EARLY YEARS: Teach kids about finance long before they get credit cards

Financial planner J.J. Wenrich encourages parents to let teens get involved in investing
Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 5:18 AM EDT
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) -“I do think that it’s really important for kids and grownups as well to be aware of what’s going on. It doesn’t mean every teenager needs to be picking stocks, or buying stocks, but if they want to, I think that’s wonderful,” says J.J. Wenrich, a certified financial planner.

Wenrich literally wrote the book on kids and investing.

He’s the author of “Teaching Kids to Buy Stocks: Stories and Lessons for Grown Ups”.

“I think it’s good for them to have an awareness and learn the lessons, both good and bad,” says Wenrich.

Wenrich says teens are more aware of the markets now than ever before.

Many of the stocks that rose sharply last year, have since come down again.

He says it’s good for teens to learn about the realities of a fluctuating market.

“By the time they do have real money, they’ll be better prepared for that fluid situation,” says Wenrich.

So, where should kids go to learn about investing?

Wenrich says be careful with sites on social media.

He recommends the website investors.com

“They do a great job of educating folks on individual companies on the market. There’s a lot of free resources out there,” he says.

As for the younger set, Wenrich suggests apps like Busy Kid, which helps kids save and invest money they earn from doing chores.

“You can pay the kids for their chores on the app, if they have a tablet to check off that they’ve done them. And then they get a debit card.”

Setting a good example with your own debit or credit card is an important lesson in finances for your child, especially when it comes to preparing for those rainy days.

“It’s a good chance to talk to your kids about what you’re doing as well, so that as they become adults, they’re aware of the things that you should do to prepare for things like 2020,” Wenrich says.

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