When we moved to our new house there was a box of comics sitting in the basement. It was largely ignored for months as we cleaned the house and generally got used to our new surroundings. But about 2 months ago while looking for packed away stuff I re-ran into the box and immediately thought to myself, why am I sitting on the old owner’s collection? I had no emotional tie to the collection, and they clearly didn’t care about it considering they called us for other stuff.
I told my son (9) if he organized the comics, I would figure out a way to sell them and he would get 50% of any proceeds. My plan was to give him all of it (and probably more) if the number was tiny. He immediately asked how, so I jumped on to ebay and the idea of looking up each one was completely out of the question as I had no reason to believe that we had a long lost gem in this box. I then gave him the task of creating a spreadsheet on his chrome book. I couldn’t believe how quickly he picked up on the task! It kept him focused and excited, he even put my daughter to work which quickly turned me to promising her 25% of the loot.
Armed with a spreadsheet I started to write and send out information to local comic book shops. Few offered $20 to $50, which was fine but lower than I expected. It was then upon telling my father about our little project and my son’s excitement that he mentioned he had a friend who owned 3 comic book shops in NYC. Normally, that would be a weird thing but if you knew my father it kind of just seemed par for the course. I ended up dropping the box of at my parents’ house and said get whatever you can get for it. The friend told my father he would pay $175 for the box! Score. I told my son and he was pumped.
At this point I asked him what he was going to do with his $85? He said save it in his bank (we keep an envelope of his money for shit The Wife and I are just unwilling to buy i.e. currently Fortnite skins but in the past it included shopkins and pokeman cards). That’s when I had an idea, maybe I could get him interested in investing…even if it is just a little bit.
My Son Buys his First Share of Stock
I have started to bring up the subject more and more with him, like when I tried explaining private vs public companies, and then calculating how much of Disney he actually owns (spoiler alert – it isn’t a lot). I haven’t had the full blow conversation yet about how much money I have saved/invested for him because he is way too young. I would argue that if he is anything like me (and to date he is a carbon copy) even if he were 18 he shouldn’t know this number.
So I told him to name literally anything and I would buy him a share with half of his take (I was well aware that this may turn out to be more than the whole project was worth but what the hell he could actually be learning something). His first idea was a bust when he said he wanted to own a piece of a sports team. I explained that no US based sports team is publicly traded. His next idea was Amazon. Well at the current price of $1,800 or so for a single share we were getting beyond what I was willing to put towards our little experiment!
His next idea was Dicks. Perfect! I explained that one share was $40 or so dollars and I would buy it in his account. When asked why, he gave a very Peter Lynch answer – he knows he goes there all the time and mom spends a lot of money there. With free trading nowadays it just doesn’t matter that I bought a single share with/for him.
I am excited that the next time they pay a dividend I can try to explain the concept to him. May not work but I’ll try!