To Teach Children Financial Skills, Focus on Math, Not Money
Math, not financial strategizing, is the skill most needed to handle the important financial decisions that all adults face.
Math, not financial strategizing, is the skill most needed to handle the important financial decisions that all adults face. And studies show that when schools require extra math courses, students get better at things like managing credit, avoiding foreclosure, and negotiating salary.
In a survey of schools that implemented personal-finance courses, however, Harvard Business professor Shawn Cole found that graduates showed no statistical difference within a 15-year span either before or after the personal-finance programs began.
"A lot of decisions in finance are just easier if you’re more comfortable with numbers and making numeric comparisons," said Cole.
Helping your children overcome the stigma of talking about money is an important first step, according to Cole, and it falls on parents to find the crucial balancing point. In many households, discussing the family finances is uncouth, or parents themselves may be uncomfortable.
Yet teaching children to see every event through the lens of cost-benefit analyses risks encouraging anti-social behavior, possibly losing friends who can help during those tough times in life when money can't.
Best-selling author and financial planner Bruce Feiler explains how parents can approach the touchy world of finance with their children:
"Actually try to limit the influence of money. After doing all this research — in our home we have chores; we have allowance. We do not overlap the two. Because if you do, it turns out the kids will do the chores just for the money. You get an allowance as part of being a member of our family. ... The point is when the kids are young, when the stakes are lower, let them make their own mistakes..."
Step inside the unlikely friendship of a former ACLU president and an ultra-conservative Supreme Court Justice.
- Former president of the ACLU Nadine Strossen and Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia were unlikely friends. They debated each other at events all over the world, and because of that developed a deep and rewarding friendship – despite their immense differences.
- Scalia, a famous conservative, was invited to circles that were not his "home territory", such as the ACLU, to debate his views. Here, Strossen expresses her gratitude and respect for his commitment to the exchange of ideas.
- "It's really sad that people seem to think that if you disagree with somebody on some issues you can't be mutually respectful, you can't enjoy each other's company, you can't learn from each other and grow in yourself," says Strossen.
- The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
Learn how to redesign your job for maximum reward.
- Broaching the question "What is my purpose?" is daunting – it's a grandiose idea, but research can make it a little more approachable if work is where you find your meaning. It turns out you can redesign your job to have maximum purpose.
- There are 3 ways people find meaning at work, what Aaron Hurst calls the three elevations of impact. About a third of the population finds meaning at an individual level, from seeing the direct impact of their work on other people. Another third of people find their purpose at an organizational level. And the last third of people find meaning at a social level.
- "What's interesting about these three elevations of impact is they enable us to find meaning in any job if we approach it the right way. And it shows how accessible purpose can be when we take responsibility for it in our work," says Hurst.
Erik Verlinde has been compared to Einstein for completely rethinking the nature of gravity.
- The Dutch physicist Erik Verlinde's hypothesis describes gravity as an "emergent" force not fundamental.
- The scientist thinks his ideas describe the universe better than existing models, without resorting to "dark matter".
- While some question his previous papers, Verlinde is reworking his ideas as a full-fledged theory.
TuSimple, an autonomous trucking company, has also engaged in test programs with the United States Postal Service and Amazon.
PAUL RATJE / Contributor
- This week, UPS announced that it's working with autonomous trucking startup TuSimple on a pilot project to deliver cargo in Arizona using self-driving trucks.
- UPS has also acquired a minority stake in TuSimple.
- TuSimple hopes its trucks will be fully autonomous — without a human driver — by late 2020, though regulatory questions remain.