It's been a while since I last wrote a blog about investing. If you've been following my content for a while or you've seen my book Grandpa's Fortune Fables, you'll know that I'm a big believer in helping kids to start investing from a young age to help them see their money grow. It's my second rule of wealth.
I shared 5 amazing investing quotes with my daughters (ages 8 and 11) and asked if they understood what they meant.
If you haven't spoken to your kids about investing before, no worries, you can start by checking out my blog How to teach kids about the stock market.
3 Amazing Investing Quotes
"The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now"
Whilst this quote (actually, it's a Chinese proverb) wasn't written about investing, the lesson very much applies to investing.
I asked my daughters about how this relates to investing and they easily understood that people should have started investing ages ago (not exactly 20 years ago) but if they haven't started yet then they should start now!
There are many people who have never started to invest and they worried it might be the wrong time. As a result they have likely lost out on lots of returns.
Get your kids to think of money like seeds and investing helps those seeds grow into trees. The sooner they start planting, the bigger their forest will grow.
If you are thinking about investing for yourself or your kids, start now. No one really knows when the best time is. If you are worried, start small and add more regularly over time. The key is to start.
"Don't look for the needle in the haystack. Just buy the haystack!" (Jack Bogle, founder of Vanguard)
My daughters loved this one. I have spoken to them about investing in lots of different companies rather than just picking a few.
This quote is so important as a lot of people find investing hard as they don't know which companies will do well and which one will do poorly in the future. Trying to find the best companies is like finding a needle in a haystack as there are so many different companies to choose from. Even if someone is lucky enough to find a needle one time (and they will certainly tell you about that), it is super hard to keep finding the needles year after year. Remember, many professional investors don't know which companies to buy and sell.
Therefore, the best strategy is to just buy all the companies (the whole haystack). That way you will always have the needle (i.e. the companies that do really well).
It's important to note that the performance of just a few great companies (needles) generates most of the great performance for the whole stock market so it's really important that you own the needles each year.
Buying all the companies is now easy (and cheap) to do via index funds and ETFs (Exchange Traded Funds).
This is the strategy we use when investing for ourselves and our kids.
"Compound Interest is the 8th Wonder of the World" (Albert Einstein, reportedly)
My daughters remembered me talking about Compound Interest when I first started getting them to think about money like seeds. They explained how when you plant a seed (invest some money), it can grow into a tree. That tree produces more seeds (dividends) which you can plant to grow more trees. As time goes on and you have more and more trees, you have more and more seeds being produced.
When you invest, your money grows and starts to provide an income (dividends) which you can then invest. The investments that you made with these dividends will soon start to pay you more dividends.
Whilst the amount your money grows might be small at the start, over time it just gets bigger and bigger. The chart below shows the difference when you invest the dividends you make (the green line) versus spending your dividends (the purple line). The difference is Compound Interest!
If you even had any doubts about why you should invest for yourself and your kids, remember that when it comes to Compound Interest "He who understands it, earns it ... he who doesn't, pays it!". I really want your kids to earn it, rather than pay it!
"The biggest risk is not taking any risk" (Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Meta)
My eldest daughter remembered the lesson about inflation (as I used Big Macs as a fun example). When it comes to making your money grow over the long-term, it is actually risky to put your money under the bed or in a savings account and the price of different things will grow faster than your money due to inflation.
This is why it is important that kids understand that over the long-term they have to take some risks (invest) in order to reduce the risk of their money being eroded by inflation.
If you have money saved away for your kids and not expecting to give them this money for many years, you might want to consider investing so that there is more chance of that money growing faster than inflation.
"Investing should be more like watching paint dry or watching grass grow" (Paul Samuelson, Economist, Nobel Memorial Prize winner in 1970)
Again, this is a particular favourite quote of mine. My daughters understood that investing shouldn't be exciting. It is about doing the same thing consistently over a long time which is quite boring.
Whilst it would be fun to buy kids stocks in their favourite companies and watch how they do over time, this is likely to encourage them to take action as they get excited or worried as the price goes up and down. This is not what we want them to be doing.
We've seen this happen over the last few years with people getting really excited about investing in bitcoin, NFTs and individual stocks (e.g. GameStop) which may have been fun at the time but many of these people ended up losing a lot of money.
The key lesson from this quote is to put the money in a boring investment fund and then leave it alone!
Many people don't start investing as they don't know when to start, what to invest in and how to manage their investments. I'm hoping that after reading these 3 quotes you now have a much better idea and realise it's not too scary.
Teaching your kids about investing (and helping them start to invest) will give them such an advantage in life.
If you are keen to learn more about investing, then check out my Special Bundle Offer which includes a 3-step guide to setting up an investment account for your kids, an online course, a book (Grandpa's Fortune Fables), games and worksheets for your kids learn to about investing. Click here to buy now.
What's your favourite investing quote? Let me know at email@example.com
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p.s., if you feel that your company could benefit from a financial wellbeing workshop for the employees, then please check out this link. Whilst the focus is on helping parents teach their kids about money, there are a lot of lessons which will help adults too (and a lot of fun!)