TEACHING GRANDKIDS THE VALUE OF MONEY
By DOLORES KONG
The Boston Globe
Today is National Grandparents Day. Why not use it to
teach grandchildren some money sense, like the value
That's the message from the American Savings Education
Council, a coalition of private and public
institutions working to raise awareness of how to
achieve long-term personal financial independence.
"In this day of ATMs, credit cards, and online
shopping, grandparents have the chance to share some
`back-to-basics' money lessons with their
grandchildren," said council president Don Blandin in
suggesting this way of marking Grandparents Day.
Today 5.6 million grandparents - 3.5 percent of all
grandparents - live with their grandchildren,
according to the 2000 US Census.
"More than ever, grandparents are in a position to
affect their grandchildren's attitudes toward money on
a daily basis - positively or negatively," said Dallas
Salisbury, president of the Employee Benefit Research
Institute, a savings council member.
So what are some of the ways grandparents - or any
adult - can share their money sense with youngsters?
Here are a few suggestions from the savings council:
- Regale them with stories from the past. What was
life like when you could get into a movie for 50
cents? Describe that or other situations to open up
the conversation about money.
- Participate in free or low-cost activities. Take the
grandkids on a picnic or a bike ride, or play a board
game with money lessons, like Monopoly or Life. This
will help teach them that fun doesn't have to cost a
Give financial gifts. Consider cash, a savings bond,
or long-term investments in a college education
- Pass on the entrepreneurial spirit. Help youngsters
start a money- making venture, like selling lemonade
or mowing lawns, and offer to be their first investor.
- Be a financial mentor. Take the kids on a field trip
to a local bank, or help them chart the stock price of
a favorite company, or encourage them to donate to a
cause they believe in.
- Show them how you manage money. Practice what you
preach, and show the children how you pay off credit
card balances every month, or how you balance your
Socially responsible investing has gone global.
The international stock index firm FTSE (pronounced
"Footsie") recently announced the creation of
"FTSE4Good" indices, to give money managers and
individual investors a basis for investing in
companies around the world that meet certain social
And the standards required to measure up, according to
the index firm that is jointly owned by the Financial
Times and the London Stock Exchange? A company must
meet specific criteria relating to environmental
sustainability, human rights, and community relations.
"FTSE4Good meets a real need," said Will Oulton,
chairman of FTSE Americas, in announcing the new
"When making investment decisions, a growing number of
individual investors and institutional money managers
are taking into account whether or not companies are
behaving in a socially responsible fashion. These new
indices provide the tools people need to make those
decisions quickly and objectively across the full
range of industries," said Oulton.
FTSE has created four socially responsible indices:
FTSE4Good Global 100, FTSE4Good US 100, FTSE4Good UK
50, and FTSE4Good Europe 50. The indices, like the
Standard & Poor's 500 or the Dow Jones industrial
average, can be traded or just used as an investment
Among the US companies in the flagship Global 100
index: Microsoft, AOL Time Warner, Intel, Johnson &
Johnson, Merck, and Verizon Communications. The full
list of companies and screening criteria can be found
And to do more good than just creating lists of
socially screened companies, FTSE announced that it
will donate revenues from licensing the indices, as
well as make a contribution from related data sales,
to UNICEF, the United Nations program for children.
FTSE estimates that will amount to at least a $1
million contribution the first year.