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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this animated series introduces kids to financial concepts and business practices like devising a plan, advertising, creating a partnership, and learning from your mistakes. Show sponsor Warren Buffett's animated character dispenses advisory mantras like "See your future, be your future" throughout each episode, guiding the teen characters toward success in their business endeavors. All of the show's themes can be applied to life as well as to business, so even if your kid isn't building his own portfolio, he'll still walk away with some positive and reliable advice about success in general. Money aside, the teens are strong models of healthy conflict resolution, teamwork, respect, and creative thinking.
What's the story?
SECRET MILLIONAIRES CLUB centers on four money-savvy 14-year-olds who form a club to share what they know about finances and investing and to inspire other kids to be smart with their own cash. Elena, Radley, Jones, and Lisa have different interests and vastly different personalities, but that doesn't stop them from forming strong bonds over their shared appreciation for sound business practices and oversized dreams. When they find themselves in need of guidance, they turn to their mentor, Warren Buffett (voiced by himself), for advice in business and in life.
Is it any good?
This animated show inspired by a web series of the same name does a good job of disguising the quality education it doles out within likable storylines and scenarios that are relatable to kids. They won't be thinking about the lessons they're getting in creating a business plan and being dependable when they root for the characters' success with their school fundraiser, for example, but if you ask them, they're likely to repeat at least a few of the messages about perseverance, resourcefulness, and philanthropy that are underscored throughout the story.
There's plenty of reason to feel good about your kids tuning in to Secret Millionaires Club, from the diversity that's reflected in the characters to the way the teens relate to each other and to their knowledgeable and non-judgmental mentor. All of the messages your kids glean from the content can be related to their everyday lives as well, especially with a little prompting from you. The show does incorporate some famous faces (or animated versions of them, at least) like Jay-Z, who take the opportunity to promote their own causes, but that's a small hiccup in an otherwise worthwhile kids' show.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about money practices. What are some good habits you already have with regard to your money? Where does your money come from? How much do you save? What are some ways that advertisers try to make you spend your money?
Kids: How do the story's messages about business relate to your life? What lessons did you learn from the experience?
Who are some of your mentors? How do they act as role models for different aspects of your life? What qualities are important to you in a role model? Has a role model ever let you down? If so, how did it feel?
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