In a rented room in a church in an upmarket Toronto suburb, Hasina Lookman is running through various stock market indices at a rapid clip.
“Tell me about volume,” she asks, then follows up with an explanation of market capitalisation. Her listeners, clearly engaged, appear eager to weigh-in on what might cause a stock’s value to fluctuate.
But this isn’t night school, or a loal college class. Lookman is a project manager who founded and teaches at Camp Millionaire, and her dozen or so students are all children between the ages of 10 and 14. When she pulls up a financial summary for the Disney company showing, among other things, a serious dip in value in the recent past, one of the kids stage-whispers: “I bet that was when Aladdin came out.”
While from diverse ethnic backgrounds, Lookman says that most kids are from middle and upper middle class families. (The weeklong camp costs C$275 (about £168), but Lookman says she offers bursaries to children from lower income families.) And they’re mostly not there because they want to be rich, she adds.
“You tend to have kids from families where both parents work so they already understand that you need to work hard to have a good life,” she says. “What they’re coming to learn is: ‘How can I make sure I have enough money for university and how I can make sure that I’m okay in life?’”