Grandpa’s Fortune Fables –  Guide to your child’s financial freedom

It was just last week that I had rambled on about my rues with the lack of basics of financial education in our school curriculum while writing my review of Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel. Imagine how many of us would’ve pursued our passions, created our own enterprises, spent more time with our families and friends and been happier individuals overall, had we been financially independent.  All this if we had been taught about how to manage our money while we were growing up. Imagine if your children had this choice for their future today – wouldn’t you want to give it to them?

On posting my review, guess what landed in my inbox! I was given a copy of this book called Grandpa’s Fortune Fables by Will Rainey. On the face of it, it looked like something my seven-year-old would read – would this actually be good, I wondered? Will is an actuary by profession and being a father himself, feels that the fundamentals of finance must be taught to all the children to grant them the financial freedom and become wealthy. He and his wife themselves were able to take this call for themselves having followed these ‘rules’ as he puts it.

Now teaching kids anything nowadays is really difficult, any parent will vouch for it. And when the subject is as dry as finance, it becomes all the more challenging. Imparting wisdom about life lessons which can be subconsciously absorbed requires powerful storytelling in an easy, effortless manner. Most of the authors I admire have somehow mastered this art of narration, telling their stories in the simplest of ways, which is relatable by both children and grown-ups alike. Grandpa’s Fortune Fables is one such superbly written book.

The book talks about the basics of finance while narrating the story of Gail and Boris. Boris is this bully in school who is at the bottom of the class and has no knowledge about money whereas Gail is this super smart kid who is a multimillionaire’s granddaughter and knows all about making the moolah (we all know one such person!).  The story goes on to give financial life lessons while narrating the story of Grandpa Jack and how he built empire using the rules of wealth. I for sure learnt a lot as a grown-up too!

Apparently, there are just 3 rules of wealth

  1. Keep one seed out of ten
  2. Plant those seeds
  3. Let your seeds grow

Sounds simple, isn’t it? Yes, but herein lies the catch. It might be simple, but it’s not easy. Most of us spend all our seeds (that would be our income) instead of keeping even one (that is saving), let alone plant them( invest, in case you are still wondering). And then comes the most difficult part – letting your trees grow. Without interfering, without trying to make them grow faster or worrying what the storm might do to them – just letting them be. This patience while your tree might be weathering the storms is most difficult to inculcate. But as Grandpa Jack says in the book, ‘After a storm, trees grow back stronger.’

The book teaches children the difference between ‘rich’ and ‘wealthy’ (very important, I believe, as we live in the times of constant visual stimulation and externally motivation). It also talks about kid entrepreneurs and how they need to be creative and work smarter, not just harder. Not only that, it talks about the importance of saving and investment! Don’t be surprised if your kid asks for Tesla stocks for his birthday after reading this book!

My personal favorite part of the book is the ‘Happy Fairies’ which visit you when you share your fortune with others. It not only helps others, but also helps you – making you feel happier and sleep better. Couldn’t have asked for a more valuable lesson written in such a charming way for the children. And for us parents too.

The book is beautifully illustrated to keep it interesting and has some creative quizzes to make sure the kids have understood what they have read. This one is surely going my kids’ Christmas stockings and I hope every school has a copy in the library soon. Do share your views after getting a copy!

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