You can't time the market, as they say. But if you're looking for opportunities to teach your youngster about investing in stocks, the timing couldn't be better.
Look no further than the microscopic interest paid on savings accounts and certificates of deposit over the past couple of years. That's likely to elicit a big roll of the eyeballs from your fledgling young investor. On the other hand, the returns generated in stocks have not been shabby.
Consider the woman I spoke with last week who was searching for ways to introduce her 11-year-old grandson to the basics of investing. "I don't know where to begin," she said.
Here are five strategies. Go as fast and as in depth as your young investor desires:
Look at investment websites
There are plenty of books that can explain investing basics -- any library or bookstore has what you're looking for -- but the homework might be more engaging online.
Join the club
One of the best ways for youngsters to cultivate an interest in investing is to join an investment club. Some schools establish clubs as an after-school extracurricular activity in which the focus is on learning with fake-money portfolios in virtual stock market games.
Another option: Create your own real-money club with a group of friends or family.
Nothing is stopping you and Junior from selecting a few stocks to buy shares in and then following them. Or you can purchase small amounts, including fractional shares, through ShareBuilder. Commissions are low, and you can select from more than 6,000 stocks. For account details, go to www.sharebuilder.com.
Invest with a pro
Some mutual funds with low minimum investments are geared to small investors. One such fund is the
Dive into data
If your youngster is already knee deep in stocks, a copy of the 2011 Stock Trader's Almanac -- a calendar filled with historical trading data, notable moments in the markets and much more -- might be just the ticket. The 44th edition, compiled by the father-son team of Yale Hirsch and
Available at Amazon.com: The Triumph of Value Investing: Smart Money Tactics for the Postrecession Era
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