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How financial literacy can help your clients understand generational wealth

Mac Gardner, a Certified Financial Planner practitioner, has served in the financial services industry for more than 20 years.  He currently leads FinLit Tech as Chief Education Officer and aims to fulfill its mission of building a bridge between financial literacy and financial technology.

Mac develops financial education content, provides research & market data, and connects FinTech resources to create digital platforms to increase financial literacy and promote financial wellness.

His passion for financial literacy led him to publish his first book, “Motivate Your Money!” in 2013. As his family grew—and his clients’ families—he began to receive requests for ways to teach kids about managing money. So he used elements from his first book to develop a financial literacy platform for young children through “The Four Money Bears”

The Four Money Bears represent the four basic functions of money: spending, saving, investing, and giving. Spender Bear, Saver Bear, Investor Bear, and Giver Bear all work together to create a budget, demonstrating that each person should use some of their money to fulfill each of these functions. When children gain exposure to money management skills at an early age, they are likely to develop healthy financial planning habits as adults.

“In my research, I realized that if children learn about finances very early on; their connection to money actually starts around the age of seven. So we should start sharing these concepts at a young age.”

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How can you show your clients the importance of financial literacy and prepare them to have more money conversations at home with their families?

By providing your clients—and their families—with insights into how to build generational wealth and expand their financial literacy, when their money eventually does transition to the next generation, they’re prepared and have the proper tools necessary to manage that wealth. 

Children are sponges—they absorb information quickly and easily. And unless their parents take proactive steps to teach them about good financial habits, kids may pick up negative money habits. For example, if your children see you saving and talking about it, they’re more likely to grow up with a savings mindset.

Another factor that can impact our attitude and beliefs about money, is our willingness to improve our finances. As children grow up, their emotions toward money management also mature along with them. So expanding financial literacy at home can help young people become self-reliant and self-assured when handling finances.

As a financial advisor, how can you help parents feel knowledgeable and confident in teaching their children financial literacy? By educating them first, and then encouraging them to take this information home. You can start building deep relationships with your clients’ children and even grow your practice through financial education.

This means boiling down complex financial advice into conversations that your clients can have at the dinner table. For example, if a client mentions their child took a new job, equip them with questions they can ask their child about 401k plans. The more stories that can be shared related to financial education, the better prepared the next generation becomes.


When we take care of a client, they’re thankful; but when you can take care of their children, they’re forever grateful. Imagine the type of connection you can make with a client when you’re able to manage their wealth while providing education to them and their next generation on how to use money properly.


Disclaimer: Altruist and its affiliates do not give legal advice. The views expressed in this video by the participants are solely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Altruist Corp or its subsidiaries. No compensation was provided.


About Grow

Grow by Altruist is a show dedicated to bringing business growth advice to advisors, by advisors. I'm your host Dasarte Yarnway and each week I sit down with industry professionals as they share their best ideas around attracting new prospects, building a successful firm, and keeping clients happy. Watch more episodes here.



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