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When it comes to money, does father know best?

Fathers often enjoy imparting words of wisdom on their children — no matter how old they get. But when it comes to managing money, should you listen?

According to Fidelity Investments, the answer is…not always.

The firm's recent Retirement Savings Assessment, which polled 4,650 working households, revealed some surprising differences when it comes to the saving and investing habits of baby boomer men and their millennial children.

When dad does know best

Son being handed money by father, dad
Thanasis Zovoilis | Getty Images

The biggest lesson dad can impart is to get his kids to save more. Boomer men have a median savings rate of 11 percent, compared to 8 percent for millennial men and 7 percent among young women. While most millennials are off to a good start, finding a way to spend less and save more is an important financial habit and the essence of building wealth as your money grows over time.

Listen to daughter

Daughters are far better communicators than their dads, according to Fidelity. Millennial women are three times as likely as boomer men to talk to others about making important investing and savings decisions.

Fathers, however, shouldn't have to go it alone. When it comes to planning for retirement or other financial goals, find a professional advisor or someone you trust to help you make those big decisions.


The smart son

Sons may understand more than their dads or sisters about the importance of investing. When asked what they would do with a windfall or lump sum of cash, 21 percent of millennial men said they would invest it. That's only slightly higher than boomer men at 20 percent. Only 8 percent of millennial women said they would invest the money in the market.

It's important to diversify, and keeping a percentage of your money in cash is always a good idea. That said, daughters can learn from their fathers and brothers not to let fear keep them from finding investments that suit their risk tolerance and time horizon.

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