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5 Timeless Financial Lessons for Father’s Day

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If you’re in doubt about what kind of gift to get for Father’s Day, think about the gifts your father imparted to you.

Not your first bike or baseball glove, but the nontangible gifts that did the most to get you to where you are today:

The healthy dose of No’s that accompanied the Yeses of your youth; the boundary-setting and risk taking you learned from Dad.

The ideas that set you on a path to financial security as well as shaped your character and gave your life meaning may suggest that you forsake the necktie and golf clubs in favor of an extra measure of respect and sincere expression of gratitude.

Here are five life-changing lessons our fathers transmitted to their children:


1. Discipline

Fathers teach their children rules through game playing. The squeals of delight in a drawn-out pillow fight aren’t only recreational but educational.

The roughhousing taught us to set boundaries — that this far you can go but no farther.

Studies show that children lacking this formative education act more aggressively.

In the financial sphere, the beginning of wisdom is that investors should not behave so aggressively that they can lose it all.

The rules may vary, depending on specific needs, but financially astute people know they must follow a disciplined rules-based path toward building wealth.

Setting Goals

2. Setting Goals

Fathers are keen on challenging their children. Whether through educational or athletic pursuits or career ambitions, their message to us is that if the goal is worthwhile, we should pursue it regardless of the short-term pain.

Work hard, get out of your comfort zone, overcome obstacles — whatever it takes — but stay focused on your goals.

In the financial realm, the surest path to wealth comes from setting achievable goals and investing small amounts regularly.

Taking Risks

3. Taking Risks

The skinned knee we got from falling off the bike may have hurt a bit.

But in allowing it to happen, our fathers understood the benefits of internalizing the lesson that we could get right back up again and resume our pedaling.

Our fathers gave us the secure base from which to explore and take risks.

That gift is a necessary component of building character and a likewise essential part of building a portfolio.

Controlling Emotions

4. Controlling Emotions

A toddler who falls down may wail if he sees alarm on a parent’s face, but fathers who demonstrate restraint thereby teach their children self-control.

Fathers similarly teach their older kids not to overreact to their favorite toy breaking, losing a game or getting a bad grade.

Markets frequently deliver setbacks to investors, but the most emotionally secure among them understand the virtue of remaining calm, readjusting their plans and getting back up again.


5. Purpose

A good father teaches his children that there’s more to life than mere toys to play with. Sharing what you have is more fulfilling than hording what’s yours.

When fathers teach that character development takes precedence over material accumulation, their children grow up to use their wealth to support serious commitments to their family, community and ideals.

— Check out 7 Famous Dads Who Make Good Financial Role Models on ThinkAdvisor.


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