Grandpa and RG Visit the Zoo. Chapter 10: RG Denouement.

December 18, 2008

I felt the mommies should know about all the events of the day at the zoo. I wrote up a shorter version than I provided here to send as an email to Mommy and Mama. Before I finished and sent the email, the following events and actions occurred:

  1.  RG passed her swimming test for swimming in the deep end of the swimming pool.
  2. Her mommies set up an allowance and a financial education plan for her. I don’t know if it was their idea or they picked it up from someone, but it struck me as brilliant when they told me about it later. It runs like this
  3. RG gets an allowance of $3 a week. Her allowance is not based on “chores.” She is already fairly helpful and constructive about helping around the house, putting away her toys, setting the table, helping with fixing meals, etc.
  4. She gets a bank for her money. The bank is not called a piggy bank; I forget the term they used. The bank has three slots. Each week she puts $1 in each slot.The slots are labeled as follows:
    1. Spending. Money accumulated in this part of her bank would take care of RG’s urge to get stuffed animals at the zoo store, I presume. It will take her a while to collect enough cash to get an elephant, whale, or Tyrannosaurus Rex, I presume
    2. Sharing. RG will usually share a bit of her food if asked politely. This will move toward starting her own version of the Gates Foundation someday.
    3. Saving. I don’t know how impacted RG will be by having the Greater Depression strike when she was four years old, but she might as well start saving for the future by the time she is five.
  5. Each week RG will discuss with her mommies how she will use the money in each category. As far as investment, I have been thinking about setting up a Scottrade brokerage account that I will hold in her name.
  6. At present we have three accounts: my wife’s IRA, my IRA, and a joint account. I am considering setting up an account in Random Granddaughter’s name. With the amount that is left in our accounts after the stock market crash, RG’s portion of her “saving” account will be on about the same level as our other three accounts. I suspect her portfolio will quickly surpass ours.
  7. I will discuss with her companies that build fire trucks and ferries, as well as companies that run railroads. Up to now those three business sectors have been her main interest. Now that she has added pirates to her focus, investing will be a little more difficult. Perhaps she will be interested in starting a pirate company as an entrepreneur. Investing in pirate ships seems a little more difficult.
  8. On the other hand, her interest in pirates may only be an early sign that she will be an investment banker on Wall Street, or a captain of conventional American industry. Perhaps she will start the next Enron.
  9. RG had a discussion with her mommies about babies and mommies. I await the day when she explains the “birds and bees” to me. I have been hoping to learn about this all my life. I figure at 65 I am ready for this information.

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8 Responses to “Grandpa and RG Visit the Zoo. Chapter 10: RG Denouement.”

  1. pandemonic Says:

    Very wise move. In a more blushing economy, it might even make sense. Here is why it might not: The Greater Depression of which you so fondly speak.

    My tightwad (thrifty) husband decided to start accounts for each of our children when they were born. This is because he paid his own way through college and didn’t want the kids to have to suffer that kind of inconvenience. We scrimped; we saved. After 18 years, each of them had a pretty sizable nest egg.

    Things were going gangbusters until September. I couldn’t bear to look at my 401K, which is now my 201K. Yesterday, I finally looked at their Upromise account (where you get money for college for buying stuff online). There used to be $3000 in that account alone, and now there is a little over $1800.

    My advice (unasked for, of course) is that RG learn to grow vegetables and find mushrooms in the woods. I know I can survive when the end draws near. Those other idiots will be standing in line at the grocery store wondering why their plastic doesn’t work anymore.

  2. modestypress Says:

    We trying to prepare RG for anything, but it’s in the nature of human beings that we are always fighting the last war. She lives in a fairly dense urban area with many diversities on her block.

    Christmas Eve, she will once more visit us in the country where will her pull a carrot out of the garden if she can get through the snow to it–you sent some of your tundra weather to our Puget Sound island–we’re snowed in–what’s that all about?

    Also, coming up soon, why RG may be headed to Harvard at the age of eight. Stay tuned for the next episode.

  3. truce Says:

    Well done to RG on the swimming test success. I am very impressed. Not only is swimming excellent exercise, knowing how to swim may save her life once the whole planet is under another 10 feet of water due to Global Warming.

    I am hopeless with money, so I have nothing useful to add to that portion of your post. Were I to add anything, you should ignore it entirely.

  4. Michael the little boot Says:

    I’m with Truce. My brain spins when it deals with numbers. I’m lucky to do sums involving double-digit numbers! When I get past three digits, forget it. Good thing, in this increasingly complex world, RG’s mothers are doing something to prepare her. She’ll hopefully be more relaxed as a result!


  5. I really like the financial education plan, not because it’s about money, but because it’s about thoughtful allocation of resources. It will work just as well for any resource she happens to have … the idea of some for me, some for others, and some for the future, in roughly equal proportions.

  6. modestypress Says:

    Truce and Michael,

    If RG starts giving us financial advice, I will pass it on here, unless it involves illegal insider trading.

    David,

    I think you are exactly correct and summarize the beauty and value of the approach beautifully.

  7. pandemonic Says:

    *raising hand for illegal insider trading*

  8. modestypress Says:

    Quickly standing in front of comment #7 so you can’t see raised hand. Whispering: Please go inside where people can’t see you.


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