Sunday, July 07, 2013

Money Talk, Upping The FQ + An AXA Raffle

my delicious breakfast while listening to our speakers talk money, all in good taste

My mom says talking about money is in "poor taste". 

That's how they were raised. They weren't supposed to pry about how much one earns, tell people how much money they make and mention anything that has to do with money. Of course, that was easy for my lolo and his cousins who never worked, never had a job. Like "true gentlemen"in the Downton Abbey sort of sense, but placed in a small town, provincial setting. 

Which I tell you, is a recipe for disaster. Because the reality is, if you want your family to progress, you need to talk about "it", maybe not with others, but at least amongst yourselves or with a financial adviser you can trust. You can't just shove it under a rug, like Doña Delilah of John & Marsha does.

So when head SoMoms Kris & Janice organized a family financial planning talk to be hosted by AXA and with a talk by Rose Fres-Fausto, I was wary (pesky insurance agents!) but also intrigued. I know all about stocks, bonds, mutual funds, derivatives and the advantages of offshore accounts but how does one translate this to a family setting? How do you talk to your kids about saving, investing and donating? I wanted to know. I do not want my kids to have to figure things out along the way, by themselves. Like I did. And I am a still a work in progress at 36.

So one Saturday morning, the SoMoms converged at the Gallery 1 Meeting Room, at the lobby level of New World Makati to talk money.

The place is perfect for small events, offsite office seminars, and talks like ours. Cozy and comfortable, you can just stand up and walk towards the back where the kitchen is to get more food:

Or have your coffee or tea refilled.

That said, my biggest takeaway is that more than just worrying about our kid's IQ and EQ, there is also a need to develop what Rose calls the FQ aka Financial Intelligence Quotient. Which is "the ability to sound decisions in managing one's personal finances". Because let's face it, no matter how smart and successful our kids are, if they don't know how to handle money, and make their money work for them, then they are still not set for the rest of their lives.

She made us take a trip down our money memory lane, ala Suze Orman, to help us understand our personal values and relationship with money. That was when most of the people in the room started tearing up. I swear. I guess that is why it is so difficult to talk about money because as much as it is an everyday part of our lives, it is such a sensitive topic. But it takes money to ensure our family's future, so it must be discussed.

No matter our own relationship with money, the good news is, as parents, we can train ourselves and then our kids to be more money savvy than we are. Rose shared that according to a Cartoon Network study, the kids of today have a spending power of $1.6 billion and that's a whole lot of money. It is up to us as parents to guide them on how to handle that money.  Because as Rose says, "Values are caught, not taught".

Rose, who is a former investment banker, and wife to a fund manager, shared how she and her husband taught their three boys how to handle their money, even invest in the stock market. Talking about the market's performance over dinner is just as normal for them as how other families would discuss what's for dessert, haha. 

Incidentally, Rose is also the author of the book, Raising Pinoy Boys. Here she devotes a whole chapter on  "Money Matters".

I was pleased that so far, we have been on the right track, putting all of the kids' ang paos, checks and cash gifts in their own bank accounts. But as the kids get bigger, I intend to follow Rose's tips and teach the kids financial responsibility by:

- giving them a weekly allowance 
- having a savings notebook so they can monitor their savings
- investing in stocks
- preparing their own personal financial statement to monitor their net worth
- allowing them to enjoy the fruits of their labor, by letting them buy what they want using a portion of the money they saved or worked for 
- helping others, by donating, raising funds for charity or teaching household staff about saving and investing

As parents, our kids need to see more of us in saving, investing and giving mode. Because again, "Values are caught, not taught".

Thank you Rose, the AXA team and the SoMoms for a very enlightening morning. AXA, can we have another session on your AXA funds? I want to know more about that!

Oh and Dear Readers, AXA is raffling off Gymboree memberships, Mind Museum passes, music lessons, even a trip to Legoland Malaysia over at their Facebook page.

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1 comment:

Meikah said...

Good tips... and I like this FQ thing. :) I'd like to try now #2 on your list: "having a savings notebook so they can monitor their savings." Each has a savings account already, and we're slowly giving them 2-day allowance just to test the waters. :D

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