How To Teach Your Kids About Money

Becoming a parent is a life-changing event, and there are numerous things we want to teach our children to become independent and successful adults. As a society, we are excelling in some areas of parenting, but falling behind in others. In a recent National Financial Capabilities Study, only 24% of Millennials (age 23-35) were able to answer the first three financial literacy questions correctly, and a mere 8% answered them all correctly. (1)

Most parents agree that we need to do a better job teaching our kids about money. Last year, T Rowe Price reported that 80% of parents didn’t think schools were doing enough to teach kids about financial matters. (2) However, parents cannot abdicate all responsibility to the schools. Raising children and teaching them to navigate the world is first and foremost a parent’s responsibility, and it’s easier to start when they’re young than try to catch-up when they are teenagers.

Practice What You Preach

The first step in teaching your kids about finances is letting them watch you make financial decisions and modeling what you want them to learn. The same T Rowe Price study mentioned above found that 69% of parents are very/extremely concerned about setting a good financial example for their kids. The vast majority, eight out of ten, feel that they are setting a good financial example, but two-thirds also admit to doing things that wouldn’t qualify as setting a good example.

A significant 40% said that when it comes to talking to their kids about finances, it’s “Do as I say, not as I do.” Anyone who has raised kids knows that won’t cut it. The first step in teaching your kids about money is simple: Show them.  

Start The Conversation

Sometimes a silent model isn’t quite enough, and some areas of personal finance aren’t very visible. That is why it is critical to talk to your kids about finances. Unfortunately, talking about money is a long-standing cultural taboo. A 2013 study found that 63% of Americans would rather share their body weight with co-workers than their bank account balance. (3) Often this reluctance to discuss financial matters spills over into the home as well.

Forty-nine percent of the parents in the T Rowe Price study said they rarely or never discuss family finances with their children. Eighteen percent admitted to being very/extremely reluctant to discuss financial matters with their kids, and 72% of parents experience at least some reluctance to having such a discussion. Many parents even say they would rather discuss drugs or sex with their kids than money. (4)

But how are kids going to learn about money if you avoid talking to them about it, as 41% of T Rowe Price respondents admitted to doing? Most parents don’t expect their kids to understand the dangers of drugs just because they have never seen their parents shoot up. Some things require more in-depth discussion and openness, and finances are one of them. And if you set the precedent of being open about finances when they are young, hopefully they will still come to your for advice or assistance when they get older.

Let Them Try

For financial understanding to truly sink in, you need to get your kids involved. Learning theory and research have consistently shown that the more active a learning experience is, the greater the learning gains and retention. (5) Most people have to do something to really learn it.

How does this work with kids? For one, try letting them divide their allowance into different categories, set short-term and long-term goals, and helping them understand what things are worth. Give your 5-year-old some money to buy something at the store so they learn the value of different items and realize that in order to obtain something (a toy), they have to exchange it with something else (money). You may try letting your 10-year-old figure out the cost of the new video game he wants, plus tax, and help him save up his allowance for it. Let your teenager buy her back-to-school clothes on her own with a set amount of money.

Don’t be afraid to let them make mistakes either. Sometimes learning the hard way is the best way to grow, and it’s better for them to learn those lessons when they are young and the consequences aren’t as severe.

Getting Started

Imparting financial wisdom to your kids is a challenging process that takes years. So, if you don’t feel like you’re doing an adequate job of teaching your kids about money, you’re not alone. Even if you are doing a good job, you probably agree with the 77% of the T Rowe Price survey parents who said that they wished there were more resources available to help them teach their kids about financial matters.

Here at Balboa Wealth Partners, we believe that every child can learn critical financial lessons at a young age that will set them up for future success. We want to provide you with the tools to help you on this journey. To set up a meeting, contact me at 949-445-1465 or jgilbert@balboawealth.com. Together we can make sure that this next generation enters adulthood with the knowledge necessary to build a secure financial foundation for their bright futures.

About Jeff

Jeff Gilbert is the founder and CEO of Balboa Wealth Partners, a holistic financial management firm dedicated to providing clients guidance today for tomorrow’s success. With nearly three decades of industry experience, he has worked as both an advisor and executive level manager, partnering with and serving a diverse range of clients. Specializing in serving high and ultra-high net worth families, Jeff aims to help clients achieve their short-term and long-term goals and to worry less about their finances and more on their passions in life. Based in Orange County, he works with clients throughout Southern California, as well as Arizona, Oregon, and Washington. To learn more, connect with Jeff on LinkedIn or email jgilbert@balboawealth.com.

Advisory services offered through Balboa Wealth Partners, Inc. An SEC registered Investment Adviser.  Securities offered through Chalice Capital Partners, LLC, member FINRA, SIPC

Balboa offers advisory services independent of Chalice.  Neither firm is affiliated.

_______

(1) http://gflec.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/a738b9_b453bb8368e248f1bc546bb257ad0d2e.pdf

(2) https://corporate.troweprice.com/Money-Confident-Kids/images/emk/2015-PKM-Report-2015-FINAL.pdf

(3) http://www.countryfinancialsecurityblog.com/cfsi-april-2013/

(4) http://www.dailyfinance.com/2009/06/11/parents-would-rather-talk-with-their-kids-about-sex-than-money/

(5) http://www.joe.org/joe/1994august/a6.php

Our Mid-Year 2018 Economic Update

Believe it or not, we are halfway through 2018! As we reach this mid-year mark, let’s take a look at what our economy has been up to. After a stellar 2017, 2018 has brought a fair share of ups and downs, market volatility, trade uncertainty, and record unemployment numbers. However, as most individual Americans see it, things are looking up. Here’s a bird’s-eye view of our economy as we reach the mid-year mark of 2018.

Confidence Is Up

Consumer sentiment, as measured by the University of Michigan, remains above average, with June increasing to 99.3 points as compared to an average of 86.33 points since 1952. (1) The Consumer Confidence Survey found that consumers’ assessment of current conditions has reached a 17-year high. They also found increases in consumer confidence from April to May in every category, including people’s present situation and expectations. (2)

Business confidence is also up, both in manufacturing and non-manufacturing, according to the national Institute for Supply Management. (3)

The Stock Market Is Up (And Down)

Following the calm upward trajectory of 2017, stocks made impressive gains in January, only to shake investors awake in the following months. February was the most volatile month we have seen since 1996. (4) In fact, just the first quarter of this year saw five weeks that posted bigger declines than the worst week of 2017 and four weeks with greater increases than any week in 2017. (5)

Though things seem shaky compared to 2017, it’s important to note that the volatility that we are experiencing is not an anomaly, but rather within normal range. By the end of May, 2018 would have ranked as the 12th most volatile year out of the last half-century. (6)

Even with the renewal of volatility, stocks continue to trend higher. The S&P 500 is up 3.94% so far this year. (7)Small companies, which are less dependent on international trade, have fared particularly well recently. The Russell 2000 Index, which tracks smaller companies, is up 9.56% so far this year. (8)

Trade Risks Are Up

As mentioned above, international trade has moved front and center on the economic stage. Early in the year, the current administration decided to impose a 25% tax on steel imports and a 10% tax on aluminum imports. (9) While China responded with countermeasures, US allies were originally exempt. However, in May, the exemptions expired. Some countries, such as South Korea, Argentina, Australia, and Brazil, have negotiated quotas, or volume limits, to replace the tariffs. The European Union and Mexico immediately stated that they would impose countermeasures or tariffs of their own. (10)

June’s G7 meeting ended on a sour note as the US made clear their dissatisfaction with current trade agreements. The US hopes to renegotiate trade deals to make them more favorable, but whether the move will work or spiral into an economically damaging trade war remains to be seen. (11)

Unemployment Is Down

Another thing that continues to go down is unemployment, which dropped to 3.8% in May (the lowest level since April 2000). (12) Black and Latino unemployment, in particular, has reached record lows. (13) Initial jobless claims have hit their lowest levels in the last 50 years. (14) Employers also surpassed expectations in May by creating an additional 223,000 jobs.

Things are especially looking up for those that earn the least. Recent reports show that those earning the lowest wages are the ones who are seeing the highest percentage of increases in earnings. (15)

The Economy Is Keeping Up

Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was up 2.3% in the first quarter of 2018. While that is lower than we saw in 2017, it still exceeded expectations. Cheaper commodity prices and reduced corporate taxes helped to drive the growth. (16)

First quarter spending was down, at its lowest rate in 5 years. However, with a still-tightening labor market and the large fiscal stimulus, analysts do not expect low spending to be a pervasive problem. (17) In fact, spending has already begun to pick up as we draw closer to summer. (18)

What Does The Fed Say?

The Federal Reserve has raised rates twice so far this year to 1.75%-2% and is anticipating two more rate hikes before we reach 2019. The new Fed Chairman, Jerome Powell, stated in June that the economy has strengthened significantly since 2008. He believes it is approaching a “normal” level where it will not need the Fed to be as active in encouraging economic activity. Overall, he is optimistic, believing the economic outlook for the US is good with a strong economy, strong labor market, and strong growth. (19)

What Does This Mean For Your Money?

While things are looking up as a whole, it’s important to make sure your own personal financial situation is following suit. If you have questions about the state of the economy or want to make sure your portfolio is set up to give you a smooth and direct path toward financial independence, call me at 949-445-1465 or email me at jgilbert@balboawealth.com.

About Jeff

Jeff Gilbert is the founder and CEO of Balboa Wealth Partners, a holistic financial management firm dedicated to providing clients guidance today for tomorrow’s success. With nearly three decades of industry experience, he has worked as both an advisor and executive level manager, partnering with and serving a diverse range of clients. Specializing in serving high and ultra-high net worth families, Jeff aims to help clients achieve their short-term and long-term goals and to worry less about their finances and more on their passions in life. Based in Orange County, he works with clients throughout Southern California, as well as Arizona, Oregon, and Washington. To learn more, connect with Jeff on LinkedIn or email jgilbert@balboawealth.com.

Advisory services offered through Balboa Wealth Partners, Inc. An SEC registered Investment Adviser.  Securities offered through Chalice Capital Partners, LLC, member FINRA, SIPC

Balboa offers advisory services independent of Chalice.  Neither firm is affiliated.

____________

(1) https://tradingeconomics.com/united-states/consumer-confidence

(2) https://www.conference-board.org/data/consumerconfidence.cfm

(3) https://www.schwab.com/resource-center/insights/content/market-perspective

(4) http://www.carsonwealth.com/insights/market-commentary/weekly-market-commentary-march-19-2018/

(5) http://www.carsonwealth.com/insights/market-commentary/weekly-market-commentary-march-26-2018/

(6) http://flemingwatson.com/volatility/

(7) http://money.cnn.com/data/markets/sandp/

(8) http://money.cnn.com/data/markets/russell/

(9) http://fortune.com/2018/03/02/trump-trade-war-tariff-smoot-hawley/

(10) https://www.cnbc.com/2018/05/31/trump-administration-will-put-steel-and-aluminum-tariffs-on-canada-mexico-and-the-eu.html

(11) http://www.carsonwealth.com/insights/market-commentary/weekly-market-commentary-june-11-2018/

(12) https://www.schwab.com/resource-center/insights/content/market-perspective

(13) http://www.carsonwealth.com/insights/market-commentary/weekly-market-commentary-june-4-2018/

(14) http://www.carsonwealth.com/insights/market-commentary/weekly-market-commentary-april-30-2018/

(15) http://www.carsonwealth.com/insights/market-commentary/weekly-market-commentary-june-4-2018/

(16) http://www.carsonwealth.com/insights/market-commentary/weekly-market-commentary-april-30-2018/

(17) http://www.carsonwealth.com/insights/market-commentary/weekly-market-commentary-april-30-2018/

(18) https://www.schwab.com/resource-center/insights/content/market-perspective

(19) https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/13/us/politics/federal-reserve-raises-interest-rates.html