The stock market isn’t just for grown-ups anymore, thanks to BusyKid, an online chores and allowance platform that teaches children to save, share, spend and invest money. Along with its partner, the investing website Stockpile, BusyKid is offering families that enroll $10 per kid (for up to two children) with which to buy shares.
Participants can invest in a variety of companies, including Apple, Amazon and Nike, for no fee.
The experience is meant to “help parents open a dialogue with their kids about investing and provide hands-on experience with the world of stocks,” according to a BusyKid press release. The children can buy a real stock, monitor its performance and make decisions about whether to trade or sell.
Gregg Murset, BusyKid chief executive officer and chief financial officer, says in the release that learning to invest at an early age can lead to financial success in the future.
“Investing is a major component to financial success, yet this is never explained to kids until they get to college … if even then. Most schools fail to teach in-depth finance, and studies continue to show that parents feel inadequate filling the void.”
A study from investing site T. Rowe Price found that 71 percent of parents are reluctant to talk finances with their children, even though more than 80 percent believe it’s important.
Also, while 63 percent of parents say they have at least two opportunities each day to discuss money with their children, 56 percent don’t take them. And 41 percent of parents say they have never discussed investing with their kids at all.
Murset and other experts agree that teaching children investing skills at a young age can bolster their chances for making smart investment and financial decisions in the future.
Steve Siebold, author of “How Rich People Think,” tells CNBC Make It that “giving stock as a baby gift is a great idea because even if the stock doesn’t perform well, it’s an opportunity to teach that child about money from an early age.
“Parents can sit down with their kids and show them what’s going on. It doesn’t have to be a complicated lesson in the markets, but kids will find it fascinating to know that they’re potentially making money,” he says. “Even better, you’re giving them a basic education in money and investing that will benefit them for the rest of their lives.”
Though investing can be intimidating, particularly for first-timers, Murset explains, he hopes this project can be the “start of a regular routine in their households that is beneficial to parents and kids alike.”
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