When I was growing up, my father taught me about the importance of a good education, hard work, integrity and loyalty, particularly in relation to business. He retired from the U.S. Postal Service after 32 years of service, and he and my mother through 46 years of marriage achieved some significant family goals. One was getting my sister and me both through college without the burden of student loans.
I will continue my father’s legacy by teaching my son important lessons about business, and I plan to kick it up a notch and show him how to build and sustain wealth for generations to come. Additionally, although my son is only 13 months old, I’ve already set up a 529 plan for him because I want to make sure he has the largest runway possible — by utilizing compounded interest over many years — to help him earn his undergraduate degree.
The educational seeds I will plant for my son as he grows include:
• First and foremost, give back to your community by donating to religious, civic, and other charitable organizations
• Understand the basics of checking and savings accounts, and not spending more than you make
• Know the difference between good debt (which has the ability to appreciate in value — purchasing real estate, getting a student loan for a graduate degree, starting a business, etc.) and bad debt (which does not appreciate in value and detracts from monthly cash flow and peace of mind, such as credit cards)
• Help accumulate and build generational wealth by being content with the possessions that you already have versus always purchasing something new
• Gain a strong understanding of the world economy and capital markets (e.g., stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investments)
This Father’s Day, I honor my father for the great man he is and for his positive influence on me.
My wife and I look forward to teaching our son about what’s important in life.
If you are a parent, I encourage you to take the time to educate your children about the principles of good financial management in order to build and sustain wealth so that they may continue the financial legacy for future generations.
Jesse Walton, CFP®, CIMA®, is a vice president and financial advisor at The Walton Group at Morgan Stanley in Alpharetta, Georgia.