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Too Young for Finance? Think Again

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By RON LIEBER Published: April 15, 2011 The New York Times One of the best things about being around preschool-age children is that they are a blank slate awaiting your imprint. All of the big questions come up before first grade — God and death, jail and fairies — and most 4-year-olds will believe pretty much any answer you give them. Until recently, however, few people made much effort to get children this age to think hard about money. Why go all pecuniary on a child who has barely mastered counting? In the wake of the financial crisis, however, and the realization that individuals share at least some blame for the bubbles, a number of people and organizations have taken up the cause of helping the next generation of grown-ups form better habits at an earlier age. The JumpStart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy recently expanded its target age group to include the pre-kindergarten set. A new book called "Pretty Penny Sets Up Shop" tells the story of a young girl who sets up a "small mall" in her grandmother's attic to pay for her grandmother's surprise party.