Join Early Retirement Today
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
The Personal Finance Expo for teens
Old 08-17-2009, 08:40 PM   #1
Moderator Emeritus
Nords's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Oahu
Posts: 26,563
The Personal Finance Expo for teens

Spouse and I have been attending semi-annual home shows downtown for over 20 years. She gets ideas, I get to see new products, and we both get to see most of the contractors side-by-side for comparison. Our kid also gets hours of free entertainment, and it's been fun watching her focus shift over the years from free balloons to free pencils to writing her own contest entries to buying her own snacks to cool home-improvement products to cool engineering.

When I came across an ad for the Personal Finance Expo (Personal Financial Expo 2009) I realized that most of its content was aimed at teens & young adults. A high-school senior, she's at the age where she's as tired of listening to us as we are of preaching at talking with her, and an outside authority is the perfect way for her to learn the same parental info from someone she's actually interested in listening to.

The car trip down really set the mood when spouse found several scattered receipts from McDs, Jamba Juice, & Starbucks. Apparently our kid is too busy in the mornings to make herself a lunch/snacks, and "nobody" eats the school lunch because it's just not cool healthy. (Somehow McDs is considered healthier than the school lunch. Or maybe she just likes seeing cute guys in uniforms.) We have no idea how much cash she's been burning through because she has no idea either. She manages to put 80% of her earnings in her Roth IRA but she's slow to get around to it, and she's just not quite there on budgeting and tracking. These discussions make her grumpy, too, so it's not such a good environment for segues to LBYM, asset allocation, and SWRs.

But the PFE had an hour's talk on "Saving & Investing for Young Professionals", complete with a young professional (woman) CFA using PowerPoint slides and handouts with free pens. Our kid was immediately hooked, went into serious-business-grownup mode, and was even shushing us when we were commenting on the various slides. You've heard it all before (and so has she!) but this time it was being delivered by a woman of authority. Various asset classes, compounding, Rule of 72, historical returns, volatility, risk/reward curve, asset allocation, active vs passive, 401(k)s & Roth IRAs, mutual funds, index funds, brokerage accounts, and even advice about selecting advisors & brokers. At the end of it our teen said "I understand 401(k)s and Roth IRAs but I wish she'd talked about how to set up an investing account." Spouse said "You mean how you call T. Rowe Price and asking them to set up an investing account?" Our kid had no idea it was that easy. I never had to say a word.

Even on a Sunday afternoon there were probably 50-60 exhibitors, and it was easy for a teen to figure out what most of them were offering. Everything was a springboard for a financial discussion. We had a good chat while watching the big crowd at the consumer-counseling and debt-management exhibits. The college financial-aid displays were pretty busy too. She promptly lost interest in the "financial management for college students" talk when she realized it was about checking accounts and credit cards-- been there done that, and she got a great ego boost listening to the conversations & questions. She was even curious about just what the Tardus and StockTrak exhibits were able to do to for people. I think she's educated & immunized, but there'll probably be another PFE next spring for a booster shot.

Her buzz lasted the rest of the afternoon. Within an hour of returning home she'd chewed through her backlog of Quicken data entry and caught up on her Roth IRA deposits. We figured out a major flaw in her budget technique: she was tracking her checkbook and her credit card just fine but for some reason wasn't tracking her cash spending after it came out of the ATM. Now she is, and she talked through ways to limit her food impulse spending. Best of all, I didn't have to go into parental preacher mode but could just let her verbally process what she'd seen at the exhibits and help her draw the line between frugality & deprivation. Then she went into the kitchen and made a couple lunches for next week. Spouse noted that we'd talked for an hour with no screaming or crying, and our daughter was well-behaved too.

She did manage to find the only exhibit in the entire center even remotely related to engineering. For some reason (certainly not its effective financial planning) the city was publicizing the upcoming light-rail system and had a big display of the routes, the trains, and even the carriage seats. She was impressed with the civil engineering (and the idea of internships while they're building it) but she was properly outraged when she found out that the excise tax had been raised by 0.5% to pay for it.

I wish I'd realized the power of the PFE when she was a few years younger, but we're adding this one to our family routine. Or at least during the next 363 days before college…


The book written on, "The Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement", on sale now! For more info see "About Me" in my profile.
I don't spend much time here anymore, so please send me a PM. Thanks.
Nords is offline   Reply With Quote
Join the #1 Early Retirement and Financial Independence Forum Today - It's Totally Free!

Are you planning to be financially independent as early as possible so you can live life on your own terms? Discuss successful investing strategies, asset allocation models, tax strategies and other related topics in our online forum community. Our members range from young folks just starting their journey to financial independence, military retirees and even multimillionaires. No matter where you fit in you'll find that is a great community to join. Best of all it's totally FREE!

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest so you have limited access to our community. Please take the time to register and you will gain a lot of great new features including; the ability to participate in discussions, network with our members, see fewer ads, upload photographs, create a retirement blog, send private messages and so much, much more!

Old 08-17-2009, 09:49 PM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
mews's Avatar
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 476
This sounds great!!

I haven't heard of this in the NYC area. I wish ...


mews is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2009, 04:39 AM   #3
Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
Rambler's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 2,081
Yes this really sounds great. Now that DS has his own p/t job I want to get him started on a Roth, but he will also need the non-parental push to do it. He is in Utah going to college. I'll have to see if I can find something like this there and get him to go. DD will be in Laie from Sept, so maybe I can get her steered to the PFE in Honolulu in the spring.


Find Joy in the Journey...
Rambler is offline   Reply With Quote

Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Personal Finance Success--Psychology RetireeRobert FIRE and Money 0 10-25-2007 11:28 AM
Personal Finance Training? Sam Other topics 4 08-10-2007 02:23 PM
What would you teach in Intro to Personal Finance? Peaceful_Warrior Other topics 18 04-24-2007 11:11 AM
Carnival of Personal Finance JLP FIRE and Money 12 07-13-2005 07:03 PM


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:39 PM.
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 1
Copyright ©2000 - 2016, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.