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How to get your kids invested in investing - Buy APPL in 1983

I’ve always been interested in stocks, bonds, and investing and my Mother, wanting to encourage me, bought me Apple Stock in 1983. No, I didn’t become a millionaire from this stock because, unfortunately, all my Mother could afford in 1983 was $100 worth of stock (and the commission on the purchase at that time was almost 50% of the value of the stock – long before the days of the discount brokerages). At $1.00/share at the time, I held 100 shares (actually I remember holding 10 shares but the stock split over the years so, post split, I had 100 shares). The other reason that I made a lot less than you’d expect is that Apple actually had some difficult times in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s (the stock was still worth $1/share in 2003) and it wasn’t until the 2,000’s that Steve Jobs created the company whose stock has continued to rise for over 15 years (so far). Sometimes we forget that Apple struggled for many, many years before finally becoming the star it is today.

So, my 100 shares of Apple stock are now worth $17,704 – not bad for a $100 investment (thanks Mom).

While the gains are nice, the real benefit of that gift was the interest I gained in stocks and investing. That interest blossomed and continues to this day – I’ve learned a lot about investing and made a lot of money following many of the strategies described on this site.

Therefore, when my kids were old enough, I thought I would try and replicate the strategy my mother took – So, in 2012, I bought them each a micro-portfolio of $1,000. While Mom bought Apple because she loved the Beatles (it was their label), I thought I would buy stocks that represented the interest of my children. And since the cost of buying stocks has dropped dramatically thanks to discount brokerages, I was able to buy multiple stocks, rather than just one.

For my daughter I chose Netflix, Apple (her computer), Electronic Arts (video games) and Air Liquide (She likes diving).

For my son I chose MSFT (Xbox), Nike (sports), Facebook (just started to use) and Apple (his computer too).

The values of their portfolios today (January 23, 2018) are $4,392 for my daughter and $3,061 for my son (my daughter did much better because of her Netflix holdings).

The gift was a hit at the time and recently one has started to ask more questions about investing and their investments. And the fact that I invested in 2012, right before the latest bull market, created some nice returns for them too.

Thanks for the idea Mom – I would highly recommend this gift as a way of encouraging your children to learn more about investing and the stock market. You can also ask that the grandparents stop sending money in a Birthday Card and instead buy a few shares for the child’s portfolio. This way you might get your child asking questions about investing AND get a return on the money from the grandparents. You can even consider setting up a Tax Free Savings Account (TFSA) or Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) for additional benefits.

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