Wealth For Life

Teaching Kids How to Invest in Stocks

By  | 
stocks (Image: iStock.com/andresr)

Jackie Marshall wanted to offer adults a simple way to give meaningful, age appropriate gifts to young people, by delivering tangible gifts along with or connected to shares of a company’s stock. She also wanted to help educate the young people in her life about how every day products can translate into corporate profits and dividends.

The result was JackieTrust, which teaches financial literacy through gift giving or “stuff and stock.” So, whatever the child has an affinity for, they get the commercial product and the stock that is tied to it. “If they love sneakers, we look at Nike. If they love Mickey Mouse, we look at Disney,” explains Marshall.

The Stuff and Stock Approach

 

Marshall encourages the use of DRIPs (Dividend Reinvestment Plan). With a DRIP, the dividends or earnings that you receive from a company automatically goes toward the purchase of more stock, making the investment in the company grow little by little. What’s also great about DRIP is that it’s not necessary to purchase a whole share of stock. The investor deals directly with the company, and the corporation keeps detailed records of share ownership percentages. The dividends that an investor receives from a company goes toward the purchase of more stock, making the investment in the company grow over time, within, say, a Custodian/UTMA account.

The way the “stuff and stock” works is, for example, “If the child is fascinated with golf, we would look at a golf gift—[the stuff]. Some possibilities are kiddy golf clubs, money golf balls, mini-golf outings, and golf clothing,” says Marshall. “We then look at any DRIP that offers golf supplies. JackieTrust could bundle a putt-putt outing with a share of Callaway stock, for instance. Now, every time that child sees a golfer using Callaway clubs, it’s recognized as stock that he or she owns, [and make them] want to know how their stock is performing.”

Connecting Interest to Stock Ownership

 

“JackieTrust always begins with what is of interest to the young person,” adds Marshall. “We connect their interest to stock ownership. We determine a preliminary list of child friendly gifts belonging to companies offering DRIP.”  By nature, DRIPs encourage long-term investment rather than active trading. Therefore, the child and/or the parent will be constantly reviewing the DRIP.

The seed for JackieTrust was planted 12 years ago, when Marshall’s eldest nephew was born. “I didn’t want to give him traditional gifts. I wanted to give him something meaningful and valuable—meaning, it would appreciate [in value]. So, I began to investigate how to best to give him stock. From there, I started providing lessons about the stock market. I started teaching other adults and their children,” she says. Marshall officially incorporated JackieTrust in 2013.

“As an investment and educational tool, buying stock in a way that is easily understood by children teaches financial literacy, stock market savvy, and how to grow wealth. Investing will also assist in developing math skills, as kids watch and evaluate how their investments grows over time,” adds Marshall, who is not a stock broker, but a financial educator with a master’s in math education.