Dave Ramsey says: nurture young teens’ desire to invest

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Dear Dave,

Our son is 13 and has been doing some business part time with a family friend.

He earns $40-60 a week and would like to start investing the majority of what he earns.

Do you have a suggestion for a good place he could put his money in?

– Lindsey

Dear Lindsay,

Well, that’s the thing. At this point in his life, the goal of this investment is not wealth. No. 1, not a lot of money. Number 2, well, that’s not a lot of money. The goal is to create knowledge, reward his interest in the topic, and teach him how to handle his finances when he is an adult.

I have no problem helping him open checking or savings accounts at a local bank or credit union. There are a lot of good lessons to learn in juggling a bank statement with the value of spending, saving, and giving.

Then you can get a good financial professional, with the heart of a mentor, and let him open a mutual fund for $50 a month with you as the trustee. He can learn about compound interest, how to calculate the value of his shares and other things, all of which would be a good educational exercise as well.

We did these things with our children. But keep in mind that over the course of a year — and when you’re 13, that’s eternal — there won’t be much action on the investment side of things.

It can be boring for him at times. But it’s better for him to learn now that good things don’t always come with bright lights and whistles.

When it comes to building wealth, things are not exciting. With patience you get what you want!

– Dave

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