life stages

Warren Buffett: How to teach your children about money

Nov. 22, 2013 at 11:41 AM ET

Warren Buffett, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, says parents should start teaching children about the importance of money at an e...
CARLO ALLEGRI / Reuters
Warren Buffett, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, says parents should start teaching children about the importance of money at an early age, even in preschool.

Warren Buffett is one of the most famous billionaires in the world. He also loves sharing his advice with kids as part of his Secret Millionaires Club. Here, he answers five questions, including what he thinks the biggest mistake is that parents make when teaching their kids about money and how he learned about money.

Do you think most parents do a good job teaching their kids about money?

Most parents know how important it is to teach kids about money and managing it properly. There was a study many years ago questioning how to predict business success later in life. The answer to the study was the age you started your first business impacted how successful you were later in life. Teaching kids sound financial habits at an early age gives kids the opportunity to be successful when they are an adult.

What do you think is the biggest mistake parents make when teaching their kids about money?

I think parents need to start teaching kids about the importance of managing money at an early age. Sometimes parents wait until their kids are in their teens before they start talking about managing money when they could be starting when their kids are in preschool.

What made you want to launch the Secret Millionaires Club? What do you hope kids get out of it?

There are a number of educational programs out there, but there are not many programs that teach about Financial Literacy at an early age. Secret Millionaires Club can help kids develop the right habits that will serve them well for the rest of their life. If this program can have some effect on youngsters and help them develop better habits on money, it can have a major impact on their life when they are older.

Where did you learn about money?

My dad was my greatest inspiration. He was my hero when I was six and he is still my hero now. He is an inspiration to me in every way. What I learned at an early age from him was to have the right habits early. Savings was an important lesson he taught. I had all kinds of small businesses when I was growing up. When I was six I started my first business. I bought a six pack of Coke for 25 cents and sold the cans for a nickel apiece. I also sold magazines and gum door to door.

What is the best lesson you've taught your own kids about money?

I taught all of my kids the lessons taught in Secret Millionaires Club. They are simple lessons that are meant for business and for life.

— By Warren Buffett

Warren Buffett is the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. Follow him on Twitter@WarrenBuffett.

The Secret Millionaires Club is an animated TV series on the HUB cable network featuring Warren Buffett as a mentor to a group of students, whose adventures help them learn about good financial decision-making. (The episode that airs this Sun., Nov. 24 at 9am ET will feature Microsoft founder Bill Gates along with Warren Buffett.) SMC holds an annual "Grow Your Own Business Challenge" online for kids 7-14 to create a new business idea. Kids can still get their ideas in now atSMCKids.com — the competition ends on Jan. 31, 2014. Just in time for Christmas, SMC launched a Secret Millionaires Club game, called "Business in a Box," to help kids learn be entrepreneurial ($19.99 at Toys R Us).

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