Not feeling confident about investing, let alone teaching kids how to invest? Use these foolproof tools and resources when teaching kids about stocks.
One of the most common questions I’ve been asked over the years comes from parents worried about teaching kids about stocks.
They want a guru who will help their child become, if not the next Warren Buffett himself, then certainly his nephew.
And I don’t blame them.
For starters, teaching anyone about the stock market and how to invest can be quite intimidating when you don’t always understand the stock market and investing yourself.
Not only that, but it seems like an incredibly important subject, as we all know that the earlier you start with investing, the better off you’ll typically be.
There’s a lot of pressure out there, Mamas, to get this right!
So, today I want to share with you some really great resources to use when teaching kids about stocks and the stock market. Tools and resources that are going to make your job a whole lot easier – and make it possible for you to teach your child about investing without knowing all the ins and outs of investing, yourself.
No shame, here!
Become Your Kid’s Stock Mentor, Not their Stock Guru
I really want to address this feeling of inadequacy that comes up time and time again from parents desperate to find someone to teach their child how to invest.
Psst: not you? Skip to the next section.
Here’s what I want to say:
You about how you can head up your child’s stock market learning, without being completely comfortable with investing, yourself.
Let me say that again: you don't have to be comfortable with the stock market to start teaching your own kids about it.
Why is that?
- You’re At Least One Step Ahead: You can teach something to somebody if you’re just one step ahead of them in your learning. Do you feel like you’re at least one step ahead of your child in your knowledge of investments and the stock market? I’d say so.
- Think of Yourself as a Mentor, Not a Guru: This is really the biggest secret of all to parenting a child about investing in the stock market, or really, anything that seems overly complicated. Treat it like you’re their mentor – working side-by-side with them, learning with them along the way – instead of treating it like you’re a Guru expert who has to know everything already. If they ask a question you don’t know the answer to? Say you don’t know, and then offer to help them look up the answer so that you can both learn together. See how much weight that takes off of your shoulders?
In other words, learn BESIDE them. Be honest when you don’t know something. Be curious.
Trust me, this will make the experience so much better for the two of you, and will take away the intimidation or anxiety you’re likely feeling about teaching investing to kids.
Teaching Kids About Stocks – Tools and Resources
Now that we’ve addressed the confidence part of this, let’s jump in feet-first with some awesome tools and resources for how you’ll teach investing for kids.
1. Sign Them Up for an Online Stock Market Game for Kids
Teaching kids about stocks through stock market games is one of the best and easiest tools I’m sharing with you, today.
That’s because these games that teach investing provide a structure that doesn’t have to come from you – your child joins up online, with or without a team, and they follow along.
They may have questions for you, for sure. But the good news there is that usually they’ll have access to some sort of support or person/organization to email for the questions you can’t help them with.
Here are several free online stock market games for kids:
- Personal Finance Lab's Stock Market Game
- The Stock Market Game
- How the Market Works
- Fantasy Stock Exchange
- Build Your Stax
2. Give Them Kid and Teen Investment Books to Read
There are some really great kid and teen investment books out there that can enrich an online stock market game, or any other experience you choose for your child from this list.
Books are also a great way to get your kiddo’s feet wet while you’re deciding how to best go about teaching kids stocks.
Psst: This is how I started! I kept asking my parents about the stock market, and didn’t really get anywhere. Eventually, I had them drop me off to a book store, and I bought an investment book for dummies to pore through.
- Growing Money: A Complete Investing Guide for Kids
- The Young Investor
- Blue Chip Kids
- How to Turn $100 into $1,000,000
- Rich Dad, Poor Dad for Teens
- The Teenage Investor
- The Motley Fool Investment Guide for Teens
3. Buy Them a Stock to Follow
Wondering how to gift stock to a child? Then this resource is for you!
My favorite part of this next resource I want to share with you is that it comes with a coupon to actually buy your child’s first stock (worth $20).
I call this an investing kit, not just an investing book, because it takes them through different stock market terms, strategies, and learnings from the viewpoint of a shareholder (which they’ll be, after you purchase that first stock for them).
Not only can they go through and read/learn/do the activities in this book, but they can immediately apply what they’re learning by watching what their own stock does on the market.
It’s like a live investment experiment for them!
Hint: you can also help them purchase stocks through these 7 stock apps for kids.
4. Sign them Up for a Free Online Investment Class for Kids
There are actually tons of free online investment money classes for kids and teens, which can really help explain the basics (and more) to your child about investing.
Here are a few resources to check out:
- NEFE High School Financial Planning Program
- The Actuarial Foundation
- We The Economy’s The Street
- Biz Kid$
5. Send them to a Money Camp
There are in-person money camps and financial literacy camps for kids that include an investing component.
Here’s my article on money camps for kids, with more details.
6. Give them Stock Market Worksheets
Worksheets can really help bring structure to how you teach your child about stocks and investments.
They’re especially helpful if you don’t yet want them to own any stock.
Here are a few of my free favorite stock market worksheets for kids and teens.
How Do You Explain Investment to Kids?
I'd like to leave you with one last tip.
Many people want to know how to explain investing to a child (as well as what is a good stock to buy for a child).
I want you to try this trick – doing it will make the stock market “make sense” for your child much more than if you don’t.
Bridge the gap between the stock market and your child’s everyday life.
Do that by plugging up one of the biggest disconnects for kids (and adults) when it comes to the stock market:
- It’s not just “stocks” we’re talking about.
- The stock market is made up of individual companies and corporations.
- When you’re buying a stock, you’re buying part of a company.
I wish so much that someone would’ve taken the time to point this out to me as a kid – then I could’ve seen the connection between companies I regularly saw out in the store and in TV commercials, and those intimidating, scary-looking stock tables.
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