(Ozark, MO) -- How would you like to have free expert advice about where to invest your money? Some local high school students are not only getting that, they're also learning how to be smart investors themselves.
Ozark High School has been offering an elective class in finance and budgeting for almost fifteen years. But this is the first year that some students are actually required to take it. It's part of a state law which requires all Missouri students to take a least one class in this subject. And the lesson is catching on.
"If you really want to be a millionaire, you do not need to be a professional athlete," said Business Teacher Matt Fevold.
You may not need to be an outstanding ball player, but this class is still trying to develop students' skills in money management. Fevold said he's preparing his students for the game of life.
"Hopefully I can just get them to have a greater knowledge about making smart decisions, making smart investments, understanding how credit cards work," said Fevold.
Senior Tori Giesler said she thought she knew how much money she was spending, until Mr. Fevold asked the class to keep a chart of everything they bought for two weeks. "Just the little things like spending a couple of dollars getting something to eat before work, seeing how much it adds up."
Part of the goal of this class is not only to help students learn how to manage money, but also invest it wisely. Senior Brent Wiles is heading to the University of Arkansas next year. He says he feels more secure knowing he'll be leaving with a good understanding of how to make his money work for him. "You'll hear people say certain things and they don't entirely know what they're talking about so its nice to know where your money is going."
Fevold says he hopes all the studying now, will pay dividends later. "Hopefully they're going to say oh wait oh wait, I don't do that because I learned that here, so we'll see."
For the last two years, Ozark High School has also been participating in an event called Personal Finance Challenge.
Fevold says this event has been gaining popularity with his students each year. This year 20 teams from each region were selected to compete in the challenge, and Ozark High School had 11 groups make it.
One of those groups made it on to the state competition, which was held last week. It's a series of written and computer quizes. All the questions have to do with budgeting decisions and investment options.