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One of the reasons why Simon Grant started his property investment journey are his kids – he wanted to give them the option to continue living in Sydney despite the high prices of properties.
As early as now, Simon’s kids – one high school and one much younger – are well aware of their parents’ portfolio as well as their plans to make it bigger.
“They ask us about them, you know, why did we do that? And why did we purchase this? And what are you doing with this house? We’ve always had a policy of just being upfront with them,” he shared with Smart Property Investment.
“I come from a generation where our parents said, ‘Pay your mortgage off and that’s it. 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.”
While he was not given a chance to participate in the discussion of his family’s finances when he was a kid, Simon believes that the generation of his own children could benefit from having a broader knowledge about the proverbial “real world,” including a glimpse of the ever-changing landscape of property markets.
Through early financial literacy, he hopes to provide a better life for his kids, one where they could navigate their way through small to more complicated setbacks.
According to him: “I think that kids these days are getting smarter and they need to understand a bit more about what’s out in the real world, within limits. I don’t want them to be stressed about, ‘Oh gee! We can’t afford this or can we afford that.’ They want to have a good life. I want to give them a good life, but by the same token they know that we are doing this for a number of reasons.”
Simon ensures that while his kids know how to spend money on investments, they also know how to earn it.
“You know, a mortgage broker will come in and the kids will understand we are looking at this property or we are looking at that one. ‘Why are we doing this dad?’ [We say], ‘Oh, it’s down there and this is the reason and this is where we think it’s going to go.’ We haven’t taken too much to them yet. I will, as they get a bit older,” Simon said.
“My oldest is in high school now so we’re having some fiscal discussions with them. They know how to earn their money.
“My youngest is great at spending it all on lollies, and he blew a whole lot of his birthday money recently. He went, ‘I’ve got no money to buy anything with because I have just spent it on sugar,’ [I said], ‘That’s it mate.’ [He said], ‘Oh can I borrow?’ [But I said], ‘Nope, you’re not getting any money. You had it, you’ve lost it.”
The doting father and proud property investor added: “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, I give them a bit more understanding of what money means and how it can work for you and how it can work against you.
Smart Property Investment’s Phil Tarrant agrees that children, young as they are, must understand that most things in life don’t come easily and that one must work hard to get what they want.
A good introduction of the “real world” from parents will help equip a child with the discipline and a sense of responsibility that will provide them a head start towards excellence.
Tune in to Simon Grant’s episode in The Smart Property Investment Show to find out how, through the help of a financial team, he was able to recognise a property lemon and get back on the road to success.