Remember the segment "Kids Say the Darndest Things" in the old TheArt Linkletter Show? (You do? Wow, you really are old!) Well, it turns out that teens say the darndest things, too, especially when they're entering a financial advice competition.
The contest was born in our book The Motley Fool Investment Guide for Teens. In it, we offer $1,000 for the most eloquent and effective advice from a teen about personal finance, investing, or business. In all, there will be five separate contests -- one each for the years 2002-2006.
The 2002 winner has been selected and will be revealed soon, but we're now taking entries for 2003. If you're a teen and need some cash, click on the "Win $1,000" link in our Teens & Their Money section.
Most of our 2002 entrants realize the bear market won't last forever. Take Patrick (RockBass14 on our Teens & Their Money discussion board): "Many may say the economy is in the crapper and the stock market is a bust. Pay them no mind; see how it feels when you're making their Lexus payment."
If you're a classmate of Patrick's, and you've yet to befriend him, what are you waiting for? Others have a bit more to learn about the amount of work involved in getting rich slowly:
"You might not think that the stocks or bonds are making you money right away, but after a little while, you will see that they're making you money, and you don't even have to do anything. You're making money, and you're sitting at home on your ass." -- Jaydent
Hey, watch your language, young man!
"When old enough, definitely invest in the stock market. It's the quickest way to make money doing absolutely nothing." -- Josh
Making money isn't that easy. Neither is retiring early, but why think small?
"Buying a bond will benefit just as much but in a longer time span. A student who started investing at the age of 14 will be retired by the age of 25." -- Ami Patel
Below are more actual words from actual contest entries.
Daddy's favorite: "It's a lot easier for kids, due to the fact that they don't have to deal with taxes, bills, mortgages, and such. After all, that's what parents are for." -- Chris Gonsor
Mama's favorite: "Many money-making strategies can be used even if you are not the age of 14 and cannot legally hold a job. Some include pet-sitting, raking leaves, mowing lawns, shoveling snow, gardening, or an allowance from your parents." -- Chris Gonsor
Blame it on your parents: "Had I only been taught when I was younger about investing money, I would already be on my way to being a millionaire, and last time I checked, a lot of people wouldn't mind being rich." -- Dana Vignato
This one actually sounds like a parent: "Some advice I can give to teens who want to make money is to get a job." -- Chuck Romboletti
Who moved my company? "More good advice for teenagers would be to invest your money into the stock market; but make sure it's a good, long-term company, unless you are only investing in short-term companies." -- Donnell Kennedy
Thank goodness for the stereo: "I have had a job since freshman year, and will honestly tell you I've spent my money [f]oolishly. I had a car, but that crapped out, and now I'm out of luck. I bought a sweet stereo, and that's doing fine, but other than that, I haven't really spent my money on anything wisely." -- Josh
Here's a teen who has obviously listened to our Foolish teachings: "The best advice I can give... is to watch CNBC and listen to what the brokers have to say." -- Alex Zagrodnik
Future marketing guru: "Why keep buying brands like Nike, Fila, Mecca, and all the other famous name-brands that make you look stupid?" -- Anonymous
Future doctor: "Knowing that spending is a disease with no cure, I've come to help you to better understand this disease." -- Anonymous
Future nutritionist: "The only advice I can give to teens is to not waste your money on stupid things. Like food and drugs." -- Brandon Lafleur
Future realtor: "Once you have sort of a lot of money and you are old enough, you can buy some real estate." -- Chuck Romboletti
Future circus performer: "Another, much safer way of retaining some cash is for Mr. Fool to put his money into a simple savings account. Let's say Mr. Fool is a professional clown who makes a respectable $250 a week." -- Kevin Wagner
Future Fed chairman: "... you shouldn't worry too much about it. Fact is, most adults have no clue how to make their money grow, either. Take a look at the number of people in debt or the bankruptcy rate as evidence." -- Joe Courchesne
In memory of the late Mr. Rogers: "Now, here comes the scary part. Say it with me now: investing. That wasn't so hard, was it?" -- Joe Courchesne
Finally, why didn't we think of this? "The very best personal finance advice that I've ever heard is to marry rich. My mom always says, 'There is nothing romantic about being poor.'" -- Brianna James
Thanks for the dozens of entries, everyone. Keep 'em coming!
After years of exhaustive research, Rex Moore has determined that he was once a teenager. He welcomes you to check out his profile and bio or send him feedback. The Motley Fool is investors writing for investors.