Our vision is for a place where the youth would learn about investing and entrepreneurship. I welcome any ideas from your experience. The ultimate goal of the program is to reinvigorate the spirit of black wall street by empowering the next generation of professionals and business leaders with access to financial literacy. Moreover, we intend to incorporate a black history component into the curriculum. The purpose of the history lesson is motivation, inspiration, and education.
The courses could be formatted into one hour and or half-hour sessions or meetings on Saturday for example. Class time may be structured in a way that allows for the black history facts could serve to introduce the main lesson. The remaining half of the first half is financial literacy learning. We have a professional person with a financial investment background who teaches stock market investing, including how to research a company, terminology involved in the stock market, etc. The goal with this part is that the students are learning how to evaluate bad businesses from good businesses to great businesses (in terms of investing and corporate citizenship to assess the viability of an investment).
The first 5-10 minutes of the second half may include time for guest speakers such as local entrepreneurs, financial service providers, investors. The last part of the second half may be spent playing educational board games that teach investing. The game of choice for me would be a board game by Robert Kiyosaki entitled Cashflow. Cashflow is an excellent teaching tool for making small investments and investing out of the “rat race”. In short, the goal of the game is getting on the fast track to financial freedom. It does an excellent job at teaching one how to think like an investor.
I believe that having a qualified person to teach the basics plus reinforcing the learning with a practical game is an optimal learning experience. But to further the learning experience we want to be more interactive. The initial criteria are that the prospective students have an interest in business ownership or investing etc. Secondly, the students that are accepted must maintain employment throughout the program. The program ideally would capture students at age 16 and be a part of the program until 18. This will allow ample time to have direct experience with investing. During the student’s tenure in the program, it would be expected that not only will they remain gainfully employed, but they will also, as a group, each invest in a chosen ETF. The ETF will be the basis of what the financial expertly will teach. ETFs are safe and are great for a beginner to learn. My thought is that in year two the students may then pick one stock out of the ETF to invest in and follow. By this time, the students will have become remarkably familiar with investing principles, investing vocabulary, and stock and company analysis. They will also have followed the ETF for a year and have monitored the fluctuation of the security and market in general. The game reinforces the mind frame of an investor.
At age 18 the students should be comfortable with investing, comfortable with the idea of business ownership, and have an investment portfolio to begin adulthood.