Activity Idea: Personal Finance in 833 Words

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Feb 09, 2015
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Activity, Budgeting, Personal Finance, Index Funds, Investing, Current Events

Good column in WSJ over the weekend which cuts through the complexity of personal finance with some simple truths.  Here is a flavor:

On investing:

Keep it simple. Complicated financial strategies and investments are mostly designed to enrich managers and salesmen. A simple, diversified portfolio of low-cost index funds, rebalanced yearly, will do just fine—if not better.

On lotteries (check out NGPF’s Lottery Lesson here):

Never buy a lottery ticket. The lottery runs a profit, which means the players run a loss. And a study once found that the people who won ended up no happier than those who lost.

Importance of saving early:

Save early, save often. Time and patience are the investor’s best friends. Invest a dollar for 10 years at 4% and you’ll have $1.50. Invest it for 40 years and you’ll have nearly $5.

All in all, he provides 23 personal finance tips.  Have students identify the 4-5 items that they feel are most pertinent to them (or that they want to learn more about).  Have them write a few sentences about how they can develop goals around these tips.  This may require them to do some additional research too.

About the Author

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

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