It’s a brilliant idea and I wish I’d thought of it – writing stories for children with money themes so they can pick up the basics without having them rammed down their throats in mock-entrepreneurship exercises.
Some of the financial education initiatives I’ve seen are so far removed from a normal child’s experience of money that I despair.
But these stories look to be bang On the Money – which is what the pioneering initiative is called.
Although they are being given away free to Scottish schools, there are plenty of parents, including me, who would consider buying books like these to make up for the lack of financial education their kids get at school.
The four stories in the book kicking off the campaign have their own financial themes.
In ‘No Change’ by Jonny Meres, the theme is learning to save and earning interest.
Alison Prince’s story, ‘Funny Money’, is about managing money and getting out of debt.
‘Down the Pan’ by Theresa Breslin deals with fundraising and enterprise and ‘Charlie Fly and the Nice Dream’ by Nicola Morgan looks at the financial implications of running a business.
Introducing financial topics through storytelling should prepare kids for the experience of financial sales techniques, which involve their share of storytelling too. With this in mind, I have a few suggestions for stories that should be told during Standard Life’s next foray into the world of financial literature to tackle the murky world of mortgage lending.
‘Stretching It’ – the story of one family’s att-empt to cope with cri-ppling mortgage repay- ments after being en- couraged to lie about their income.
‘Me and My Ferrari’ – the story of a boy with no friends who grows up to be a mortgage adviser and becomes rich beyond his wildest dreams.
‘Daylight Robbery’ – a thriller that examines the pros and cons of payment protection insurance. This one is not recommended for sensitive readers.
‘All in One Basket’ – a tale about how one family used offsetting to turn their financial sit-uation around.
‘Let Me Go’ – another scary one ab-out a young man forc-ed into a life of crime when his buy-to-let empire collapses.
‘The Write Stuff’ – an inspirational tale of a financial journalist who saves the planet from destruction at the hands of zombie mortgage representatives.
Joking aside, this type of tactic is worthy if it helps to ensure that kids grow up to be more financially as-tute than their parents.
Although it might not be ideal for salesmen who will find it that much harder to pull the wool over their customers’ eyes in the future, it will certainly benefit the public.
And as the regulators get tough-er, firms need to realise that financial education is better than being fined.