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Question of the Day: What's the average lifespan of a toy fad?

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Dec 13, 2017
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Question of the Day, Behavioral Finance, Budgeting
Answer: About 8 months before it gets marked down With the holiday season upon us and the Fingerling in short supply, I thought the answer to this question was instructive in making me think that perhaps it may not last for long. From NY Times article: The $84 billion global toy industry is struggling for the attention of children obsessed with smartphones and tablets. Global toy sales have been growing each year, but at a slower pace than video games. The average life span of a toy fad is about...

Adventures in Personal Finance: Vacationing on a Budget!

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Dec 12, 2017
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Article, Personal Finance, Budgeting
My partner and I were living in New York City. At the time, I was a Physics Teacher/Basketball Coach, and he was a Dental School Student at NYU. Needless to say, what we had in personality we lacked in expendable finances. Both of us were living on a tight budget. Luckily in NYC, that means amazingly tasty burritos from incredible secret hole-in-the-wall restaurants, lots of dumplings, free outdoor showings of the opera at Lincoln Center, and $10 comedy where you catch a celebrity now and then....

Question of the Day: What's the average 401(k) balance for Americans?

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Dec 12, 2017
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Investing, Research, Retirement, Question of the Day, Current Events
Answer: $100,000 From Bloomberg (subscription): Questions: Do you think that $100,000 is enough of a "nest egg" for retirement? I know it is a long, long, long way off but how much do you think you will need to save for a comfortable retirement?  Is it better to start investing when you are young or to wait until you have the basics like a car and house taken care of before first? ----------- Here's the ready-to-use slides for this Question of the Day for your classroom. ------------...

Digging Deeper: The “Amazon Effect”

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Dec 11, 2017
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Purchase Decisions, Economics, Current Events, Research, Chart of the Week
Amazon is so good at keeping prices low, it’s changed how economists think about inflation I was immediately skeptical of the conclusion implied by this headline.  Yes, Amazon is pervasive in everyone’s lives at this point, but could one company permanently shift inflation? I asked my resident economist if this was really a thing. The answer? YES.  This IS a conversation economists are having.  The Quartz article cites Kevin Kliesen, an economist at the St. Louis Fed....