April 16, 2024

News and Political Commentary

Investor and author Alexa von Tobel

2 min read

Talking to a child about money may sound unnecessary, or even daunting.

But kids can typically grasp concepts about money as early as age 6, experts say, and research shows that they form permanent money habits as early as age 7. Learning how to manage money and plan for their financial future can help ensure their future financial and overall well-being.

That’s why parents need to start teaching their kids financial literacy early, says Alexa von Tobel, the Harvard University-trained founder and managing partner of venture fund Inspired Capital.

Von Tobel, who founded online financial advisory firm LearnVest in 2008 and sold it for a reported $375 million to Northwestern Mutual, recently partnered with children’s media brand Rebel Girls to write a book called “Growing Up Powerful: Money Matters.” It includes personal finance lessons for kids and advice for parents on how to talk to their children about money, and is set to publish on March 26.

It’s primarily aimed at young girls — women are less confident in their financial literacy than men, on average, research shows — but von Tobel notes that “it’s really designed for all children.”

Lacking a baseline of financial knowledge can end up costing kids once they grow up — anywhere from hundreds of dollars per year to thousands, according to a 2023 survey by the National Financial Educator’s Council.

“We can empower the next generation if they understand and control money,” she tells CNBC Make It, adding that a lack of basic personal finance classes in most U.S. schools is “absolutely senseless to me.”

With that in mind, she offers her three biggest pieces of advice for parents on how to teach financial literacy to their kids:

Tone is ‘really important’

Parents need to talk about money in a “matter of fact” way, so their kids grow up with a healthy relationship with it, von Tobel says. Teach them that it’s worth discussing, but not an all-important facet of life.

Money is, simply, “a tool to help you live…

2024-02-18 09:30:00

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