Things parents need to know before teaching their kids about investing

Things parents need to know before teaching their kids about investing

The following blog was written by SEONG  RYOO, our 2020 Summer Instructor and rising senior at Emory University pursuing a BBA in accounting, Finance and Accounting.

Investing is always one of the most popular camp topics at Wealthy Habits.

Here are some basics we want parents to know before starting their investing journey:

Being young is a huge advantage when it comes to investing. Being young means that you have more time to make more profit, and you have more time to learn from mistakes at less cost.

The recipe to build wealth is no longer a secret. The ingredient needed for you to become wealthy is time. Time is something that even the richest person in the world cannot buy. It is something even the smartest person on the Earth cannot invent. Time is extremely valuable in investing because it is the basic law of growing the profit from an investment. Investment is like a snowball rolling down the side of the mountain. It gets bigger at a faster speed as the snowball has been running down the slope for longer. And this is why it is more advantageous to start investing early. The younger you are, the more time you have.

No one can guarantee that you’ll always make a profit from your investment. Sometimes people make mistakes, and kids have the advantage to fix them. They can learn from past mistakes and make better investment choices in the future. It is easier to fix a mistake you made when you are younger and have relatively fewer responsibilities than when you are older and have a family and other obligations. You can learn from your mistakes at a cheaper price when you are younger.

Investing is a double-edged sword. There are certainly benefits to investing, but it is important to understand the risks. A clear benefit from investing is that you can build wealth without having to work for it. The negative aspect of investing is that you may lose money. Some investors get addicted to investing and spend most of their day looking at the graphs and following the stock market. Some investors leverage more than they can handle and fall into huge debt. Investing can be very dangerous if it is done irresponsibly.

Investing is more than just buying an asset. Investing is a mental game that involves a lot of emotion. It requires confidence in your research and your decision-making as well as devising and sticking to an exit plan. Check out our blog that explains why buying low and selling high is harder here.

Endurance is important in investing. Remember that it takes time for your investments to grow, so don’t let your feeling get the best of you. Don’t make irrational decisions because you are happy or scared. As if you are growing a tree, there will be sunny days and rainy days before you will be able to taste its sweet fruit.

Making decisions is an extremely crucial part of investing. You should never just follow other people and jump on a bandwagon. Those people will not be responsible for the consequences of your action. You should always do your own research, build your own opinions, and make your own decisions. Because you are the one who is taking on the responsibility, you should be in charge of all of your investment decisions.

Investing is not speculating. Many people confuse investing with gambling. I agree that both investing and gambling have uncertainty in common. However, investing and betting are different because you can manage and adjust the level of risk when you invest, and investments have a higher chance of success than gambling.

I want to share a line that I always keep in mind when I think about investing: It is not the smart one making a profit. It is the humble and disciplined one making a profit.

If you’d like your child to learn more about investing, check out our programs for one that fits your family’s needs.

Lessons Learned from Going Virtual at Wealthy Habits

Lessons Learned from Going Virtual at Wealthy Habits

Like so many other educational programs, Wealthy Habits had a choice to cancel programs or go virtual. Our mission is to educate students so it wasn’t a tough decision, but our staff was not under any illusion that it was going to be an easy feat.

From the very start, we’ve worked hard to ensure our programming makes teaching financial literacy as fun as possible through hands-on learning, relevant conversations, fun review games and eye-opening activities.

Until this summer, this has always been done in person. Translating what has worked in person, to remote, computer-based instruction seemed almost impossible.

Three of us spent two full weeks (including nights and weekends) focused on altering the current camp curriculum, deciding on and understanding the technology, and switching from local to nationwide marketing of our classes and camps.

We learned some good lessons while switching from in-person to online instruction that may be helpful to teachers, parents and students for the coming school year. Here are a few of them:

Simplify. Make technology and access to class materials easy. No matter how well everything is set up, there will be issues like bad internet connections, unresponsive websites, dead batteries and invalid passwords.

Tricks we learned:

  • Zoom has worked for us. We tried Zoom because of its reviews at the time. It hasn’t been without its issues but in all honesty some of those were likely due to user error.
  • Technology isn’t meant to last for many years. Our router was five years old and because it was furnished by our internet provider, it took some convincing to get it replaced. Once it was replaced, our slow and spotty connection was much less of an issue.
  • Make sure you have a good and preferably hardwired connection to the internet and other devices. Wi-Fi and Bluetooth are great for some things but aren’t always reliable. We had wireless speakers that would work some of the time and not work others.
  • A few weeks in, we had five classes going simultaneously. It was extremely helpful to have “mobile workstations” that were all set up the same. Each station had its own computer and extra monitor, Zoom account, speakers, other computer peripherals and whiteboards.
  • We needed lots of screen space. The smaller the screen space the less you can see and the harder it is to manage your lessons and your class. We used two full-size screens. One was so we could see all the students and the other was for the lessons.
  • When the camera is on, show your face and smile. It really does make a difference

 

Make it fun. This sounds so much easier than it actually is, but it isn’t impossible.

  • Remember to be age appropriate. My college-age child was watching her professors do some really “not-so-funny” funny stuff.
  • If you want kids to stay engaged, add a little competition. Talking to a screen of blank faces isn’t fun for anyone. We have one prize at the end of each program that the kids compete for.
  • Teach the class as if students are in the room with you. Get them talking. They like sharing their opinions or showing what they know. Not all kids are comfortable sharing and we call on the shy kids periodically to make sure they are still paying attention.
  • Try to find a dedicated room to go to, set a schedule and stick to it just as you would with an in-person session.
  • Use breakout rooms for kids to work on projects together. The Zoom breakout rooms were a lifesaver. For example, we have a Warren Buffet play that we developed that requires us to divide students into two groups. We encourage each group to be creative – dress the part, set the stage, etc. The instructors can end the sessions when they want, which brings all students back to the main session. The kids then present to the other group and instructors. The best play wins extra points.We use breakout rooms because they allow the kids to talk among themselves without feeling as uncomfortable. The instructors can pop in and out of the breakout rooms to check on the kids’ status.
  • We encourage the use of chat function. Not all kids like to talk to a screen, so we mix up some activities with the chat box. It registers the first person to hit send so it can be a great way to integrate competitive learning.
  • Going virtual meant we had to find an alternative to the workbooks we give the kids to keep everything together. A lot of teachers use Google Slides but we settled on liveworksheets.com. We like liveworksheets.com because we could upload our existing PDFs and add interactive pieces to them, instead of remaking each page.
  • Review games are a fun way to make sure kids understand the information and to show them that learning can be fun. Kahoot!, Google jeopardy and many other tools are easy to set up. During in-person camps, we try to stay away from technology, so these online games have been easier for us to use for our virtual camps. We even have a public Wealthy Habits Kahoot! game. Feel free to check it out.
  • Embrace the pros of teaching virtually. We have fewer behavioral issues in our virtual classes than we do in person, we can teach students from all over the country and even from other countries, and students can take classes in their homes, which is more convenient for some families.

For many of us, virtual learning will be part of our immediate future. We were fortunate to have a few weeks to make the switch to online learning. Many teachers were forced into it overnight. I hope some of the lessons we learned can help teachers, parents and students make the best of the situation. If we can make financial literacy fun, even online, then there’s hope for everyone else.

To see for yourself, check out our online camps and programs at WealthyHabits.org.

3 Ways to Avoid Student Loan Debt

3 Ways to Avoid Student Loan Debt

3 Ways to Avoid Student Loan Debt

In 2016, Consumer Reports found that over 42 million Americans were in debt due to student loans, a debt that totaled to $1.3 trillion. This year, that debt has grown to $1.56 trillion, affecting 45 million people across the country. Examining the numbers, you may be led to believe that there is no way to avoid student loan debt! With the constant pressure and growing competition students, and with public funding falling for federal financial aid, many are forced to take out tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loans that they are then saddled with for life. However, some students are taking extreme action to avoid student loan debt, including joining the U.S. military or working multiple jobs to stay afloat.
 

Though it has become increasingly difficult for students to stay away from falling into the student loan trap, it is not impossible to get a degree debt-free. Here are three ways to avoid student loan debt.

 

1. Earn as many scholarships as possible.

One way to ensure your student can afford a bright academic future is through merit-based scholarships. Programs like the Georgia HOPE scholarship exist in order to reward students for their exceptional performance in high school. The HOPE scholarship offers up to $1800 per semester for students graduating with a minimum 3.0 GPA. All 50 states offer financial assistance to high academic achievers, so encourage your student to study hard! Some students may even qualify for scholarships for reasons as simple as ethnicity, gender, major, or career field. For more information, check out chamberofcommerce.org for their updated list on the best college scholarships of 2019. There you will find details and tips on how to find scholarships and when to apply, as well as a list of scholarships you should consider applying for. 
 

2. Get college credit before graduating high school.

Almost all high schools in the U.S. offer AP, IB, dual enrollment, or early admissions opportunities to students. It is highly recommended that students take advantage of these courses whenever possible. With AP and IB courses, students must pass both the class itself and the end-of-year exam in order to receive college credit. Dual enrollment and early admissions involve students taking some or all of their courses for the semester free of charge at a local college, receiving credit for both their high school and college requirements. All of these provide a great option for high-achieving students looking to impress a college admissions board and save money on expensive courses.
 

3. Work for a company that offers tuition reimbursement. 

More and more businesses are beginning to understand the value of higher education, offering scholarships or tuition assistance to their employees. For example, Publix offers up to $12,800 in tuition assistance to those who have been employed with the grocery chain for at least six months, while UPS offers up to $25,000 in educational aid to its part-time employees. Before deciding on a company, be sure to research where they stand with tuition reimbursement. Already have a job? Ask a manager. You just may be in luck!
 
One important factor to remember is that the resources are out there– You just have to look. There are numerous websites that offer information on scholarships, grants, and other aid. In fact, we offer workshops on many different topics to help students out, as well! With a host of programs coming soon, please be sure to join the mailing list below so that you won’t miss out!
10 Best Places for Teens to Work

10 Best Places for Teens to Work

The 10 Best Places for Teens to Work

Getting your very first job is a landmark moment in the journey to adulthood, and summer break is the perfect opportunity for teens to jump into the workforce. Though academics and extracurriculars should always be a student’s main focus, it never hurts to allow young adults the opportunity to gain some marketable real-world skills that will be greatly beneficial to them later in life.
 
If you’re interested in encouraging your teen to take up a summer job, there’s never been a better time. More and more companies offer entry-level positions to students who are at least 16 years of age, with some even allowing 14-year-olds to work as well. The following is a list of 10 of the best places for teens to work. Many even offer certain benefits like college tuition compensation, scholarships, free or discounted products, and the potential for future promotions. Take a look below to see some of the best places for teens to work.

Where should your teen apply, today? 

1. Publix: Rated one of Fortune magazine’s “100 best companies to work for” for a consistent 20 years, Publix is by far one of the best places for teens to work. Though most positions for new workers are as grocery baggers, the company believes strongly in promoting from within and offers yearly pay raises. Publix also offers tuition reimbursement for college, university, or technical school to any associate that has been with the company at least six months and works at least 10 hours per week.
 
2. Starbucks: One of the largest coffeehouse chains in the world, Starbucks is a great option for teens who may not have any prior work experience. The company thoroughly trains its employees, or “partners,” to become expert baristas and offers three free drinks and one free food item per shift. On top of this, Starbucks offers 100 percent tuition coverage for partners working at least 20 hours per week who wish to achieve a first-time bachelor’s degree through Arizona State University’s online program.
 
3. Local Public Pool or Water Park: For teens interested in spending their summer lounging by the pool, working as a lifeguard could be the perfect option. Students as young as 15 can achieve their lifeguarding certification through the Red Cross for as little as $100, depending on the location of the class. Once they’ve been certified, students not only have the potential to earn from $10 to $20 an hour, but they’ve also gained highly important life-saving skills, such as how to administer CPR and how to respond in water-related emergencies.
 
4. Chipotle: The Mexican restaurant that’s taken the world by storm offers numerous benefits to part-time employees. These benefits include a free shift meal, 50-percent off meals when not working, yearly raises, and up to 99 percent off college tuition costs. With a fun company culture and flexible hours, your teen will likely jump at the chance to eat free Chipotle all summer.
 
5. Chick-fil-A: As one of the most popular fast-food chains in the country, Chick-fil-A has long been renowned for its exceptionally friendly employees and its delicious chicken sandwiches. With benefits like the opportunity to earn scholarships of up to $25,000 or other tuition discounts, the possibility of a free shift meal depending on store location, the opportunity for leadership and management training, and guaranteed Sundays off, Chick-fil-A is a great option for teens who want to build their customer service skills.
 
6. McDonald’s: The world-famous golden arches offer a great opportunity for teens to gain experience in the food industry, plus benefits such as the Archways to Opportunity program, which provides scholarships, tuition assistance, and management training to employees. McDonald’s also offers free or discounted meals and snacks, so your teen can enjoy big macs all summer long at little to no cost.
 
7. AMC Entertainment: Is your teen a movie buff in the making? Encourage them to apply for a position at AMC Theatres, where they’ll have the opportunity to get free movie passes and discounted concessions. They’ll love spending their summer watching all the latest box office hits while gaining customer service skills and having the flexible schedule they need.
 
8. Barnes & Noble: For kids who’d rather have their nose in a book than their eyes on a screen, Barnes & Noble is the place to be. Discounts on merchandise like books, devices, and tech accessories are just the tip of the iceberg. The company also offers tuition reimbursement for approved college courses. Age requirements vary per store, but most entry-level bookseller or café positions at Barnes & Noble start at 16 years of age.
 
9. Cold Stone Creamery: A summer spent beating the heat by snacking on ice cream and singing for tips? Sounds like teenage heaven. The ice cream franchise describes its company culture as positive, fast-paced, and fun, making it a perfect first job for students.
 
10. Papa John’s: Restaurant team members at Papa John’s have the benefit of an extremely flexible schedule on top of receiving weekly paychecks, giving your teen a guaranteed weekly income to spend on fun summer activities when they’re not at work. Plus, who can resist free or discounted pizza?
5 Important Financial Habits to Teach Your Teen

5 Important Financial Habits to Teach Your Teen

Five Important Financial Habits to Teach Your Teen

Children often learn simply by going about their young lives and absorbing everything the world has to offer, like a sponge absorbing water. As kids spend a majority of their time with their parents, it falls on parents’ shoulders to instill healthy, positive habits within the minds of their little ones. But one life lesson that often gets overlooked is how to manage money, in other words the financial habits.
 
According to a 2013 study from the University of Cambridge, kids begin to learn “finance behaviours” by the tender age of seven. So even if you’ve never said a single word to your child about money, chances are that he or she has already picked up on your own spending habits from mere observation. If you’re not quite sure where or how to start that conversation, we’ve got you covered. Here are five financial habits that all kids should learn by the time they become a teen.
 
Lesson one: money doesn’t grow on trees. Though this may seem obvious, kids tend not to concern themselves with the troubles of adulthood. Your child should understand that you go to work in order to make money, and that currency is not unlimited. An easy way to implement this in your child’s life is by offering them an allowance in exchange for doing household chores.
 
Lesson two: don’t spend it all in one place. Sticking to a budget can be difficult for even the most frugal adults, so
you’ll want your kids to start practicing as soon as possible. When they realize their weekly allowance can’t buy them a movie ticket, a candy bar, and a new video game, they’ll learn firsthand the importance of spending wisely.
 
Lesson three: patience is a virtue. In the age of the Internet, instant gratification is at the touch of our fingertips, and kids are used to getting exactly what they want when they want it. But teaching them how to wait before they buy will help them begin learning how to avoid debt
from impulse buying as well as how to wait for bargain prices on their favorite items.
 
Lesson four: set a goal. Help your child buy that brand new toy by showing them how to save their money. Set them up with a notebook where they can keep track of how much money they’ve accumulated. In no time, they’ll be feeling the gratification of reaching their goal by
buying what they like with their own hard-earned cash.
 
Lesson five: communication is key. Certain aspects of the real world aren’t always explained clearly to children, such as taxes or tipping. Work on clarifying these things in a manner your kids will understand so they can move into young adulthood with ease. There’s no doubt that every parent wants nothing more than to set their children up for success later in life. Follow these five tips to ensure your kids begin to practice good financial habits while they’re young.
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