What would your money say if it could talk? I know, this sounds like a child-like and silly question, but it does have some merit to it.
If we were to sit down and honestly assess our financial health, spending habits, and saving efforts, I am certain that our funds would have a lot to offer us in terms of positive and negative feedback.
While I am an educator by profession, I am a "retail specialist" by choice. (A "retail specialist" is the professional term for "frequent shopper.") Now, before any thoughts of maxed out credit cards or using mortgage money to shop my life away come into play, I must share that I am a "thrifty retail specialist". That means that if it is not on sale or clearance, then, in most instances, I will not buy it. For me, the shopping smart is a woman's ultimate sport!
Having said all of this, as I was in line, in the process of satisfying my shoe craving by purchasing a pair of three-inch high, classic black leather pumps, my money spoke to me (and no!, I am not unstable, I just have a vivid imagination and I was open to listening.) My money thanked me for using it wisely by making sure that i conserved it and refrained from using it irresponsibly.
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Many times, a parent will ask me when I think is a good time to get their children involved in the subject of investing. I really believe that the age at which a parent gets the ball rolling with their child depends on the financial maturity of the child. For some, it can be as early as 10 years old, although some may not be ready to broach the subject of investing until they reach college. Now, you may already be turned off to this article, because you either feel like you are not a college student, or you don’t have one yet. No worries, this is still applicable to people who are not college students.
So let’s assume you are about to send your child away to college this fall and you want to equip him/her with, at least, a start in investing. One of the first things that I tell a teenager who wants to get educated about the stock market is to start researching a company that they are already interested in. For example, they know the latest sneakers that are popular right now. They also know which videogames are extremely hot. I tell them to find out the company’s stock symbol and go to a familiar website such as Yahoo Finance and start looking at how that stock performed in the past month or six months or for the past year. Once they do that I'll ask them questions like why do you think the company did really well in a particular month? And sometimes they’ll answer, “Well, it could be because on a particular date, Dwayne Wade came out with a brand-new version of a sneaker. Before you know it, he or she will be on Google for at least an hour trying to find out trends in what has been going on with that company or when certain models were released. They engage in their own research and go on a wild goose chase and they don't even realize that they are doing what a lot of financial analysts are doing (and getting paid for) everyday.
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