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Silver is Better



December 19, 2012 – Comments (4)

I normally don't share personal details of my life here on CAPS, but this one is related to money and is so funny that I had to pass it along.

My four year-old son has "Grandma Days" every Wednesday where we give him a break from pre-school and he gets to go play at my wife's mother's house.  She sent this story in an e-mail to my wife this morning. 

Every time he goes over to Grandma's house, my young son always eventually heads on over to her "money jar" where she keeps all of her loose change.  He used to go through and pull out pennies and play with them or bring them home for his piggie bank. 

Lately I have been trying to explain the value of various coins and bills to him.  So today when he headed over to the money jar he started pulling out all of the "silver" coins,  She asked him why he was doing that and he said "My Dad said that silver is better than pennies BUT paper dollars are better than everything."  It sounds like he was listening and it's going to cost Grandma ;). 

While we are talking about the value of money, I think that this is a great time to highlight one of the best posts that I have ever come across here in CAPS.  It was rd80's message from yesterday titled No Foolanthropy?? We can fix that."

In it he pledged to give money to charity for every comment that his blog post received.  What a fantastic idea!  I hope to do something similar here in the future, but didn't want to do anything right now to steal his idea or thunder.  I'll just steal it later :).  Hey if I can do it with investments, why not this ;). 

Perhaps I'll eventually create a post, letting people vote on a charity and then donate a certain amount for every rec it receives.  Doing that would hopefully launch it to the top of the "Most Recommended Posts" list and cause it to stick around for a while.  Either that or I could donate a certain amount of money per charity for every CAPS point that I earn here in the game.  That would have been an expensive one this year given that I'm up 1,300 points since July.  Maybe I'm actually finally getting the hang of this investing thing :).

I think that in today's society that we run the danger of assuming that everything is terrible, when in reality that's just not the case.  One horrific, tragic incident happens (my thoughts and prayers go out the the victims and their families) and the news grabs a hold of it and plays it over, and over, and over until we get it burned into our brains that everyone on the planet is evil and that we're all doomed.  I certainly have fallen into that trap in the past.  The news even creates copycats who go out and commit similar henus acts.  It's not just tales of bad people, the news loves to play up negative reports on the economy.  Everything is so terrible, unemployment is so high, housing is never going to come back.  Well, in reality things are slowly, but surely getting better with the economy.  I suppose that this sensationalism by the media creates interesting entery points into stocks for investors who keep their emotions in check.  I digress...Despite what we are having beaten into us by the mainstream media, in reality 99.9% of all people are actually pretty good.  I can come up with thousands of stories of people who I know or myself who have helped others, given food to a poor local old lady who didn't have enough, donated money to tons of charities, helped collect food and clothing for Sandy victims...even little every day things like sharing ideas about good investments with others here, smiling at a stranger, holding the door for someone.  The world is a good place, and we all can take time this holiday season to make it an even better one.

Well, I just had a few things on my mind that I felt like writing down.  Thanks again for reading everyone.  I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday season and blessed 2013.


4 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On December 19, 2012 at 4:30 PM, 2trpop (88.54) wrote:


I think it is very important to begin teaching kids about money and its value/purpose/meaning at an early age.

I started working on my son at about the same age.  I gave him two piggy banks, one for saving, one for spending.  Every day when I came home I'd pull the change out of my pocket and if he could identify the coins (penny, nickel, dime, quarter, etc.) he could keep them and we split them between his banks. 

When he had that mastered, he had to be able to name how much they were worth to keep them.  Next he had to be able to tell me how much each pile was, and then I'd let him select one. :-)

At some point he had a bit of money in his savings jar. (We allowed him to purchase things from his spending jar - a few lessons learned in saving up for something you want, advertising is not always factual, etc.)  I explained to him about interest and told him I would match whatever he wanted to put into the bank.   This lead to many great questions about why the bank would pay us interest, etc. I periodically showed him his statements, declaring you made $X in interest today!  He was always excited and when he gets a decent sum saved he asks to head off to the bank to deposit it.

When he was 8 or so I showed him the total interest for the year and asked him why he thought his interest was slightly more each month, even though he had not deposited any money  ... he thought about it for a minute and then his eyes got as big a frisbees ... and he asked ... "They pay me interest on my interest?!"  Eight years old and he had a better grasp of finances than I had at 25.  Needless to say, we had ourselves a bowl of ice cream to commemorate his AHA! moment. :-)

For his 9th Bday I purchased one share of HAS for him (his favorite board game is Monopoly and it has a picture of moneybags on the stock certificate.).  His first dividend came as a check, which we deposited in the bank, a heady experience for a 9 year old.  He has purchased an additional share this year and has recently asked to buy another share.  Periodically he asks how many shares he would need to buy in order to get one share a quarter or year and we discuss.

I also think it is important to help where you can.  I have a little money taken out of each check and put into a seperate account.  During the year we'll dip into it to sponsor 5K runners for JDRF, etc., mission trips, etc. and it leaves us with a quick source of funds for a Katrina/Sandy incident.  Around Chrismas each year we will take the remainder and divide it into a few pots of money and vote as a family on where/how to donate it.  

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#2) On December 19, 2012 at 8:46 PM, TMFDeej (97.73) wrote:

I completely agree 2trpop.  I really like the idea of him buying stock in a company that he likes, but that's more buy and hold than my opportunistic value / special situation investment style ;).

i also really like the family vote on which charities to give to.  Thanks for the great ideas!


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#3) On December 19, 2012 at 10:06 PM, rd80 (95.75) wrote:

Thanks for the shout out.  Great post and great comment by 2trpop.

but didn't want to do anything right now to steal his idea or thunder.  I'll just steal it later :).

Steal away.  The more, the merrier.

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#4) On December 20, 2012 at 2:46 PM, lemoneater (57.26) wrote:

Thanks for sharing the story :).

My older brothers did their part to teach me the value of money. It seems wrong that a nickel is bigger in diameter, but smaller in value than a dime.

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