What I'm Reading This Weekend
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 chart that from St. Louis Federal Reserve showing subprime population at county level. Great discussion starter about economic trends in your local community.
- This is exactly what happens when you invest your money in a tracker (index) fund (Telegraph) describes the mechanics of how an index fund works from inside the London offices of Vanguard. Another great method to bring this concept of index funds to life for students.
- Any readers of the blog know how much I hate predictions (lack of accuracy, biases predictors, etc) but Jack Bogle, founder of Vanguard and still going strong in his late 80s is someone worth listening to. Here are Jack Bogle's 5 Bold Investment Predictions for 2018.
- Hat tip to Big Picture Blog (WSJ is source) showing how Bitcoin price rise compares with other investing manias. See chart at end of post for the stratospheric rise (watch out below!)
- Here's Mark Cuban's adds his two cents (thanks Beth!) on bitcoin (from Yahoo Finance): Bitcoin is more of a collectible than a currency.
- Bloomberg reporter's describes what is driving these crazy price swings in Bitcoin: What Leonardo Tells You About Bitcoin
- Looking for a new gift idea that young people in your lives will love? Here's an article from MarketWatch, Help your children save for college and pay down student debt, that has some good ideas.
- An NBER working party found that American students try harder if you pay them, economists found. Are performance test results measuring aptitude or effort/motivation? Could a cash reward for results change the outcome? Sally Sadoff, et al, report results of a study measuring just that.
- As someone who remembers Lotus 1-2-3 and lamented the day when Excel overtook them as the predominant spreadsheet application, it seems times they are a changin'. This WSJ article describes finance chiefs telling their staffs NOT to use Excel. Is it an indictment about spreadsheets overall or just the weaknesses of Excel? Read and find out.
- Curious about machine learning and artificial intelligence that you have been seeing everywhere? Here's a new approach described in the NY Times to make machines even smarter: A New Way for Machines to See, Taking Shape in Toronto
From the Fed
- Want to know more about what the new Fed Chairman, Jerome Powell, has in mind when he takes the reins? This briefer from Dealbook summarizes his recent Senate Confirmation hearing.
- Jonathan Clements (hear him on NGPF podcast here and here) blogs about self-determination theory to explain the link between money and happiness. My favorite phrase in his post: "....money can allow us to spend our days doing what we’re passionate about."
- CFPB's Financial Wellbeing Survey (report link) has an interactive tool so you can measure your own financial well-being. Key finding of the study:
More than 40 percent of adults report struggling to make ends meet: Of the nationally representative sample of consumers surveyed, 43 percent of consumers report struggling to pay bills. Additionally, over one third—34 percent—of all consumers surveyed reported experiencing material hardships in the past year. For the survey, examples of material hardships include running out of food, not being able to afford a place to live, or lacking the money to seek medical treatment.
About the Authors
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 $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.
Beth Tallman entered the working world armed with an M.B.A. in finance and thoroughly enjoyed her first career working in manufacturing and telecommunications, including a stint overseas. She took advantage of an involuntary separation to try teaching high school math, something she had always dreamed of doing. When fate stepped in once again, Beth jumped on the opportunity to combine her passion for numbers, money, and education to develop curriculum and teach personal finance at Oberlin College. Beth now spends her time writing on personal finance and financial education, conducting student workshops, and developing finance curricula and educational content. She is also the Treasurer of Ohio Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy.
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