“As an adult is it easier to understand the importance of investing as you face the challenges of managing your money on a daily basis,” says Carly Barnes, who is part of Team Easy. “The closer you get to depending on your retirement savings to live, the more immediate the need to save becomes. However, as an adult you have already lost all the opportunity to invest with the benefit of compounding returns.”
In a bid to get 13-year-olds interested and active in the investment market, Romi went back to school to speak to a group of Grade 7 girls at St Stithians Girls’ Prep.
“Who wants to be a millionaire by 30?” she asked.
Everyone’s hands went up immediately.
“Well, here’s how you could do it…”
The girls hung on her every word, from how to go about setting up an EasyEquities profile and choosing which stocks to buy, to talking their parents into co-sponsoring their journey to their first million.
“I was a bit nervous to get up and speak to a group of 13-year-old girls, having been one myself once,” says Romi. “But they were phenomenal! They had just learnt about compound interest and compounding returns in EMS (economic and management sciences), so they were armed with the knowledge they needed to understand the concept of long-term investing.”
As any investor knows, it’s never too early to start. Romi encouraged the girls to invest at least half of their pocket money every month. In this way, she said, they stood a good chance of being millionaires by age 30.
“You don’t only want to buy your clothes and snacks at Woolworths, you want to own a piece of Woolworths as well,” she said. “In the same way, you can have a bite at Spur and own a bite of Spur, watch a Disney movie and own a bit of the Disney Corporation. It’s about owning a share of the brands you love. Because that’s how you commit for the long run, and that’s how you have fun while at the same time building your personal wealth.”
And you don’t have to invest a fortune to reach the million-rand mark by 30. Invest what you can, its always a good place to start!
“If you invest R150 a month, and ask your parents to match your contribution, you could have R1-million by the time you’re 30,” said Romi. “Obviously your parents can stop contributing when you start earning a salary,” she laughed.
“By continuing to put R300 a month into shares, your investment could hit the R14-million mark by the time you’re 40, and then R185-million by age 50. Ten years later, when you turn 60, you could have R2-BILLION in your investment account.”
But when you’re 13, it seems like you’ll never be 60!
“That’s where the discipline and long-term view have to come in,” said Romi. “You have to stop yourself from buying that second pair of shoes, or cashing in your investment to take that gap year. If you want to see the returns, you have to stay invested until you reach your goals.”
*assuming a 25% return