Meet Rishi Vamdatt, the brainchild behind the financial literacy website for kids, Easy Peasy Finance. Although Rishi is only 14, he has already produced over 750 videos on investing and personal finance, reaching over 2 million people. Kiplinger’s staff writer on personal finance, Emma Patch, sat down with Rishi to find out what motivates him to educate his generation on money matters.
How did you become interested in personal finance?
When I was 6 years old, my parents were reading the book I Will Teach You to Be Rich, by Ramit Sethi. I read the book, too, and was really interested in it. After that, my parents bought me other books and magazines about finance. I started reading Kiplinger Personal Finance at that time, and I still subscribe and read it every month.
Why did you start Easy Peasy Finance?
As I got interested in finance, I didn’t mind reading materials that were geared more toward adults. But I realized that there weren’t many resources that were tailored to kids. Given how critical a life skill personal finance is, I thought that offering a resource that can help teach these topics to kids in a way that they can understand and benefit from, and that actually makes it fun for them to learn, was really important.
So five and a half years ago, I began making videos with that idea in mind. Each video that I publish on my website, Easy Peasy Finance, and YouTube channel is about three minutes long because kids have shorter attention spans than adults. The videos are in a question-and-answer format between two animated characters to help break down the concepts. I try to use as much simple, everyday language as possible to explain even complex concepts.
Why do you think kids should learn about finance?
First, it’s a key life skill. Just like any other skill, whether it’s skiing or skating or learning to ride a bike, it’s easier to learn as a kid. In addition, the number one reason for stress among all adults is money. One way to address this is to learn finance from an early age. Then, when people actually have to start managing money, they won’t be as scared about it because they’ll already have a good foundation. And learning important lessons, such as distinguishing between needs and wants, at an early age can help people avoid costly financial mistakes. They’ll be less likely to get into credit card debt, for example.
What topics do you like to cover most?
I cover many different topics — investing, banking, taxes, credit cards, retirement — because they’re all important. But personally, I’m most interested in investing, and especially in compounding interest. Because I’m young, I can really take advantage of compounding as I invest for my retirement.
Has your audience grown over time?
Definitely. When I started Easy Peasy Finance, I didn’t really understand how big this could become and how many people I could help. Now, Easy Peasy Finance has grown into something that’s appreciated not just by kids but also by many teachers, parents, grandparents and other adults, some of whom wish they had a resource like Easy Peasy Finance when they were growing up. The positive feedback gives me immense satisfaction and a lot of motivation.
What are your hopes for the future?
With Easy Peasy Finance, I want to continue publishing one video a week on financial concepts and to continue helping people. For financial literacy in general, I hope that soon, all schools will teach personal finance and its practical applications. Many states have started putting personal finance in their high school curriculums.
Emma Patch joined Kiplinger in 2020. She previously interned for Kiplinger's Retirement Report and before that, for a boutique investment firm in New York City. She served as editor-at-large and features editor for Middlebury College's student newspaper, The Campus. She specializes in travel, student debt and a number of other personal finance topics. Born in London, Emma grew up in Connecticut and now lives in Washington, D.C.
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