With the intriguing goal of making a million dollars, the founders of the show Biz Kid$ have a new book to help kids learn the basics of money and investing.
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In 2014, Business Insider ran a story that asked 9 successful CEOs what they wish they had known about money in their 20s.
Their answers ranged from “don’t use credit cards”, to “skills are more important than salary”, to “understanding the power of investing”.
Most adults have regrets about how they handled money when they were younger. If only we’d been more aware of how money works, how credit card interest can balloon and how saving money young can really pay off later in life.
In order to help kids avoid at least some of these knowledge gaps or “learning lessons the hard way” scenarios, James McKenna and Jeannine Glista wrote a book for kids ages 10 and up called: “How to Turn $100 into $1,000,000”.Although the title might lead you to believe the goal is to raise the next generation of money-hungry jet setters, the book’s title is more of an intrigue – a way to grab kids attention and get them thinking big.
Because let’s face it – what 10-year-old to 18-year-old wouldn’t want to learn how to make a million dollars?
How to Make A Million Dollars
And according to McKenna and Glista – making a million dollars is possible, especially if you start young. But it will take discipline, planning, and a lot of work.
But first, they point out – being a millionaire probably isn’t what most kids imagine it to be – driving fancy cars, living the high life, owning a private island. No, most millionaires are really just everyday people who have learned to rein in spending, save on a regular basis, and understand the power of compound interest.
In order to reach a million dollars, the book points out, kids will need to find sources of income: allowance, work around the house, a job, or even starting their own business. And the authors include strategies and tips for how to be successful in each of these endeavors, like teaching kids how to write a resume, what to wear for a job interview and how to dream up the next big business opportunity.
Once the income piece of the puzzle is solved, next, kids will need to manage their money well – this includes writing out and sticking to a budget, determining the best ways to save money, such as using the concept of “paying yourself first”, and setting short, medium and long-term savings goals.
The Most Powerful Force in the Universe
There’s also a whole chapter dedicated to the power of compound interest – what the book describes as “the most powerful force in the universe” – and demonstrates how if someone were to invest $1,000 per year beginning at age 15 they would reach $1 million by age 70. But if that same person waits until they’re 30 years old, they’d need to invest $3,500 per year to reach the same goal by age 70.
Other practical advice includes teaching kids the basics of investing – a subject most adults don’t fully understand – outlined in simple descriptions and stories that kids will get. Examples include a step-by-step map of how investing works and simple definitions of stocks, bonds, and mutual funds.
With all this money talk, some parents may wonder if the focus of the book is strictly about becoming rich. But the authors emphasize the importance of giving back and include stories of billionaires – Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey and Mark Zuckerberg – who have given large sums of their wealth to others. As the book says: “Giving money to help others is one of the best feelings in the world.”
If this sounds like a lot of information packed into one book, you’re right, it is. But fortunately, the tone of the book is fun, casual, and extremely kid-friendly with lots of pictures and humor thrown in. If only us adults had had such a fun and easy-to-read manual when we were kids, maybe we’d all be millionaires by now.
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