There are basically two main consideration when investing - Risk and Reward. You have to ask yourself, how much can I risk and what sort of returns am I expecting. Can you risk your childrens's money on the market and what risks are involved in putting the money in the bank. Then consider Satrix, what risks and returns are involved, then make your decision.
Probably the worst idea would be to invest in the markets now. This buy at basement prices is a load of rubbish. Just because its cheap doesnt mean its a bargain! Its cheap because theres no confidence in equities right now. Pretty much everything is tanking so probably invest in something showing a lower decay that others. Having cash at hand never hurt anyone. Some gold dubloons as well :) Tell the kids to learn chinese or something cos i guesss that theyre gonna come out of this rubbish a little healthier than the others. Better still, advance their education better, cos when all else fails, the best currency that anyone has is their skill. And in the forthcoming scenario of increasing unemployment, the ones with weaker skills and abilities will be culled. OMO
I guess particularly the 18-year old will want to start spending the money soon (car, etc). These timescales may be too short to effectively invest in Satrix. Best thing though is to discuss the options with them, make recommendations, but let them make the final decision.
Wow. 2 Years? That's way too short for equities. Unless you're going to do derivatives and get it right, I can't see that putting it in the stock market could be a good idea. Buy them a couple of books on investing & speculating. Let them tell you what they think and give them help with that. Until then, do nothing :-)
I like Electrox's strategy - invest 10% at a time in Satrix with the buy signal now and again every 5 or 10% drop with a maximum of 50% of total invested in the downswings. Once the market rallies, enter with the remaining 50% + what is still left - buying when the moving averages cross over - 50% each when 15 crosses 30, 30 crosses 60. Just a thought - not a suggestion!!
Money market for now and checkout Allan Gray's equity fund for the longer term. They're not perfect but they're a heck of a lot better than most of the money damagers because they have a longer-term view. Look at older graphs and how they handled previous (e.g. 2000-ish) downturns - generally better than the indexes, and much better than competitors.