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The right age to expose your kids to financial literacy

GUEST POST WRITTEN BY

Ramanand Kamath



Get-togethers are becoming rare. I had one with friends recently but with Covid striking again, there is no certainty as to when would be the next one. Hopefully we will start seeing results of vaccination soon. Nevertheless, I attended a get-together recently and as it usually happens we touched a upon bunch of topics. One of the topics that came up was that with Covid still looming and kids not being allowed to go out, what can be some good ways to keep the kids engaged and that too a productive engagement. So many options came up - from Quizzing, Chess, Piano to even stand up comedy classes by experts. However, one of the options that really had my attention was imparting financial literacy.

You can also attribute my bias towards financial literacy to myself being a full time trader and investor, however by the end of our discussion, almost everyone in the group was convinced that financial literacy is a critical life skill and they wish they were exposed to it much earlier in life. Just ask yourself whether or not you wish you were more financially aware earlier in life. I am sure you do.

However, one aspect of financial literacy for kids, everyone was unsure about ( and that is why this post ) is what is the right age to impart these skills? When will my child be matured enough to grasp the concepts and won't it happen automatically as the kid grows. On this, I strongly feel that financial literacy lessons should start in someway as soon as possible and an ideal age would be around 6-7 years of age. One can start with very basic stuff but key is to start early. There are primarily two reasons for it.

1) Grasping power is maximum between 8-15 years of age and it comes down as we grow up. Attitude formed at this age remains with an individual for the lifetime. By the age of 15 brain adopts its fundamental characteristics and it becomes difficult to drastically change how an individual approaches situations.

2) As kids grow up they will have other priorities in life such as competitive exams and work pressure and hence between 15-30 individuals usually spend time to acquire skills solve an immediate need or some skill they have a deep interest in. Hence there are good chances that a life skill such as financial literacy will get completely overlooked in this period. Usually lack of financial awareness starts pinching between between 30-35 when people start financial planning but by then its too late.


Author:

Ramanand Kamath is a financial expert and an entrepreneur. He is an MBA from Bradford UK and Engineer from NIT Surathkal. He can be reached at mailramz@yahoo.com