Plant the seed and watch the tree grow
TWO of the hottest topics that cross my desk are ways to invest for children and grandchildren, and how to teach financial literacy to younger folk.
I started with a Commonwealth Bank money box when I was young and it served me well. But let's face it, the younger folk today are a different generation to us old grey hairs and are far more attuned to social media than dropping coins into a box.
I am delighted to advise that help is at hand thanks to a new product from Acorns. I have written about Acorns before, and been thrilled by the feedback I have received from people who have used them. But now Acorns has gone one step further and designed a product especially for children.
Little Acorns sit within an Acorns user's pre-existing account, and allow an allocation of their current balance to a child. If a user has more than one child, the allocated amount will be split among them equally.
If you then put in a $10 recurring deposit, 50 per cent of this ($5) will also go towards the Little Acorns' goals. You are then able to track the performance of each child's allotment individually, projected by their age. By having it follow the movements of your main balance, it allows the Little Acorns' balance to also benefit from the Acorns' philosophy of investing small amounts regularly.
Once the Little Acorns user turns 18 they can open their own Acorns account, with the option of receiving the funds that have been accrued by their parent/grandparent.
This new feature incurs no extra cost, and is part of the growing offering Acorns has as both an investing and education tool, to build the financial literacy and wealth of young people.
Registering Little Acorns is simple, and provides the opportunity to grow a nest egg for your kids automatically in the background of life - the user simply provides the name and date of birth of the child. No formal identity documents need to be shared, as it sits within the parent's existing Acorns account. For tax purposes, the money is deemed to be retained by the parents, which eliminates the possibility of punitive children's tax once income exceeds $416 a year.
There's an old Chinese proverb: "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago, the second best time is now”. With the launch of Little Acorns, they are helping young Australians plant that tree 20 years earlier, by having their parents plant the seed now.
Noel Whittaker is the author of Making Money Made Simple and numerous other books on personal finance. His advice is general in nature and readers should seek their own professional advice before making any financial decisions. Email: email@example.com