Learning the Banking Business
by: Pat Hernandez, April 24, 2009 5:04:24 pm
On the heels of "take our sons and daughters to work day", BBVA Compass Bank in River Oaks opened its doors to the children of its employees. Ages ranged from 4-to-16. Julissa Bonfante is vice president and director of group communications. Her daughter was the youngest there. She says growing up in New York, she wasn't exposed to any aspect of financial matters or wealth management.
" It was not very important, because it was sort of kind of living for today and not tomorrow, and then as I got more educated, and obviously working for a bank, I've learned the importance of savings, and I think especially in these times, it's important for kids to start getting those values very young."
Executive Vice President David Davis gave them a quick lesson on saving their money. He gave them a choice of getting a thousand dollars an hour for 30-days or a penny and doubling it every day for a month.
"First option of a thousand dollars an hour for 30-days gives you 720-thousand dollars. If you take a penny a day and double it, you end up after 30-days with over 5-million dollars. It's a great illustration for young and old of the importance of saving and compounding your interest, and how to use your money to increase your wealth."
After the lesson, bank CEO Manolo Sanchez welcomed them as new customers.
"We gave them ten dollars each and they opened a savings account."
Hernandez: "It's one thing for them to understand the concept of money, it's another thing for them to know what to do with it?"
Sanchez: "That's right, and that's what we focused on today...really, financial literacy, at a very simple level, obviously."
However simple it was, the experience made an impression on these students.
Student 1: "Yeah, I realized that if you start saving small and keep adding up every day, you'll eventually have a lot of money."
Hernandez: "What's the one thing that surprised you?"
Student 2: "How they can tell what counterfeit money is."
Student 3: "I have a better understanding of what banks are like, and how they're run and how many people it really does take to run one."
Hernandez: "What are going to do with the money in your pocket now, after your visit to the bank?"
Student 4: "I don't have any money in my pocket." (ha-ha)
Pat Hernandez, KUHF Houston Public Radio News.