As financial advisors, we’re in a constant state of learning, whether it’s emerging trends in our industry or new law changes that might impact our clients’ financial plans. Sometimes, the lessons come from our peers, fellow subject matter experts and other thought leaders; sometimes, they come from unexpected places, like a local seventh-grade classroom.
When we decided to partner with Money Smart Week® to host a financial literacy workshop for 100 middle schoolers, we expected to play the role of “the educator”, guiding students through the ins and outs of investing, saving fundamentals and other financial rules of thumb.
But the students actually gave us some food for thought, too. They reminded us that the road to achieving your financial goals often leads you back to the basics:
1. It’s never too early to start saving for the future, no matter how big or small your goals may be (that new pair of Jordans or a long, comfortable retirement).
2. Tuning out the noise and sticking with a long-term plan for achieving those goals is more important than following the latest trend or the financial media (don’t always believe the hallway gossip).
3. And most importantly, you should always continue to improve your financial habits. Sound financial health and fitness are not achieved in one year, 10 years or even 20 years. Practice makes perfect, but you can start with the choices you make every single day.
Whether or not we realize it, these lessons are often ingrained in us at a young age, which is why it’s important to sow the seeds for financial literacy and independence as early as possible.
“As educators, we focus on so many elements of student instruction, but the organization of financial understanding and responsibility is often forgotten. Highlighting this need is a step in the right direction, so that our students will become twenty-first century money producers that can manage and help themselves, their families and society.” – Kathleen Hagstrom, Principal of Walt Disney Magnet School
Judging by the eye-opening, insightful questions we fielded during our session, it’s safe to say that our “Smart Kids – Smart Money” attendees are well on their way to becoming good financial stewards! After the session — with a pizza party and other prizes on the line — we challenged students to put their financial savvy to the test by participating in an exclusive contest…and we’re excited to announce that we’ve chosen a winner!
We hope you toast your slices of pizza to the victory, while indulging in some fun reads about smart money management. Thank you to all those who participated in our contest and attended our workshop! We hope you learned as much as we did.
See the Winning Submission!