Ask a dozen people who their favorite investing guru is and chances are at least half will mention the legendary Warren Buffett, chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.
Ask Andy and Amy Heyward whom we should all pattern our financial behavior after, and they’re going to give you that same answer. Co-founders of the entertainment production company A Squared Entertainment, the Heywards have created an animated television series that teaches financial literacy to both kids and adults, with Buffett himself as a character. Now they’ve written a similarly Buffett-approved book that expands on that show’s name and vision: Secret Million- aires Club: Warren Buffett’s 26 Secrets to Success in the Business of Life.
The book begins with Buffett introducing the premise of the show and book, “a very special club where four 14-year-olds and a robot help other kids — and adults — answer questions and solve problems about money and business, as well as offering some really good advice that will serve you for a lifetime!”
Though the book’s 26 secrets — “Always think of new ideas,” for example, and “Your decisions affect your future” — might seem a bit simplistic at times, the stories that explain them (one per chapter) are both entertaining and compelling.
What I liked: The book’s lighthearted approach to teaching the basics of personal finance comes with help from Warren Buffett himself. Though Buffett didn’t write the book, his wisdom and advice form the core of its teachings and are presented in an informal, conversational style that’s perfect for young readers.The many illustrations pulled straight from episodes of the animated TV series add in even more of a youthful touch, as do the appearances from famous “guests stars” such as Bill Gates, Jay-Z, Gisele Bundchen and Shaquille O’Neal.
What I loved: That the Secret Millionaires Club isn’t just about money. In it, kids also encounter gentle lessons on living a responsible life and taking care of the people and beliefs that matter most to them. Of course, money remains the main focus of the book, so each chapter fittingly ends with Buffett’s encouraging mantra, “The more you learn, the more you’ll earn.”
What makes Secret Millionaires Club worth your money: How the book manages to condense dozens of educational lessons in such an enthusiastic, creative package. Whether on its own or as a companion to the TV series, the Secret Millionaires Club truly succeeds at its mission of turning financial literacy into something that looks as fun as it is important.
Read Secret Millionaires Club if: You’d like your kid (or maybe even yourself) to be a bit more financially savvy. After spending an hour or so channeling Warren Buffett through the Heywards’ words, you’ll soon be wishing you could knock on the Secret Millionaires clubhouse door yourself!
Angele McQuade (www.angelemcquade.com) is the author of two books, including Investment Clubs for Dummies. She lives in Arlington, Va., where she also writes novels for children and teens.