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Teaching financial literacy to your kids

By Sasha Karen

Children are our future, so it’s important to teach them whatever you can to arm them for life, which according to one investor, includes about your investment portfolio.

For some investors like Simon Grant, having property investments is a way of supporting children financially in the future.

“I don’t know how my kids are ever going to be able to afford to live in Sydney and I want them to have that option if they can,” said Mr Grant.

“If I can do some things now, which down the line mean that they have got an opportunity to lean on me and say, ‘Hey dad, can we get a little bit of equity?’ or, ‘Can we help us kick-start something?’ Then that is where we want to go.”

Mr Grant says while the investment will help his kids in the future, he just does not want to simply hand it over to them, but to educate them first.

“They know that this investment pathway for us is not about just handing something over to them, it’s about making sure they understand why we are doing what we are doing,” Mr Grant said.

“They are only 10 and 12 so at this point in time there is a little bit more education they need to get.”

While Mr Grant’s kids do not see him as a property investor, they do know he has a portfolio that he plans to expand.

“They ask us… ‘Why did we do that?’, ‘Why did we purchase this?’ and ‘What are you doing with this house?” he said.

“We've always had a policy of just being upfront with them. I come from a generation where our parents said, ‘Pay your mortgage off and that’s it and don’t do anything else.’ You never spoke about finances.

“It wasn't discussed in the household around the kids. I don’t believe in that ethos.”

What Mr Grant does believe is children are getting smarter and they need to understand what occurs in the “real world,” but there is limits of what he will divulge, as he does not want to pile unneeded stress onto them.

“I don’t want them to be stressed about, ‘Oh gee, we can’t afford this,’” Mr Grant said.

“I want to give them a good life.”

Mr Grant has not taught his kids too much, but plans to teach them more as they get older.

“My oldest is in high school now so having some fiscal discussions with them, and they… earn their money,” he said.

Mr Grant is a strong believer in “tough love,” and will not just roll over and hand over money to his kids when they ask for it.

“My youngest is great at spending it all on lollies and he blew a whole lot of his birthday money recently and went, ‘Oh I’ve got no money to buy anything with because I have just spent it on sugar,’” Mr Grant recounted.

When asked by his youngest son if he could borrow some additional money, Mr Grant replied with, “You’re not getting any money. You had it, you've lost it”.

“It may be tough love but I think there is a time and a place to understand a bit. Each sort of chunk, each year they go through to give them a bit more understanding of what money means and how it can work for you and how it can work against you.”

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Teaching financial literacy to your kids
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