Teaching Kids the Importance of Tracking and Monitoring Investments

Table of Contents

Teaching children about financial literacy is more important than ever before. As they grow up, they’ll face financial decisions that can significantly impact their lives. One crucial aspect of financial education is teaching kids the importance of tracking and monitoring investments. In this article, we’ll explore why it’s essential to instill this skill in young minds and how to go about tracking investments. We’ll also delve into practical tips and strategies to make this complex topic accessible to kids.

Why is tracking and monitoring investments important for kids?

1. Financial Responsibility: Learning to track and monitor investments fosters a sense of responsibility. Kids begin to understand that managing their money is not just about spending but also about growing and safeguarding it.

2. Long-Term Thinking: Investing inherently requires a long-term perspective. Teaching kids about investments encourages them to think beyond immediate gratification and understand the benefits of patience. Teaching kids about investments is like helping them see the big picture. It shows them that good things can come to those who wait, just like looking forward to a special treat or a fun adventure.

3. Risk Management: Helping kids understand that investments can go up and down is like teaching them about the ups and downs in a video game. It’s a way to prepare them for challenges and surprises in the future, so they can make smart choices and handle them well.

4. Compound Interest: Introducing kids to the concept of compound interest early on can be transformative. It shows them the potential for their money to grow exponentially over time, motivating them to save and invest wisely. For more on this, you can check out our Helping Kids Understand The Value Of Compound Interest article.

5. Financial Empowerment: As kids learn to handle their investments, they’re like young superheroes gaining amazing powers over their money future. This knowledge can make them feel strong and less worried about money, and it can create incredible opportunities for them as they grow up. Imagine all the wonderful things they can achieve with this financial superpower!

6. Real-World Application: Tracking and monitoring investments offer a tangible way to apply mathematical and analytical skills in real life. It reinforces the importance of math and analytical thinking beyond the classroom.

7. Life Skills: Financial literacy is a life skill that kids will carry with them into adulthood. The earlier they start, the more proficient they can become in making sound financial decisions throughout their lives.

Now that we understand why teaching kids about tracking and monitoring investments is vital, let’s explore some practical ways to impart this knowledge.

Let’s get down to the basics

Before delving into the specifics of tracking and monitoring investments, it’s essential to build a strong foundation. Here are some fundamental concepts to introduce to kids:

Savings Encourage them to set aside a portion of their allowance or any money they receive as gifts. Explain that this money can be used for future investments.

Goals: Help children set financial goals. Whether it’s saving for a toy, a gadget, or a trip, having clear objectives can motivate them to save and invest.

Budgeting: Teach kids how to create a simple budget. Explain the difference between needs and wants, and show them how to allocate funds for various purposes, including saving and investing.

Compound Interest: Introduce the concept of compound interest through relatable examples. You could use a savings account or a piggy bank to illustrate how their money can grow over time.

Risk and Reward: Discuss the idea that investments come with risks and rewards. Explain that while some investments may offer higher returns, they also carry greater risks. Try our Risky and Rewarding Treasure Hunt activity.

 “The Risk and Reward Treasure Hunt”

**Activity Description:**

In this fun and interactive activity, you can help your kids understand the concept of risk and reward using a treasure hunt analogy. This activity is suitable for children ages 6 and above.

**Materials Needed:**

1. Small prizes or treats (candies, stickers, small toys, etc.).

2. A small treasure chest or box.

3. Pieces of paper and markers.

4. An empty jar.

Set up:  Start by telling your kids that you’re going to have a treasure hunt adventure together. Explain that they can find treasures (prizes) hidden around the house, just like investing in different things to find treasures in real life.

Treasure Options: Write down different types of treasures (prizes) on separate pieces of paper. For example:

   – Option 1: A small piece of candy.

   – Option 2: A cool sticker.

   – Option 3: A small toy.

   – Option 4: A bigger toy.

 Investment Choices: Now, explain that each option represents an investment with different levels of risk and reward:

   – Option 1 (candy): Low risk, low reward.

   – Option 2 (sticker): Medium risk, medium reward.

   – Option 3 (small toy): Higher risk, higher reward.

   – Option 4 (bigger toy): Highest risk, highest reward.

Investing Decision: Have your kids take turns choosing an option (investment) by picking a piece of paper from the jar without looking.

Hunting Time: Once they’ve made their investment choice, send them on a “treasure hunt” around the house to find the corresponding prize. Make sure to hide the prizes in different places, some easier to find, and others a bit trickier.

Reveal and Discuss: After finding their treasures, gather together and discuss the results. Ask questions like:

   – “Did you like your treasure?”

   – “Was it easy or hard to find?”

   – “Would you want to try the same investment again, or try a different one next time?”

Repeat and Reflect: Continue the game with each child taking turns to invest in different options. After a few rounds, reflect on how the investments were similar to real-life investments. Emphasize that just like the treasure hunt, some investments are safer but offer smaller rewards, while others can be riskier but come with bigger rewards.

This activity can help kids grasp the idea that investments come with different levels of risk and reward, using a fun and relatable treasure hunt scenario. It encourages them to think about their choices and consider what level of risk they’re comfortable with in the world of investments.
Once kids grasp these fundamental concepts, you can gradually introduce them to the world of tracking and monitoring investments.

What are the key components of tracking and monitoring financial investments?

We’re going to break down in easy points how we can explain and nurture these key components.

Performance Evaluation

Think of your investments like a garden. You want to see how well your plants (investments) are growing. Performance evaluation is like checking if your flowers are blooming or your vegetables are growing big and strong.

Risk Analysis

Imagine you’re planning a big adventure. You need to think about what might go wrong and how to stay safe. Risk analysis is like planning for your adventure to make sure you don’t lose all your money.

(Parents can talk about how some investments are safer, like wearing a helmet when riding a bike, and others are riskier, like trying a new sport without proper gear.)

Market Research

Pretend you’re a detective trying to solve a mystery. Market research is like finding clues and information about companies and things you want to invest in.

(Parents can explain that they do research to learn about different companies and industries before deciding where to invest their money)

Investment Statements and Reports

Think of these as report cards for your investments. They show how well your money is doing and where it’s invested.

(Parents can show their investment statements and reports to kids and explain what they mean, just like teachers explain report cards)

Transaction Monitoring

This is like keeping track of how much money you spend and earn. Imagine you have a piggy bank, and you want to make sure you know where every coin goes.

(Parents can show how they track every time they buy or sell an investment to keep their money organized.)

Cost and Fee Analysis

Imagine you’re buying a toy, and you want to know how much it really costs with tax and all the extra fees. Cost and fee analysis is like checking the total price of your toy.

(Parents can explain that when they invest, they also need to consider fees and charges that can affect how much money they make)

Income Monitoring

This is like counting the money you get from your allowance or doing chores. Income monitoring is about keeping track of the money your investments make for you.

(Parents can show how the investments they own can make money, like receiving dividends or selling something for more than they bought it.)

How can kids track the performance of their investments?

Kids can track the performance of their investments in a simple and educational way. Here are some steps to help kids monitor their investments:

With Invstr Jr’s custodial account, you can create a stock trading account for minors, help them invest, and teach them about money management, smart saving, and more

  • Help kids set a savings goal, like saving for a new toy, a special outing, or even a future college fund. Having a goal gives purpose to their investments.
  • Provide a physical jar or piggy bank for kids to collect their investment money. This could be their allowance, birthday money, or money earned from chores.
  • Teach kids how to count and add money. This will help them keep track of how much they’re saving.
  • Make a simple chart or graph that shows how much money they’ve saved over time. You can use a piece of paper or a computer spreadsheet. Each week or month, update the chart with the new amount they’ve saved.
  • Explain the concept of interest in a kid-friendly way. Tell them that some banks or accounts pay them extra money for keeping their money there, just like a reward. Show them how their money grows with this extra money.
  • Periodically sit down with your child to review their progress. Celebrate when they reach certain milestones or save a specific amount of money. This encourages them to stay motivated.
  • If you’re teaching older kids, you can introduce the idea of different investment choices like saving in a bank account, buying shares of a company (with parental guidance), or investing in a virtual stock market game like Fantasy Finance!
  • Explain that investments take time to grow, just like a plant or a pet. Teach them that it’s normal for the value of their investments to go up and down, but in the long run, they can grow a lot. Patience in investing is key!
  • Make tracking investments a routine activity, like a weekly or monthly check-in. This helps kids build good money habits.
  • Share stories of how famous entrepreneurs or investors started with small amounts of money and grew it over time. These stories can inspire kids to see the possibilities of investing.
  • As they get older and understand more, involve them in small financial decisions, like choosing whether to save or spend their money. This helps them learn about decision-making and consequences.

Remember to keep the explanations simple and age-appropriate. The key is to make tracking investments a fun and educational experience that empowers kids to manage their money wisely.

What are the benefits of regularly reviewing investment portfolios?

Helping kids set realistic expectations and manage their emotional reactions is a valuable life skill. Start by explaining the difference between wishes and realistic expectations, using relatable examples. For instance, while they may wish for a room full of toys, a more realistic expectation might be saving for one special toy they really want. 

Next, guide them in setting achievable goals. Break larger goals into smaller, manageable steps, making them less daunting. Visual aids like charts or progress trackers can make this process more engaging and help kids see their progress.

Teach the importance of patience by comparing it to waiting for a favorite TV show or a special holiday. Let them know that waiting can make the end result even more enjoyable.

Encourage open discussions about feelings. Make sure they understand that it’s okay to feel disappointed or frustrated at times. Validate their emotions, provide comfort, and offer support.

Teach problem-solving skills by helping them find constructive solutions when things don’t go as planned. Ask questions like, “What can we do differently next time?” or “How can we make this better?”

Finally, practice gratitude with them. Focus on the positive aspects of their current situation and help them recognize and appreciate what they have. This will help balance their desires with contentment and foster emotional resilience.

How can parents guide and support kids in tracking and monitoring investments?

Parents can provide valuable guidance and support to kids in tracking and monitoring investments by simplifying complex financial concepts into relatable terms. They can establish a mock investment portfolio Invstr to help children practice, fostering a hands-on learning experience. Regular updates on investment performance should be shared, turning it into a routine family activity that encourages questions and discussions. Patience can be instilled by comparing investments to the growth of plants in a garden, emphasizing that while values may fluctuate in the short term, they can grow in the long run. Celebrating milestones reinforces their achievements, and parents can introduce the idea of risk and reward using age-appropriate examples. Exploring kid-friendly financial resources and considering visits to financial advisors can further enrich their understanding. Encouraging saving habits and setting a positive example in financial management round out the support parents can offer, setting a strong foundation for children’s financial literacy.

For more on this, you can check out Finovate’s 3 Reasons Youth Banking Tools are Having a Moment, which explains the benefits of Invstr Jr in tracking and monitoring investments.


Teaching kids about investments is a valuable life skill that can set them on a path to financial success. By simplifying complex concepts, setting up mock portfolios, and encouraging open discussions, parents can empower their children to make informed decisions about money. And for a more interactive learning experience, you might want to Invstr Jr is a fantastic educational tool designed to make financial education fun and engaging for kids. With Invstr Jr, kids can embark on a journey of financial learning that will prepare them for a brighter financial future. To learn more, check out Invstr Jr and start your child’s financial education journey today.

This article was generated using automation technology. It has been thoroughly reviewed, edited and fact-checked by an editor at Invstr.

All investing involves risk and can lead to losses.
Past performance does not guarantee future results.
Invstr Financial LLC (Invstr) is registered as an advisor with the SEC. Securities trading is offered to self-directed investors by Social Invstr LLC, a member of FINRA.

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