3 games aim to teach you to invest, plan and talk about money

Money Mind analyzer, FlexScore and Beat the Benchmark gamify planning concepts

By Joyce Hanson

May 5, 2014 @ 12:01 am EST

It is famously difficult for people to wrap their minds around complicated financial concepts, especially the idea that the market is random, and the idea that your emotions play much more of a role in your management of money than you realize. As Jack Bogle said recently in a speech, the urge to speculate has probably been with us forever.

See Jack Bogle's warnings for investors

Investment companies and advisers are adopting gaming tools to help them spark conversations and win more clients. But you can use them on your own — these three are free, and may help make learning about investing fun, more interesting, or they may lead to more conversations in your household about money and investing.

The Money Mind Analyzer is a question-and-answer game to help couples determine whether each partner's financial life is driven by fear, happiness or a desire for commitment.

Fidelity Labs' “Beat the Benchmark” rewards you with "cash" to invest for correctly answering questions about investing.

Another game, FlexScore works by generating a numerical score that reflects a consumer's financial health. Measured on a scale of 1 to 1,000, the tool — billed as “financial advice for the rest of us” — calculates investments, savings, debts, future goals and related expenses.

Users get more points based on “action steps” taken to boost their score along with a visual display of how harmful financial decisions can decrease their score.

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