What is the best gift you can give your kids? A comfortable, rewarding, stress free, and happy life with a million dollars in the bank. You may have heard about the Latte’ factor, if you save $5 a day for 40 years you would be a millionaire. Imagine if you would have learned about that at age 10. If you are in public school you will have finance lessons in high school, and if they teach you that rule or anything about investing you would have already lost over a half a million dollars. That is a mistake that could be the difference between retiring in your 50s vs. your 60s, 70s, or not at all. I don’t know about you, but that has more value than passing any standardized test if you ask me.

That is one of the many reasons we started our year with lessons on finance. The main reason is that the parents and students asked for it (in public and most private schools you don’t get to have input on your child’s curriculum for the year). The other reason is that we know that the way we teach finance gets kids excited and makes them want to learn more about math. When you can provide epic hands-on math activities, role playing the stock market, and working on a virtual simulated portfolio, then you can take what is advanced content and make it age appropriate. 

It is a lot to wrap your heads around the stock market, investments, risk, dividends, capital gains, etc. especially when you are anywhere from 9 – 13 years old. We do it in a way that exposes them to the information enough so that they can dig deeper if they want and so that when they learn more about it in high school or college they have those foundational experiences and will thrive while their bank accounts are already growing, because at this point they would already have $11,000 invested at the ripe age of 15 and continuing to grow into that million dollar nest egg.

You may ask, how do you help kids that age get excited about investing and planning for a financially stable future? You have a handful of your students come up with a company, name the company, make a sign, and present why they want you to support their IPO. This branches out into entrepreneurship, marketing, creativity, etc. and resulted in companies like The Bearded Buddies, Straw Shooter Planes & Rockets, Nin’s Natural Cosmetics, and Q-corp Bio Engineering.

Then you identify brokers, provide suits and ties to help them feel the part, give the rest of the kids $100 to invest and pay their brokerage fees, provide apple, blueberry, and pumpkin pie to represent a share in the company, cool whip & sprinkles as dividends, then you allow it to all unfold. It needs to be somewhat messy, hectic, confusing, but exhilarating all at the same time to give it that realistic feel of the NYSE. Then you bring it all together over the next few days with lessons and a virtual simulation of creating and maintaining a balanced portfolio.

Oh…and if you were curious about the return on investment in Indi-ED for some of our families whose kids were taught these lessons 6 years ago and chose to actually invest in the companies they chose to research and found promising…A $1,000 investment in several of the companies they chose would have grown over 3000% and be worth anywhere from $30,000 – 40,000 today. One of the many benefits of investing in your kids future with an education at Indi-ED.