Back in September, I wrote about Khan Academy. Salman Khan, a former financial analyst at Wohl Capital Management, began tutoring his nieces in math over Yahoo! Messenger. When the tutoring expanded, he uploaded the videos to YouTube. Eventually, Bill Gates noticed the project, and the rest – as they say – is history.
From the Classroom to the Real World
You may have already seen this advertisement online or on television. In it, Salman Khan explains how important a strong personal financial knowledge is for children and adults alike. He also explains that Khan Academy will be offering a free series of classes on banking and personal financial knowledge. The classes, which cover everything from quantitative easing to how to balance a checkbook, are a small portion of the website BetterMoneyHabits.com.
Do you think that nobody actually needs personal finance lessons? Think again. CNNMoney (a collaboration between CNN, Fortune and Money) describes this country’s current lack of personal financial knowledge as “America’s latest financial crisis.”
Furthermore, according to TIME, 99% of all adults believe that personal finance should be taught in high school. However, due to a dearth of funding and qualified instructors, it is unlikely that personal finance will be added to high school curricula any time soon. To the internet, we go!
A Logical Match
The new Khan Academy classes are the fruit of an innovative partnership between Khan Academy and Bank of America. When you stop to think about it, it makes a lot of sense. Khan Academy needs to constantly demonstrate its utility as an educational service; Bank of America needs people to understand how banking works; the American population desperately needs to know what to do with its money. If a series of web lessons meets all three needs, why not?
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What This Means for You
If you have struggled with your own personal financial skills, the Khan Academy classes may be a great (and quick and simple) way for you to shore up your knowledge. Even if you think you know what you need to, you may be surprised by what you learn after a few videos. Plus, I can personally recommend the series if you want to help your children – particularly your college bound children – learn more about their money and how they should manage it.
Do you feel like you have a solid understanding of personal finance? Would you watch a series of videos to gain a deeper understanding of the issues?