Jun 21, 2018
Behavioral Finance, Video Resource, Investing, Advertising, Financial Scams
I was just introduced to this National Geographic TV show called Brain Games. We watched an episode today and I am hooked. What makes it compelling? It requires active participation on the part of the viewer and provides a heavy dose of behavioral finance. I am queuing up this list to binge watch one lazy summer afternoon (does that exist?), but thought I would share ahead of this weekend in case someone else :) was motivated to send me a few discussion questions (firstname.lastname@example.org) that they would...
Apr 26, 2018
Question of the Day, Financial Scams, Identity Theft, Current Events, Research
Answer: Credit Card Fraud
Why do you think credit card fraud is so easy for scammers to commit?
What are two trends that you can spot from analyzing the chart on the previous page?
If someone steals your credit card and makes purchases, are you “on the hook” to pay for them?
Click here for the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.
Behind the Numbers (FTC's Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2017):
Apr 17, 2018
Financial Scams, Activities, Article, Activity, Behavioral Finance
A great article from Of Dollars and Data that highlights six of the "tried and true" methods that make us susceptible to financial trickery or just plain bad decisions. On the subject of trickery, be sure to check out NGPF's release of SIX NEW Financial Pitfalls Projects that will increase your student's savviness.
So what are the six ways of influence described in the article (with the tag lines he provides):
Authority: Trust me I'm an expert.
Commitment and consistency: Just say...
Apr 15, 2018
Question of the Day, Financial Scams, Research, Current Events
Do you know any one who has been a victim of a financial scam? Explain.
Why do you think that young people are victims of financial fraud more often then senior citizens?
What are some financial scams that you are aware of?
What are strategies you can come up with to avoid scams?
Here's the ready-to-use slides for classroom use.
Behind the numbers (from FTC Data Book):
Of people who reported their age, those aged 20-29 reported...
Apr 12, 2018
Activities, Financial Scams, Policy, Activity
If they won't regulate, we better educate.
Listening to Planet Money podcast (20 minutes) last week about an online lender, Golden Valley Loan, Inc. It was being sued by CFPB for "unfair, deceptive and abusive business practices." Under new CFPB leadership, the lawsuit has been dropped.
So, I went to Golden Valley's website to read the fine print of their short-term, high interest loans to see if I could find the "gotchas."
What a beautiful website...
Here's how they...
Nov 14, 2017
Financial Scams, Personal Finance, Article, Payment Types, Budgeting, Savings
Last week, one of my friends experienced a financial pitfall that most of us only ever hear about and hope to avoid. For the past five months, my friend's monthly rent money was not making it to their landlord because their roommate had been pocketing it. To give some context: most landlords require a single rent check for each unit that they own. To achieve this in a multiple person apartment, one roommate—typically the original or most responsible tenant—usually inherits the...
Oct 31, 2017
Personal Finance, Investing, Credit Cards, Financial Scams
Laura and I were exchanging notes about recent items we received in the mail. We thought it would be a good exercise in having students figure out "What's the catch?" with these financial offers:
From my mailbox (apologies for the poor photo):
What is this a "special invitation for?"
Who is hosting the event? What do you think they are selling?
Why do you think they invite both spouses to attend?
What are examples of how they are using psychological tactics to get me...
Jan 31, 2017
Identity Theft, Activity, Credit Cards, WebQuest, Debit Cards, Current Events, Financial Scams, Activities
I am always amazed when I am searching Google for interesting news stories about credit cards how frequently the articles detail how the “bad guys” manage to steal credit card information. Identity theft can seem like an adult problem to many teens (unless their parents or they have been personally victimized), so I thought this quick WebQuest might bring the topic home to them. I thought it would be interesting to provide an update to my earlier 2015 post titled (apologies to Paul...
Nov 07, 2016
Financial Scams, Career, Current Events, Employment
I was reminded of an earlier blog post (What’s the Catch? Make Lots of Money Working from Home) after seeing this sign at a hotel. A good example of “if it sounds too good to be true…well, it probably is!):
Oct 24, 2016
Behavioral Finance, Question of the Day, Investing, Current Events, Video Resource, Financial Scams, Ethics
From 60 Minutes (14 minute video):
What was the investment idea that burned so many NFL players?
Why do you think the NFL players were so attracted to this idea?
How much money did Mr. Rubin raise for the Country Crossing project?
What were Mr. Rubin’s incentives? Did he make money even if the investment failed? How?
Why did the investment fail?
Based on the fact that some players lost their homes after this investment failed, how much of their wealth do you think they...
Sep 28, 2016
Article, Credit Scores, Credit Cards, Current Events, Credit Reports, Audio Resource, Financial Scams, Ethics
For those of you following the Wells Fargo fake account saga (some Senators might use more choice terms to describe their actions), your probably familiar with the details of millions of fake bank and credit cards that were set-up by overzealous branch employees trying to hit their sales quotas (I posted how this case is emblematic of why consumers better understand the sales incentive structure for financial products).
Hat tip to Jessica Endlich for pointing out the additional harm that may...
Sep 28, 2016
Video Resource, Research, Purchase Decisions, Current Events, Article, Financial Scams
I am flying back from Oklahoma after a great workshop organized by Oklahoma Council of Economic Education (thanks to Amy Lee and team!) and Oklahoma Jump$tart (thanks to Melissa Neal!). Among Oklahoma’s 14 financial literacy standards is this one: “ Understanding the financial impact and consequences of gambling.” I think that this is quite unique among the state standards that I have come across. With that thought still fresh in my mind, this headline caught my attention:...
Sep 14, 2016
Ethics, Activity, Behavioral Finance, Credit Cards, Checking Accounts, Teaching Strategies, Current Events, Article, Financial Scams
You might want to add another question to ask that well-dressed salesperson who is selling you a financial product (or any other product for that matter):
How are you being compensated?
I bring this up as the clouds continue to darken over a certain financial institution who has been in the headlines recently:
Wells Fargo opened a couple million false accounts (Bloomberg)
Wells Fargo fired 5,300 workers for improper sales push. The executive in charge is retiring with $125 million. (Chicago...
Sep 12, 2016
Activity, Budgeting, Identity Theft, Savings, Checking Accounts, Debit Cards, Financial Scams
One trap I am constantly trying to avoid in my work is what I would call the “specialist’s mindset.” It comes from studying a subject for a long period of time and manifests itself in several ways, including heavy use of jargon and terminology. Oh, and it also comes with a belief that everyone somehow has a similar level of knowledge about your specialized topic. This leaves the specialist wondering why you might get a quizzical look when discussing the merits of index...
Jul 18, 2016
Activities, Activity, Behavioral Finance, Purchase Decisions, Financial Scams, Interactive
Hat tip to Charles Kafoglis of Incarnate Word Academy in Houston (and a 2016 NGPF Fellow) for pointing out this Texas Lottery resource to me.
Here’s an idea on how you can use this interactive to create a mini-activity to experience the lottery (at no cost):
Tell students that they are going to calculate their return on investment (ROI) for purchasing lottery tickets over the past 6 months.
The minimum wager for PowerBall is $2 per ticket
There are two drawings per week, so...