And they teamed up to teach kids lessons about making money? This may sound like the makings of a hazy conversation in some dorm room during the wee hours of the night. But this is actually happening. Come to think of it, the Oracle of Omaha and Jigga—nicknames for Buffett and Jay-Z, respectively—sorta sound like the names of animated superheroes, don’t they?
Buffett and Jay-Z, in fact, aren’t superheroes. But they do seem to have super powers when it comes to money, and 2-D versions of them are pairing up to pass along lessons about investing and personal finance to kids.
The world was first introduced to Buffett’s “Secret Millionaires Club” in 2009. The SMC is a Web series featuring Buffett as himself—a lovable billionaire who advises a group of kids on things like investing in a local candy company and dealing with a shady real estate developer named, appropriately, Mr. Shady.
An upcoming episode of the show features Jay-Z as a special guest financial wizard doling out wisdom to the kids. There are no references to “Big Pimpin'” or Beyonce in the program; this is strictly a G-rated affair aimed at passing along basic financial literacy lessons to children. In the series, the children are exposed to lessons about managing credit cards, understanding how advertisements work, and so on, and Buffett passes along solid, if vague, nuggets such as:
“The more you learn, the more you’ll earn.”
Jay-Z does likewise with classic age-old clichés like:
“If you put your minds to it, you can do anything.”
Will any of this really help kids become more financially literate? It can’t hurt.
The cartoon also may give a minor boost to Buffett’s ego. While the real Buffett is mostly bald and on the short side, the animated version is slim and has a full head of silver hair. Buffett told the New York Times that he didn’t ask to be depicted that way, but he’s not upset being portrayed as something of a handsome and sleek silver fox either:
“I didn’t insist on that, but I don’t object to that … I think I’m entitled to look a little like George Clooney here.”
Thus far, Buffett’s cartoon has been a Web-only series. But starting this Sunday, October 23, the “Secret Millionaires Club” debuts on the Hub cable network.