About the Author

Beth Tallman

Beth Tallman entered the working world armed with an M.B.A. in finance and thoroughly enjoyed her first career working in manufacturing and telecommunications, including a stint overseas. She took advantage of an involuntary separation to try teaching high school math, something she had always dreamed of doing. When fate stepped in once again, Beth jumped on the opportunity to combine her passion for numbers, money, and education to develop curriculum and teach personal finance at Oberlin College. Beth now spends her time writing on personal finance and financial education, conducting student workshops, and developing finance curricula and educational content. She is also the Treasurer of Ohio Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy.

Author: Beth Tallman

And the Winner is----Financial Literacy!!!

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Mar 02, 2020
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Personal Finance
Four of the past five years, I have coached a team of students from Oberlin College competing in an undergraduate business case competition put on by Peoples Bank, a large regional bank headquartered in Marietta, Ohio. Oberlin is a liberal arts college, and the all of the other 14-15 competitors are students in undergraduate business programs. This year, on top of the usual challenge of overcoming the gap in business knowledge, our team was comprised of one first-year student and two...

Reading List for February 28-March 1

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Feb 28, 2020
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Investing, Stocks, Current Events, Paying for College, Financial Literacy, Retirement
Given the huge and rapid correction in the stock market this week, we start this week’s list with the “Investing” articles:   This is the fastest market “correction” in history, and we aren’t done yet. (Yahoo Finance) "Is The Stock Market Going to Crash?" The Irrelevant Investor takes a deep dive for those of you that like numbers and stats and graphs to address this question. WSJ-(subscription) columnist Jason Zweig reports on survey results...

[Update] Question of the Day: What’s the current unemployment rate for 22-27 year-olds who graduated from a four-year college?

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Feb 24, 2020
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Career, Question of the Day, Economics, Employment
Answer: 3.9% Questions: What is the difference today in unemployment rates for those 22-27 year olds with a bachelor’s degree and those without?  What was this difference in 2010 following the Great Recession? Has the gap narrowed or widened between those with/without degrees? Why do you think that having a college degree impacts an individual’s probability of getting a job? Overall, what has been the trend in unemployment across all types of workers since 2010? Click here...

Reading List for February 21-23

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Feb 21, 2020
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Advocacy, Personal Finance, Current Events, Investing, Career, Mortgages
Advocacy The West Virginia Senate considers two education bills: a financial education bill requiring a high school class, right alongside one reestablishing cursive writing in elementary school. (Bluefield Daily Telegraph)   Personal Finance Ever wonder what files you should keep and for how long? Michelle Singletary of the Washington Post explains how she used “Homefile: Financial Planning Organizer,” by certified financial planners J. Michael Martin and his wife Mary E....

Reading List for February 14-16

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Feb 14, 2020
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Personal Finance, Savings, Credit Cards, Investing, Economics, Retirement
Happy Valentine’s Day (and Presidents’ weekend)! In recognition of the holiday, I am sharing the first article from Barry Ritholz’ reading list this morning from Behavioral Scientist in case you still need to find that perfect Valentine’s card for the people in your life. Enjoy!   Personal Finance We do what we do to keep future generations from repeating our financial mistakes. According to a recent survey by Deposits.com, 85% of Americans admit to making financial...

"Going from Broke:" Episode Summaries and Discussion Questions

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Feb 14, 2020
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Video Resource, Credit Cards, Credit Scores, Investing, Budgeting
Ashton Kutcher is one of the executive producers of a series called “Going from Broke,” focusing on the massive (student) debt issue facing young adults.  Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment is the ad-supported video streaming service that runs the series on Crackle, and it hit 5 million views after just 4 weeks.  The series appears to be attracting attention. Dan Rosensweig, another executive producer, is the CEO of a company called Chegg and is the host of the show....

[Updated] Question of the Day: What percentage of Americans can not come up with the cash to cover a $400 emergency?

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Feb 11, 2020
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Question of the Day, Savings, Current Events, Credit Cards
Answer: 12% It is time once again to take a look at new data on this often quoted number, and put it in context. (In fact, 12% is the critical figure here, representing those who can’t pay it at all: 27% would have to borrow or sell something to cover the expense.) Questions: Are you surprised by this number? Why or why not? What are some emergency expenses that could amount to $400? How do you think the 39% cover this emergency cost if they don’t have money saved to cover it? What...

QoD: Electronic Arts vs. Activision: Which has been the better performing stock over the past five years?

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Feb 10, 2020
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Question of the Day, Investing, Stocks
Answer: Activision Questions: Reviewing the chart, how much would your $100 investment five years ago have grown if you had invested in... Electronic Arts? Activision? The overall stock market (S&P 500)?  Would you have been better off choosing between these 2 companies or just buying the overall stock market through an index fund?  Which games do you prefer?  Would that be enough information to drive you to invest in one company over the other? What else would you want...

Reading List for February 7-9

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Feb 07, 2020
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Financial Literacy, Personal Finance, Economics, Investing, Career
It's Oscars weekend, and here is a documentary you should watch leading up to the event if you haven't yet!  NGPF released the documentary “The Most Important Class you Never Had” this week.   Financial Literacy CNBC covered the release of the CEE biannual Survey of the States on Wednesday. “Research shows that these requirements make a difference,” said Nan Morrison, the president and CEO of the Council for Economic Education, which released...

Reading List for January 31-Feb 2

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Jan 31, 2020
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Personal Finance, Behavioral Finance, Budgeting, Paying for College, Taxes, Insurance
Happy Super Bowl Weekend!  In case you missed this week's FinCap Friday, Credit Crunch details how the FICO methodology will impact millions of consumers.  Personal Finance/Financial Literacy This article from the NY Times “Smarter Living” section got some attention this week in social media. “Does Personal Finance Still Work in our changing Economy?” contains a great discussion of the findings of the book The Financial Diaries (Rachel Schneider and Jonathan...

Question of the Day: What social media platform reaches 90% of 13-24 year-olds?

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Jan 29, 2020
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Question of the Day
QoD: Question: 90% of 13-24 year olds use which social media app? Answer: Snapchat Questions: Raise your hand if you use Snapchat. Do you believe this statistic based on your class? What do you like about Snapchat? Are these things that would attract older users? Do you know older people who use it? Snapchat doesn’t want you to “age-out” of the platform.  What sorts of features could Snapchat add that might keep you active as you get older or get older folks interested?...

Reading List for January 24-26

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Jan 24, 2020
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Current Events, Credit Scores, Budgeting, Career, Investing, Retirement, Personal Finance
Current Events/Credit Scores One of the biggest stories hitting this week and running through social media is news of the new FICO scoring criteria. (USA Today) “Most consumers will see less than a 20-point swing in either direction,” David Shellenberger, FICO’s vice president, product management, scores, said in a statement on Thursday. “That’s roughly 110 million that will see only a modest change to scores, if at all.”   Budgeting Many of you shared...

Reading List for January 17-19

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Jan 17, 2020
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Financial Literacy, Investing, Economics, Paying for College
Financial Literacy The corporate world is trying to fill in the void in financial literacy among their employees. According to a WorldatWork survey: “70% of the 326 employers surveyed currently offer financial well-being benefits and more than half intend to expand such offerings in 2020.” According to FinTech Times, FinTech businesses are also feeling compelled to fill the financial literacy gap among their customers with education initiatives. Investing/Economics This...

QoD: How many states do not have state income taxes?

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Jan 15, 2020
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Question of the Day, Taxes
Did you know that most people have to file tax returns for BOTH federal AND state income taxes? Listed below are 7 states that do not (as of 1/10/2020) have state income taxes.  Answer: 7: Alaska, Florida, Nevada, South Dakota, Texas, Washington, and Wyoming Find the top tax rate for your state here:  Note: Tennessee and New Hampshire tax investment income.  Questions: How does your state's tax rate compare to other neighboring states?  Do you think that states that...

QoD: Walmart vs. Amazon: Which has been the better performing stock over the past five years?

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Jan 14, 2020
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Investing, Question of the Day, Index Funds
Answer: AMAZON by a long shot! Reviewing the chart, how much would your $100 investment five years ago have grown if you had invested in... Amazon? Walmart? The overall stock market (S&P 500)?  Would you have been better off choosing between these 2 companies or just buying the overall stock market through an index fund? Why do you think that Amazon has performed so much better than Walmart? (Hint: Do you think that online ecommerce is growing faster than “bricks and...