Mark Zuckerberg and Evan Spiegel were both millionaires before 24. In contrast, Warren Buffett and Oprah Winfrey made their millions after 30. Studies show that the average age of millionaires is decreasing, and our data reveals that money is on the minds of younger-than-expected children. Specifically, parents reported that 70 percent of their primary school children either show an interest in money or wanting to make money. One primary school parent commented, “I see in my son an urge to create something unique, something worthwhile in the field of technology and particularly creative designing of apps, videos, films and much more.”
While there are leadership-related benefits to such early interest (including having a Passion for Results and demonstrating Adaptability), there is also a potential downside: an early end to childhood. Parents may want to consider how to feed this financial hunger without sacrificing the years of innocence. There may also be a need for parents to balance such commercial curiosity with the promotion of quality interaction skills.
Money Hungry in Elementary School
Does having an early interest in money contribute to or widen the gender wage gap?
Percentage of primary school children (6-11 years old) that demonstrate an interest in money/commercialism
When slicing and dicing the primary school data by gender, we see that commercial interest is statistically higher in males than females, and this difference continues into the middle school years. This may set salary expectations early in life and contribute to the gender pay gap. It also offers an opportunity for parents of daughters to speak more openly about wage equality and encourage future-earning confidence by nudging their girls to seek out early employment (e.g., babysitting, dog walking, etc.).
From Classroom to Boardroom
Early identification and development of leadership potential.