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FT launches board game to boost financial literacy

The FT says that the objective of the Road to Riches game is to have fun while learning to make better financial decisions.

FT launches board game to boost financial literacy
Krishan Puvvada: “The object is to make discussions about money fun and exciting.”

Should young people prioritise saving for a house or a pension? And do they have what it takes to make a killing on world stock markets — or will they end up losing the lot?

Parents and teachers will be relieved to hear, says the FT, that these are among the virtual outcomes of the FT’s new board game, Road to Riches, launched this week in collaboration with Eliora Games.

Aimed at secondary school pupils, the game was the brainchild of 19-year-old former FT intern and Manchester University student Krishan Puvvada, who wanted to create a way for students to learn about money and investing, and economist and game designer Mario Fischel.

“Leading the FT Schools initiative on my gap year confirmed that students around the world are concerned about managing money when they leave school, and feel that existing personal finance education is inadequate and mundane,” Mr Puvvada said.

“Not everyone is fortunate enough to have family members who can teach them how to make better financial decisions. It’s a real problem.”

FT Schools worked with Mr Fischel, a former World Bank economist, to create the Road to Riches game, which pits two or more players against each other. To start building their future wealth, players have to bet on questions about financial matters and the economy. Then they must decide what to do with the money they have amassed — including investing in their own education, saving for retirement and buying or renting a home. The winner is the first to achieve all of these milestones without going bust.

“The object is to make discussions about money fun and exciting and we tested the game extensively in schools across the UK to make sure,” said Mr Puvvada. “Surprisingly, not one student looked at their phone during the testing. They were all completely immersed and invigorated by this old-fashioned concept of a board game.”

During the testing period, Mr Puvvada also challenged Lionel Barber, FT editor, and Robert Shrimsley, the FT’s editorial director, to a game.

“I dare not divulge whether they beat the interns, but I can confirm that they both knew the definition of inflation,” he said.

The Financial Times will send the Road to Riches game free of charge to all UK secondary schools that are part of the FT Schools initiative and that register online for a copy. International schools in the FT Schools scheme will need to pay delivery costs. The game is also available for £28 via elioragames.com.

Launched last year, FT Schools now reaches more than 40,000 students at 2,800 schools in 101 countries, enabling pupils aged 16-19 and their teachers to obtain free access to all articles on FT.com, receive a dedicated weekly email newsletter and details of competitions and events.