Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Review: WealthQuest for Teens

WealthQuest for Teens
Cost:  $39.95
Age: High School

In tough economic times, with four teenagers, we are constantly seeking ways to help our kids become better financial stewards.  We teach them all the time they we are blessed with what we have and have a responsibility to manage it well.
TOS offered me the opportunity to review WealthQuest for Teens.  I thought this would be a great opportunity to further expose my high school sophomore to financial management strategies. 

The program comes with three parts:  a Parent Guide, an online video seminar, and a Teen’s Basic Seminar QuickStart Guide. 
Parent Guide

The parent guide provides information about the program itself.  Why we should teach our children financial management, and why this program is the best way to do it.  I did appreciate some of the ideas around why parents fail to raise financially capable young adults.  The guide isn’t a resource so much as it is confirmation to the parent that they should be teaching their child about finances and then selling this program.
Online Video Seminar

The Online Video Seminar includes seven videos aimed at walking your student through how to get rich.  Personally, my son and I found the focus of “being rich” inappropriate.  While financial stability is important, the pursuit of riches is not something we focus on here in our home. 
Each of the videos is well done.  Peer actors are used in addition to the primary course creator, Jill Suskind, to explain to the students why being rich is important.  The videos go on to detail that your student should look for ways to earn income (makes sense) and should invest some of that income.  I felt like the coverage of how to invest was just an overview.  My goal with this program was depth of understanding of financial management, not just a focus on being wealthy.  The videos do tell the student to read lots of books about money management to gain insight – I’m not sure that’s helpful as that’s seems obvious to me.

However, the videos are cinematically well produced.  They are engaging with good flow, strong speakers and motivating music.  Along with the video a sidebar allows the student to read about the content being covered in the video, input answers to questions, and print the module content.  I did like this aspect as it was interactive.

The final couple of videos focus on the money management “silo” system, which is the crux of the system.  Students create containers or silos for their money using the following categories:

1. Future Financial Freedom 10%
2. Heal the World 10%
3. Saving for Big Ticket Items 10%
4. Learning 10%
5. Fun Money 10%
6. Necessities 50%
No matter how much money a student gets or earns, the money should be divided among these silos according to the amounts indicated.  Discipline in doing this will leave to being rich.  I appreciate the concepts of discipline, charitable contribution and monies dedicated to learning!

After completing the videos and the workbook (I’ll discuss that in a minute), students are sent to the site to practice the silo system.  This site is separate from Wealth Quest.  It is free to all users.
This is a six week program.  The videos are intended for the first week.  The Workbook is Weeks 2 and 3.  Week 4 they use, Week 5 students read a book about money of their choosing, and Week 6 is reflection. 

The content provided by this site is Weeks 1-3 and suggestions for using the other resources as part of a six week course.

Teen Workbook

The teen workbook or Basic Seminar QuickStart Guide is a journal numbering thirty days.  Two to four pages can easily be done each day.  The purpose of the workbook is to get the teen to reflect on what he/she thinks about money, how he earns money, and how to use the six part system to manage his or her money.

The pages are very open ended – they are made to ask simple questions and have the teen spend time reflecting on the answers.  If you have a teen that will take the time to do this and do it well, I believe it would be helpful.  If your teen is like mine and views worksheets as busy work, then his/her answers may be overly simplistic and not really help the process of learning to manage money.
The workbook tries to get the teen to really reflect on what the lessons taught before taking the next step and putting into action the silo system.
I’m not reviewing this piece; however, I will say that it is setup differently than I would have expected for the silo system.  I guess I expected it to function the same way as the process described.  However, with a little work it is easy to setup the “silos” for your student to begin.

Overall Impression
Personally, it didn't quite live up to my expectations.  I do think the silo system has some merit, and I do like the quality of the presentation.  However, I do not like the focus on “being rich.”  I would have like to have seen a program that goes over situations like mortgages, student loans, smart purchasing, etc.  The cost is very reasonable and using the program may be a good way to start a dialogue with your teen about being fiscally responsible.

To see reviews by other member's of the TOS Review Crew - click here.

*** Disclaimer: I received this program free of charge as a member of the TOS Review Crew in exchange for my honest review.

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