Financial Guru Alexa von Tobel Shares Crucial Lessons on Investing and Money Management for Kids in New Book

Alexa von Tobel recognized the significance of financial acumen at a young age, yet she still harbored a desire for a more comprehensive money education during her childhood.

The Harvard University-educated investor emphasizes a specific financial lesson she wishes she grasped sooner: “Really understanding the compounding of investing,” she expresses at CNBC Make It. “Rather than spending the $2 today, let me invest it and I’ll spend [more] in a few years,” von Tobel, founder and managing partner of venture fund Inspired Capital, explains.

Similar to most American children, von Tobel received “no formal education” on personal finance. It wasn’t until adulthood that she fully acquired the necessary skills for prudent saving and spending. “Money becomes real when you’re making it yourself and spending it yourself… So, in your 20s, we all understand that you quickly are learning about money, whether you want to or not,” she remarks.

Alexa von Tobel advocates for early financial literacy
Alexa von Tobel advocates for early financial literacy in groundbreaking children’s books.

Von Tobel’s childhood encounters with money inspired her to establish online financial advisory LearnVest in 2008, eventually selling it for a reported $375 million to Northwestern Mutual. Witnessing her nurse practitioner mother taking charge of the family’s finances after her father’s passing at age 14 convinced von Tobel that the average person could benefit from more personal finance tools.

This conviction motivated von Tobel’s latest endeavor: co-authoring a children’s book with children’s media brand Rebel Girls, titled “Growing Up Powerful: Money Matters,” slated for publication on March 26.

The book imparts lessons to youngsters, especially girls, on various personal finance subjects, including setting savings goals, budgeting, and even crafting a business plan, along with a dedicated chapter on investing. “Appreciating that you can have your dollars work hard for you, and on behalf of you, is a really powerful concept,” von Tobel emphasizes.

‘A skill set that you need for your whole life’ Despite her success as a fintech founder and investor, von Tobel believes this financial lesson is crucial for all children, setting them on a trajectory toward future success. Understanding how investments grow over time relates to the “concept of delayed gratification,” von Tobel observes.

Smart money choices effectively.
Teach kids delayed gratification, investing, and smart money choices effectively.

This concept, crucial for a child’s development and typically learned around age 5, involves resisting impulsive actions for greater rewards later, enhancing self-control, and facilitating the prioritization and attainment of long-term goals, thus fostering greater success in the future. “That concept is very powerful,” von Tobel affirms. “I feel like teaching kids that delaying gratification, making smarter choices [and] trade-offs, is really a skill set that you need for your whole life.”

Learning about the long-term advantages of investing, and making money work for them, aligns with the “empowering” message von Tobel aims to convey through her book. As a mother of three young children herself, von Tobel hopes her offspring, and all young readers of her book, cultivate intelligent and healthy money habits early on.

This involves recognizing money as a “powerful tool [that] can change their life” if wielded effectively, she asserts. “Money is a very fun thing. And it doesn’t have to be something that we orient with stress [as adults],” von Tobel concludes. “It can be something that we orient with empowerment, and living the life you want to.”

Sajda Parveen
Sajda Parveen
Sajda Praveen is a market expert. She has over 6 years of experience in the field and she shares her expertise with readers. You can reach out to her at [email protected]
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