A good, soulful letter can become a family keepsake and should include a list of crucial habits and the tangible things that have helped the family.

Kimberly Palmer still has the money letter her mother wrote her and her two younger sisters 13 years ago, and in her new book, “Smart Mom, Rich Mom: How to Build Wealth While Raising a Family,” she offers a templatethat parents or grandparents can use to pass on similar wisdom.

HEED YOUR IGNORANCE Quite often, the best stories and takeaways come from the biggest mistakes, and so it is with Gail Shearer, Ms. Palmer’s mother. Lesson No. 6 in her letter is this one: Never invest in anything you don’t totally understand.

BEWARE OF GENIUS…Mr. Spooner takes to its logical conclusion Ms. Shearer’s advice about not understanding something: Don’t trust the person who claims to be omniscient either.

STICK TO YOUR SELLING PLANS The most memorable tale in Mr. Spooner’s book is about his failure to sell his seven-figure holding in Citigroup stock before the economic collapse in 2008….

BUDGETS ARE ABOUT VALUES…“When Daddy and I first got married, we kept the roughest of notebooks and would sit down once a month and try to figure out what happened to our finances,” she wrote. “Communication, and shared values/goals about money, are really important.”

Ms. Palmer, who is 36, writes letters to her own children now. And her book is itself a sort of open letter, urging mothers, in particular, to take a leading role in their family’s financial lives…

Source: The Money Letter That Every Parent Should Write – The New York Times