Navigating finance, investing, and budgeting is an essential part of life, so you’d think financial skill-building was a key component of K-12 education, right? Unfortunately, all too often this isn’t the case. That’s why we’ve created an introduction to finance program for kids and teens with an exciting new course, Intro to Investing: A Middle School Competition with Wharton Global Youth!
A recent survey of high school seniors reported that, on average, youth have just 48% of the knowledge needed to understand financial basics. Throw in the fact that 46% of teens don’t know what a 401k is and 74% do not feel confident in their financial knowledge, and the implication is clear: it’s time to invest heavily in finance education for the next generation so they can accrue the interest, confidence, and skills for success in adult life.
(Yes, the finance puns are very much intended).
Why is Finance Important for Kids to Learn?
All too often, the essentials of financial knowledge are acquired in the form of a crash course in early adulthood. But just like learning to ride a bike, speak another language, or memorize multiplication tables, it’s best to build these skills during kids’ formative years.
Why is that?
Not only will finance become less intimidating to kids, they can grow up with an effective lens for understanding all things money. This means that, when they get that tempting credit card offer right out of college, they’ll be able to see right through those dodgy introductory terms and high interest rate. The value of a dollar will be more concrete for them as they earn their allowance or first paychecks from summer and after-school jobs. The list goes on and on!
Basically, early engagement with finance can earn kids and teens a major payoff.
5 Reasons to Learn About Finance and Investing
Still need convincing? Here are five reasons why every kid should learn the basics (and beyond!) of finance and investing.
Explore topics (surprisingly) rarely covered in school
It’s surprising how many high-achieving students are baffled by basic tax forms. So, talk with your child about finance and find out the extent to which it’s covered in their school: it’s unfortunately likely they won’t get close to the knowledge they need. Understanding the terminology and concepts of stocks and investing is incredibly valuable, and it’s a language that’s well worth learning!
Develop lifelong skills and open a world of possibilities
How do you build a budget? What’s the difference between an IRA and a 401k? Is investing in real estate a smart move? Can I afford to pay back my student loans with the career I’ll have after college?
To answer all of these questions and many more, financial knowledge is a must. Kids and teens will find that, by understanding what their options are, they’ll be empowered to make a wider range of smart decisions.
Demystify investing and finance
Money can be intimidating—not to mention stressful! And this intimidation factor can be a very real blocker in the path to financial savvy and success. Early exposure removes this common stumbling block and transforms trepidation into a can-do, informed attitude. Not only that, but well-developed financial know-how can help kids avoid common money mistakes later in life.
Develop responsibility and impulse control
It’s challenging to combat the immediacy of consumer culture, especially for young people! Plus, no one is born with an intrinsic grasp of how money works, let alone the skills necessary to make money work for them.
Exploring finance and the long-term possibilities of strategic investment will help kids see the positive impacts of saving money and other smart practices. That retirement account balance doesn’t just magically appear overnight, after all, and getting there all starts with building responsible financial habits.
Build real-world analytical thinking skills and more
Yep, math and economics just got real. In addition to the “soft skills” that come along with financial knowledge, kids and teens can get hands-on exposure to what they’re learning in math and other subjects.
And who knows where that learning journey may lead! If they take a keen interest in finance, it could be just the spark they need to pursue entrepreneurship or careers as financial advisors and analysts, controllers, accountants, stock brokers, and more.
Dive into Finance and Investing in this Exciting New Course
Looking to get your child excited about all things finance? Our new course, Intro to Investing: A Middle School Competition with Wharton Global Youth, is designed to do that and then some!
In this unique virtual learning experience, kids will use a world-class stock market simulation from the Wharton Global Youth Program at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, to build an investment strategy, compete with other teams, and meet client’s financial goals.
Over the course of 10 weeks, kids will work in collaborative, 2-hour sessions to refine their strategy and build invaluable finance and investing skills. Students will transform their knowledge, engage in fun, real-world problem solving, and emerge with official skill certification. Key highlights include:
- Developing a plan and make adjustments based on a real client’s needs
- Understanding key investment concepts and putting your skills to the test with the Wharton Investment Simulation (WInS) and $100,000 in virtual funds
- Applying analytical thinking to stock investment
- Embracing creative problem-solving to differentiate your team's strategy
- Working with a team of peers to create and execute on a shared vision
Registration is LIVE for sessions starting this fall. Get started here!