NGPF Podcast: Carolyn Cooper and her student Pranav discuss the importance of financial education

Nov 28, 2020

This NGPF Podcast features an 11-year old student, Pranav, and his teacher, Carolyn Cooper. When you hear Pranav describe his investment philosophy, it becomes clear that he listened to his teacher. Carolyn shares her story coming to the U.S. as a middle-schooler, her career as a CPA and her passion for financial education. Enjoy! 


  • 0:00~1:36 Introduction

  • 1:36~17:55 Pranav

    • 1:36~3:40 Pranav’s introduction

    • 3:40~6:51 Pranav’s first business: Bun-Bun Bunny Sitting

    • 6:51~9:05 Learning about saving and investing

    • 9:05~10:37 What makes a good stock?

    • 10:37~11:37 Benefits of an Index Fund

    • 11:37~13:12 Using FinViz

    • 13:12~14:11 Are you not tempted to invest in individual stocks?

    • 14:11~15:27 Compound interest

    • 15:27~17:03 Advice for middle school teachers

    • 17:03~17:55 Should every student take a personal finance course?

  • 17:55~18:19 A word from NGPF

  • 18:19~39:14 Carolyn Cooper

    • 16:44~18:49 Carolyn’s introduction

    • 18:49~22:33 On moving to the US from Kuwait at age 13

    • 22:33~24:45 Conversations with parents about going to college

    • 24:45~28:35 Motivation to teach personal finance

    • 28:35~30:41 First day in the classroom

    • 30:41~34:18 Teaching the course online

    • 34:18~36:40 Best feedback from the course

    • 36:40~39:14 Where Carolyn goes from here

  • 39:14~40:18 Conclusion



  • “I’m not going to invest in individual stocks, I’m going to invest in index funds.” -Pranav 
  • “This is not just for high schoolers, middle schools, but for parents. We’re all learning because this class has never been taught to any one of us.” -Carolyn 


Over 200 podcasts in the NGPF Archive here

About the Authors

Ren Makino

Ren has been working part-time at NGPF since 2014, interning through high school and college. With his knowledge growing alongside NGPF, after graduating from college in 2020, he joined the team to work full time with a focus on teacher onboarding. He is also the editor of the NGPF podcast and makes sure it is accessible to teachers on iTunes, Stitcher, and Google Play Music. During his free time, he likes to try out coffees from different roasters across the world and try out new brewing methods, even though personal finance gurus tend to caution against buying a cup of joe.

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.