Category: Current Events

Podcast: Tim Talks Tech Tools with Educator Jackie Prester (Mansfield High School, MA)

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Dec 17, 2017
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Teaching Strategies, Tips for Teachers, Current Events, Podcasts, Interactive
It had been almost two years since I last checked in to talk tech with Jackie Prester of Mansfield High School (listen to our first podcast here). Jackie is one of those passionate personal finance teachers always looking to hone her craft by staying abreast of tech tools to boost student engagement and enhance their learning experience. She attends the conferences, demos the products and if a tech tool makes her Top 5 Short List you know that it has passed her "classroom test" too. Oh, and...

Question of the Day: If you invested $1,000 in Netflix stock ten years ago, what would it be worth today?

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Dec 17, 2017
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Stocks, Question of the Day, Investing, Current Events
  Answer: $51,966 (as of 10/31). Remember when subscribing to Netflix meant watching the mailbox for DVDs?  One look at their stock price appreciation lets you know they successfully navigated through the “disruption” to at-home entertainment with the adoption and availability of streaming video.  In fact, they are expected to spend $8 billion on original content in 2018.  As for Blockbuster, they did not fare so well. Netflix’s success earned it a place in...

Research: Champlain College Report, MAKING THE GRADE, Highlights State Level Efforts on Finance Education at High School Level

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Dec 14, 2017
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Personal Finance, Current Events, Financial Literacy, Research
John Pelletier of Champlain College is out with his biennial report which grades states based on their state-level policies on delivering personal finance education at the high school level. The takeaway from his research: We still have a long, long, long away to go to ensure that all students have access to a full semester personal finance course before they graduate from high school.  Here's a summary of the report:  Although there have been improvements made since our last report in...

Question of the Day: What's the average 401(k) balance for Americans?

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Dec 12, 2017
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Investing, Research, Retirement, Question of the Day, Current Events
Answer: $100,000 From Bloomberg (subscription): Questions: Do you think that $100,000 is enough of a "nest egg" for retirement? I know it is a long, long, long way off but how much do you think you will need to save for a comfortable retirement?  Is it better to start investing when you are young or to wait until you have the basics like a car and house taken care of before first? ----------- Here's the ready-to-use slides for this Question of the Day for your classroom. ------------...

Digging Deeper: The “Amazon Effect”

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Dec 11, 2017
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Purchase Decisions, Economics, Current Events, Research, Chart of the Week
Amazon is so good at keeping prices low, it’s changed how economists think about inflation I was immediately skeptical of the conclusion implied by this headline.  Yes, Amazon is pervasive in everyone’s lives at this point, but could one company permanently shift inflation? I asked my resident economist if this was really a thing. The answer? YES.  This IS a conversation economists are having.  The Quartz article cites Kevin Kliesen, an economist at the St. Louis Fed....

Question of the Day: Are inventors born or made?

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Dec 10, 2017
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Entrepreneurship, Question of the Day, Research, Current Events
Answer: New research finds that surroundings matter more than genes.  Here are excerpts from the Economist article about this ground-breaking research "Who Becomes an Inventor?": Inventors come from all walks of life: "ARE inventors born or bred? Using tax, patent and academic records, a new study by a quintet of economists follows the lives of 1m American inventors in exceptional detail, including their parental circumstances, the neighbourhoods they grew up in and the colleges they...

What I'm Reading This Weekend (December 9-10)

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Dec 08, 2017
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Current Events, Cryptocurrencies, Retirement, Behavioral Finance
Thanks to Beth Tallman for curating such a great set of informative articles. Enjoy! Bitcoin crossed $16,000 (that's over 50% in less than a week); when will the bubble burst. WSJ still trying to figure out what's behind the meteoric rise (as am I). What's a Cryptokitty, anyway? Even for bitcoin, which is notoriously volatile, the upward lurch was jarring, astounding outsiders and thrilling those who have piled into the digital currency in recent weeks. The rally has been sparked by the...

Question of the Day: What percent of Americans got a pay raise in the last 12 months?

Dec 06, 2017
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Career, Employment, Current Events, Research, Budgeting
Answer: 48% From Bankrate survey, reported in USA Today:  Thirty percent got a raise at their current job, 10% landed a better paying job and 8% scored both within the 12-month period. Thus, a total 48% of those surveyed saw their wages rise either at their current workplace or by switching jobs. The survey also demonstrated the importance of education as those with college education got bigger boosts as did those with higher salaries: Those with more skills are reaping bigger rewards. Only...

Activity: Let's Make A Tax Plan Prediction

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Dec 05, 2017
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Taxes, Current Events, Activity
How to make taxes exciting...hmm. That's a challenge! How about getting students to make predictions on the competing tax plans put forth by the House and Senate and predict where the final tax legislation will land?  First a little background. On late Saturday morning, the Senate passed a tax plan that now needs to be reconciled with the House plan that was passed a few weeks back. While many are confident that ultimately a bill will get to the President's desk to be signed before...

Digging Deeper: Cash Incentives Lift Test Scores

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Dec 05, 2017
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Teaching Strategies, Behavioral Finance, Current Events, Research
We are so excited to have Beth Tallman writing content for the blog. Her weekly column "Digging Deeper" will involve in-depth research that goes beyond the headlines resulting in a thought-provoking piece. Enjoy! ------------------------- I caught this headline in the Wall Street Journal (11/28/17) over breakfast and decided to read more about the research on CNBC and in Ben Leubsdorf’s blog. The research findings were pretty remarkable: Monetary rewards could have raised the PISA math...

Question of the Day: What percent of 14-21 year olds (Gen Z) are already saving for retirement?

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Dec 04, 2017
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Retirement, Current Events, Savings, Research
Answer: 12% From Center for Generational Kinetics 2017 study: In the national study, a surprising 12% of Gen Z is already saving for retirement. That is a much bigger number than one might anticipate given the youth of Gen Z in the study, who are ages 14 to 21. Diving further into the question, it was discovered that 35% of Gen Z plans to start saving for retirement when they are in their 20s. Questions: Have you thought about saving for retirement yet?  If yes, have you acted upon it? If...

Article: Would You Watch An Ad To Get A Lower Price?

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Dec 04, 2017
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Budgeting, Behavioral Finance, Current Events
According to this article in Quartz, you might soon get to make this choice: There’s potentially another reason for Amazon to promote the use of video in e-commerce. It now has a way to offer customers discounts for watching ads. In October, Amazon was awarded a patent for “content-based price reductions and incentives.” The patent says that “customers in an electronic environment can be presented with the option to receive advertising, such as audio, video, or...

What I'm Reading This Weekend

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Dec 02, 2017
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Current Events, Economics, Cryptocurrencies, Article, Interactive, Investing
I am going to try (note the word "try") to make this a regular weekly feature of the blog. The goal: a curated list of articles for your weekend reading that will pique your interest, increase your content knowledge and keep you abreast of trends in personal finance. Thanks to Beth Tallman for generating this first list! Interactive Interactive chart that from St. Louis Federal Reserve showing subprime population at county level. Great discussion starter about economic trends in your local...

Question of the Day: How much do you need to earn to be considered middle class?

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Nov 30, 2017
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Budgeting, Career, Current Events
Answer; Between $39,556 and $118,078 From US Census Bureau American Community Survey (courtesy of Business Insider): Defined by Pew as those earning 67% to 200% of the median income — $39,560 to $118,080 in 2016 — only about half of Americans can call themselves middle class. Lower-income households account for 29%, while upper-income households make up the rest, according to Pew. Here's a great interactive map (need to go here to use the interactivity) showing how...

Video: How Can We All Be Original Thinkers?

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Nov 28, 2017
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Video Resource, Entrepreneurship, Current Events
Hat tip to Big Picture Blog for posting Adam Grant's TED Talk, which I found inspiring as the clock neared midnight:):  A good video to include in your entrepreneurship lesson to help students identify the traits often found in "original thinkers" aka entrepreneurs.  Questions for students: What are the surprising habits that Prof. Grant found in original thinkers? Which of the habits that he identified did you find most surprising? Explain your answer.  What techniques can you...

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