For me my confidence in confronting money issues was formed long before my skill level matched it. I appreciate this is not the way for many people and this is part of the reason I feel so compelled to share my story with you all and launch this new project which will allow me to build a community in which I can be your confidante and create a space where we can all share our insecurities and seek council and gain confidence.
It all started for me when I was a little girl, probably around 5 years old. I used to love to steal some snuggle time with my dad by climbing on his lap while he read his ValueLine stock pages. He would tell me about stock quotes and what he was investing in at the time. It wasn’t my interest in stocks that kept me coming back- but the opportunity to have some time with my dad. This experience gave me a false sense of confidence with stocks and investing. I thought I knew what was going on and was never afraid to dive in. I started buying stocks and later, options soon after getting my first full time job.
I did say false sense of security- the truth is I didn’t know that much and made plenty of mistakes (and also had a few accidental wins like Intel in the early 1990’s). But I learned as I participated and then went on to dive more deeply into investing and related topics as a journalist and then later as a student when I went back to school. The best teacher was simply being brave and just doing it – buying a stock, selling too early or too late – and learning along the way. All of this only bolstered my confidence to stay in the game and to blend instinct with homework. Only by taking action could I learn from my mistakes and as it turned out had I waited for the perfect opportunity or more knowledge I probably would still be waiting to invest for the first time.
The magic that happened with me can happen with any child. Talking to your kids about money – showing them some of the choices you are making and confiding in them by sharing your strategy for investing or paying off debt or what every money issues is in your life is the key. I didn’t learn that much from my dad- but I thought I did and that sense of confidence and familiarity with money decisions propelled me to take chances with my own money later. I may have lost some cash (can you say Lucent 2000-2001) but I gained insight with every trade and I am not afraid to learn. I want to see every family share their money know-how with their kids and challenge them to know more and do better. This requires each of us to find what we do know- not what we don’t and share that. Get your kids involved with money. Teach them respect for their investments but not to live or die by them- give them wiggle room to make mistakes and grow. That investment does not have to be stocks or bonds- it can be their own business (kids are very entrepreneurial) or creating a savings fund. Get talking and get doing – even if you are in a financial hole yourself. Don’t wait – start the conversation today.
Share you confidence building stories or challenges by commenting on our Confidence Project page. You are never to young or too old to be part of our community. Welcome.