The Wall Street Journal- By EMILY GLAZER
Is 2013 the year you're finally going to start your teen on that long road to financial independence?
There are plenty of books, blogs and videos out there with a dizzying
array of financial advice and investing how-tos. The problem is that most are geared toward adults, who themselves can find the material too
So we asked some personal-finance experts and advisers to recommend a
few reads (most available both in print and as e-books) and videos—this
is the YouTube generation, after all—that can help get teens interested
in personal finance.
Over the past several decades, Americans 25--34 years old experienced
significant declines in net worth while increasing their debt. For every
dollar worth of assets owned, this group carries 70 cents worth of
The Feed the Pig campaign aims to reverse this trend by
empowering younger Americans to take charge of their personal finances
by living within their means and saving for long-term financial
Statistics demonstrate that this group's financial
behaviors, while less established, tend toward debt accumulation, and
this is happening during a period of milestone events such as getting
married, having children and caring for aging parents. But there is
hope: more working time before retirement means that their current
financial decisions have a greater impact (positive or negative) on
their long-term financial security.
Scroll to the bottom to view three "Feed the Pig" videos and log on to their website.
"The Motley Fool Investment Guide for Teens," by David and Tom Gardner
Amazon: The Motley Fool Investment Guide for Teens
This book teaches teens about investing
by offering tips on how to build a portfolio of stocks and emphasizing
the importance of long-term investing. The book uses lighthearted
language to discuss learning how to earn money and the importance of
savings so you can begin investing. Then it teaches the basics of the
financial system, like banks, credit unions and insurance.
"It makes complex topics around
investing simple," says Jack Kosakowski, president and CEO of Junior
Achievement USA, a nonprofit in Colorado Springs, Colo., that educates
students about the economy.
"The Wealthy Barber," by David Chilton
Amazon: The Wealthy Barber
Around since the late 1980s, this book has lessons on long-term financial planning that still hold true.
It focuses on three young adults who
realize they don't know how to create a financial plan for their
futures. A parent points them to the local barber, who turned a low-wage
job into a comfortable lifestyle. They meet with him monthly and have
discussions on topics including saving, wills, life insurance,
retirement and taxes.
"It's not a professor, not an economics class, it's homespun wisdom,"
says Eleanor Blayney, consumer advocate for the Certified Financial
Planner Board of Standards in Washington, D.C.
"The Ultimate Gift," by Jim Stovall
Amazon: The Ultimate Gift
It's the story of a young adult whose
wealthy great uncle dies. The uncle believed his wealth corrupted most
of his family so he instructed his attorney to save his youngest
relative by doling out the inheritance only if he understands 12
For instance, the gift of work
emphasizes the significance of a good work ethic, which is especially
important for a teen to grasp, says Timothy Maurer, a financial planner
in Baltimore who also teaches personal finance at Towson University.
"The Millionaire Next Door," by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko
Amazon: The Millionaire Next Door
Many teens assume that millionaires are
just athletes, celebrities and Wall Street executives. This book
highlights the typical millionaire, who is smart enough to spend less
than he or she earns and consistently puts money aside.
"It's the plumber, it's the nurse, it's the teacher," says Ken Weingarten, a certified financial planner in Lawrenceville, N.J.
The book teaches the lesson of slowly
accumulating money, living within means and then maxing out retirement
savings plans, like 401(k)s and individual retirement accounts.
"Life After School Explained," by Jesse Vickey, Andy Ferguson and Nicole Vickey
Amazon: Life After School Explained
Using feedback from recent college
graduates and students, this book focuses on basic financial literacy,
featuring topics including student loans and the difference between
buying and leasing a car, Mr. Kosakowski says. The book uses humorous
and easy-to-digest pros and cons to help teens understand some of the
big financial decisions that will spring up as they get older.
Amazon: Mint.com in 10 Minutes
OK. So your teen is repelled by the
idea of reading a book. The blog on personal-finance site Mint.com
offers a bevy of information on topics such as common money mistakes and
budgeting goals, says Kimberly Foss, a certified financial planner in
Roseville, Calif. The blog, though not specifically geared toward teens,
is written in a colloquial and fun tone, using real-life examples like
holiday gift shopping, that appeal to a younger audience, Ms. Foss says.
|Feedthepig.org videos (Our favorite!) |
Feed The Pig
Feedthepig.org is the personal-finance
site for teens run by the American Institute of Certified Public
Accountants. It features fun, short YouTube videos on topics such as
saving. Ms. Foss says one 30-second spot, called "Royal Family," taught
her daughter that eating out often can cost thousands of dollars
annually. She later decided to bypass a $9 salad for dinner and eat at
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