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Beginning an Investment Portfolio

Category: Activities: Local | Age Group: 16+

TOPIC:

Investing Your Money

RESOURCES NEEDED:

Your son or daughter will need some amount of money (usually a minimum of $500) to begin an investment portfolio and you will need time to go to the financial institution involved to open an account with them (under the age of 18).

LEARNING OPPORTUNITY:

As teens approach adulthood they need to develop an awareness of the importance of saving and how to best make their money work for them. This raises the issue of investments. The earlier one starts the longer that money has to work for them but there are a number of things which need to be considered. One important concept is that of risk and reward. How much can you afford to lose that money? What is your tolerance for risk? How safe do you want that investment to be? These are only a few of the questions that need to be asked and answered prior to making any decisions. How one answers these questions will determine the type of investment that will be made. It is common knowledge that the safer the investment the lower the return and, conversely, the greater the risk the greater the return. As teens start to consider this idea of investments, therefore, it is important for them to get wise guidance and assistance so that they can begin to build a solid financial future.

THE ACTIVITY:
  • Sit down with your son or daughter and indicate to them that you want to talk to them about how they can start to make money work for them.
  • Indicate to them that that happens when you invest your money but that a person has to be very careful about where they place their money in order to minimize the likelihood of losing it.
  • Inform them that high-risk investments offer greater returns but greater potential to lose the money invested and safer investments offer lower returns but greater protection for the investment.
  • Let them understand that they could simply deposit the money in a savings account where it will generate minimal return but be safe.
  • Encourage them to consider looking at various investment options to understand how to start building an investment portfolio and explain to them that since they are currently under the age of 18 you would have to make the arrangements at the financial institution for them.
  • Together, decide what options they would like to consider. If unsure about the various possibilities simply consider a GIC (Guaranteed Investment Certificate).
  • Decide on how much money they would have to invest and assuming that there is sufficient money (usually a minimum of $500) set up an appointment with your chosen financial institution to talk to them about various options for investing that money. If sufficient funds are not available help your son or daughter develop a plan to amass the necessary money and then proceed.
FOLLOW-UP IDEAS:
  • Play your own virtual stock market game with your son or daughter by assuming that you both have “X” dollars to invest (you decide on the amount) and then, on
    paper, choose stocks that you are going to invest in and, check the value of your portfolio monthly against the others.
  • Play any of the on-line stock market games to develop a greater familiarity with investing.
  • Explore various options available for investing money.
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