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Birthdays and other special occasions are the perfect time to turn presents into a lesson on financial literacy.  Ask the child what they want as a special gift and then give him/her a share of that stock instead of or along with the gift.   Explain to the young person that continuing to add money to that account will afford many gifts beyond this particular occasion.

A Stuff (high interest gift) &Stock (share connected to the stuff) will appreciate in value, unlike toys, games, clothes, shoes, etc., which young people grow tired-of or out-of in a short amount of time.  Birthdays and other special occasions are the perfect opportunity to teach a lesson on economics and help to educate youngsters about how every day products can translate into corporate profits and shareholder dividends.

I am a huge fan of “making your money work for you,” which is done through making smart investments, or as we say at JackieTrust, “Gift Responsibly!”

  • Of course, we need to teach kids math, literature, science and social studies but financial literacy is just as important.
  • Of course, we want kids to grow into adulthood and understand the importance of working hard but they should also learn other ways to earn money without doing all the heavy lifting.
  • Of course, we want kids to be resourceful but teach them to also use other people’s resources to to grow their wealth.

Mattel as an example: I know some kids with Mattel stock and I have been watching the stock value decrease.  I am suggesting that adults have a simple conversation with the child and let them know that Mattel is restructuring.  In an effort to turn around the declining sales and revitalize its management team, toy maker Mattel has appointed interim leader Christopher Sinclair as its permanent CEO.

Then have them talk about what they would do if they were the president of Mattel.  You can also visit a local toy store or take a virtual trip to their El Segundo, California-based headquarters to see what products they offer.

Along with a great dinner conversation there are many lessons to learn:

  • Literacy words: restructuring, revitalize, permanent, CEO
  • Social Studies: El Segundo, California and the draught
  • Math: Stock value, 52 week high and low



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