What is the stock market?
Jul 27, 2021
Season 2 | Episode 6

What is the stock market?

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The stock market can be confusing, even for adults. This episode will help make sense of it all.

Companies need money to grow, and there’s a way for them to get it: the stock market. They can sell a little piece of their company, called a share or stock, to regular people. If the company grows, those people get to keep some of the money it makes. Of course, there’s no guarantee that a company will grow — that’s what makes putting your money in the stock market risky. On this week’s episode, we’ll explain how it all works with the help of some Dutch spice traders, comfy sneakers, a bull … and a bear! Plus, we’ll ask some random kids a not-so-random question or two, and we’ll sample Jed’s take on s’mores (AKA Bazillionaire’s Bounty).

Read the transcript here.

This four-panel comic explains the stock market: A place where people by and sell shares of various companies, with the price depending on how people think the company will do in the future. If you buy a piece of a company's stock, you might get some of their profits. Why would a company sell off parts of itself? We'll talk about it on this week's episode!
Leigh Luna/Marketplace

And now, tips for grown-ups listening to “Million Bazillion” with kids

Money Talks

Take a minute to recap the episode and review the key points. Here are some questions to get the kids going:

  1. At the Million Bazillion campsite, what are the campers called?
  2. Jed is very afraid of a certain kind of animal attacking the campsite. What animal is it?
  3. Where did the Dutch East India Company start?
  4. What were some of the risks that investors faced when they bought shares of the Dutch East India Company?
  5. Complete the sentence: Aurelia bought a lot of shares of stock because she thought it was a rising ______ market, but it was really a massive ______ market, and prices were about to go down. 

(Scroll down or click here for answers!)

Tip Jar

The stock market can be confusing, even for adults. Here are a few more resources to help kids (and grown-ups) get their heads around how it all works:

Gimme Five

We’re curious: What’s a money skill that you wish you had, or that you want to learn more about? Click here to tell us!

Answers to Money Talks

  1. Silver Dollar Scouts
  2. Badgers
  3. The Netherlands
  4. Answers will vary but could include: Pirates, bad weather, ships sinking, spices going bad, or simply the fact they’d have to wait 10 years before getting any money back
  5. Bull, bear

(Click here to scroll back up to the questions!)

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The team

Jed Kim Host
Bridget Bodnar Senior Producer
Sanden Totten Editor
Erica Phillips Writer/Producer
Tony Wagner Digital Producer
Sitara Nieves Executive Director of On-Demand
Chris Julin Sound designer

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