As our kids grow into fine young adults and the prospect of being empty nesters looms, my wife and I often wonder what lessons and memories have stayed with our kids.
I was talking with our 20 year old daughter who is a sophomore at Northwestern University about one of her sorority sisters who had recently landed a job with a major Wall Street firm. While my daughter expressed words of congratulations to her friend, she confessed to me that all she could think of was how I would tell the kids how “evil” this firm was every time we drove by their retail brokerage office here in our hometown. It got the point where all three kids would start to yell the word “evil” every time they would see the sign. (It’s never too early to extol the virtues of working with a fee-only advisor.)
That was many years ago when the kids were little, the brokerage office is long gone.
Our oldest daughter graduated from USC this past May and lives and works in Los Angeles. I called her one Saturday and asked what she was up to. The answer was pleasantly surprising; she was inputting data into mint.com a personal budgeting website. I was impressed that a 22 year old who could be doing just about anything else in Southern California was taking as such a proactive approach to her finances.
Our son, a high school senior also seems to have absorbed a few things as well. When he was young he once bent his soccer coach’s ear about the then woes of the NASDAQ (too much CNBC in the house I suspect). More recently he has developed quite a knack for finding bargains at the mall and online.
Whether they got any of this from me or not, it is gratifying to see all three kids growing up to be fiscally responsible young adults as well as solid citizens and leaders.