We are pleased to share the childhood money memories of LPL Financial Planner Ryan Stark. Ryan applies his trade at Maryland Financial Advocates where his focus is on helping individuals and families reach their financial goals by incorporating the 5 pillars of comprehensive financial planning: investments, income planning, tax planning, insurance, & estate planning.
Ryan is married with one daughter who will turn two in September. He enjoys working, spending time with family and training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu. He has been training for 11 years now and is a brown belt. Before the coronavirus, Ryan was training at least three times per week. He has competed in tournaments and has even traveled to New Orleans and Las Vegas to do so.
Team Sammy: Share with us a little bit about growing up – your family and community.
Ryan: I grew up in a small family setting in Baltimore, Maryland. We were all close. My mom, dad, brother and myself. We always had pets as we all loved animals. I grew up in a court with town homes. There were a lot of kids around. I played sports – basketball and football mostly – all of the time.
COLLECTING AND SAVING
Team Sammy: What was one of your first money memories?
Ryan: I always liked the idea of collecting and saving money. Even when I was young.
Team Sammy: What was your first savings memory?
Ryan: I saved my first $1000 when I was 14. I worked concrete over a summer. It was the most I had ever saved. I knew nothing about investing, so my earnings and savings sat in a bank account. So, the idea of saving was always there.
A NATURAL INTEREST IN MONEY
Team Sammy: If your parents talked to you and taught you about money/personal finance, what do you remember? What, if anything stuck?
Ryan: My parents saved money pretty well, but we did not discuss money often. I was always interested in money, so I learned about it naturally.
TO SAVING OR SPEND?
Team Sammy: At what age did you come to realize money had value?
Ryan: I had to be around age 9. That is when I remember having my first $100 from saving Christmas or birthday money. As long as I can remember, I enjoyed saving money more than spending it.
A STRONG EARNING ETHIC
Team Sammy: Did you work as a teen and/or in college?
Ryan: I always worked in high school and college. I have never stopped working since I was 14 years old.
Team Sammy: What was one money mistake you made as a kid or something you regret?
Ryan: I spent on things I didn’t need just like anyone else. I wouldn’t say I made any mistakes, but I wish I had started investing earlier.
PICK THE RIGHT LIFE STYLE
Team Sammy: One question, we ask everyone is: If you could only teach a child one money habit, what would it be and why?
Ryan: I would love to say: Live within your means, spend less than you make and always pay yourself first. However, if I had to pick one it would be – live within your means. The concept of picking the right house, car and lifestyle is so important. Everything falls into place after this.
AS SOON AS POSSIBLE!
Team Sammy: Is it important to teach kids about money? Why? At what age should parents start?
Ryan: Right away. I think it’s important to teach kids the things school doesn’t teach them. We have to teach them about the real world. I would teach about money as soon as possible – it depends on each child. But as soon as they are ready.
WITHOUT A DOUBT
Team Sammy: Should personal finance be taught in schools?
Ryan: 100% yes.
THOUGHTS FROM RYAN ON A FEW PERSONAL FINANCE TOPICS
Ryan: Student debt is a huge issue. Students graduate with so much debt they can’t properly begin saving for retirement. It is becoming more difficult to graduate with a high enough salary to compensate for the debt that comes with college.
Ryan: Use them sparingly. Make sure you have the personality to handle credit cards or don’t use them at all.
FINANCIAL PET PEEVES
Ryan: When people say, “I am used to getting a big refund back for taxes.” I always say, “That’s bad! It’s your money!”
FAVORITE MAGAZINES, WEBSITES, AND RESOURCES
Ryan: I use Investopedia a lot.
Ryan: I am fascinated by Ray Dalio & Warren Buffet.
IS THERE ANYTHING ELSE YOU’D LIKE TO SHARE?
Ryan: Increased financial literacy and education on basic investing principles will help the world run more smoothly. Imagine if no one bought crappy investment products, always paid their mortgages, didn’t panic sell & only borrowed what they could manage. We will always have major issues out of our control, but we would all be in a lot better place.
LEARN MORE ABOUT RYAN
To discover more about financial planner Ryan Stark visit: https://www.linkedin.com/in/ryan-t-stark/