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Evidence that, 'an investment in knowledge pays the best interest'

By Sam Instone - February 16, 2017

[Estimated time to read: 2.5 minutes]

Growing up I washed cars, delivered papers, worked on building sites and in a garden centre - anything to make money and gain independence.

But it's rare for expat children to have holiday or part time jobs. 

Living in the Middle East, I worry my children have a different attitude to work AND money. 

Different languages, different cultures and different educational systems mean my children can only learn about money from me, and the resources I direct them to.

As a subscriber to our regular blog posts, like me you likely share Benjamin Franklin’s philosophy that 'an investment in knowledge pays the best interest'.

Prioritising financial learning is critical to your (and your children's) long-term financial well being.Investment in knowledge

The fact that most people aren’t taught about money at school is bananas. But the good news is, it’s never too late to start learning.

Why give your children knowledge NOT cash?

We all want to do our best.

And the evidence shows that educating children about money, rather than giving them financial handouts, is the best approach for ensuring their future financial success.

Teach kids about money 

Author of The Millionaire Next Door, Dr. Thomas Stanley, studied a group of educated professionals in their 40s and 50s.

He split them into two groups: those who had received financial handouts from their parents, and those who had not.

Those who received money accumulated significantly less wealth during their peak earning years than those who had not.

An example group were accountants; those who received financial help from their parents were almost 50% less wealthy than their peers who hadn’t received financial help.

Dr. Stanley discerned:

“The more dollars children receive, the fewer dollars they accumulate, while those who are given fewer dollars accumulate more.”

Why you have to go against your instincts

A 2015 survey by Merrill Lynch found that half of pre-retirees over the age of 50 would make financial sacrifices to help their children.

60% who would, said they would retire later, 40% said they would return to work if needs be.

In other words, our instinct as parents is to do anything to help our children.

But as the above cited evidence from Dr. Thomas Stanley shows, when it comes to financial success, it's often best to go against our instincts.

Benjamin Franklin

Accessing financial education at any age

Research by the Commission of the European Communities determined that:

“Lifelong learning enhances social inclusion, active citizenship, and personal development, but also self-sustainability, as well as competitiveness and employability.”

A pretty compelling argument to keep acquiring knowledge at any age!

Financial learning resources for your children:

America’s Consumer Financial Protection Bureau states:

"Children learn from watching you earn, shop, save, and borrow – you’re the top influence on their financial lives.  And you don’t need to be a money expert to help them start out strong.”

Teach kids about money

This US organisation has an exceptional website of resources that you can use to help your children learn about money to develop their financial well being.

Resources include conversation starters, games you can play with your children, and books you can share.

Enhancing your own financial knowledge:

As a subscriber, you clearly take financial knowledge building seriously.

And as the only international chartered financial planning organisation, we take financial education and knowledge sharing equally seriously.


Can we do more to help?

If you have suggestions, ideas or resources that can help build our collective knowledge, you’re welcome to email me directly on samuel.instone@aesinternational.com.