Finances can be a dry subject, even for adults. So, how does one teach it to their kids?
Pavi Toor, UFV graduate (BBA ’03) and long-time investor, found that his own kids were coming home and discussing crypto currency trends, making Toor uncomfortable.
“My 13-year-old son was talking about cryptocurrencies I had never heard of being promoted by Hollywood celebrities. NHL games were running crypto commercials nonstop during the pandemic,” says Toor. Most people do not know anything about these investments.
Coupled with trends towards buying bankrupt companies due to advice by YouTube celebrities (such as the GameStop incident in 2021), Toor was witnessing something that reminded him of the tech bubble in the late 90s.
“I figured now was the time to teach both my sons about investing in blue-chip dividend-paying stocks,” says Toor. “I created our blog and we started writing blog posts.”
Toor was already experienced at building community around the skills he was teaching his kids. In 2019 he started Young Guns Weightlifting and Boxing Club to teach his boys and other kids how to lift weights safely and properly. This is a free program for Fraser Valley youth. Several students of Young Guns went on to compete and win at the Canadian Powerlifting Championships. One local youth won gold at the North American Powerlifting Championships held in Cayman Islands last year.
“We also needed to raise money for our club,” says Toor.
When the pandemic hit, the club had trouble obtaining funds to keep it open, so Pavi and his sons sold club merchandise, protein donuts and held a gala. They then decided to invest the money raised in dividend-paying stocks, freeing themselves from having to apply for government grants and other funding.
“It was a calculated risk that we needed to take at that time, and it worked,” says Toor.
The trio then decided they wanted to share what they learned with the broader community. And what began as a blog quickly transitioned into a book. The trio revisited their old posts and refined them to fit the new format. The goal of this book was to help young people and their parents learn about investing in blue-chip dividend paying stocks, focusing on capital appreciation and dividend-paying stocks.
“Every time my kids got bored, we stopped writing because otherwise the book could have been 400 pages,” says Toor. “But it worked because the teenagers we gave the book to enjoyed it. One 17-year-old hockey player read the book for 45 minutes straight while on the exercise bike. He had a lot of good questions.”
Learn 2 Invest Kid focuses on well established, financially robust companies with a long history of paying dividends.
The book also frames everything through the lens of superheroes to keep the reader engaged. If only Superman’s parents read this book.
“This also gave us something productive to do during the pandemic as we were all home. We got up to 20 posts and my older son used the blog for school projects,” says Toor.
The trio wanted to ensure that this book left a legacy of giving, something they continue to practice themselves.
“If you look at community foundations such as Abbotsford Community Foundation, or even UFV, they have endowments. The interest and dividends they generate from their investments pays for many great things such as scholarships, bursaries, and community grants.”
UFV’s endowed funds are professionally managed and as of March 31, 2022, UFV’s endowment portfolio had a market value of $18,852,129 according to UFV’s website.
This is a philosophy that Toor is imparting on his own kids when they think about investing. Now that his kids have begun investing, he wants to make sure that they do something positive with the club investment money.
“When my son Jaiden was in his first year at UFV, we recommended him to donate money we received from dividends. That’s what makes it real. Otherwise, it’s just digits on a computer screen,” says Toor.
As a result, Jaiden donated $1,000 to the UFV-SUS Food Bank, an experience that opened his eyes to the needs around the university.
“When money from investments starts to do good and helps others, it’s an eye-opening moment.”
Copies of Learn 2 Invest Kid can be purchased through Amazon, and other retailers.