Kids all have their own personalities, but most of the time, they follow what they know. That means if parents yell, scream, and create drama, so do kids. If parents are laid back and open minded, their kids generally see the world with a broader view. While, you can change behaviors as an adult, its much easier to imbed good habits at an early age. In our house, financial literacy is one of the habits we’re trying to cement during the formative years. It’s important to teach kids about wants vs needs, plus how to spend and save responsibly. Recently, we’ve found that its also easy to get kids excited about investing!
An Easy, Cheap Way Kids Can Invest in Stocks
I am a big fan of some of the new types of brokerages that make investing less expensive and easy to understand. With Motif Investing, I think we’ve found the medium where small time investors can buy stocks without losing a big chunk of money to fees.
With Motif, you can choose up to 30 stocks in a pre-selected bundle called a Motif, or you can build your own. The minimum buy in is only $250, and each trade is only $9.95. Yes, you can own up to 30 stocks for only $9.95! I know it sounds like an infomercial, but really, for the low, low, cost of $9.95, you can buy 30 stocks!
Even with other low cost brokerages, to choose and purchase 30 individual stocks would cost at least $120 in trading fees if you assume $4 per trade.
I would never invest my money and lose almost half to fees, but with Motif, you don’t have to.
Do Kids Have $250?
Yes, absolutely. Kiddos can be rich because they have no expenses. Just in the last year, my daughter has racked up $300 in birthday, holiday, and allowance money. We started a junior savings account, but the interest is paltry.
I don’t think parents should completely control their kids’ money. Wanting silly things if just part of being a kid and it’s important to let kids have some freedom with spending. Luckily, the things our daughter wants to buy right now are cheap, so keeping $40 of her stash in liquid cash is more than enough. We can easily invest $250.
Kids Can Understand the Stock Market (Sort Of)
I don’t really understand all the intricacies of the stock market myself, but I know enough to be a smart investor. It’s also easy to talk about the stock market with kids. Even our 7 year old sort of understands how companies work. When I told my daughter we were going to divert $250 of her savings into the stock market, she had lots of questions, but was really excited once we got started.
Look at Products They Know
I tried to explain to my daughter that big companies sell parts of themselves for anyone to buy. When we do buy those companies and they make money, so do we. They can also lose money, so we should pick good companies that have been around for a while. I kind of got the blank stare, but then I told her to think about all the products and services she enjoys.
We started with toys and came up with Mattel for American Girl Dolls and Hasbro for My Little Pony. Then came McDonald’s and Pepsi, not for soda, but because they make oatmeal! (Child seriously loves oatmeal) Madagascar is probably her favorite move, so we picked Dreamworks. We chose Southwest Airlines and Hilton Hotels because we like to go on trips, and Procter and Gamble for their fancy nail polish. We also could not leave out Walt Disney. Who doesn’t want to own a little piece of Elsa?
By the time we were done, this was our complete list.
- Jack In The Box
- Procter & Gamble
- Whole Foods
- Walt Disney
- Children’s Place
- Dick’s Sporting Goods
- Papa Murphy’s
- Southwest Airlines
- TJ Maxx
- Yum Foods
- Dollar Tree
- Scholastic Corp
- Hawaiian Holdings
Stock Mogul In The Making
We made up our little Motif and paid the $250 plus $9.95 for the trade fee. Now my daughter owns stock in her favorite companies. I kind of thought maybe it was a fun exercise that would be soon forgotten, but now I’m not so sure.
I hate fast food as a general rule, but I’ve really dropped the ball lately in household maintenance because of Jim being gone, rental renovations, and having to car shop. I decided a happy meal was in order after my kid patiently sat through a very boring meeting with our contractor.
On the way home, she kind of got quiet, which is rare, and then says, “Mom, tell me again how those stock things work.”
I explained how our buying one happy meal didn’t do much to her stock, but when people buy lots of happy meals around the world, she makes money. Pretty cool, huh?
Motif Is A Great Way To Get Kids Excited About Investing
I think Motif offers a great way to introduce kids to stock investing. I’m not sure we’re ready to talk about broad spectrum index funds, but we do understand McDonalds. If we are able to add $250 a year at 8% interest, that adds up to over $4000 by the time she’s 18, a far greater investment than toys or gadgets. We will also be able to watch the ups and downs of the stock market.
This is fun money that doesn’t cost us a cent. If we go up great, if we go down, that’s OK too. Hopefully by doing this now, it won’t be scary when she really has to invest for her future.
If you’d like to invest in Motif, you can sign up through my link. I do receive a small commission that I promise will not be used to purchase Happy Meals!
Will you talk to your kids about the stock market? How old were you when you bought your first stock?