Earning Your Economic Crisis Merit Badge

Boy Scout merit badge espouses financial skills
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Boy Scout merit badge espouses financial skills

Back in the day, if you wanted to be an Eagle scout, you could probably coast on your knot-making skills and canoeing ability. Nowadays, you should probably learn how to manage a stock portfolio: The personal management badge teaches techniques for financial survival in our wacky economic climate, and is required for all Eagle scouts to get their wings.

The 13-week money management course required to obtain the badge covers CDs, mutual funds, compound interest, and the risk-reward ratios of various investment plans. The plan has existed for several years, but scout leaders only recently expanded the scope of the course beyond the basics of "save more money than you spend."

Based on the mistakes adults made in the credit crunch and sub-prime mortgage crash, I'd guess having a few boy scouts around wouldn't have hurt. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go find a webelo who can help me with my 401K.

—Ted Alvarez

Being prepared these days includes learning finances (San Antonio Express-News)