Investment clubs are a terrific way for kids to learn about investments even at a young age. You can start a student investment club for your own child or for your students if you are a teacher. The student investment club can help kids learn about money and teach them invaluable lessons about making decisions.
Starting a student investment club begins with the desire to invest. An adult should start and run the club and provide structure and guidance along the way. Properly used, however, the student investment club will be a good learning experience for everyone.
1. Begin with a simple goal – to provide kids with limited ability to search and select stocks to invest. Ensure that younger kids have their parent’s permission to participate. Come up with weekly or monthly goals for investing.
2. Write rules and stick to them. Investment clubs need rules and regulations and the student investment club is no exception. This helps to establish order and ensure that things are handled properly. Write the rules in plain language that can be easily understood by the age group.
3. Limit the investments. Children have limited funds so there should be low limits on the participation requirements as well as limits to the amount the child can invest. Get the buy-in of the parents before you begin. Always consider the amount of money available to students before you choose investments.
4. Make investments fun. The idea of investments can seem somewhat a dreary subject. Spice it up by allowing kids to invest in companies that they know or have heard about. Think about popular toy or video game companies, food or restaurant companies or clothing companies. Investing in a stodgy company they never heard of and don’t know the nature of business will make the club boring and kids will lose interest quickly.
5. Encourage kids to use their own money. When appropriate the students will learn better when they use their own money. Whether it’s from their allowance or from a part-time job, using their own money will force kids to be more interested in the investments.
6. Invite guest speakers. Whenever possible try to add interest by inviting guest speakers to meetings with the students. Find members of the local community to speak such as investment bankers, finance counselors or accountants.
7. Divide students into smaller groups. If you have a large group of students, it may be wise to have them form smaller groups. Allow them to form a “corporation” for investing and even let them name their company. Have them choose a president and then let them vote on investment choices.
8. Track investment performance. Teach students to use charts or graphs to track their investments and keep abreast with market trends in the newspaper or on the internet. Determine a specific day in a week to review investments with the students.