Review of: The Young Investor – Projects and Activities for Making your Money Grow

by Katherine R. Bateman, copyright 2001. Published by Chicago Review Press, Inc


Ms Bateman wrote this book to help her tween grandchildren learn about the market so they could wisely select investments with money she planned to give them when they became teenagers.

She covers a breadth of topics spanning the history of money, how currency and coins are made, bank accounts, credit, debit, ATMs, compound interest, risk tolerance, stocks, bonds and mutual funds, the economy, the market, the market indexes, stock picking and more. Along the way she introduces many terms on which even most adults don’t have a great handle – such as limit order. Continue reading

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Values Disconnect: Self-sufficiency vs Entitlement

Family Money Values. One of them for our family is self-sufficiency. I suspect that many Americans value it as well. We pride ourselves on being rugged individualists, able to improvise, invent, and to take care of ourselves and our own.

Yet, in today’s world, there appears to be a disconnect between our cherished value of self-sufficiency and the fact that many of us partake of entitlement programs.

In 2012, US News reported that 4% of us live in public housing, 6% receive low income cash assistance; 11 % use food stamps and almost 25% received Medicaid.

CNN Money, also at the end of 2012, reported that nearly ½ of the American population receives some kind of government check (the study reported included Social Security, unemployment and medicare). Continue reading

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Why Talk to Family About Money?

Last week I was interviewed by The Canadian Press for a newswire article on several sites. The topic was, Why talk to family about money?

In preparation for the interview, I wrote down my thoughts about the reporter’s (Romina Maurino) questions.

Since her mention in the article was nice, but very brief, I thought I’d go ahead and share my thoughts with you in this post.

Why is it important to discuss finances with family? Continue reading

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Samantha Squirrel Learns Persistence


Readers, here is another Financial Fable to read to your kids.

Samantha was a gray tree squirrel, born in March high in the tree top nest her Mama and Papa had built.

She lived snug and safe in that nest with her 2 sisters. Her nest tree swayed gracefully in the winds, high above the ground, rocking Sammie to sleep each night – with her belly full of warm Mama’s milk.

Mama and Papa Squirrel were very smart. They were also curious; fast moving; and able to leap easily between the trees holding the nests of rest of the Squirrel family’s colony. But most of all, they were persistent.

Grandpap and Grandmam Squirrel and their parents before them taught Mama and Papa Squirrel that being persistent is VERY important. More important than being smart. More important than being fast and much more important than being the biggest jumpers.

After all, being persistent was what had made the family one of the richest in the colony. Continue reading

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Review of: Kiplinger’s Money Smart Kids – What they need to know about money and how to tell them

by Janet Bodnar copyright 2005 published by Dearborn Trade Publishing


Bodnar attempts to make the reader see a kid’s point of view about money – demonstrating what kids think, say, know and don’t know about various subjects.

She covers parent money personality and parent money behavior as well as skimming lightly over what kids at various ages (preschool, tweens, teens and young adults) should know, what they do know, what they ask about money and resources and suggestions to teach them. Continue reading

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Keeping Wealth in the Family

Our nation has a mixed view on the morality of keeping wealth in the family. Most of us want our children and grandchildren to have a better life than we do, yet many Americans turn up their noses at the uber rich trust fund babies – people with third generation (or more) wealth.

Some believe that to keep America being the ‘land of opportunity’, it is necessary to strip the wealthy of money and make it available to those less fortunate. Some even want big government to enforce that view – with programs to address things like ‘income inequality’.

Very few of us want to see a caste system develop here, where your birth family determines your station in life. No matter the reality, we want to believe that each new baby has a chance to become a Bill Gates, Warren Buffett or a US president.

Maybe it is a good thing, then, that most wealth is dispersed before the end of the 3rd generation of the creator. Riches to rags in three generations or shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in three generations – there are a number of popular expressions that attest to the commonality of the condition.

What if, though, a family could continually grow and thrive, with wealth creators in each generation. Doesn’t building a base of financial and personal assets in each family generation make sense in support of providing increasing opportunities, not only to family members, but to the ever widening circle of associates, partners, shareholders and employees around them?

Personally, I love rags to riches stories – and they abound in our literature. But what of those families, like mine, that work hard, save well and build wealth over time? One generation continually provides a step up for the next. The story isn’t one of a single shooting star, but of multiple family members earning and growing resources which they share with the next generation. How do they do it? What is the secret to their legacy of wealth building across generations? Continue reading

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