This article is by Les Masterson.
Fathers are great at offering advice – in matters of life, love, and, of course, money. And while we’ve all resorted to clichés at times, the wisdom fathers impart often stays with their children, who in turn pass that guidance on to the next generation.
So in honor of Father’s Day, we wanted to ask readers: What did your father teach you about money? What was his best – and worst – advice?
Because Dad said…
So far, the responses we’ve gotten back have been every bit as insightful as we had hoped. Readers were given a drive to invest and to work hard. Fathers inspired their children to save for a rainy day, no matter how modest a sum.
Unfortunately, some also went big into real estate at the height of the bubble and saw their college money drained for nothing, all on fatherly advice and direction. (Hey, we still love you, Dad!)
Here’s a smattering of the best and worst…
“Buy as much house as you can afford. In 2006 = worst.”
“It’s not really ‘best’ but it’s something we actually did. My dad told me to keep $300 in our safe deposit box ‘just in case.’ His father told him the same thing except back then it was $50. I will probably tell my kids $500.”
“Buy the best tool once or the cheap tool twice.”
“Buy Volkswagen cars and Cadillac properties.”
“Put funds into an IRA and save money.”
“I learned to take his advice with a grain of salt after he invested my entire college fund in ‘New Coke.’”
More Dad advice from our Facebook readers:
“My father told me: You either pay interest or get paid interest. Which one do you want to be?”
“Often times your parents teach you what not to do. I learned early in life that I did not want to model my parents in regards to money matters. Therefore, my habits consist of avoiding debt, living below my means, shopping at thrifts, making saving a priority, and preparing for the worst. My parents now come to me for advice and the occasional loan.”
“Indirect help. Going through the mail when I was 14, I saw an envelope from an investment company. Decided at that moment I wanted to be receiving statements from investment companies as soon as I was able.”
“It wasn’t explicitly communicated, but my father is someone who models that money should be spent to buy great experiences (trips, hobbies) vs. simply material things.”
Famous dads said…
There’s plenty of famous advice from famous Dads. Here’s the best we could find. Happy Father’s Day!
“Know what an asset is, acquire them and become rich.”
–Robert Kiyosaki, author of “Rich Dad, Poor Dad”
“He would say, ‘You don’t have to swing at every pitch. When you’re ready to invest [in a stock], it looks like a fat, slow-moving ball.’ But that’s so true in many things in life. You don’t have to swing at every pitch.”
–Peter Buffett, about the advice given to him by his legendary father, Warren Buffett
“If you have too much inventory, you are in trouble. If you have too little inventory, you are in trouble. If you have to pay too much to keep inventory, you are going to get hurt. And if you have the wrong inventory, you will get stung.”
–Jim Cramer, quoting his father’s advice
“My father didn’t give me much money, but what he did give me was a good education and the simple formula for getting wealthy: Work hard doing what you love.”
“The best money advice ever given me from my father: When I was a little girl, he told me, ‘Don’t spend anything unless you have to.’”
“Marry a rich woman.”
–Alec Baldwin, quoting the advice given to him by his father
“He told me if I always pay my bills with one-third, save one-third and screw around with the last third, I’ll be OK, no matter how much I earn. It’s the only thing he said that I listened to, and I have never been in any financial trouble.”
“What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.”
“Neither a borrower nor a lender be;
“For loan oft loses both itself and friend.”
–Polonius to son Laertes in Shakespeare’s Hamlet
What’s the best (or worst) financial advice you’ve received from your father? Share your dad’s quips and wisdom in the comments below.
GRS is committed to helping our readers save and achieve their financial goals. Savings interest rates may be low, but that is all the more reason to shop for the best rate. Find the highest savings interest rates and CD rates from Synchrony Bank, Ally Bank, and more.