It’s hard to believe Damon Williams is ten. He sounds like Warren Buffet as if he’s been talking about money his whole life. Well, if he hasn’t been talking, he sure has been listening to his parents.
“Don’t get emotionally attached to your stocks. Whoever is profiting and making money is growing is who you like,” said April Williams.
The lessons have dramatically changed the way the entire Williams family handles money. "I remember my folks fighting about money,” Williams continues.
When April turned 30, she realized she had no savings, and nothing to show for 15 years of working. She also realized kids learn what they see.
“It’s not in our school systems,” Wilma said. “If grandparents and parents don’t know about it, then it’s not being talked about around the dinner table and it’s not being passed down to the children. I wanted something different for him, but not just him for other children in our community, so that’s why I started the club.”
As a former manager for discount broker Charles Schwab, April Williams is used to showing people how to make their money grow. As the founder of Ujama Jr., which in Swahili means “cooperative economics,” she helps kids decode the language of money and tap into their own, unlimited economic potential.
“We come together to learn. It’s not really about trying to get rich quick,” Williams said. “That’s now what we teach to them. We really teach them about being in it for the long haul and about having habits as a lifetime investor.”
With a spoonful of sugar, the kids just eat it up. “They play games, read books, do treasure hunts, do battles in the club, pit two companies against each other like Merck and Pfizer,” Williams said.
“Go Pfizer. Actually, Pfizer was the first stock I studied and I just fell in love with it completely, plus it’s my brother’s rival,” said Shemaiah Winters.
But it isn’t just pretend. These kids do their homework. Their monthly dues go to buy stock in companies they choose or start ventures of their own.
“My vending machine is making money while I’m at school, while I’m asleep. It’s always there to make money by itself,” Kristiana Colon said.
As they watch their savings grow in their monthly statements their short- and long-term goals have matured as well.
“Our society is so geared towards being consumers and towards spending that it’ll saturate your mind,” April Williams said
“I was still with the whole, hey, hey. I got me a new pair of gym shoes, not the hey hey I got me a part of the company and it’s gonna triple in 3 years,” Charles Gardner said.
Which is why April spends so much time keeping Ujama, Jr. Club members focused.
“I appreciate what she’s done a lot cause she’s taught me the value of money and how much you can control it and how you can get it to work for you,” said Randall Phillips.
“The difference is while i started at age 30 or 32, these children have time on their side,” said April Williams.
For more information on investing, visit http://www.better-investing.org. To contact the Ujama, Jr. Investing Club, email [email protected]