My Daughter's Portfolio Milestone
It was only a matter of time. The questions kept on coming. We couldn't possibly have left her in the dark any longer. We do deserve part of the blame for this relatively early sex education. We let her watch a few episodes of "Friends."
There's something odd -- not necessarily in a bad way -- about your daughter knowing how all of that works. I think she feels the same way, given that she requested my wife not tell anybody that she knows. She's embarrassed. And she vowed: I will never do that . My wife and I chuckled, realizing that part two of "the talk" -- explaining that people do that more because it feels good and less to procreate -- could be an even more uncomfortable parental rite of passage.
But that's part of being a parent. Providing your kids with their rites of passage. Stepping out of your comfort zone. Letting loose. Letting go.
I can see one of the ultimate rites of passage coming: puberty. It's on its way.
Maybe I am just an investment geek's version of a freak, but I think it's fantastic that my daughter hit a key investment milestone -- one that too many investors overlook -- before she officially heads into the next stage of development.
Over the weekend I logged into my daughter's custodial account.
(You can read the background on that in My 8-Year Old's Portfolio Will Kick Your Portfolio's ... )
On Monday, one of her three holdings -- Viacom(VIAB) -- paid out my daughter's first dividend.
It wasn't a huge windfall. But don't laugh. She collected and automatically reinvested $1.94, good for 0.0413 more shares of VIAB, bringing her total to 7.8193. Her portfolio is up 4.7% on strength in VIAB as well as Kraft(KFT) and Madison Square Garden (MSG) . The MSG position has increased by more than 10%.
A few thoughts on the process.
First, we have had this account for a few months. While it's small in size, it has actually grown considerably since we opened it in April. My wife and I make all contributions to the account. I do not believe in investing as a vehicle to teach other life lessons.
In fact, if I hammered my daughter on having to put her "own" money into the account or needing to "work for it," the whole experience would likely produce unintended results. We did not set out on this journey to use investing to make other points or fulfill some disciplinary agenda. Instead, we teach, model and encourage participation in investing because we believe, in and of itself, it's the right thing to do. It's valuable knowledge and know-how too few kids get exposed to in high school, let alone elementary and middle school.