Games to play with your kids to teach them about finances –

Shari Burnum 

By Shari Burnum, founder of Investor’s Resource, specializes in holistic wealth management for owners, professionals, and other high net worth individuals.

Last month’s column addressed how important it is for parents to have conversations with their children about personal finance. The column also listed ways to introduce some general personal finance concepts to children, including earning, saving and spending. As children get older, it’s important that they add to that knowledge with a more in-depth education about personal finance, economics and how the markets work. But it can be difficult to know where to start.

Fortunately, parents don’t have to go it alone. There are resources available to help ensure students are ready to navigate the financial world successfully when they become young adults. For many of these program, you need look no further than your neighborhood school. The SIFMA Foundation, a nonprofit educational foundation affiliated with the Security Industry and Financial Markets Association, provides a comprehensive program for grades 4 through 12, including the Stock Market Game, Capitol Hill Challenge, InvestWrite and Invest it Forward.

Here’s how the programs work:

  • The Stock Market Game – A national competition for grades 4-12, the Stock Market Game draws more than 600,000 students annually, from all 50 states. The online simulation gives student teams $100,000 in virtual dollars to invest in real-life companies.  A study showed students participating in the program scored significantly higher on mathematics and financial literacy tests. 
  • Capitol Hill Challenge – A special stock market competition held in the spring, this challenge matches middle- and high-school teams with members of Congress. The top 10 teams win a trip to Washington, D.C. to meet their member of Congress and be recognized at an awards presentation on Capitol Hill.
  • InvestWrite – To further promote both financial literacy, critical thinking and writing skills, InvestWrite is a culminating activity for students participating in the Stock Market Game, designed to reinforce the knowledge they have gained during the weeks of the competition. This national competition allows students to address real-world financial situations by answering a question about long-term saving and investing. A new theme and question are proposed each year. Winners get a trip to New York City, including tours of the New York Stock Exchange, the Nasdaq and Bats Global Markets.
  • Invest it Forward – This industry-wide campaign connects financial planning professionals with schools and after-school programs in their communities to provide financial education to students. Volunteers can also host field trips, support Stock Market Game administrators and serve as a judge for the InvestWrite essay contest.

Students in public schools, private schools and homeschool groups can participate in SIFMA’s activities. However, for the Capitol Hill Challenge, preference is given to public schools. Call your child’s school to see if it is taking advantage of SIFMA’s resources. The website has plenty of printable materials that you can provide to teachers and administrators. Next month we’ll take a look at more financial education resources available to both parents and teachers.

Investor’s Resource is not a registered broker/dealer, and is independent of Raymond James Financial Services. Securities are offered through Raymond James Financial Services, Inc. Member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisory Services are offered through Raymond James Financial Services Advisors, Inc.

Any opinions are those of Shari Burnum and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete.

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