The Traders Journal

Teach Your Young Investors! Here's How And Why You'll Both Benefit


This is personal. I’ve spent a lifetime learning how to make consistent profits in the investing arena. Yes, the stock markets have been good to me. They’ve allowed me to stay healthy by learning to manage my stress and they’ve also allowed me to enjoy an extremely comfortable lifestyle. Ironically, these were not my real objectives. As I said in our January interview in Stocks & Commodities Magazine (included below), “A lot of parents want to leave a legacy for their son, but I was determined to leave a legacy in my son.”

When Steve Jobs was asked if he was glad he had children, he replied “It’s 10,000 times better than anything I’ve ever done.”  I couldn’t agree more because, for the past 15 years, one of my main goals was precisely this.

When Grayson turned 10 years old, I gently invited him to share my passion by asking for his help in my investment classes. I taught him the magic of stock charts, simple trendlines and moving averages. In my classroom, he in turn enjoyed demonstrating these skills to investors who were five times his age.

When Zumiez (ZUMZ) went public in 2005, Grayson at 12 was already expressing his individuality through “action streetwear” He was a devotee of inline skating, and Zumiez was his favorite store.  So Zumiez’s IPO  was the moment when he decided it would be cool to be a shareholder. 

Perhaps this was the moment he “entered the temple”, so to speak. It certainly helped that Zumiez went on a 500% tear in those early days, giving Grayson some bragging rights with his peers. Sure — a big part of the equation was lucky timing. He could have just as easily fallen in love with Groupon (GRPN) and watched that equity then achieve the exact opposite trendline — plunging 500% down in price. Nevertheless, Zumiez proved to be the hook that resulted in a happy father-son collaboration. 

The collaboration between us continues on as we’ve co-authored Tensile Trading together, produce DVDs together, write some blogs together and regularly teach investing seminars together.

My point here is not to brag about our accomplishments. My point is simply to illustrate that, with consistent tutelage over 15 years, the investing legacy in my son is quite secure. Grayson trades his own portfolio with a unique personal style, and he’s has done very well indeed. I have no concerns about his financial acumen or his investing skill set going forward.  

To be candid, I must admit that the efforts of teaching, book writing, blogs and DVDs have contributed immensely to my own growth as an investor. Similarly, I submit to you that teaching your children and grandchildren about money management and investing will significantly enhance your own skill set in a way you can’t even imagine. 

Certainly, you have the whole “walk the talk” thing, but you’ll also find that it will bring clarity to your own investing methodology.   Yes, it will take some effort. But please trust me when I tell you that small gestures matter when it comes to money management. Setting a good example will be noticed.

Having said that, I can assure you that it will be worth it. So here are the three steps or stages I recommend you focus on with your youthful offspring:

  • Step 1:  Teach them an investment methodology they will embrace. Go slow. This won’t happen overnight.
  • Step 2: Encourage them to understand the all-important “Investor Self” (see chapter 3 in our book). Not only will this understanding be useful for investing, but they’ll grow enormously as persons in everyday life — thereby making you proud.
  • Step 3:  Call it implementation or action. Encourage them to pull the trigger and execute their investment methodology with an emphasis on consistency and maintaining an emotion-free mindset.

So there you have it. It’s simple. No worries. It took me 15 years, but the legacy torch has been passed on, and in truth, improved upon by my millennial son. As I look back, I’m proud of the fact that my identity has been successfully interwoven with roles as both a father and an investing mentor.

Trade well; trade with discipline!
Gatis Roze, MBA, CMT



Gatis Roze
About the author: , MBA, CMT, is a veteran full-time stock market investor who has traded his own account since 1989 unburdened by the distraction of clients. He holds an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business, is a past president of the Technical Securities Analysts Association (TSAA), and is a Chartered Market Technician (CMT). After several successful entrepreneurial business ventures, Gatis retired in his early 40s to focus on investing in the financial markets. With consistent success as a stock market trader, he began teaching investments at the post-college level in 2000 and continues to do so today. Learn More
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