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.

Author: Tim Ranzetta

What I'm Reading This Holiday Week

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Nov 21, 2017
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Article, Investing, Chart of the Week
Hat tip to Abnormal Returns, Big Picture Blog and Visual Capitalist which provide a great curated list to start with: David Swenson is nervous (Bloomberg): The legendary Yale endowment manager is nervous about something. Read the article to find out what is keeping him up at night.  Looking for a simple productivity hack (Thrive Global)? Hint: It has something to do with your smartphone! I can never get enough of Jonathan Clements (on our podcast here and here). Here's his thoughts on the...

Question of the Day: What's the average cost of a Thanksgiving dinner for ten?

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Nov 21, 2017
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Budgeting, Current Events, Question of the Day, Research
Answer: $49.12 From Marketplace: Thanksgiving dinner is cheaper this year — but you might not be feeling it. The American Farm Bureau Federation pegs the average cost of a Thanksgiving feast at $49.12, a five-year low. The Federation has been doing price surveys on the same list of groceries for 32 years now, tracking the average cost of a modest, traditional meal for 10. And in case you wanted all the details: Here's the full shopping list, along with this year's average...

Top 10 on NGPF Blog: What Are Teachers Reading?

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Nov 20, 2017
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Investing, Budgeting, Video Resource, Current Events, Retirement, Behavioral Finance
Here's what trending recently on the NGPF Blog: Chart of the Week: What is average credit score for 18-24 year olds? Hint: It takes good behaviors (and time) to perfect the credit scoring game.  Let's Go To The Videotape: 5 Personal Finance Documentaries to Consider. From professional athletes going to bust, to the retirement crisis we face in this country to the largest investment fraud of our time, this list has something for everyone.  NGPF Announces Scholarship...

Question of the Day: What percent of Americans pay professionals to prepare their tax returns?

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Nov 20, 2017
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Taxes, Question of the Day
Answer: Over 50% With all the talk of tax reform in Washington these days, I wondered how the answer to this question might change in light of the dramatic changes expected to our existing tax code.  From Taxpayer Advocate Service (of Internal Revenue Service):  “More than half of individual taxpayers pay professionals to prepare their returns, and roughly 40 percent use tax software to assist them, with leading software packages typically costing $50 or more.”...

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Enterprising Educator, Dan LaSalle of Olney High School (Philadelphia, PA)

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Nov 19, 2017
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Podcasts, Personal Finance, Savings, Parent Conversations, Teaching Strategies, Career
Want a radical approach to teaching financial education? How about creating jobs for your students at school and paying them for their efforts...then standing back and watch how they manage THEIR money. Dan LaSalle, educator at Olney High School in Philadelphia came up with this idea, received a grant to fund it and shares his observations after one year of running the IF (Identity and Finance) Project. His belief: to teach kids about money they need to have money to manage. Listen to the...

Question of the Day: What's the average credit score needed to rent an apartment?

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Nov 19, 2017
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Credit Scores, Question of the Day, Budgeting, Research
Answer: 650 From Rentcafe study:  "Rental applicants approved for an apartment in 2017 had an average credit score of 650, is the conclusion of our most recent study based on tenant screening data from RentGrow. Meanwhile, those that ended up on the rejected list had an average score of 538." Even more interesting is how the average credit score varies so dramatically based on location. Here's the ten most difficult markets to rent an apartment, based on the average credit score for...

Article: The Dead Man Fund

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Nov 17, 2017
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Investing, Article, Mutual Funds, Savings, Stocks
This 7 minute article that appeared in Longreads hooked me in the first paragraph:  In 1989, Morningstar, Inc., an advisory service, issued a strongly worded and unusual recommendation to its clients who had placed money with a firm then called the Steadman Funds (later known as the Ameritor Funds). “We urge you to cut your losses and get out,” Morningstar counseled. Doubtless, some investors heeded this advice. Many couldn’t, though, because they were dead. I wanted to...

Press Release: Vermont Technical College Approves Financial Literacy for Dual-Enrollment Course Using Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF) Resources

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Nov 17, 2017
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Financial Literacy, Personal Finance, Current Events
Exciting news to share about our semester course being used for dual-enrollment in Vermont RANDOLPH, Vermont, November 9, 2017 - Vermont Tech  recently approved a dual enrollment personal finance course that will be offered in the spring of 2018. Wayne Goulet, the Randolph Technical Career Center teacher who has been approved to teach the course for Vermont Tech, will use resources from Next Gen Personal Finance for his instruction. The goal of this course is to remove the mystery from the...

Question of the Day: What is the most popular shopping website for teens?

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Nov 16, 2017
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Purchase Decisions, Question of the Day, Current Events, Budgeting, Research
Answer: Amazon  From Piper Jaffray Teen Survey:  Questions: Do you shop online at all? If so, what is your favorite website? Are there items that you refuse to buy online? Why?  Amazon has such a commanding lead over other websites, why do you think so many teens choose Amazon for online shopping? ---------- Here's the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom. ----------------- Looking for an article that describes the...

Question of the Day: What is the most valuable U.S.-based company?

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Nov 15, 2017
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Investing, Stocks, Question of the Day, Research, Chart of the Week
Answer (as of 11/15/17): Apple From Visual Capitalist comes this fascinating chart of top 10 companies over the past 100 years: Questions: Compare the largest companies from 1917 to the largest companies in 2017: Are there any companies that that stood the test of time and appear in both lists? Does this surprise you? How has the industry composition of these two sets of companies changed over the past 100 years?  You see a newspaper article noting that there is a concentration of...

What's A Gold Standard School?

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Nov 15, 2017
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Advocacy
Gold Standard School: A high school that requires ALL students take a standalone, one semester personal finance course in order to graduate. We identified over 600 of these schools in the appendix of our recent groundbreaking research report "Who has access to financial education in America today?" Each of these schools recently received a poster to recognize their Gold Standard awesomeness. The  tweets are now rolling in with pics of the proud FinHeroes who ensure that ALL students at...

Question of the Day: What percent of American workers use the internet daily for email and information search?

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Nov 13, 2017
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Career, Question of the Day, Research
Answer: 42% From OECD Digital Economy Outlook 2017: Questions: Were you surprised by the answer? Was your estimate higher or lower? Do you think jobs that require use of email and information search are higher paying jobs? Why or why not? What skills do you think are important to have if you are sending lots of email? searching for online information?  This data is from 2012. Do you think the answer to this question is higher or lower today as compared to 2012? --------------- Here's...

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Fred Selinger, Personal Finance Educator At Cal Berkeley

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Nov 12, 2017
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Personal Finance, Podcasts, Stocks, Budgeting, Investing
Thanks to Fred Selinger, Personal Finance instructor at Berkeley's Haas School of Business for joining me recently on the NGPF podcast. Fred shares his exciting story of how he went from a successful business career in corporate finance to taking on the challenge of building a personal finance program at one of America's flagship universities, the University of California at Berkeley. He describes the meteoric rise of the program: from the the first day of class when he didn't know if anyone...

Question of the Day: How many monthly withdrawals can you make (without penalty) from a savings or money market account?

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Nov 09, 2017
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Question of the Day, Policy, Debit Cards, Checking Accounts, Savings
Answer: 6 Hat tip to Jessica and her PLC group, Diane Mondoro, Steve Penley, Vicky Livesay, and Kayla Bousum for generating this question. (Sign up for the next round of our PLCs here)  On to the details: From NerdWallet: Regulation D, also known as Reg D, is a Federal Reserve Board rule that puts a limit of six transactions per month on certain transfers and withdrawals from your savings or money market account. If you go over the limit, the bank or credit union can charge you a fee, close...

Question of the Day: What college major provides graduates with the highest median CAREER earnings?

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Nov 08, 2017
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Question of the Day, Career, Chart of the Week, Paying for College, Research
Answer: Chemical Engineering with median lifetime earnings of about $4 million From NY Times: Awesome article that dispels common myths about the college major. Here's one of my favorite myth-busters highlighting the variance in a given major: "It’s true that computer science and engineering top all the pay rankings, but salaries within specific majors vary greatly. “Students and parents have a pretty good idea of what majors pay the most, but they have a poor sense of the magnitude...

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