It is time for my "best of breed" book, one that will make a great gift for young and old alike. My heart is in financial education, with the goal to teach my students how to make better-educated financial decisions.

I recommended this book in 2014 and have it on my buy list again in 2017. Why? It is rare to find a book targeting parents and their children. In addition, the author has ties to Southern Illinois, Wendy Gillespie, MBA, CFP, and her book is "MoneyBags: A Guide to Teaching Your Kids About Money." Furthermore, the book has won two Mom’s Choice Awards in Educational Products and Adult Books categories, as well as it was a finalist in the Midwest Independ Publishing Association annual book award.

“My goal is to teach both parents and kids to have respect and be responsible for things, by creating a new cycle of wise money management skills that can be passed on to future generations," Gillespie said.

One of Wendy’s many strong points, her ability to make each money concept easy to grasp and implement. Many times, education includes memorization only -- not here. Application exercises are so important for longer term retention. Wendy makes each exercise fun, memorable and most important, understandable to school-aged kids.

The website is filled with tools and handouts that bring the conversations and principles in the book to life, such as a family confidentiality agreement, a net worth calculator, and a MoneyBags budget document. Its mission is to help parents break the cycle of poor money management by educating them how to teach their children to become financially smart and independent.

To get a better understanding why I am excited about Gillespie’s book, here are some questions for the author and her responses.

Question: What is MoneyBags?

Answer: A guide to help parents break the cycle of poor money management by educating their children to become financially smart and independent. Comprised of 52 short chapters, the guide will keep children’s interest and make learning fun. Most books on the market teach either children or parents, but MoneyBags is a guide that parents and children can use together. The book offers story-based learning that is easy for children to grasp. Each chapter ends with an activity or “homework” to help incorporate the chapter learnings into everyday life.

Q: Are you a “read out of the book academic,” or do you have real world experiences to draw from?

A: Growing up in an entrepreneur family, I saw early on how small financial choices become habits and lifestyles. The knowledge gained at a young age grew into a passion and career as a Certified Financial Planner. As a financial lifeline to my clients, I have helped to educate client’s children and in some cases stop the cycle of poor money management. I have been named one of the Best Personal Wealth Managers in the Twin Cities, as voted by Minneapolis/St. Paul Magazine for the last seven years.

Q: Why did you choose to write this book?

A: My financial lessons have been developed over years of educating my own clients on everything from how money works, to challenging their behaviors, to explaining the pros and cons of investment vehicles and financial decisions. For years, my clients have been urging me to use the lessons and make them available to a broader audience. After careful consideration, I realized that I had a great deal that I could share and that could help change the lives of young people by putting them on the right financial path.

The bottom line -- this book helps teach kids and grandkids to be better stewards of their finances. Parents can learn from it too!

Plan your work, work your plan and learn to share your harvest!

DAVID O. ENGLAND is the founder of the Eye on the Market-Training Academy ( and Associate Professor Emeritus of Finance. This column is for educational purposes only and not intended as financial advice. Your decision to buy, sell, short or hold any investment product is a direct result of your decisions, free will, and research.