Your Dinner Table Portfolio Manager
What is it that sets a successful investor apart from the pack? Some might say an eye for coming trends. Others might claim a unique radar for differentiating between those ideas that have substance and those which are mere imposters. If this skillset sound familiar, you probably have a teenager in the house. Lucky you! At your dinner table sits a wealth of knowledge about trends -- knowledge that can be profitable for your family. Extracting that insight is another story entirely.
Option 1: Observe
If your teen’s developmental stage has you rejoicing over the mere uttering of “nothing” when you ask what they learned in school, we suggest you stick with the observational route. What are they wearing? Buying? What brands are they following on social media? What gadgets are they adding to their wish lists, and which of their previously prized possessions haven’t been seen for months? Watching your child’s interactions with brands could be as valuable than any middle-aged financial advisor’s projections.
Option 2: Ask
Not all brand interactions are visible to the eye, especially in the digital era in which we live. A teen sitting on a couch for 3 hours with their iPhone would make you think they love Apple, right? Well, the device is only part of the picture. The apps they’re flocking to, for example, could prove far more profitable for your portfolio. The only way to get a full picture of what’s hot and what’s not is to ask. If you catch your kid in an especially cynical mood, starting with “What’s not cool anymore?” is a quick way to get a response from a teen.
After a savvy Dad’s kids told him about SnapChat in 2012, he invested $15,000 of their school’s funds in the startup. When the company had its IPO in 2017, the school sold two-thirds of its stock for a cool $23 million. Talk about good listening skills.
Option 3: Collaborate
Want to take your teen-driven portfolio management to the next level? Make a deal. “Hire” your child for their official portfolio input, and give them some skin in the game. Perhaps that looks like a percentage of annual profits, or $100 in funds invested in their name. Whatever the exact arrangement, you’ll get more input, improve the quality of your advice, and create a shared activity for parent and child.