Category: Current Events

Current Events: What's New With Overdraft Fees?

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Aug 15, 2017
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Checking Accounts, Current Events, Payment Types, Policy
As readers of the blog know, overdraft fees are big profit generators for the big banks. Tens of billions of dollars big. So, what's new? The CFPB sees these large fees (average of $34 per overdraft) and wonders whether consumers really understand what they are signing up for when they opt-in to overdraft protection. This current event is a good opportunity to blend a discussion about policy while helping your students better understand a checking account "gotcha." Let's start at the beginning....

Question of the Day: Why Can't We Give Up Writing Checks?

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Aug 08, 2017
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Checking Accounts, Current Events, Question of the Day, Payment Types
For those educators out there still teaching students how to write checks, you have been vindicated! From Bloomberg:  In an era of smartphones, online banking, and Venmo transfers, the U.S. still can’t seem to wean itself off paper checks. In most countries, they’ve gone the way of the fax machine and the rotary telephone. But their demise isn’t coming to America any time soon. Americans still reach for their checkbooks more than anybody else. In 2015, they each made 38...

Infographic: How Do Americans Get Health Insurance?

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Aug 06, 2017
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Insurance, Question of the Day, Current Events
From Visual Capitalist:  Questions: How do most people get their health insurance? Indicate the percentage of people that fit into that category? What percentage of the population is currently uninsured? What do you think are the risks of being uninsured? Do a quick Google search and explain what Medicaid and Medicare are.  Do you think that people who receive their health insurance through their employer have to pay any money out-of-pocket for their medical expenses? _________________...

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...

Research: What's In Your Course Catalog?

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Jul 25, 2017
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Personal Finance, Financial Literacy, Current Events
A team at NGPF is diligently scouring thousands of high school course catalogs this summer to answer the question, “Who has access to a personal finance course?” Look for our research results later this summer. I think that course descriptions are telling in that demonstrate 1) the topics covered in the course and 2) how the instructor is marketing the course to students. Here are 5 of the more dynamic personal finance course descriptions that our crack research team identified:...

For Your Listening Pleasure, The Top 10 NGPF Podcasts

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Jul 25, 2017
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Podcasts, Credit Scores, Credit Cards, Index Funds, Investing, Mutual Funds, Current Events, Credit Reports, Featured Teachers, Entrepreneurship
The NGPF Podcast started almost two years ago (and almost 100 podcast segments later) allowed me to “scratch my own itch.” To anyone who knows me, I love talking finance and since I was young I was always told that I had a voice (and a face) for radio. I thought why not try this “podcasting thing” and see what happens. My thinking was “How much fun would it be to reach out to interesting people, including educators, researchers, columnists, finance experts, authors,...

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To Social Entrepreneur Ted Gonder, Co-Founder of Moneythink

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Jul 24, 2017
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Podcasts, Paying for College, Student Loans, Current Events, Entrepreneurship
I had a great time talking with social entrepreneur, Ted Gonder, who co-founded Moneythink. Moneythink is a non-profit organization helping firstgen high school students navigate “to and through” college. Ted shares what he has learned since starting Moneythink out of his college dorm room at the University of Chicago and his personal odyssey to pursue the “road less traveled.” He discusses the thinking behind the new service delivery model for Moneythink and why the...

Videos, Videos, Videos

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Jul 23, 2017
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Cryptocurrencies, Career, Stocks, Current Events, Video Resource, Entrepreneurship, Retirement
Stumbled upon this video trove on Ozy this morning that had some short, relevant and engaging videos that I thought your students might enjoy. Many of them ask provocative questions that can be good entry points for a class discussion: Future of Money (3:03) In your own words, what is bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies? Why is it popular? What is an example of an “intermediary” in the money business that bitcoin is trying to eliminate? Where do you think that you will keep your...

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: Can Stock-Picking Make You Feel Like A Loser? The Psychology of Investing

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Jul 19, 2017
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Investing, Behavioral Finance, Current Events
Interesting read (about 5 minutes) from Of Dollars and Data that describes why passive investing is less likely to leave you with psychological scars that lead to sub-optimal decision-making: Think of it this way: If you put a sizable portion of your net worth into individual stocks, and those stocks underperform the market, this would challenge your identity. You might start to think that you were a loser because you made a choice that lost you money. This explains why investors tend to sell...

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...

Cartoons: What Can Dilbert Teach Us About Investing?

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Jul 18, 2017
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Cartoons, Research, Index Funds, Investing, Teaching Strategies, Stocks, Current Events
I was doing some research for an upcoming presentation and looking for ways to bring some levity to that “heavy” topic of investing. I didn’t realize that Dilbert could be such a great source of investing advice but I found myself nodding my head in agreement as I enjoyed this series of cartoons: Message: Don’t mistake an increase in the stock price with “pure genius” when your stock pick may have benefitted from an overall increase in the level of the stock...

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