What the Rich Think Parents Should Teach Their Children About Money

Carlos Slim and Warren Buffett have more than $130 billion to their name. And while they've had different paths to success, it turns out they had very similar advice from their parents as children.

Apr 19, 2014 at 2:00PM


Perhaps Warren Buffett was suggesting to Barack Obama how to raise Sasha and Malia.

Looking to teach your children something about finances? It turns out the world's second and third richest men have strikingly similar upbringings that led to their immense success.

Learning from the two men on top
Carlos Slim is the world's second richest man, born in Mexico City, with an estimated net worth of a staggering $67.6 billion. He controls 48% of America Movil, which has the most mobile-phone subscribers in the Americas. He also has major positions in the banking and insurance company Grupo Financiero as well as mining firm Minera Frisco

Insider Monkey

Image Source: www.insidermonkey.com

Warren Buffett is the third richest man with a net worth of $63 billion. He's the chairman of Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK-A)(NYSE:BRK-B), which encompasses a variety of businesses, including insurer GEICO, railroad Burlington Northern Santa Fe, energy company MidAmerican. In addition, it has $60 billion worth of total investments in Wells Fargo, American Express, Coca-Cola, and IBM, plus another $40 billion invested in other firms.

Together, the two men are worth a staggering $130 billion. And while their paths to success have been different, their childhood upbringings were remarkably similar.

The similar childhoods
While Buffett grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and Slim was raised in Mexico City, Mexico, the two have a remarkably similar start to their success.

When asked what he wanted to be when he was growing up, Slim said: 

I think I always know that I was going to be a businessman, because I began to invest when I was ten or 12 years old. I began to make my first investments. I opened my checking account and I was already investing very young. I think I knew that.

Buffett has a similar story, as he was recently asked what the secret to his success was and said simply: 

I found what I love to do very early...when I was seven or eight years old I knew that this particular game really, really intrigued me. And then I had some great teachers along the way.

Like Slim, Buffett made his first investment when he was 11 years old. He used $114 to buy three shares of Cities Service preferred for $38 each. Shortly thereafter, the stock fell to $27, but Buffett waited until it rebounded to $40 before he sold all three shares. Ultimately, the stock then roared to $200 a share, and Buffett quickly learned the value of buy-and-hold investing.  

Carlos Slim By World Travel Tourism Council

Carlos Slim. Source: Flickr / World Travel & Tourism Council

The leading path to success
Both men note they started their path to investing first by saving. Slim notes his father gave him five pesos every week -- worth less than 50 cents today -- and he spent less than he had and began to put his savings into a bank. From there, he suggests "you begin to think about what to do with them and you investment."

The same fatherly prompting is true of Buffett as well. His dad opened Warren's first savings account when he was six years old and put in $20. From then on Buffett began to save the money he made through "gifts, chores, and money-earning schemes" to bring the account to $120 so he could make his first investment. This is part of the reason why Buffett notes his father "was a huge influence" on his life.

What parents can teach their children
Buffett has said:

The most important job you have is to be the teacher to your children. You are the big, great thing to them. You don't get a rewind button. You don't get to do it twice. Teach by what you do, not what you say. By the time they get through formal school, they would have learned more from you than from school. Provide warmth and food and everything else.

In that advice, we can learn the critical value of teaching children the importance of saving and investing but also pursuing goals according to their gifts. And while they may not end up with as much money as some, they will likely have more happiness.

The greatest thing Warren Buffett ever said
Warren Buffett not only has advice on how to raise your children, but also where to put your money. In fact, while he has made billions through his investing, he wants you to be able to invest like him. Through the years, Buffett has offered up investing tips to shareholders of Berkshire Hathaway. Now you can tap into the best of Warren Buffett's wisdom in a new special report from The Motley Fool. Click here now for a free copy of this invaluable report.

Patrick Morris owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. The Motley Fool recommends Berkshire Hathaway. The Motley Fool owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Money to your ears - A great FREE investing resource for you

The best way to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as “binge-worthy finance.”

Feb 1, 2016 at 5:03PM

Whether we're in the midst of earnings season or riding out the market's lulls, you want to know the best strategies for your money.

And you'll want to go beyond the hype of screaming TV personalities, fear-mongering ads, and "analysis" from people who might have your email address ... but no track record of success.

In short, you want a voice of reason you can count on.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich," rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

And one of the easiest, most enjoyable, most valuable ways to get your regular dose of market and money insights is our suite of free podcasts ... what we like to think of as "binge-worthy finance."

Whether you make it part of your daily commute or you save up and listen to a handful of episodes for your 50-mile bike rides or long soaks in a bubble bath (or both!), the podcasts make sense of your money.

And unlike so many who want to make the subjects of personal finance and investing complicated and scary, our podcasts are clear, insightful, and (yes, it's true) fun.

Our free suite of podcasts

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. The show is also heard weekly on dozens of radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers are timeless, so it's worth going back to and listening from the very start; the other three are focused more on today's events, so listen to the most recent first.

All are available for free at www.fool.com/podcasts.

If you're looking for a friendly voice ... with great advice on how to make the most of your money ... from a business with a lengthy track record of success ... in clear, compelling language ... I encourage you to give a listen to our free podcasts.

Head to www.fool.com/podcasts, give them a spin, and you can subscribe there (at iTunes, Stitcher, or our other partners) if you want to receive them regularly.

It's money to your ears.


Compare Brokers