As parents, the biggest task set before us is raising healthy, strong, independent children – that’s the goal, anyway. But beyond that, we want to instill certain values into our children so that they grow up with those said values as a strong backbone in their lives. Between families there may be differences in what those values look like and where the priorities lie, but kindness and generosity seem to be universal in nature. You may wonder what that has to do with investing. As an investment firm, clients surely look to us to primarily help them grow their assets which we wholeheartedly endeavour to do. More than that, however, we want to see our clients empowered to live and give generously with the wealth being created. But it can’t stop there, we wish for that same mentality to be passed onto future generations. The good news is that our clients too have the same desire for their children, and in fact, are often reaching out to us to see how we can help their children learn about finances, including topics such as investing, budgeting and giving.
The best way to teach about generous giving is to model generous giving. Kids, whether young or old (but especially young), are master imitators. Along with our mannerisms, they also observe our behaviours and habits. If we exemplify what it means to be a generous person, they will pick up on that and emulate that. Another approach to modelling generous giving is to involve your children. When the kids are young, consider sponsoring a child as a family and have the kids participate through writing letters to their sponsor child. Or if your children receive an allowance, have a certain portion allocated specifically for the purpose of charitable gifting – this teaches budgeting at the same time, which is a bonus!
One last suggestion which we have had the pleasure of implementing with some clients is to establish a Donor Advised Fund or Foundation with the children named as the advisors. Although this may seem cumbersome and costly, we partner with several different organizations to give clients various options, leaving many clients surprised at how easily this can be implemented. When assigning your children as advisors, it effectively gives them the ability to choose which charities they would like to support. This next generation of advisors can then experience first-hand the joys of giving. At the end of the day, it is not just about developing the habit of giving, but it is about sharing a value that creates joy. This is what it means to be a cheerful giver. Be transparent in your own giving within your family and as you lead the way, that will serve as a model and touch those around you.
Janet Kim Sing, Portfolio Manager
Capstone Private Wealth