Q: I’m looking for book recommendations for teens about money management, investments, etc. My son is 14 and has a high interest in learning about these things. I find he is on the internet seeking out information, but I want to make sure he gets quality information.
A: I love this question. I reached out to several finance mavens to see what they might suggest. Their recommendations are geared toward books that encourage a broad understanding of personal finance and money. The target ages for these books range from early teens to recent college graduates. I like them all.
Pam Krueger is host of the series “Money Track” aired on many PBS stations. She also is a registered investment adviser. She suggested “The Everything Kids’ Money Book: Earn it, Save it, and Watch it Grow!” by Brette Sember. Geared toward younger teens, the text is broken up with plenty of fun facts, and it covers a wide range of financial subjects, from how coins and bills are made to the working of credit cards.
Ross Levin is co-founder of Accredited Investors Wealth Management in Edina (and a Star Tribune contributor). The father of two millennial daughters, he suggested “Broke Millennial: Stop Scraping By and Get Your Financial Life Together,” by Erin Lowry. She is a financial blogger with a large following among young adults launching their careers and independent lives. Among her messages is that the earlier you start planning and managing your finances, the better.
Sharon Powell is an extension educator in family resiliency at the University of Minnesota Extension. Her first thought was “Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties,” by Beth Kobliner. “Even though Kobliner’s targeting people in their twenties and thirties, I think the content is accessible to teens with an interest in finance,” says Powell.
Powell’s other suggestion was “Not Your Parents’ Money Book: Making, Saving, and Spending Money” by Jean Chatzky. The target audience with this book is teenagers in the 12- to 15-year-old range. She offers an overview of money management basics as well as the fundamentals of the economy.
One final thought: “The Elements of Investing,” by Burton Malkiel and Charles Ellis. The two titans of long-term index fund investing modeled their short book on William Strunk and E.B. White’s legendary writer’s guide, “The Elements of Style.” Your son is young. But when he starts investing, he can’t go wrong heeding their sage advice.
Chris Farrell is senior economics contributor, “Marketplace,” commentator, Minnesota Public Radio.