Only 17 states require that their high school students take a course in personal finance. There should definitely be more. But I also believe that the most effective financial education comes through our loved ones: parents modeling sensible financial behavior for their kids; aunts, uncles, and godparents gifting shares of mutual funds in lieu of birthday gifts that are here today, gone tomorrow; and so on.
That's why I've been so heartened when Morningstar.com readers have told me that they've tried to impart investing and personal finance knowledge to their own loved ones. Over the years readers have told me that they've given worthwhile basic investment books to their children, or passed on one of my articles. Those stories do my heart good.
Christine Benz does not own shares in any of the securities mentioned above. Find out about Morningstar's editorial policies.