Financial Lessons and Investing Basics for Kids

Investing for the Green

I won’t pretend to be the most environmentally responsible investor myself. Throughout the years I’ve bought and sold all manner of terrible company. But that doesn’t mean I can’t at least try and turn over a new leaf with my kids. While discussing investing with my kids I’m not about to say, “Hey kids, Exxon looks like a buy here.” or “Coal mining seems like a good sector to get into right now.”

This week when I began discussing with my kids what stock to buy for their portfolio we were fresh out of ideas for companies they know. They don’t watch television, and their idea of a clothing brand is “Target.” So we moved on from buying familiar company stocks to trying to think about the types of “things” we’d like to invest in. Being that we live on a boat we quickly thought of solar panels.

Renewable energy is something my kids could easily wrap their heads around as it is something that directly affects our family every day. The sun powers our refrigerators, our lights, our laptops, and dozens of other things on our boat. With just 800 watts worth of solar panels on top of our boat we’re able to live life very nearly as if we were plugged in to power in a traditional home.

We bought First Solar (FSLR) stock, but of course there are dozens of renewable energy companies to choose from, from solar, to hydro, to wind.

Wanderer Solar Panels

We discussed what other types of companies we could look to invest in and they thought of “Companies that try to clean up the plastic in the ocean.” and “Electric motorcycles.” and “Companies that make toys out of wood.” We’ll be doing  more research to find those companies.

Discussing environmentally responsible companies was a great way to spark conversations about all sorts of things that have the potential to change the way my kids will live their lives now, and fifty years from now. If you’re looking for long-term investments that your kids can feel good about owning, it would seem that renewable energy companies are a great spot to be in.

Renewal Energy Investing

Kids’ current portfolio. We’re out of traditional kid brand ideas and moving on to more “green” opportunities.