Hey, Kids, Investing Is Cool!

Firms are rushing to tap the youth market

Investing in mutual funds suits Jonathan Spital's busy schedule. "I'm in school all day, so I let the professionals do the work for me," says the Miami seventh-grader, who relishes a spirited game of roller-hockey after classes let out. Three years ago, Spital, 12, used birthday and allowance money to buy shares of Stein Roe Young Investor. He selected the fund because of its solid record investing in kid-friendly companies and because of its newsletter, which is geared to kids his age. "I like reading the CEO profiles because you're getting information directly from the source," he says. After school, Spital fires up his PC and checks the fund's price on America Online. "I'm a buy-and-hold investor, but I like to see how it's doing," he explains. Says his proud mom Jeanne, a lawyer: "This is a great way to learn about the importance of saving money."

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