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22 Jun 2012


I hope the safe investing South Africa blog readers are better parents than most. From a very young age my parents told me to go to school so I can get a good job. My friends were told the same by their parents. It’s a standard rule and parental policy to tell kids to prepare for good paying jobs, I guess. Our parents never thought that jobs are going to be such a scarce commodity, that their kids will struggle on their own and go back to squat at home if they ever leave to start with. Previously unthought-of terminology like unemployed and unemployable graduates mushrooms from all corners of the globe. Makes one wonder if such an intelligent society should be continuing with this crazy idea of raising employees.

How about telling our kids a new relevant story? We are in what seems to be a never ending recession and job opportunities are moving further apart by the minute. The economist in me whispers “its just an economic trough, it’s going to get better” and a realist is shouting “take this more serious than you do”. I don’t want to think of the worst case scenario. Let’s just imagine things stay the way they are for the next 10 to 15 years. My kids will be starting to look for their jobs right at the end. Who will hire them if companies are going bankrupt and closing down at the rate they currently are?

From where I’m standing, we need to grow new entrepreneurs and employers. Times are quite tough. Parents should be singing a new “business development” tune to their children. The coming generation should bring solutions to their challenges. If you are one of those “go to school, get a good job” parents, STOP, seriously STOP it. Nothing wrong with the “go to school” part though. Entrepreneurs need education. Research shows that educated entrepreneurs are more likely to make it compared to their uneducated counterparts.

Besides, our kids are looking at things way different to how we did in our time. Oh my God, did I just say “in my time”? I feel ancient already. My point stands though. We should start talking business with our children from an early age. We should be researching resources on investing for kids, we should engage kids in money related decisions, we should be honest with them about our poor financial state, we should teach them to save from an early age, and they should set personal finance goals. A simple piggy bank will go a long way to teach a child financial responsibility. However, a bank savings account reviewed often is even better. Love them enough to prepare them for the harsh realities of our times.
If you have more than one child, it might be of help encouraging harmony whilst you are still there. Money and family relationships do get tricky.


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