A new comic about the principles of finance aims to be the Kryptonite to financial ignorance.
SmarterComics has teamed up with Karen Berman and Joe Knight to turn their book Financial Intelligence: A Manager's Guide to Knowing What the Numbers Really Mean into a comic book. The 80-page comic tackles four finance fundamentals through the tale of Joe, a mechanic who inherits his father's company and now must learn about the financial side of the business.
A small business owner who is struggling to understand the basics of finance is a common story, Berman said.
"A person may start a business to make a product because they love it, but they realize they have to run the business so it is profitable," Berman said. "How do you do that? That's really the story line."
Berman envisions those who are just sticking "a toe into the waters of learning about finance" as the ones likely to pick up the comic and benefit from its teachings. This may include college students and young managers, she said.
Topics include how to read an income statement , tell the difference between profit and cash and distinguish between estimates and assumptions. Readers are also shown how interpretations of financial data can vary, and how outside influences such as customer service and the overall economy affect numbers. The goal is more informed decision-making.
"People can have some fears about finance. Maybe math was difficult for them or they find that the language makes it feel like they will never understand it," Berman said. "A comic book form makes it more approachable."
Financial Intelligence from SmarterComics will be published in June in paperback and in electronic form for the Kindle, iPhone and iPad.
SmarterComics, which turns books into educational comics, has also launched its own versions of Sun Tzu's The Art of War and Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince.