Educating youth on the importance of being an investor before a consumer and the advantages of pooling financial resources for the greater benefit of the many.
In previous generations, attitudes about money were different. Many of our parents and grandparents stashed money in banks and maybe had a pension plan, but there wasn't much education about investing. Today, however, it's a different story. We have available to us multitudes of options including the stock market, retirement plans, and individual retirement accounts (IRAs), access to off-shore accounts and a global economy that has effectively shifted making China, India and other countries our "next door neighbors". Because we have all of these opportunities, we need to start teaching our children about investing at an early age so they will grow up to be responsible, financially secure adults.
We can start teaching our youth about financial managment at very early ages. Instead of giving them a weekly allowance, try assigning them different jobs around the house to earn money. When they receive their "wages," you can use that chance to explain the value of putting away money regularly. Show them how to deposit money in the bank and explain how their money will earn interest. As they start to understand this concept, consider giving them an incentive to save, such as contributing 50 cents for each dollar they save.
When youth are old enough, we can explain how a business operates and why people buy and sell stocks. We can have children pick a stock he/she would like to purchase and then buy shares in a artificial (i.e. online edutainment) account. That way they can learn about how the stock market works and about investing for the long term. Children will take a greater interest when it is their money that is invested, making this a great learning opportunity. The very same theory exists when children realize the rewards from their own small personal and/or group businesses. Legacy Associates Foundation work with children as early as 4th grade to expose them to the importance and benefits of business preparation, ownership and management because with the proper attention they truly exemplify the aptitude and capability to be what their imagination tells them they can be.
When your children are young, we have the chance to teach them things they will hold to throughout their lives. Teaching them to understand the basics of investing, importance of saving and benefits of entrepreneurship is something that will pay dividends to us and our next leaders for generations to come.
These tools and many others can be used as steps in truly empowering youth to become the economically savvy and responsible citizens that they must be in order to compete in the 21st century. Legacy Associates Foundation programs and services plant the "seeds of self-sufficiency" in our youth that will cultivate and develop them for not merely competing, but leading and pioneering their respective educational, professional and entrepreneurial fields locally and throughout the world.