Local News: 4-H youth programming teaches more than you know (5/9/22)

From time to time, parents will comment about the cost of feed for animals or making things for 4-H projects. Often that is followed by a “Well, it is still cheaper than sports?” type of comment. Hopefully most are doing 4-H for the fun way to learn life, career and interpersonal skills.

But what if you could learn to invest and actually make money via the 4-H program?

Well, now that is actually happening. For the second year through school programs, youth have been learning about investing using mutual funds, stocks, bonds and relative to a traditional savings account. Nearly 90 youth were virtually given $ 100,000 to invest where they started making trades early March. These students have seen a lot of market conditions in this very short time.

Students learned about ticker symbols, risk management, diversification, dividends, capital gains, sectors, the Rule of 72 for doubling funds and the grid of capitalization with value to growth foci. It is so important to understand that placing funds in an account that pays an interest rate of 0.05 percent, when inflation runs seven percent per year, results in a loss of buying power of 6.95 percent each year.

The goal of the program is to help students learn to save and to grow savings wisely through being successful investors. Too many are scared of investments due to lack of knowledge. This program gives students knowledge through hands-on skill development to become more powerful investors. Future goals include developing a youth investment club that would actually manage real fund dollars.

Last year, there were just 30 students in the program, and where they left the program last spring can still be tracked. Despite the poor market conditions of 2022, only two would have a loss today based on their positions, with one being less than a percent and the other losing roughly 10 percent.

A year later, the other 28 students would have all been better positioned than having their funds in a basic savings account. Of those 28, six would be sitting on double-digit gains, while 14 students would have seen positions grow by five percent. Time is such an important aspect of investing.

This week, students will be recognized for successes in Mrs. Labhart’s classes and photos will be forthcoming. If your class would like to participate in a future event, please contact the Extension office to schedule. Additionally, the goal is to develop a 4-H investment club, so please contact Mark Evans at the Extension office if you would like to become involved.

Visit www.extension.purdue.edu/putnam or contact the local office at 653-8411 for more information regarding this week’s column topic or to RSVP for upcoming events. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8 am-12 pm and 1-4 pm Evening and lunch appointments are available upon request. It is always best to call first to assure items are ready when you arrive and to RSVP for programs.

Upcoming Events

May 18 – African Violets and Gesneriad Family webinar, 7 pm register at https://tinyurl.com/afviolet22

May 23-Container Gardening 101, Roachdale Community and Senior Center, 2 pm, register by calling 653-8411

May 24-Turning Your Lawn to Garden webinar, noon, register at https://women4theland.org/upcoming-events

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