By Amanda Morrall (email)
1) Who will teach them?
After our personal finance columnist Janine Starks, in her latest piece on pocket money, accused Kiwi parents of being a "bunch of irresponsible gits" by virtue of withholding allowance or by making it so pathetically low as to teach our kids diddly squat about how to manage money, I decided to open my wallet. I regularly lecture my kids on money but seldom give them any so it dawned on me that I was a git too.
After they caught up on some household chores, I decided to give them $10 a piece this weekend. They ran (literally) to the shops and shelled out $7 a piece on Pokemon cards. One was in tears within minutes after realising that his surprise pack turned up a bunch of duds with no power to fend off his younger brother who apparently holds all the money cards. He instantly regretted his decision not to shop around on TradeMe first and pick up more second-hand cards for less money. Lesson learned I thought. I will watch with interest to see his next move, apart from putting his $3 in leftover change into the bank.
Worldwide, there is a big push improve and promote financial literacy. New Zealand's Diana Crossan, commissioner for financial literacy and retirement income, has been at the forefront of this movement here. The trouble is after some real progress pushing the agenda into classrooms, funding from Government dried up.
But should financial literacy be taught in the classroom, is it effective and at what price? This blog from a monevator.com takes a cynical view at financial literacy being put on the classroom agenda in the U.K. and suggests the only way people will learn about money is the old fashioned way; through experience rather than theory.
2) 15 tenets
I regularly check in with a number of personal finance blogs. One of them is getrichslowly.org. In his latest post, the author reflects on six years of blogging and shares with readers how his blog has evolved and also impacted on his income and career. It was motivational for me in more ways than one. On the second page, he shares 15 tenets which he has fine-tuned over the years that guide his philosophy in personal finance. They're all very smart I thought.
3) Buffett's world
At 81, the oracle of Omaha is rocking on but a diagnosis of prostrate cancer has Buffett looking finally at how to make an exit strategy. It was one of the items on the agenda at his AGM for Berkshire Hathaway. Despite slumping profits and the prospect of Buffett riding into the sunset, shareholders don't seem too worried. Perhaps they were just distracted by Buffett's cheerleading team at the AGM?
This article posted on yahoofinance takes a look at the big picture for 2012 and includes footage of Buffett singing along with actual cheerleaders.
4) Sell in May and stay away
Even stock markets go through seasons. The latest, Sell in May and stay away, follows the "Santa Rally" in December.
Here's an explainer from traderedge.net explaining the influences and how to harness the power of the seasons.
5) Too poor to die
Hate to end on a sad note but this piece from the Sunday Star Time's Rob Stock was a tad depressing.
Close to 20% of New Zealanders have become so hard hit financially that they can't afford to pay for their own funeral. As a result, Work and Income last year had to doll out NZ$9.3 million in grants. Although that's equal to the amount of money given out in grants the year prior, Government's been forced to raise the amount to keep up with the rising costs.
No one wants to think about death but it pays to be prepared. Here's two links to help.
Bonus video, HT to Raf.
A 12-year-old Canadian schoolgirl talks to a business group about the "debt based enslavery of Canadians" at the hands of the bank.
Not sure the solution is as simple as she suggests but I sure admire her spunk and confidence and enjoyed her concluding remarks and quote from Margaret Mead.
"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.'' Amen to that.