E Young Brains, Money And Risk

This is an artificial example, of course. There are all sorts of rational reasons for a late start—earning an advanced degree, investing in children, starting a business—but they are ones formed by more developed brains. So because we can see the obvious benefits of time, we must be creative to counter the money decisions of higher risk-taking young brains.

My Dad required me to have a part-time job starting at 15, which eliminated after-school activities. However, he told me that so long as I saved a set amount for college, the rest was mine. That got me over the resentment of missed activities and made me work longer hours, which not only produced spending money but also forced me to manage my scarce time better. Change “college” to any number of savings vehicles, and presto, you have an incentive plan. 

Brain science tells us young people take risks because they can’t help it and may miss the benefits of saving and investing earlier. A win-win approach like my wily Dad’s can work wonders.

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Tom Jacobs is an Investment Advisor for separately managed accounts with Dallas’s Echelon Investment Management. You may reach him at more

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Mark Friedmann 4 years ago Member's comment

Really enjoy your article.

Samantha Carter 4 years ago Member's comment

Excellent article, hope to see more by you. I added you to my follow list.

Katy Lin 4 years ago Member's comment

Love your analogy to wet snow. Your father was a wise man. I've been very concerned about this issue for all those kids fresh out of college who can't find jobs, for all the reasons you state.