a 5 year old’s insight to Finance 101

She has just started to lose her baby teeth.
She was asked what she would like from the “tooth fairy” who “buys” little children’s tooth.
“1-money,” was the answer without hesitation. 
1- money is MYR 100, approximate price for her average My Little Pony.
Over the months she had managed to convince family members to buy her My Little Pony, completing the set. A trip to Bangsar Toy’rus 3 weeks ago proved disappointing as there were no ‘new’ (different models) of My Little Pony to purchase. Then, just as she was exiting the store, my mom pointed out a silly looking fury pony that moves and whines.
She was enthralled. 
But at 9-money and given her “toy of the week” trend, none of us were keen to buy it for her.

For weeks to come she employed every possible technique to get her Baby Butterscotch.
From tantrums to pleading …
From blackmails to promises … which we all know ends with sweet nothings.
None of us bulged.
But like cowards we cruelly distracted her and gave her false hope by telling her the other family member would get it for her.
And so over the few weeks she picked up a thing or two about finance and went about adding a dash of creativity on her own from lobbying and putting together commercials of Baby Butterscotch to replay them for any potential family member who would fall for her “trap” to attempting to speak Hokkien with the intend of asking her paternal grandmother during the upcoming Chinese New Year holiday.
What struck me as impressive was this:
“Penny, do you want a IPO?”

“What IPO?”

“You can share my Butterscotch horse.”

“Oh, is that right?”
She nods her head enthusiastically with a cheeky smile denoting that she thinks she has hatched a plan. 
So I said, “but ee ee only has 1-money. We need 9-money to buy Butterscotch.”
She ponders for a bit, raises her little hand and starts counting her fingers while saying, “Daddy, Mommy, Nana, ee ee, Benjamin, Rosemary, grandpa …”

I interrupted dramatically, “but, but you can’t ask Benjamin! He’s just a baby and can’t even buy insurance. Rosemary came here to work. She has no money too.”
A few days later, her planned developed slightly with, “Daddy give 3-money, Mommy and Nana 1-money because they don’t work, ee ee, grandpa … See {while raising 9 fingers}, I have 9-money.”
So I said, “But for an IPO darling, that means you do not own Butterscotch. All of the people who buy Butterscotch owns the horse. We ALL share it. You have no share.”
She storms off angrily.
Val smirks from 10 feet away and I can tell it was her idea … not that it took much analysis.
Who else would have said or thought of IPO?
A week goes by with her occasionally asking and screening endless video of the horse that frankly looks really awful and scary. Over the weekend, she tears little pieces of paper and hands them to me. I looked at her quizzically while she spotted a smug look with her hands at the back striking an akimbo post.
“Yes?” I asked.
“I’m giving you a bond. You can buy the horse now.”
“A bond huh?” I pretended to be so impressed but my mind was going: Val, I am so going to kill you!
She nods arrogantly.

“Why a bond darling?”
“So I can buy back Butterscotch.”
Gotta think fast!
“But darling, that doesn’t solve the problem.” 
Her face transforms from smug to teary.
“ee ee does not have 9-money. And you must still find 9-money to buy Butterscotch back from me.”
She looks at me with narrowed eyes, studying and contemplating the truth I had put forth, while still thinking that her mother has to be right. Mom’s always the smartest anyways to any 5 year old.
I take her little hand in mine and lift her onto my lap and say, “Why don’t I teach you how to do fundraising so you can buy Butterscotch without sharing it?”
heh heh … vengeance! says my brain as I gave Val a side glance. 
And with that I got her to organise her Butterscotch advertisements and You Tube videos of real children playing with it and practice her elevator speech as to why she should have Butterscotch.
Within 48 hours, daddy caved in when a close to tears Becks appears at his home office berating how mean her mother is for not wanting to part with some of her money to get her Buttersotch. She went on with her spill of why she needs and wants Butterscotch and how it would change her.
Not bad!

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