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May 02, 2021

Teach your kids some financial know-how

While you're teaching your kids about the ABCs and 123s, make sure you throw in some saving and investing tips.

It's never too early to start teaching your children basic money know-how that will give them the foundation to build some financial savvy for the future.

Serge Pepin, vice president, Investment Strategy, BMO Asset Management, says, "The sooner parents start talking to their kids about money, the better prepared they will be when they start saving and investing for the future.

"Even very young children can benefit from learning basic investing skills and the importance of setting financial goals."

And how young should your children be to start the money talk?

Well, children as young as five years of age can catch on to basic financial concepts.

And BMO has some handy tips to get you started:

Start early: Give your child a piggy bank and explain why people save money. Once they start school, start introducing them to investment and stock market basics and the terminology. As they get older, teach them how to invest in real companies with real money and discuss progress together;

Partner up: Set up a bank account that your child can contribute some of his/her allowance or birthday money. You can even match contributions to encourage your child. The act of investing will help them learn how to make real decisions and take real risks down the road;

Make it a habit: Continuous learning enables children to understand the information more readily. You can weave conversations about saving and investing easily into daily interaction with your child at dinner, driving, shopping or even during play time.

Keep it personal: Cater your conversations on saving and investing to your child's age group and use examples that he/she will easily understand. For example, between the ages of 5 to 9 explain the difference between short- and long-term financial goals and focus on a specific goal such as buying a video game or bicycle. Between 10 to 13, teach them how to read stock prices and have them track companies they know such as Tim Hortons, Apple, or McDonald's to make it interesting. Over 14 years of age, encourage teens to invest on their own with parental support and guidance.

The Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE) offers more tips to help you and your kids talk bout financial matters that are fun and interactive.

You never know, your child might grow up to be the next millionaire featured on the cover of Fortune magazine...or at least be successful at managing his or her own finances.

By Donna Donaldson, MSN Money

Do you think it is important for children to start learning about financial matters at a young age?



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