Thursday, April 21, 2011

Places We'd Like to Visit: The Museum of American Finance

Money fascinates my eldest son. The variety of currencies. Their monetary relationship to each other. The power money wields. How money creates more money. So, when we read about the Museum of American Finance in the Wall Street Journal (Making Money a Must-See, April 16-17, 2011), we were itching to pack our bags and head to New York.

The Museum of American Finance (MOAF) is "the nation's only independent public museum dedicated to celebrating the spirit of entrepreneurship and the democratic free market tradition which has made New York City the financial capital of the world." Nowadays, many people may believe the free market system is broken, but regardless, understanding the foundation and history of our nation's financial markets can only lead to a better informed consumer and citizen.

MOAF boasts an interactive monetary exhibit, a gold Monoploy set, a historical display of piggy banks, interviews with 16 modern-day entrepreneurs, the Alexander Hamilton Room dedicated to our first Secretary of the Treasury, information on the current credit crisis, and information on past financial scandals.

The museum also offers classes at the Center for Financial Education. Classes range from "Real Fake" with Inspector Collector, aimed at grades K-6, to The Secret Life of Money: Currency Exploration for Adults, designed for college students and adults.

Hours, admission rates, and directions are available at
For more field trip ideas,
check out GHF's Virtual Field Trips page.

Unfortunately, at a time when our need for financial education is stronger than ever, the MOAF, which offers just the information we need, isn't doing well. Perhaps, people are intimidated by the name "American Finance." Or, maybe, people believe money is boring. Or, perhaps, folks believe they know all they need to about how money works. Regardless of the reason, one of the more important aspects of our modern lives is completely neglected in traditional teaching, so people must make the effort to seek out the information to teaching both themselves and their children. Only with knowledge will we avoid the mistakes of the past.

So, whether you're an argentum-phile (money lover) or argentum-phobe (money fearer), MOAF sounds like wonderful place to learn more about and experience the fascinating world of finance.

With a little luck, and money, maybe we'll see you there!

Article by Sarah J. Wilson


  1. I have a six-year-old New Yorker who's been known to fondle his two dollars at night. Wonder if he'd like this...

  2. Keith:

    Your comment made me laugh! We should get your six-year-old and my nine-year-old together. Think of what those two minds could create!

  3. Sarah:

    Sounds like a trip to New York is going to happen soon.

    Would he like to be my financiual advisor?