Category: Article

For Financial Success, What is More Important: Habits or Goals?

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Aug 17, 2017
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Behavioral Finance, Question of the Day, Article
I think this may be my new mantra: You better have a plan to develop new habits if you are trying to achieve goals that have eluded you for years. Willpower may simply not be enough.  So, just down the road from our offices, a Stanford professor has focused his research on understanding how we can form habits. He provides a simple three step approach in this article from Quartz: According to B.J. Fogg, a psychologist and researcher at Stanford University who has studied behavior...

Credit Scores: An Article and Short Audio Clip to Supplement Your Lessons

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Jul 31, 2017
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Credit Scores, Activity, Audio Resource, Article, Activities
These two resources (audio and an article) caught my attention over the past week as they provide different perspectives on credit scores. The 3 minute audio from Marketplace (below) describes the history of credit scores in the U.S. and how they have evolved over time while the NY Times provides a plain English Q&A on the topic. Audio from Marketplace (3:28): A credit score is the calculated probability of how likely you are to pay debts. But it affects where you live, what car you can buy...

Article: How Is Venmo Changing The Nature of Friendships?

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Jul 26, 2017
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Article, Question of the Day, Payment Types
Hat tip to Jessica for this fascinating article about how the payment app Venmo is affecting friendships. Watch your students squirm as they discuss how they use Venmo with their friends. From NY Times: Margaret Pennoyer, an elementary school teacher in Manhattan, had just returned from a bachelorette party in Napa Valley when she received an email that had been sent to all the guests. The two organizers had itemized each woman’s individual expenses, which they had covered, and requested...

What Would You Do If You Owned the World's Best Investing Contract?

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Jul 11, 2017
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Investing, Research, Index Funds, Current Events, Article, Excel activities
Hat tip to Sid Sharma for pointing out this fascinating article. Imagine knowing stock prices one week into the future? Better yet, imagine getting these future stock prices every week for the rest of your life. Such is the plight of Max Herve-George as featured in this story in the Independent:  George, 25, is not a rogue trader. He is not a financial genius. He is just a man who has the life-long right to make investments with Aviva France that are guaranteed to succeed – to Aviva’s...

Not Your Typical Professional Athlete's Financial Situation...

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Jun 29, 2017
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Current Events, Video Resource, Article
Hat tip to Niko Lillios and Hari for pointing out these articles that don’t adhere to the typical story of the spendthrift professional athlete (as we see in ESPN’s 30 for 30 Broke in the NGPF video Library). We know young people look up to athletes, so how about changing showing some examples of successful athletes with good financial habits, including: Video: The Millionaire Pitcher that Lives in a Van (Vice Sports: 5:46) Hockey player shares the lessons he learned through...

Question: How Much Does Adding A Teen To An Auto Insurance Policy Increase The Premium?

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Jun 26, 2017
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Question of the Day, New Products, Insurance, Article
Answer (from NY Times; subscription): 78% or $671! More from the Times article: An annual analysis by insuranceQuotes.com, a rate comparison site, found that adding a teenager still increased annual premiums substantially, but the magnitude of the increase has been falling over the past few years. Adding a single teenager to a policy caused annual premiums to increase an average of 78 percent, or $671. But rate increases have been decreasing since 2013, when the average increase was 85 percent....

Question: Will You Own A Car in the Future?

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Jun 22, 2017
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Article, Question of the Day, Research, New Products, Purchase Decisions, Current Events, Chart of the Week
Interesting WSJ article (subscription) highlights how dramatically the concept of car ownership is changing in light of current ride-sharing trends and the potential for autonomous vehicles in the future. Here’s a graph that shows how new car buying has slowed dramatically among younger Americans: Other key points from this article (about a 5 minute read): 1/4 of miles driven may be through shared, self-driving vehicles by 2030: “Car ownership, for a long time, has symbolized...

Article: What Can $15,001 Of American Girl Purchases Teach Us About Credit Card Fraud?

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Jun 20, 2017
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Identity Theft, Research, Credit Cards, Current Events, Article
This is how it all began, innocently enough (from MarketWatch; 7 minute read): I was at my desk the other day when my phone buzzed out a warning: My credit card had just been charged $1. No such dollar had been spent by me, but I didn’t think much of the notification. Typically, such unexpected charges have perfectly legitimate explanations given my various subscriptions and recurring monthly charges, all of which come at different and unexpected times. How does a $1 charge turn into $15,000...

Question: What Are The Summer Job Prospects for Teens?

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Jun 15, 2017
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Employment, Research, Current Events, Audio Resource, Article
Answer: According to Marketplace, prospects are GOOD! From Marketplace: The U.S. unemployment rate stands at 4.3 percent, and the tight labor market is giving a bump to young people’s job prospects for the summer. Unemployment among 16- to 19-year-olds fell to 14.3 percent in May — its second-lowest reading since 2006 (it dipped to 13.7 percent in March). Teen unemployment hit a previous low of 12.3 percent in June 2000. But even as the job situation improves, fewer young people are...

Question: Should We Be Teaching Financial Habits or Goals?

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Jun 15, 2017
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Behavioral Finance, Research, Teaching Strategies, Current Events, Article, Tips for Teachers
I can always count on the Farnham Street blog for thought-provoking questions. Their recent post “Habits vs Goals : A Look at the Benefits of a Systematic Approach to Life,” caught my attention because it is something I struggle with. Namely, how can I operationalize ambitious goals into day-to-day habits? Goals can often seem daunting but when you break them down into daily or frequent habitual actions they suddenly seem easier. Here’s the main takeaways from this five minute...

Do Your Weekly Lunches Cost You $90,000 in Retirement Savings?

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Jun 14, 2017
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Chart of the Week, Behavioral Finance, Budgeting, Personal Finance, Article, Math, Retirement
“US households spent $3,008, or about $8.35 a day, on average, eating out in 2015… Investing $3,008 each year… would add up 30 years later to… more than $250,000.  Similarly, investing $3.50 a day for 30 years instead of buying a latte would add up to savings of nearly $107,000”. (USA Today, June 2017) _________ We all know that it is hard to save enough for retirement.  Financial education teachers also know that students sometimes struggle to relate decisions...

What I'm Reading This Week (ending June 9th)

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Jun 09, 2017
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Current Events, Behavioral Finance, Career, Paying for College, Research, Credit Cards, Article
What are the ramifications of an aging population around the world (Visual Capitalist infographic)? Among other elements, it has neat map showing percentage of population in each state over the age of 65:  Hat tip to Hari (newest NGPF team member) for pointing out this article and interactive about robots taking over the workplace (Daily Mail): Researchers have warned that millions of human workers will be replaced by robots over the next few...

A Whiff of Nostalgia: What The Heck Happened To Sears?

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Jun 06, 2017
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Article, Question of the Day, Research, Investing, Stocks, Current Events, Entrepreneurship
Ok, I’m dating myself here but had to include this story for those of my generation who recall the glee that came when the postman delivered the Sears catalog in time for the holiday season. I also recall 20 years ago getting the call to come to Chicago to Sears HQ to hear executives describe to investors that all was OK despite the billions in write-offs they announced overnight in their credit card unit (note to self: when retailers are worried about hitting their sales targets, they...

What is Bitcoin and How Does Cryptocurrency Work? (A Primer)

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Jun 01, 2017
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Current Events, Identity Theft, Investing, Financial Literacy, Payment Types, Article, Math, Cryptocurrencies, Economics
Recently, Bitcoin, the most famous of the cryptocurrencies, has soared to all-time highs (Fortune, May 2017), increasing the amount of press attention and internet searches (Google Trends, May 2017) surrounding the little-known digital currency.  We’ve also heard this question from many of our users, “what is Bitcoin and what do my students need to know about cryptocurrencies”?  You are not alone!  83% of respondents in a 2015 survey conducted by PwC were “slightly...

Question: What's the Average Credit Score in the U.S.?

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May 31, 2017
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Article, Credit Scores, Question of the Day, Research, Credit Cards, Current Events
Answer (from WSJ; subscription): 700 as of April, 2017 More from WSJ: Credit scores for U.S. consumers reached a record high this spring while the share of Americans deemed to be some of the riskiest borrowers hit a record low—a potential boon for lending and economic activity.” As for the reasons why credit scores continue to climb: Bankruptcies and foreclosures stemming from the Great Recession are being wiped off the books (from Pymnts.com): “What’s more, the recession and...

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