I’ve just had a great Father’s Day and I hope all of you fathers out there that are reading this had a great one too.
So in light of Father’s Day, I’d like to talk to you about leaving your kids a “financial legacy.”
When I was a young boy, my grandfather used to talk to me about saving my money and learning not to spend it all.
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It took some years to sink in … oh say, about … 20-25 years. But I finally got it! My grandfather had passed on a legacy of “saving.”
Then when I was probably about 12 years old, my other grandfather on my mom’s side of the family taught me about “living under my means” and the power of compound interest.
I went riding with him one day to all of his rent houses. He liked to go and collect the rent checks himself and check on the properties while he was there. All total, he had more than 100 rent houses. I knew he had to be rich.
So I asked him if he was rich. And he explained that someone was rich if they lived under their means and put the rest in something that would go up over time.
He said, for instance, some people make “big money” in their paychecks but they spend it all. While others may make less, if they save some and don't spend it all, they are ahead of the game.
So he gave some examples like this. If someone made $100,000 a year and spent $100,000…and then you had another guy who made $50,000 a year but lived off of $40,000 and put back $10,000 in savings, who was richer?
I said, the latter one because he still had something left over after it was all said and done. He said, “Correct!” And therein was the secret to the 100-plus rent houses that I was staring at.
My other grandfather left me the financial legacy of saving and compound interest.
Then my dad took it from there. When I was in my early 20s, he encouraged me to take risks while I was young both in my career and my investing. He said, you’ll only be able to do this while you’re young because when you get older, you won’t be able to take as many risks.
Therefore, I went for jobs that I had only a slim shot of getting, yet I got one. It started to boost my pay far more than it would have had I kept my former thinking. That helped me to boost the extra income that I had to work with.
Then he encouraged me to do the same in investing. (Many in my family went through the Great Depression and so they were against investing in stocks of any kind). But dad encouraged me to take those risks early on. So I did.
So dad left me the legacy of the value of taking some calculated risks in life, both in my career and in my investing…especially when I was young.
My dad has since passed away but I still have both of my grandfathers with me. In fact, this was my second Father’s Day without my dad being around. However, his financial wisdom that he had to offer along with that of my grandfathers made it to where I had my own additions to be able to pass onto my kids.
Today, I’m a father of four. I have kids ranging from the ages of 14 up to 23.
I’ll be passing along all of these nuggets from past generations but here are some additional nuggets that I’ve learned that I’ll be passing along to them too.
• Be wise enough to know that the U.S. stock market isn’t always the “best game in town.” Be willing to invest in stocks of other countries. Many times they have faster growth rates and a more stable currency that those investments are denominated in.
• Get some of your money outside of the U.S. dollar. It’s in the process of losing its world’s reserve currency status now and in their lifetimes; another currency will take that spot as the Fed and Treasury continue to devalue our own currency into the dustbin.
• Taking these above steps will take guts because most of their friends won’t be doing it and they won’t understand why they are doing it. So they’ll have to be independent thinkers in this regard. Buy stable, fundamentally strong currencies such as Norway’s krone (NOK), Switzerland’s franc (CHF), Singapore’s dollar (SGD), Australia’s dollar (AUD), etc. These countries continually have a better combination of higher growth rates and lower unemployment than does the U.S.
About the Author: Sean Hyman
Sean Hyman is a member of the Moneynews Financial Brain Trust. Click Here
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