What we really need to teach the youthBy Randell Tiongson on May 4th, 2010
Appears in my column at Business Mirror, 05.03.2010
Sometime last year, the show Shop Talk at ANC invited my daughter Billie as its guest. The show invited children of finance personalities they often invite as guests in the show. It was nice to listen to young people talk about finances and how they deal with the issues involved.
One of the guests was a young boy, barely in his teens, but was talking confidently about managing his portfolio. The host of the show was amazed at this wonder boy and how he was doing what he was talking about. I found out later that he had brothers who were all financially savvy. In my curiosity, I spoke to their father to find out more about them.
They are the Fausto brothers —Martin, Enrique and Anton—sons of Marvin and Rose Fausto. Marvin used to be the Head of Trust of Equitable PCI Bank; he is now the Head of Investments of Banco De Oro. Rose, prior to becoming a full-time homemaker, was also an investment banker.
Martin, the oldest, is 19 years old and an incoming junior taking up Management at the Ateneo de Manila University. Enrique, the second, turned 17 last month, an incoming high-school senior in Xavier School. Anton, the youngest, is 13. He graduated with honors from the Ateneo Grade School in March. His ambition is to be the country’s youngest billionaire. The boys are well-rounded, with passions involving sports, music and dance.
The brothers have been exposed to financial literacy very early in life. When they were still babies, their parents opened their individual savings accounts. They have since been saving from their allowance, cash gifts and occasional earnings from different endeavors. They were also gifted a few shares of stocks of companies that they could easily understand when they were still very young. Today, they buy their own stocks with their own money. Since last year, their parents have transferred to them the responsibility of updating their individual balance sheets on a quarterly basis.
These boys can put many adults to shame. In fact, I can say they are even wealthier than most married people I know! As young as they are, I know they have a great future ahead of them.
What sets these boys apart from many kids out there? Their parents decided early to impart very important values to them, especially financial literacy.
Unfortunately, the Fausto family is a very rare breed and the Fausto brothers are really exceptions to the rule. Many parents often teach their children the wrong values; they put too much emphasis on academic excellence and forget to teach the their children the realities of life—like financial principles. While it is definitely important, academic education is often incomplete, limited and at times even irrelevant. As parents, we should also teach our children values and principles that will hone their character and practical education that will shape their future like finance and entrepreneurship.
It is a fact that parents are the best teachers. Yet we leave the complete education of our children to educational institutions. Isn’t it time we examined how our children are being educated? Let us take part in this very important stage in their lives…that is the best thing we can do for them. “Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”—Proverbs 22:6, NIV.
Victory Greenhills, in cooperation with the Registered Financial Planner Institute, brings you BLUE CHIP: Financial Literacy Program for the Youth. This is a two-day learning session on practical finance for high-school and college students (ages 13 to 20) and will be on May 13 and 14 at the Victory Center, Upper Level, Promenade Greenhills. For inquiries on BLUE CHIP, please get in touch with Sheryn Alvarez at 744-8121 or 0917-5117796.