Category: Chart of the Week

Chart: What Are The Mental Mistakes We Make And Why Do We Make Them?

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Oct 09, 2017
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Current Events, Chart of the Week, Behavioral Finance, Research, Question of the Day
Answer (from Visual Capitalist): There's a lot of them (and that's what makes us human). This chart shows all 188 cognitive biases we have (click for higher-res version): Questions: Chose 3 of the cognitive biases on the outside part of the circle (there are 20 of them) that you think you are most prone too. Give examples of times that these cognitive biases have crept into your thinking. Here are a few examples: We tend to find stories and patterns even when looking at sparse data: "I heard...

What Company Has Created The Most Wealth Since 1926?

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Sep 25, 2017
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Investing, Stocks, Chart of the Week, Question of the Day
And the winner is.....Apple at almost $1 TRILLION! Great chart from NY Times shows the 50 companies that created the most wealth in the last 90 years (size of the circles is based on the company's compound annualized stock return): Questions: In your own words, how does the graph measure wealth creation?  In looking at the wealth created by companies that have been publicly traded for less than thirty years, what industry are most of the companies operating in?  Which ten companies...

Chart: What's The Cost of Living In Your Community?

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Sep 25, 2017
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Chart of the Week, Budgeting, Question of the Day
Another great interactive map from Visual Capitalist (CEO Jeff Desjardins recently appeared on NGPF podcast) showing the relative value of $100 in communities across the U.S. (go directly to the map on the website which will allow you to scroll over to get information on your specific metro areas):   Questions: Which states/regions seem to have lowest cost of living (where $100 is worth the most)?  Which states/regions seem to have highest cost of living (where $100 is worth the...

Who Invests in the Stock Market (By State)?

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Sep 08, 2017
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Stocks, Research, Current Events, Question of the Day, Chart of the Week
Hat tip to Big Picture Blog which had a post from a few St. Louis Fed researchers showing how stock market participation varies by state even when taking into account income levels: Here's a chart showing how participation levels vary based on income level and highlights the state with the highest participation (Connecticut) and lowest participation levels (Mississippi):  Questions for students: Average household income in the U.S. is around $50,000. What percentage of...

Interactive: What's the Median Income in Your County?

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Aug 27, 2017
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Interactive, Budgeting, Chart of the Week, Question of the Day, Career, Current Events
Another great interactive from Visual Capitalist here:   Note: This is a static chart; go directly to the website to be take advantage of interactive features.  Question for students: What are the sources of household income?  Work will be the obvious answer, capital (dividends, capital gains from investments) will be a less obvious one Many students will also be familiar with the gig economy and know that there might be multiple income streams What do you think determines how...

Interactive: What Happens To Risk When Your Investing Period Lengthens?

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Aug 08, 2017
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Investing, Chart of the Week, Question of the Day
From Of Dollars and Data: Over 1 year periods, markets can be very chaotic for both U.S. bonds and U.S. stocks. This is also true over shorter time horizons (i.e. monthly, daily, intra-day, etc.). However, the chaos fades as the time horizon increases. Below is an animation I created that shows the S&P 500 and U.S. 10-year Bond returns as they vary from a 1-year horizon to a 30-year horizon. Here are two charts from his animation (it changes before your eyes if you cilck on the link above):...

Chart: How Well Do Students Estimate The Monthly Payment On Their Student Loans?

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Aug 02, 2017
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Student Loans, Paying for College, Research, Chart of the Week
Answer: No real surprise here. They are abysmal at it. Here’s an explanation of this scatter plot (see below) from the recent Sallie Mae report on How America Pays for College: Separately, students seem not to be fully cognizant of how much they will repay. Students were asked to estimate their future monthly student loan payments based on the amount of loans they currently have. Similarly to 2008, a scatterplot of responses indicates little correlation between the amounts students...

Interactive: Taking A Skills-Based Approach To Careers

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Aug 01, 2017
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Career, Research, Current Events, Chart of the Week, Interactive
Ask a student what they would like to be when they grow up and you often get a quizzical look along the lines of “How should I know since I have never had a job?” The interactive tools below help you circumvent this by having students identify their skill preferences in jobs which will lead to a list of jobs that match these preferences. A second step in this activity helps students identify jobs that require skills similar to the ones they selected in step one. Taking this...

How is Personal Finance Being Taught in U.S. High Schools?

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Jul 31, 2017
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Current Events, Research, Chart of the Week
Here’s a word cloud created by our research team based on their analysis of personal finance course descriptions at almost 10,000 high schools (the larger the font of the word, the more frequently it occurs): A few observations: Where is personal finance incorporated in the curriculum? You can see that “business,” “economics,” and “consumer” are some of the more prominent words suggesting that they are embedded in these courses. What are the most...

Chart: What Is Risk?

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Jul 30, 2017
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Chart of the Week, Research, Index Funds, Investing, Current Events
From Vanguard: I love this chart because it provides such a clear relationship between risk and return. You want more risk (say 100% stocks), well you better be prepared for great years (54.2% was the best year from 1926-2013) and be able to stomach big down years (down 43.1%) without hopping out. It also demonstrates the most important decision that an investor will make is their asset allocation or their split between stocks and bonds. Note also that stocks here doesn’t refer to picking...

Question: Are College Costs Rising?

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Jul 23, 2017
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Chart of the Week, Paying for College, Question of the Day, Research, Current Events, Math, Economics
From WSJ (Subscription required): Questions for students: Create a one sentence description for the trends seen in each of the two graphs. A friend says, “What a bummer that college costs keep rising at an incredible rate!” Using the data from the graph on the left, provide a response to her assertion. Since 1990, all consumer prices (aka the rate of inflation) have basically doubled. Using the rule of 72, make an estimate as to what the inflation rate has averaged from 1990-2016....

Question: How Does America Pay for College?

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Jul 20, 2017
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Current Events, Question of the Day, Research, Student Loans, Teaching Strategies, Chart of the Week
Good bell ringer to get the conversation started about paying for college. Can start the class by asking your students how they think families will pay for college: What are the sources that families tap into? What are 3 most important categories? Once they have given their answers, you can move on to the chart below. Sallie Mae out with their tenth annual study showing how families are covering the cost of college. Lots of interesting graphs, charts, infographics that I will be sharing over...

Question: How Risky Is The Stock Market?

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Jul 20, 2017
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Behavioral Finance, Question of the Day, Research, Index Funds, Investing, Stocks, Chart of the Week
Answer: It depends on your time horizon. Short term, it’s risky. Long-term, not so much. Great chart here (from Barclays) demonstrates how your probability of making money (“gains”) in the stock market increases the longer your time horizon: “This chart shows the proportion of gains and losses we observe for the same investment (the MSCI World Developed Equities Index) as we change our monitoring horizon from 1 day to 5 years:” Let me explain: First, the MCSI...

Question: Why Are So Many Successful People College Dropouts?

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Jul 19, 2017
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Entrepreneurship, Research, Current Events, Chart of the Week
Answer: As the data below shows, most successful people are NOT college dropouts. Jobs, Gates, Zuckerberg. I imagine you’ve heard just a few students over the years come in and question the value of going to college by noting that these great tech innovators left their college before graduating (Reed College, Harvard and Harvard respectively). Well, now you have some data to counteract this myth of the successful college dropout (hat tip to CB Insights who included this chart in their...

Question: How Are Consumers Looking To Improve Credit Scores?

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Jul 17, 2017
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Credit Scores, Activity, Question of the Day, Current Events, Chart of the Week, Activities
A great bell ringer to see how many answers your students come up with before you reveal the answers (memories of the Family Feud). From US News and World Report survey: ___________ Looking for an engaging credit score activity (#1 on Google when you search for “engaging credit score activity”)? Here are our two favorites that work well together: Estimating a FICO Score  Use an online FICO credit score estimator to compare the credit scores of three hypothetical college students...

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