My gran plan for kids

Writ­ing a book is a weird ex­pe­ri­ence. I’ve spent months holed up on the farm, tap­ping away on my lone­some.

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - BAREFOOT INVESTOR - SCOTT PAPE

Yet this week couldn’t have been more dif­fer­ent … “Lights! Cam­era! Ac­tion!”

Yes, I’ve been on the dog-and­pony show pro­mot­ing my new book, The Bare­foot In­vestor For Fam­i­lies.

I’ve spent the week spruik­ing my book on ra­dio and tele­vi­sion, gen­er­ally be­ing in­ter­viewed by peo­ple who hadn’t read it, weren’t likely to, and of­ten asked the ex­act same ques­tions.

Then last night I came home to an awk­ward ques­tion from my son: “Dad, are you wear­ing Mummy’s makeup?” asked my five-year-old. “It’s for the TV, cob­ber.” (Some fathers wear hi-vis and steel-capped boots to work — I wear pow­der and lip balm.)

Yet what got me through the week was the Bare­foot com­mu­nity.

You guys have been send­ing me awe­some pic­tures of your kids, bring­ing the book to life and cre­at­ing new fam­ily rit­u­als. Please keep send­ing them through ([email protected]­foot­in­ — they ab­so­lutely make my day.

And so it’s only right that I an­swer your ques­tions about the new book in my col­umn this week. Let’s get into it (af­ter I pow­der my nose).

Tread Your Own Path!


Scott, What is the dif­fer­ence be­tween this book and your last one? Do I need to buy this one, given I al­ready have your last book, which, may I add, was sub­ti­tled “the ONLY money guide you’ll ever need”? Chris

Hi Chris, Fair cop. I to­tally agree that I’m in dan­ger of be­com­ing the John Farn­ham of the Aus­tralian book pub­lish­ing in­dus­try. So to ex­plain my­self in one line: my last book was about get­ting you sorted, this one’s about your kids.

In a few more lines: The Bare­foot In­vestor For Fam­i­lies gives you a prac­ti­cal plan to raise con­fi­dent, grate­ful kids who un­der­stand the value of a buck.

More than that, it em­pow­ers par­ents to teach these lessons with life-chang­ing ex­pe­ri­ences (not lec­tures), some of which you’ll re­mem­ber for the rest of your life (and your kids will too).


Hi Scott, I may well be the only per­son who had never heard of the Bare­foot In­vestor, un­til this week! I heard you on ABC Ra­dio’s Nightlife and bought your book the next morn­ing. I’ve now fin­ished it and can’t wait to get my in­vest­ments go­ing for my daugh­ter (four years old). Yet the one thing that makes me a lit­tle un­sure is that you have these prod­uct rec­om­men­da­tions in there (ING Youth, in­vest­ment bonds, var­i­ous su­per funds). What do you get out of men­tion­ing them? Steve

Hi Steve, Awe­some ques­tion. Ev­ery­one should ask ques­tions like this, be­cause you need to know how peo­ple earn their money — and if they’re get­ting any kick­backs.

So, how do I get paid? Well, these days I move a lot of books, and I also have an in­vest­ment news­let­ter, that’s how I get paid.

In the past I have done paid speak­ing gigs (for com­pa­nies, for AFL and NRL clubs, for gov­ern­ment de­part­ments like ASIC and the ATO, and for banks and su­per funds), though I haven’t been on the speak­ing cir­cuit for years.

Yet given you’re new to Bare­foot, Steve, let me get one thing very clear: I have never been paid to pro­mote any prod­uct.

Rest as­sured that any­thing I write about — the bank ac­counts, the su­per funds, the in­vest­ment bonds, what­ever — are sim­ply the low­est­cost, best-value prod­ucts on the mar­ket, and I don’t re­ceive one cent for any recommendation. And I never will. That’s how I roll. Hav­ing said that, I’d en­cour­age you to do your own re­search, and, if you can find a bet­ter bank ac­count or a cheaper in­dex fund, go with it. Then let me know — be­cause one of the rea­sons I up­date my books every year is to keep hunt­ing down the best deals. When there’s a bet­ter deal in the mar­ket place, I’m all over it. No fear, no favour.


Hi Scott, I or­dered three copies of your book, one for each of my adult chil­dren, but I am wor­ried they will be too busy to get time to read it. For my grand­kids’ sake I re­ally want them to ac­tu­ally do it!

So my ques­tion is, is this some­thing we should do as grand­par­ents, or do you have an­other idea? Bar­bara

Hi Bar­bara, I’d say you have three op­tions:

First, you can do it with your grand­kids. Why not? It may well grow into a spe­cial bond that you cre­ate with them.

Sec­ond, you can read the book and break it down for your time-poor adult kids so that it’s re­ally easy (all they need to get started is three jam jars and a score­board you can print from my web­site www.bare­foot­in­­sources (for free). Then you can ca­su­ally skip to Chap­ter 3: The Grand­par­ents’ Din­ner Party and in­tro­duce them to the con­cept of the Bare­foot Money Meals while you’re en­joy­ing your grand­kids’ cook­ing!

Third, you can get them (your adult chil­dren, I mean) the au­dio­book and ask them to play it when they’re in the car. Here’s to chang­ing your fam­ily tree!


Hi Scott, I was so ex­cited when I read last week that you do­nated some of your books to a father do­ing time in Bathurst Cor­rec­tional Com­plex.

I just wanted to say thank you. Hav­ing some­one in your po­si­tion say “ev­ery­one de­serves a sec­ond chance … and many peo­ple in­side are par­ents” means a lot.

I work for a non-profit vol­un­teer group called Sec­ond Chances SA. We work with pris­on­ers, their chil­dren and their fam­i­lies to help them cre­ate a bet­ter fu­ture for them­selves. It’s not easy, but it’s just so im­por­tant for the kids. They’re the in­no­cent vic­tims of their par­ents’ crimes. It’s not their fault! He­len

G’day He­len, You’re in luck.

At the be­gin­ning of my new book I make what I call “The Bare­foot Pledge”. It was in­spired by my old man. When I told my father I was writ­ing an­other book he said: “Just make sure you don’t be­come a wanker. Look af­ter the bat­tlers, son.”

So for every 10 copies of the book that I sell, I’m pledg­ing to do­nate one copy to a par­ent in hard­ship.

And hav­ing a par­ent in the clink would cer­tainly be bloody hard, so I’m go­ing to send you through some books.

Thanks for the hard work you do.


C’mon, grand­par­ents, you can help your kids and grand­kids tobe­come fi­nan­cially se­cure.

The Bare­foot In­vestor for Fam­i­lies: The Only Kids’ Money Guide You’ll Ever Need (HarperCollins)RRP $29.95

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