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A cartoon Buffett,teaching children about money

The renowned investor Warren E. Buffett often speaks animatedly on television about financial responsibility. Soon he will actually be animated for a children’s series on the same subject.

The renowned investor Warren E. Buffett often speaks animatedly on television about financial responsibility. Soon he will actually be animated for a children’s series on the same subject.

The Web series,called the “Secret Millionaire’s Club,” will make its debut on AOL’s Web site in the fall. Buffett said in an interview that the short episodes would aim to “entertain kids and deliver a message.”

A new children’s media company called A Squared Entertainment is producing the series. Andy Heyward,a longtime creator of children’s entertainment,and Amy Moynihan,a veteran of brand marketing,founded the company this year. They are working with AOL to introduce a number of celebrity-backed Web shows for children,including shows with Buffett,the supermodel Gisele Bündchen and the planner extraordinaire Martha Stewart.

In “Secret Millionaire’s Club,” the animated Buffett will play a mentor to a group of children who go into business (a candy store,naturally). It is a revival of a project Heyward tried to develop several years ago.

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So far Buffett has recorded the audio for the first episode. It’s pretty easy lifting; Heyward “never gives me very difficult parts,” Buffett joked.

Buffett said the objective of the series — to instill healthy financial habits in young people — “appeals to me enormously.”

“Kids are forming habits,and habits are strong things,” he said,recalling a quote attributed to the poet Samuel Johnson: “The chains of habit are too weak to be felt until they are too strong to be broken.”

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“Certain financial habits are not necessarily intuitive,” Buffett said. “If a young person is exposed to the logic of certain behavior,you’re going to get through to some of them.”

Among other topics,the episodes will address the value of patient investments and the risks of credit cards. “The most important message,really,is that the best investment you can make is in yourself,” Buffett said. The episodes are intended for 6- to 11-year-olds.

The investor said he spoke with one of the animators Friday morning. He said he asked him to “make me look like George Clooney,but I think that’s too difficult for them!”

First published on: 28-07-2009 at 12:33:23 am
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