Recently we had the pleasure of sitting down with the wonderful Elle Halliwell to discuss children’s finance and investment gifting; see her thoughts below!
What would you want your kids to use their investment for when they leave school?
A house deposit or education seems the most sensible option for a school leaver to spend his or her investment money, but I also believe twenty-somethings should also make the most of their youth and travel the world.
This is why I’m of the opinion they should have a number of savings goals, so they can both secure their financial futures as well as being rewarded in the short term for reaching smaller savings goals, like buying a (second-hand!) car, or saving up to backpack through South America for three months before starting uni. Or maybe somewhere a little less dangerous!
Are you happy for your kids to receive gift contributions to their investment accounts from family and friends, or would your prefer toys, or a combination of both?
Before I discovered iTrust, Tor’s godmother and his aunts and uncles used to give him money for his milestones, such as birthdays and Christmas, which I would invest in my own share portfolio and send them updates on how his shares were tracking.
It was a clunky way of doing it, so I was excited to hear about iTrust and the ease in which parents, friends and family can invest in children’s futures.
Kids get so many toys these days, and more often than not the novelty wears out very quickly and you end up accumulating landfill in your home. I personally would much rather know I was contributing to a child’s future financial freedom than simply adding to the local waste dump.
Would you recommend or gift an investment account for a child in lieu of a gift?
Absolutely. A girlfriend of mine, who is also environmentally conscious, has a tradition at Christmas when it comes to giving her son gifts – she and her husband will buy him one thing to read, one thing to eat (such as a Santa chocolate), and one thing to play with. I plan on doing the same for Tor this year, but am going to add “one sum to invest” to that list.
It used to be considered a bit taboo in Australia to give money as gifts, but fortunately we’re collectively starting to realise that we’re flitting away the Earth’s precious resources giving each other ‘stuff’ that we simply don’t need. We need to start thinking less about immediate gratification, and more on our futures and those of the next generation.
What are the benefits for Australian children to learn about investing through an iTrust investment account?
I think watching an investment account grow can be incredibly rewarding for a child, and it’s an easy way for parents to educate them on how interest works, how to make money work harder and the benefits of creating good savings habits.
Do you consider the environmental impact when giving a gift? Do you think the low carbon footprint and zero landfill aspect of iTrust will appeal to other parents?
Yes always. I think I’m part of a generation of parents who are incredibly aware of the environmental challenges we face. You only have to look at Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan and their recent public admission they planned to have no more than two children “for the sake of the planet”, to see that this is of global importance to this generation of new parents.
At what age do you think children should be introduced to the concept of money?
I don’t think you can start too early. I’ve been playing “shops” with Tor since he was a year old, and I will often have him help me with the grocery shopping or paying the bill when we go out for a coffee of a babychino (these days we eat our smashed avo on toast at home .
He’ll tap my debit card at the register or help me to count coins and notes, and we also have a piggy bank which he fills with spare change he finds around the house – or in our wallets!
I also recently finished reading the classic finance book The Richest Man in Babylon, as well as The Barefoot Investor, as I believe the more financially competent I am as a parent, the more knowledge I can pass to Tor as he gets older, in order to help him gain financial independence when he reaches adulthood.
The former Governor of the Reserve Bank said children born today will not be able to afford a house without family assistance; Are you concerned about the financial ability of your children to enter the property market?
I definitely agree that it will be very difficult, but I also think that it won’t be impossible if teens and twentysomethings make sound financial choices early on and know how to invest their earnings wisely.
I made plenty of financial mistakes in my 20s, but I’m hoping I can pass on what I’ve learned to Tor so he doesn’t make the same ones.
Tags :kids finance, children’s finance and investment,children’s investment gifting