Understanding how risk can grow your money

The fourth unit in this series of the 4-H Build a Million curriculum will explain how risk taking is not physically dangerous, but the risk you take with how you work with your money could cost you.

It is never too early to discuss money and finances with youth. It’s not just encouraging them to make a list before going to the grocery store or save money to buy a special item; youth learn from parents and other adults from their values and money habits. Watching what we do and what we say about money is important. Michigan State University Extension 4-H Youth Development has a lot of information on youth money management, including 4-H Build A Million, a financial literacy curriculum developed to teach youth ages 14-18 years old or in grades 9- 12.

In this fourth part of an article series on 4-H Build A Million, we’ll cover the topic on risk. In the curriculum, this unit is called “It’s All About Risk.” There are two lessons shared in this unit.

  1. Personal and Investment Risk. An icebreaker activity is included along with a couple of other group activities relating to investment and risk taking. Youth will learn what risk is and understand why risk is important in investing. Terms such as asset allocation and diversification will also be covered in a way specific to this age group.
  2. Understanding Business and Economic Risk. Youth will understand the risks of investing in a company and the difference between business and economic risk. There is an icebreaker activity for those teaching to start the thinking process. There are two hands-on activities for youth to learn and understand the concept. Discussion questions follow in each lesson, so instructors can make sure youth are understanding the topics.

The 4-H Build a Million curriculum can be downloaded for free at the 4-H Build a Million website. This curriculum can be used by adult volunteers, parents or those working in financial education. It is a good idea to follow along with the order of the units listed, but instructors can pick specific topics to use when teaching.

For more information on 4-H, contact your local MSU Extension office.

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