One of the more important gifts a mother can give to her children is educating them about money. Growing up, my mother was always talking to my sister and me about money. Just the other day she asked: “E.J. what’s going on with GNMA?”
As a sixth-grade teacher my mom made investing fun for her students. Every year she would hold an investing contest. The students would pick their stocks and then, through the course of the school year, excitedly comb through The Wall Street Journal for quotes, pumping their fists and letting out a “YES!” for the winners or pressing their ink-stained finger into the paper, pressing down on the quote whispering in disbelief “Really?” about a loss.
Today, when my mom and dad are out walking it’s not unusual for past students to come up to them and say “Mrs. Smith I’ll never forget the stock market game! You helped me understand investing!” And when they’re out of earshot my dad will ask “Who was that?” and my mom will say who it was and more often than not how she had their kids as students too.
As a gift to my children and my sister’s children, my mom bought each of them a few shares of Disney stock when they were born. Over their young lives, she’s taught them the powerful dual threat of dividend reinvestment and time without speaking a word. Of course, she loves talking about investing with them.
As a mother, allowing your children to see that you care about money is a most precious gift. It helps build confidence and removes insecurities. Someday they’ll be able to handle their finances with the thoughtfulness and care they deserve. And the fact that you’re reading this tells me you’re already well on your way.
Happy Mother’s Day.
P.S.: If you’re wondering about what’s going on with Vanguard GNMA, read this.