Q&A With Bear McSavings - Author of the Bear McSavings Children's Book Series

Amanda K. (BookBuzz)

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Bear McSavings with his children's book Beyond an AllowancePhoto byBookBuzz

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Bear McSavings, the lovable cartoon character, draws inspiration from a remarkable individual with a diverse educational background. Having earned an MBA from The Wharton School, a Law Degree from the University of Pennsylvania, a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Southern California, and a Bachelor's in Economics from UC Santa Barbara, Bear's creator boasts an impressive academic journey. Presently, he serves as a senior advisor to private equity funds and Fortune 500 executives at a prestigious consulting firm, leveraging his extensive expertise. Prior to this role, he played a pivotal role in shaping monetary policy at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and shared his knowledge as a dedicated math teacher with Teach for America. Now, he channels his creative talents into crafting captivating children's books, ensuring that Bear McSavings continues to delight young readers with meaningful stories.

The Bear McSavings Series is comprised of 50 children's books, each addressing a unique financial topic. Topics include: personal finance, investing, real estate, entrepreneurship, the Federal Reserve, crypto, private equity, and much more—all in a comprehensive and child-friendly way.

According to FINRA, 70% of Americans cannot pass a basic financial literacy test. This underscores a harsh truth: financial illiteracy leads to substantial challenges and regrets.

My belief is straightforward: the earlier children are exposed to financial concepts, the better prepared they'll be to navigate life. I created this book series to prepare my own child for the world and now I want to share it with you and your family.

Author Q&A

What inspired you to write your first book?

I grew up in poverty in Los Angeles and I remember my parents getting dozens of phone calls from creditors when I was around 8 years old. I remember how stressed they were because they had gotten themselves in deep amounts of debt due to being financially illiterate. I grew up, got lucky, and went to any Ivy League school for my MBA where I majored in Finance. It’s really disheartening to see how much pain is caused by being financially illiterate and even more disheartening that schools don’t teach financial literacy. So, I decided to write my own book series, to teach children financial literacy and brighten their futures.

Do you see writing as a career?

If I’m being honest, no, I have a pretty good career advising PE funds and C-Suites of fortune 500 companies. I see writing children’s financial literacy books more as a way to give back to underprivileged communities. I see writing these books as an equalizer for many people. If people really understood how money works, what drives the economy, how different investments work, how budgeting works, then they would be so much better off in life. These books are meant to ingrain financial literacy concepts in children during bedtime stories and all throughout middle school.

Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Yeah, on top of my regular job, I’m in the process of writing books 6 – 10 of the Bear McSavings Children Financial Literacy Series. I’m particularly excited about book 6, “Peter Penguin’s Tax Troubles: A Chilly Journey Through the World of Taxes.” Most people don’t understand the full gambit of taxation: federal income taxes, state income taxes, property taxes, capital gains taxes, etc and I think this book introduces taxation in a manner that is child friendly. Career Carousel: The Whirl of Wall Streets Wonders, the 10th book, is one I’m really excited about too. Kids should know of all the opportunities to have a stellar career in the world of finance.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Balancing topics that might be considered “boring” with explaining them in a fun and child friendly way. I try to pick fun titles and I make sure to use stanzas that rhyme in order to make the books more engaging to children. It can be a little tough to explain what the Federal Reserve does or how Bonds work in a fun, engaging, and child friendly way, but it’s something I strive to do with each book.

What has influenced you the most as a writer?

The birth of my son. I was reading a Dr. Suess bedtime story to him and was kind of taken aback at how it wasn’t teaching anything, most of it was just made-up words that rhymed. So, I went on Amazon to look for children’s bedtime books on financial literacy. To my surprise, there were none. So, I decided to write my own children’s financial literacy books that I could read to him at bedtime and that he could read himself when he is older. Bedtime stories should be fun, but they should also teach something, and what better topic than financial literacy.

What does being a successful author look like to you?

Really ambitious goal, but I really do think all K-8 teachers should have copies of the Bear McSavings children’s financial literacy book series in their classroom. All parents with kids newborn to 12 years old should also have these books if they want to set up their kids for financial success. My goal is to someday meet someone much younger than me at work and they say “Yeah, my parents used to read me the Bear McSavings children’s financial literacy book series as a kid, it peaked my interest in finance and that’s why I have a career on Wall Street. It also made me understand personal budgeting and become generally financial literate.” The world would be a much better place and people in general would be a lot less stressed out if they were financially literate from a very early age.

Follow Bear McSavings on Twitter.

The Bear McSavings Series is available for purchase on Amazon.

Girl holding Beyond an Allowance: Understanding IncomePhoto byBookBuzz

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Amanda is a PR manager and book lover from Georgia. When she's not working, she enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband and two doggies.

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