasing number of young people getting interested in property,” she says.
“Children are watching renovating shows on TV, like The Living Room and The Block, and all these young people are getting inspired by and curious about property.”
Barber says her views on involving kids in the world of property can be controversial.
“There are plenty of people saying that kids shouldn’t be into property; they should be out kicking a football or playing their Xbox, but I don’t think that’s necessarily true. That’s up to each individual child.”
“Kids are thinking about the future, and the sooner that parents can start educating their children about what to buy, where to buy and how to identify really good capital growth suburbs, the better.”
Investing together: a parent’s responsibility
Make no mistake: financial literacy, from budgeting to investing, is the responsibility of parents.
Orsolya Bartalis says she aims to teach financial literacy to her kids.
“Kids receive [almost] no financial literacy in the education system, so that responsibility falls back on parents and the individual child to learn it of their own accord,” Barber says.
With a future filled with housing affordability problems and self-funded retirement, there’s nothing more certain than the fact that the next generation need to learn how to be very smart with their money.
And, while it feels like a big step for our generation of parents, many of whom experienced money as a taboo topic, it’s worth forging the way for our children. Bartalis says, “The main message I am working on instilling in my kids is to learn to be financially literate, so they can have a choice as to what they want to do in life.”