Good reads from around the Web.
Lee and Rob, two up-and-coming personal finance bloggers in the UK, are calling for better financial education in schools.
Over on Five Pence Piece, Lee writes:
Right now students leave the family unit to enter further or university education – or the even more daunting world of work – with only the vaguest hint of how to manage their money, wages, taxes and bills.
The little that is taught is about the math and not about the personal responsibility, the benefits of being financially astute and the dangers of not. It does not present the knowledge in a fun and ‘wow’ style; it’s just all about the numbers in the maths lesson.
Rob continues the theme on his own blog:
I was never taught anything about personal finance and to be honest with you I wish someone had at least taught me how to fill in a tax form or taught me my responsibilities with capital gains tax. These are all things I had to teach myself when I didn’t see why they weren’t taught at school.
I’m happy to highlight their campaign. But I’m not sure they’d want me on their team!
I’m skeptical of school-taught education, to be honest, especially pseudo-practical knowledge that is theoretical until you’re faced with buying your first house, say, or taking out car insurance.
I’ve seen plenty of people’s eyes glaze over as I’ve tried to explain how mortgage repayments work over the years. I don’t think little Johnny gives a monkey’s.
But to not be totally negative (who could argue with the aims?) I would certainly teach kids about compound interest, perhaps by alluding to the still-magical £1 million figure. That could capture the imagination.
Beyond that, I’d probably try to find something that appealed to the here and now, rather than to their future selves.
Lessons in the second series of The Wire gripped the young proto-gangsters with the economics of a corner drug dealing spot, but I’d hope things are not so bleak yet in the UK.
Perhaps using the personal finances of a top-flight footballer or a reality TV winner might do the trick?
The bottom line is our education system is teaching kids to start working life mired in debt by going to university without evaluating the return, so I don’t think Rob and Lee should hold their breath.
But I wish them better luck than even the mighty Martin Lewis had with his e-petition to Parliament.
From the money blogs
- Does birth order influence financial behaviour? – Len Penzo
- Do you have the courage to be wealthy? – Roshawn Watson
- Divide and conquer ETFs – Rick Ferri
- How to manage risk? Diversify! – Investor Junkie
- Investing with the sentiment pendulum – Investing Caffeine
- I’m rich and life is perfect: What now? – Mr Money Mustache
- Is someone getting the best of you? – Objective Wealth
- How to set and use investment goals – UK Value Investor
- BoE governor going out on a whimsy – Simple Living in Suffolk
Deal of the week: I sheepishly admitted to a published novelist the other day that I only read five or six novels in a year. As a teenager I read more in a month! He harrumphed. Perhaps I was a bit insensitive, but am I unusual? A friend swears by audio books, and I see Amazon spin-off audible is offering a free audiobook download to seduce the unconverted.
Mainstream media money
- Selling Edvard Munch’s The Scream – The Economist
- Europe: Going for growth, but how? – The Economist
- On buying gold (and more) – Marc Faber & Jim Rogers on Index Universe
- Time to invest in U.S. natural gas? – Wall Street Journal / Fool
- What they don’t tell you at graduation – Wall Street Journal
- Roth: Goldman Sachs thinks my clients are muppets – CBS
- Yes, you can become a millionaire farmer – MarketWatch
- All signs point to lost decade – The Fiscal Times
- John Lee: Share prices can bely true value – FT
- Interest-only loans disappearing fast – FT
- Tech sector backed for value and growth – FT
- Overvalued US will be worth the wait – FT
- Investment trusts with a multi-decade income record – Telegraph
- Cheap way to buy an iPhone 4S – Independent
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