Financial advice the Dragons learned from their families

We learn all kinds of valuable lessons from our families, including financial ones. We asked the Dragons to share some of the most important money lessons their parents taught them. Here’s what they had to say.

For Jim Treliving, the money lesson was simple, “Hold on to it.”

But for Arlene Dickinson, the lesson was a broader financial philosophy.

“I was raised to save 10 per cent of my money, give 10 per cent away to charity, and live on the other 80 per cent,” she says. “You can be generous and philanthropic. If you save 10 per cent, you’ll never be totally broke. And if you can live on the other 80 per cent, you’re doing OK.”

Manjit Minhas’ parents gave her a different guiding principle.

“Spend what you earn, and no more,” says Minhas. “And that’s in your personal life and your business. It really helps you go to sleep at night, but also really helps you make those tough decisions.”

For Michele Romanow, the family money lessons came with a concrete teaching tool: a ledger she started filling out when she was just in the first grade.

“They actually made me keep an allowance book,” she says. “Which recorded my allowance, from Grade 1 to Grade 12, and everything I bought was also recorded. It was such a great lesson on how to save, how to invest and how to really keep track of your money.”

Lane Merrifield’s parents taught him a very different type of money lesson.

“Money doesn’t really matter that much,” he says. “Money’s something, it’s better than nothing, but it’s not the only thing.”

Of course, not all of us listen to our parents, and the Dragons are no exception there, either. At least one Dragon admits he wishes he’d paid more attention to the financial lessons his father tried to impart. 

“I should have saved a lot more money,” says Vincenzo Guzzo. “You have a great year? Great, put most of it aside for a rainy day. I’ll never admit it to my father, but there’s a lot of money I wasted doing things in the company, just because it pleased me.”