Tuesday, October 16, 2012

New Fantasy Novel Teaches Kids About Money

Here's a fresh read from Craig Everett, father and finance professor at Pepperdine University in California. Toby Gold and the Secret Fortune is Everett's first book aimed at improving the financial literacy of kids ages 9 to 15. 

Toby is an orphan with super high math and money skills that have been noticed by the wrong people. Toby is sucked into a high-stakes, life and death financial conspiracy along with his two best friends.

“My whole purpose in writing this book is to introduce finance principles to people in an entertaining way using characters with which they can identify,” says Everette. “Financial literacy is a huge issue now, particularly due to the financial crisis. There is no silver bullet that instantly endows people with financial literacy, so the best approach is to expose kids to these concepts in as many ways and at as many times as possible…eventually, it will stick.”

Buy Toby Gold online now at Amazon.com.

Copyright 2012. Laura Thomas. All Rights Reserved.
For reprint permission contact moneyme at telus dot net.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Money or Arlene Dickinson? What are we really interested in?

"arlene dickinson hot"
In the summer of 2010, I started a blog called "Money and Me for Canadian Families." Today, I took a look at the all-time stats for my blog to see which article has been the most read to date. It turns out that that there are two posts which are by far the most popular: Hard Knocks and Spare Change, Arlene Dickinson on Financial Literacy and Kevin O'Leary's Tough-love Approach to Kids and Money.

By comparison, all the other nearly 100 posts on personal finance, teaching kids about money at home and at school, reporting on big doings in financial literacy circles, politics and money, etc. have generated shockingly little interest.

Google search stats don't lie. The top six sets of Google keywords that have been leading people to my blog since inception are:
  • "arlene dickinson" (this is by the far the highest by a thousand searches)
  • "kevin o'leary children"
  • "kevin o'leary family"
  • "kevin o'leary kids"
  • "arlene dickinson hot" (this search phrase was used 96 times!)
  • "does kevin o'leary have children"

So what does this leave me with? The realization that most of the people who find my blog are not looking for financial education or resources. They are very likely Dragons' Den fans who are hungry for personal details about Canadian celebrity entrepreneurs like Dickinson and O'Leary.

This also confirms my observations over the last two years as a financial literacy blogger, producer and speaker that financial education products and services are not interesting to most Canadians. Is this because Canadians are already financially literate? I don't think so. I think our financial literacy is still low, largely as a result of this valuable subject being left out of the school curriculum.

So, if there is a need for financial literacy, why don't we want it? Why are we more interested in Arlene Dickinson's sex appeal and Kevin O'Leary's family life than our own money? I'd really like to hear what you think!

Copyright 2012. Laura Thomas. All Rights Reserved.
Contact moneyme at telus dot net.