Young Investor Web Site
Kids call the shots at Liberty Financial's Young Investor site. Six guides go by such names as Gnaz Dax (a costumed superhero), Blad the robot or Planet Lisa, your basic girl-next-door. Each guide's bio explains his or her attitude investment style -- Gnaz Dax, like his namesake, favors growth. There is no shortage of real-world information: The site tackle topics such as annual reports, prospectuses and even company spotlights like those on "grownup" investing sites. Articles are simple but informative, ranging from "What Does it Mean to Own Stock in a Company?" to profiles of "smart cookies," kids who have made good in the investment arena. The Game Room's puzzles, brain teasers and stock market game (geared to students in grades 4-12) teach investing principles and rules interactively. And yes, there's even a section for parents.
The site also provides a link to Liberty Financial's Stein Roe Young Investors Fund, a growth-oriented mutual fund. Parents also can open a custodial account for their kids.
Big Money Adventure
Cartoony guides also shepherd children of all ages through a Big Money Adventure, run by brokerage A.G. Edwards. Each of the five characters, including cape-wearing Gold Bullion (yes, he's a bull), take kids through one of three "adventures," featuring basic skills, from counting to a stock picking game. No age group is left out: Rainbow Castle for children 2 to 6, Storybook Adventures for ages 6 to 10, or Star Traders for older kids. The graphics are bold and fun, and the site is best for kids just beginning to learn about investing.