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Originally published: September 6, 2017
This article is part of the Investor Office series of discussions with people whose work impacts or is of interest to investors. The views expressed in this article are entirely those of Carlie Weinreb and are not intended to represent the views of the Investor Office or the Ontario Securities Commission.
It’s back-to-school season once again, a good time for investors to hit the books and brush up on their investing know-how. The Investor Office regularly sits down for interviews with people in the financial industry whose work impacts investors to help educate people on their roles and the work that they do. This back-to-school week we’re doing it a bit differently. This week, we’d like to introduce you to one of the financial literacy leaders of tomorrow, 9-year-old Carlie Weinreb.
Carlie Weinreb has become a symbol of the importance of financial literacy as she educates students and others on money and tax topics. She has her own website at carlieweinreb.weebly.com and has been featured in many Canadian and US media outlets (including the CBC, CTV, the Toronto Star and Bloomberg TV). Carlie’s website contains links to all of her interviews.
Carlie’s father, Lorne, is a chartered accountant who taught her math at a young age. As Carlie says, “I had an early interest in math but then I became interested in learning more about tax returns, RRSPs, TFSAs, and my own bank deposits and withdrawals.”
Asked why she wants people to learn about personal finance, Carlie says “it’s important because it helps us with everyday money decisions. You have to know when to use cash or a debit or credit card. You also have to know when to spend and when to invest.”
For example, Carlie says “I notice my parents sometimes using cash instead of debit to avoid extra bank fees. If they use a credit card, they always make sure to pay it before the due date. Compound interest on credit card balances becomes bigger and bigger like a rolling snowball. Pay your credit cards before the interest kicks in.”
What else interests Carlie? She says that “budgeting and investing are other important subjects. My dad once gave me 5 dollars. I had the choice of spending all of it at the dollar store or only spending some of it and saving the rest with my dad. If I saved some, he would pay me interest. I wanted art supplies and junk food. But I also wanted the extra interest payment from my dad. I learned to spend my money wisely and only buy things I actually needed.”
In speaking with Carlie, we were also curious what topics she liked speaking about the most. “My favourite topics are tax and investing,” said Carlie. “I don’t mind talking about RRSP versus TFSA but it does take a long time to explain and I find using examples is the easiest way to explain the difference.”
We’re sure you’ll hear more from Carlie in the future about the importance of financial education. For more information about Carlie and her work, visit carlieweinreb.weebly.com. GetSmarterAboutMoney.ca also has additional tips for investors this back-to-school season.