Warren Buffett and the Secret Millionaires Club
CNBC.com News Editor
Warren Buffett is about to hit the small screen.
No, he hasn’t decided to give up being a bazillionaire investor for the life of a struggling actor – he’s launching a animated series called the “Secret Millionaires Club,”which is aimed at teaching kids about money.
“It’s important for kids to develop good financial habits from an early age and that is what Secret Millionaires Club is all about,” Buffett said. “It’s not intended to teach kids how to read a balance sheet, it’s meant to provide a fun way for kids to understand business and develop good habits from an early age,” he said.
The TV show is an extension of the series, which is already online at SMCKids.com. It debuts Sunday at 1pm ET/10am Pacific on the Hub channel. (Go to Hub's channel locator to find out what channel it’s on in your area.)
Each episode tackles a financial lesson, like being responsible with your credit or how important your reputation is in business and in life.
Andy Heyward, an Emmy winner who is producing the series, said it was a delight to work with Buffett.
“He’s brilliant, witty, glib and fun. You can’t help but learn when you’re around him,” Heyward said. “He’s a combination of Mark Twain and the smartest financial mind you could ever imagine,” Heyward said.
Of course, every episode features some of that signature Buffett down-home life wisdom.
“Secret Millionaires Club provides simple lessons that kids can apply in their everyday lives,” Buffett said.
Some of the lessons are:
* The best investment you can make is an investment in yourself.
* The more you learn, the more you’ll earn.
* Find something you enjoy doing and you’ll never work a day in your life.
Heyward said he’s learned a lot working with Buffett, including a lesson on hiring.
“When you’re hiring someone, you’ve got to look for brains, hard work and integrity,” Heyward said. “If they have the first two and not the third, you’re always going to find yourself in trouble.”
The debut episode of the “Secret Millionaires Club” TV show will feature rapper Jay-Z as well as America’s billionaire next door. It’s called “Be Cool to Your School,” where it features a group of kids who return to school to find out a lot of their favorite activities, including a class trip to New York City, have been canceled. After an unsuccessful attempt to raise money, they turn to Warren Buffett for help. The lesson here is “Great partnerships will make any job easier. In life, you want to build strong relationships and partnerships to be successful.”
Future episodes will star other celebrities kids can relate to, including basketball giant Shaquille O’Neal and tennis star Serena Williams.
As a way to further engage kids with money and business lessons, the show will launch in conjunction with a contest called the “Grow Your Own Business” challenge, where kids are tasked with pitching an idea for their own business. All finalists will have the chance to present their ideas to Buffett in Omaha and the grand-prize winner gets $5,000. The contest is sponsored by CreditReport.comand run in conjunction with By Kids for Kids, a clearinghouse for contests for kid entrepreneurs like this one.
Heyward, who has produced the video for the annual Berkshire Hathaway shareholders meeting for years, said he pitched the idea of a financial-education program for kids to Buffett but the name, “Secret Millionaires Club,” was all Buffett.
Ah ha! You always knew that guy had secrets, didn’t you?!
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