Economics for child geniuses

Building is fun!

And now for something completely different.

A couple of days ago, a lovely person came on this site. She commented in the “About” section here that she wanted to have some recommendations for books for her son.

He needed to enhance his natural entrepreneurial talents because he had already started to show his genius for business when he was three years old!

Below is my reply, slightly edited,

“You are so fortunate to have such a brilliant son! He seems to be genetically programmed to be a highly successful businessman.
“Please accept my apology for taking so long to answer your comment, but I really had to think about it. First, I don’t know of any books that would be pitched even to young adults, much less the 9-12 yr old market, that would do your son any good. They have a tendency to be preachy and PC. Most are written by liberal arts people who have no clue about how businesses operate.
“A few suggestions: Biographies of businessmen are good and written for the general public, i.e. your son. He’ll ask you about words he may run into that aren’t clear to him, but that will just open up opportunities to discuss the content. Horatio Alger stories are good, I think.
“Let him try “The Cathedral and The Bazaar” by Eric S. Raymond. It is “The most important book about technology today, with implications that go far beyond programming,” according to Guy Kawasaki. It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read.
“You are right to start with some IFO posts on basic investing – they are geared toward my timid, widows, so I worded them very simply. The stock market is the end result of entrepreneurial activities. All of the great companies started small – many in garages, long before the companies went public. Search my site for “garage!” The founders wanted to “make” and to “do.” Just like your son. Money was the last thing on their minds, except as a means to the end.
“Another idea I had is that you could take him down to a Scottrade or Charles Schwab-type brokerage office. Schwab has fabulous customer service, but has a tendency to want to give advice. Scottrade does NOT give advice. You place an order online and it goes through. If there is an office in your town, you can always call or go in person to chat with the people there.
“Just let your son ask them questions. They will love it. We who love our work are all missionaries! I’m a reporter and you can’t shut me up about the benefits of local newspapers to their communities!
“Also, I recommend that, if possible, that your son  he get a job as soon as he can. All of my kids did, though only my two daughters understood about savings accounts as a tool for giving them (some) control over their lives. Each child has been amazingly different.
“My son loved his paper route for the computer and guitar it got him, plus the cookies and positive reinforcement he got from his customers when he went collecting. My daughters, OTOH, didn’t like collecting – they were so goal-oriented they hardly paid any attention to their present lives.”

Can any readers here recommend books on business for young, talented, hard-working kids?


About InvestingforOne

I've been investing in various assets by myself using a discount broker for many years. Over that time, I've developed some theories that others might find useful. Plus, there is more to investing than money. Time, talent, work, friends, family all go into developing a good and satisfactory strategy.
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