I recently purchased 2 shares of World Wrestling Entertainment (NYSE: WWE) for $16.43 a share + 4.95 commission, for a total of $37.81.
Now I know some of you, scratch that, ALL OF YOU are thinking…WHAT…THE…HELL?!? REALLY?!? There’s a very special reason why I made this purchase (hence the title of this post). Can you smell what Mr. TOL is cooking?…No?… Allow me to explain…
TOL jr. recently celebrated a milestone of a birthday, his sweet 16th. This birthday brought some special life perks as he can now legally work and drive a car with an intermediate license! This was also a special birthday to Mrs. TOL and I, as we realized that he is starting to move from a young boy into a young man preparing for adulthood.
TOL jr. has always been a huge fan of WWE wrestling and has been ever since he was a very young boy. He has gone to almost every WWE event that comes through our city, which surprisingly has been very often when I look back over the years. He really lights up watching the real life wrestlers walk into the ring and perform. I can’t lie, even I got a little pumped watching Kane, Big Show and Randy Orton perform in real life!
For his birthday, he told us he really wanted a shirt from the WWE Shop depicting his favorite wrestler. The shirt can only be ordered through WWE’s website for fan shopping and costs almost $35 after tax and shipping. When he told me what he wanted, the “light bulb” flashed above my head…and I knew it was time to have “the talk”!
Not that “birds and the bees” talk, we’ve covered that many years ago. The talk I am referring to is the talk about money, the talk about how to allow money to work for you, and not having to work your entire life for money.
TOL jr. has vividly expressed a desire to work and make his own money, and I couldn’t be prouder of his decision. Most kids his age just want to play X-Box and text all day long. I am glad that he wants to do something much more productive.
So after a long discussion with Mrs. TOL, we decided to give him a sweet 16 birthday gift he will never forget – a WWE shirt featuring his favorite wrestler and first-hand knowledge of investing and an introduction into the stock market, by purchasing him shares of his favorite entertainment company.
Please keep in mind, this stock purchase is not intended to turn a profit. Really, on a normal basis, I wouldn’t touch this stock with a ten foot wallet! The dividend was cut by 67% in June 2011 and has not increased since the cut, and though revenues have increased since 2011, Operating Income has decreased during that same period. Don’t get me wrong, I grew up watching wrestling back when the “E” in WWE used to be “F”! I said my prayers and ate my vitamins, just like the Hulkster told me to and I could definitely “smell…what the Rock…was cooking”!! However, invest in the company?? No, thanks.
Again, this was not a business purchase, but something similar to a purchase of memorabilia, similar to fans purchasing “shares” of the Green Bay Packers. By purchasing shares of this company for our son, we hope to accomplish several things.
- That he will learn the uselessness of buying things and stuff. When he receives his shirt, he will smile and be happy; however, it’s important tol let him know what fate lies ahead for that shirt. It will become old and worn. It will stain and fade and one day become useless. He may even outgrow it fairly soon as he just turned 16 but is already almost 6 feet tall!
- As opposed to the shirt, I will show him the shares, which will be held in our trade account, and teach him that shares of a quality dividend-paying company will last longer than the enjoyment he will receive from the shirt. I will teach him that these shares will pay you a dividend, but the shirt will not.
- We want him to know that there is nothing wrong with working, however, allow your job to fund your dream, which hopefully for him will be to never be reliant upon only a job for your source of income. We hope the thought of owning shares of a company, instead of working for one, will inspire him to be more financially conscious.
He knows about the shirt because we had to ensure we purchased the correct one. He does not know about the shares. We will present both gifts to him once the shirt arrives sometime next week.
TOL jr. is approaching a pivotal point in his life. He is only two short years away from adulthood. I can remember the day he was born. I remember bringing him home and placing him in his crib. Now he has 2.5 more years of high school before he will graduate and be sent off into the world to make a way for himself.
I hope that all parents have the “talk” with their kids. I know the public schools will not teach our kids how to save and invest and not be foolish spenders, so we have to take on that responsibility. In fact, they are taught to be nothing more than workers and consumers. Teach them that the words “stock market” are not words to be afraid of, but instead, can be a great wealth building tool, when used correctly. We will teach our kids that they do not have to work for 40+ years of their lives just to retire when the body is in the process of aging and breaking down.
Do you teach your kids about investing? Would you not teach them and allow them to forge their own financial paths? Would you show them frugality lifestyles or allow them full freedom to make their own way?