I picked up a book from the library this morning which was written by a 13 year old boy by the name of Timothy Olsen.  The book is not new and was published in 2003.  It is not a story book but a book about finance, especially about investing.

teenageinvestorJust imagine, a book on the subject of investing written by a 13 year old boy.  The title is “The Teenage Investor, How to start early, invest often, and build wealth.”  His book delves into important areas of investing such as investing in stocks, bonds, mutual funds, index funds and also how to develop wealth plans.

He presents various scenarios in accumulating wealth.  For example, in Scenario 1, a six year old child would have $6928.94 if his parents had set aside $100 monthly in an account that pays a 5 percent interest rate starting from age one.  If the parents continued by topping up the amount to $250 monthly, the money would have grown to $44867.38 by the time the child reaches 15 years old.  That is an easy rule to follow for any beginner.  An adult can discipline himself to start a similar savings program immediately upon entering the workforce.

I am amazed that a young teenager could be so passionate about investing.  The author covers a wide range of topics such as ‘The Efficient Way to Wealth’, ‘Beating the Market’, ‘Keeping Costs Low’, ‘The Path to Wealth’ and ‘Put Your Money to Work.’

teenagerHe started investing when he was eight years old (introduced by his parents).  According to the author, he enjoys doing research on stocks, bonds and other types of investment.  He watches CNBC, reads economic reports, does risk analysis research, and studies a stock’s facts and figures to aid him in making his investment decisions.

For a 13 year old, I can say that he knows how to give good money advice.  Here’s one for the question “When you’re not using your money, what should you do?”  His answer is,” Keep your money in an interest-bearing bank account.  Do not keep it in a shoebox or under your mattress.”  Overall, it is a good book for a young investor, a teenager or an adult who is just beginning to plan his financial future.

When I finished reading the book, it is obvious to me that it is never too early to teach or get your kids started in learning about money management.  Their interest may lie in finance or some other areas like science, engineering or medicine.  You never know until you get them started.  My kids are just happy to see their money grow with the help of compounding.  They have shown little interest on how they can accelerate that growth though.  That is okay with me as long as they have fully grasped the importance of “saving money” and “starting early”, they would have mastered an important part of money management.  There are many adults who have difficulty mastering this basic concept of personal finance.

I made a quick check on Timothy Olsen and he is now 23 years old and has a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Louisiana State University.


Jacquelyn is the co-author of the books “Teaching Your Kids About Money” and “Top 93 Personal Finance FAQs in Malaysia” with KC Lau.  Jacquelyn is the pseudonym used by Amy Sipagal.


    1 Response to "The Teenage Investor: How to start early, invest often, and build wealth"


      For years, I have been teaching my kids on the value of money. I started off with teaching them on why and how to save. When they come to know their savings could buy anything they like, I began to educate them how to spend their money wisely. I even awarded them when they spend with value creation rather than used up blindly.

      Now, my 12-year-old son is observing me on how to buy stocks. I am glad that he is interested in stock investment. I try to explain to him from the beginning but his eyesight is telling me that he does not understand what I am talking about. Yes, may be he is just too young to absorb all this. But I will explain to him patiently until he fully understand someday in the future. This is for his own good so that he will be equipped with financial planning and stock investment knowledge when he able to go by his own.

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