Book Review: What All Kids (And Adults) Should Know About Savings and Investing

I teach an adult course next month about teaching one’s kids about money and finance. I also engage in home-based experiments on my own guinea pigs (err, children) all the time, trying out lessons on stock investing, or compound interest. But most home-schooling requires a textbook (or e-book), so I was pleased to receive a copy of Rob Pivnick’s What All Kids (and Adults) Should Know About Savings and Investing.

Pivnick’s book boasts many virtues, not the least of which is that an adult could read the 38 pages in about an hour. (Kids, maybe two hours). The next virtue of his book – and this is no small thing – is that he covers a comprehensive range, hitting all the major points of savings, budgeting and investing for the long run. A third virtue – he’s right on so many of the important topics where the Financial Infotainment Industrial Complex is wrong, or at best, misleading.

I wrote yesterday that many parents are afraid or unable to start a conversation about money with their children, almost as if its a powerful taboo like sex. For that reason, I’m looking forward to reading Ron Lieber’s The Opposite of Spoiled, for further ideas about how to broach the subject.

But if you were looking for a single, efficient, comprehensive text with which to lay out the right ideas for your kids, you could have confidence in the right messages from Pivnick’s What All Kids Should Know About Saving and Investing. Pivnick and I have total alignment on a bunch of key topics which the Financial Infotainment Industrial Complex fails to make clear.

Pivnick’s right messages include:

I plan to write my own “Teach Your Kids About Finance” book some day, but Pivnick’s book fills the need quite nicely while you all wait, breathlessly, (I’d say maybe three more years?) for me to finally get my book written and published.


In the meantime, any ideas for my snappy title?

Please see related posts:

Daughter’s First Stock Investment

The Allowance Experiment

Looking forward to reading Ron Lieber’s The Opposite of Spoiled

Rapunzel and Compound Interest

Book Review: Make Your Kid A Millionaire by Kevin McKinley

Book Review: The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias


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3 Replies to “Book Review: What All Kids (And Adults) Should Know About Savings and Investing”

  1. Pay cash, negotiate. Not always good Michael. I charge everything to two credit cards. One pays 3% on gasoline charges and that is all I use it for and the other pays 2% on all purchases. I pay each in full each month. In 2000, I bought a 1999 model GM van leftover for 10% under dealer cost* and put $15,000 on my credit card,**and wrote a check for the balance.

    *Yes, I know it was NOT his real cost. (Dealer cost is another story if you are interested) **The dealer was pissed when I pulled out the credit card!

    1. That’s funny, I tried to buy my Hyundai Elantra in 2009 with my American Express (I wanted the miles too) but the dealer refused my credit card! I was bummed! A 2% and 3% cash back sounds good, with the key being you pay in full each month!

  2. The dealer was unhappy, but it was a last years model and I said take my offer or I will walk. I said “you have received a nice rebate for this old model and if I walk, you mayhave to sell it at auction”. He took it, but dug his toe in the sand. Had it been a new model year, he would have not taken it as it cost him 2-3% I suspect. As a friend says “you snooze, you lost”.

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Public Speaking


I founded Bankers Anonymous because, as a recovering banker, I believe that the gap between the financial world as I know it and the public discourse about finance is more than just a problem for a family trying to balance their checkbook, or politicians trying to score points over next year’s budget – it is a weakness of our civil society. For reals. It’s also really fun for me.

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