June 11, 2013
In honour of Father’s Day, here is a quote from a former investment banker in New York that clearly demonstrates the power of either an implicit or explicit paternal message: “My father had a large influence on me growing up – he treated me as his intellectual equal. I was taught to read and write at age three and I always thought that I could do whatever I put my mind to. My Dad never used a baby voice or tried to simplify things. At age four or five he would read me bedtime stories like the Odyssey! We had a big library and I would spend lots of time there and just pick up any book that interested me. At age seven it was the Diary of Anne Frank. At age 14 I was reading Sartre. Later on, academic books about finance were easy for me to grasp. I knew my father liked the fact that I was smart. There was intellectual curiosity in our family.” Well, this story really resonates with me because my own Dad always seemed fascinated by my efforts -whether it was my dramatic poetry readings or my attempts at writing folk songs. In no particular order, he always encouraged me to read, write, do my French homework, play my guitar and sing. Now, in retrospect I feel blessed to have had someone who would listen to me so attentively. I am sure this fostered my feeling of self-confidence and helped me to actually enjoy speaking in public. Although I don’t remember him teaching me about anything to do with finance, he did tell me to always be independent. That stuck with me and I have somehow never doubted my ability to make money. Mrs Robinson wants to know: What lessons did you learn from your Dad about money? email us at [email protected]. We'll share the top 5 answers with you on Father's Day. Barbara Stewart is Mrs Robinson’s new Finance Contributor. Barbara is a CFA® charter holder specializing in Financial Counseling and Portfolio Management at Cumberland Private with over 20 years experience. Her area of expertise lies in studying women and their behaviour around money. She has found that women learn about money and success through real stories from real people: mentors, role models, families and friends – even through difficult examples like watching a parent struggle with debt.