Category: Index Funds

QoD: Starbucks vs. Dunkin Donuts: Which company's stock has performed better over the past five years?

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Nov 12, 2019
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Investing, Question of the Day, Stocks, Index Funds
People tend to be pretty vocal about their preferred "go-to" coffee spots.  Who is winning the coffee war (from the investor's perspective)? Answer: Starbucks.  Questions: What factors do you think contribute to the very different market performance of these companies? Starbucks is much larger and has a larger international presence. Do you think those factors are important? Which do you personally prefer? Explain why you prefer it. Would you make an investment decision based on a...

QoD: Which mutual funds have more investor dollars: actively managed funds or index funds?

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Oct 20, 2019
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Question of the Day, Investing, Research, Index Funds, Mutual Funds
This question should be asked as part of your investing unit as it requires some prior knowledge.  Answer: Index Funds Here's the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom. Questions: If you saw an advertisement for a mutual fund that consistently “beats the market” (pick stocks that do better than the overall market), what questions would you ask?  90% of mutual funds that are active and trying to “beat the...

NGPF Podcast: Burton Malkiel discusses his book, Random Walk Down Wall Street, and the index fund revolution that followed

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Sep 20, 2019
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Podcasts, Investing, Index Funds, Personal Finance
In 1973, Prof. Burton Malkiel's Random Walk Down Wall Street hit the bookshelves and the world of investing would never be the same again. Not only did Prof. Malkiel question the conventional wisdom that the "smart Wall Street money" knew best but he also made a revolutionary suggestion: give individual investors an opportunity to "buy the market." The foundation for  the index fund revolution that followed had been laid and Prof. Malkiel would play a leading role. In this NGPF podcast, he...

WSJ Headline: Index Funds Are the New Kings of Wall Street (w/Resources To Teach Your Students Index Funds)

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Sep 19, 2019
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Index Funds, Investing, Podcasts
Index funds (funds that mimic popular stock market indices like the S&P 500) now have more assets under management then active funds trying to "beat the market."  Per the WSJ:  Funds that track broad U.S. equity indexes hit $4.27 trillion in assets as of Aug. 31, according to research firm Morningstar Inc., giving them more money than stock-picking rivals for the first-ever monthly reporting period. Funds that try to beat the market had $4.25 trillion as of that date. The passing...

Have you seen the new "What's New With _________?" posts?

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Aug 31, 2019
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Current Events, Credit Reports, Index Funds, Investing, Credit Cards, Checking Accounts, Career
We all know that things are always changing in the world of Personal Finance. We bring you a weekly reading list of news related to Personal Finance, Economics, and other topics relevant for teachers, but what if you want to hone in on what’s been happening in just one topic? This year, the “What’s New With” series of blogs is a bit different than in the past. We are pulling in fewer articles on each topic, but going into more depth within the blog to explain what has...

Chart of the Week: Why Investment Fees Matter!

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Aug 20, 2019
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Chart of the Week, Investing, Index Funds
From Vanguard: May want to find a way to cover up the ending balances after 30 years.  Question: Two investors start with $100,000 and earn a 6% return per year for 30 years: One chooses a low-cost mutual fund with a cost of 0.25% (a.k.a. expense ratio) that is applied to their invested assets each year. Note that many index funds have even LOWER expense ratios).  The other chooses a higher-cost mutual fund of 0.63%, which is apparently the weighted average expense ratio for U.S....

QoD: How many of the 12 largest companies in 2000 were still one of the largest 12 in 2018?

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May 12, 2019
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Investing, Question of the Day, Stocks, Index Funds
Answer: 4 Exxon Mobil went from #2 to #11 Wal-Mart Stores went from #6 to #12 Microsoft went from #7 to #3 Johnson & Johnson went from #11 to #9 Questions: Compare the list in 2000 to 2018. Write one sentence that describes how the economy has changed in the past 18 years based on changes in the largest companies. Which industries have grown the most?  How many of the top 12 companies on the list in 2018 are you familiar with?  How has the value of the three companies that...

Chart of the Week: Company Lifespan on the S&P 500

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May 07, 2019
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Index Funds, Chart of the Week, Stocks, Investing
From Innosight's research on Creative Destruction: Key insights include: The 33-year average tenure of companies  on the S&P 500 in 1964 narrowed to 24 years by 2016 and is forecast to shrink to just 12 years by 2027 (Chart 1). Record private equity activity, a robust M&A market, and the growth of startups with billion-dollar valuations are leading indicators of future turbulence. A gale force warning to leaders: at the current churn rate, about half of S&P 500 companies...

Interactive Monday: Stock Trading Game a.k.a. Can You Trade Individual Stocks?

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Apr 14, 2019
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Interactive, Stocks, Index Funds
Hat tip to Christian for discovering this interactive from Bloomberg that will get those day traders in your classroom excited.  Here's the game unfolds: A stock price chart for an undisclosed company scrolls across the screen for 30 seconds.  When you want to buy the stock you hold down the touchpad. You release the touchpad when you want to sell.  You have the opportunity to make repeated buy/sell decisions during the course of the 30 seconds.  At the conclusion of the...

Interactive Monday: How Soon Can I Retire?

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Feb 18, 2019
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Interactive, Retirement, Investing, Index Funds
We all know how difficult it is to get kids to think about investing for retirement but also know how important it is to convince them to start investing ASAP given their youth and the magical powers of compound interest. So, what's the hook? What young person doesn't dream of retiring early which is kind of ironic given that many of them have these thoughts before they even have their first job. Stay with me. This focus on early retirement, which has gained more prominence recently with the...

The Psychology of Investing: Avoid Stupid Mistakes, Play STAX

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Feb 12, 2019
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Interactive, Investing, Stocks, Index Funds
Hat tip to Vadas at Abnormal Returns for pointing out this article from Behavioral Investment about why we make stupid investment decisions.  The article lays out nine reasons why normally rational, thoughtful people make what he describes as "sub-optimal" investment decisions. As I read through the list, I realized how our investing game STAX (over 160,000 game plays since November launch) gives students an opportunity to make a lot of stupid decisions which they hopefully will learn from...

2018 Holiday Reading List

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Dec 21, 2018
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Personal Finance, Investing, Index Funds, Student Loans, Economics
Our holiday reading list is a bit longer than our usual list….it will have to last you two weeks! We hope you have a little down time to dig into some of the longer articles on the list. Enjoy your break and Happy Holidays to all!!!   Personal Finance Experian reportedly will begin including utility payments in the credit score calculation, giving millions of people who only use debit cards a credit history/score. (WSJ) With all of the changes in the tax laws for 2018, here is a...

Whipsaw Risk and Investing in Stocks

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Nov 29, 2018
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Investing, Interactive, Index Funds, Behavioral Finance
How do you think recent investors in GE are feeling about their decision? Would you hold on after a monthly drop of 30% in the stock price?  Interesting read from the Capital Speculator here about how investors can be influenced to act impulsively in the early years (I think it could be days) of a new investment. As someone who can speak from experience, there is nothing worse than seeing a recent investment go negative soon after your purchase. The bubble thoughts that start floating...

How Can I F.I.R.E. Up My Students About Retirement?

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Nov 26, 2018
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Retirement, Index Funds, Video Resource, Investing, Savings
Looking for ways to get your students thinking about retirement? Introduce them to the F.I.R.E. Movement! That is the Financial Independence Retire Early Movement. Why do I think this movement is important: It's a counter-narrative to our consumerist society by focusing on extreme savings. We read so many stories about maxed out credit cards, why not expose your students to tales of young people saving 60-70% of their income? It helps students understand the concept of passive income and...

Question of the Day: Over a recent 15 year period, what percent of professionals investing in large companies "beat the market?"

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Nov 12, 2018
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Investing, Behavioral Finance, Index Funds, Mutual Funds
Answer: Only 8% (All Large Cap Funds vs. the benchmark S&P 500) Questions: Why do you think professionals struggle to "beat the market?" Why do you think investors continue to invest their money with professionals despite their record of not being able to "beat the market?" Your friend says "you are better off investing with professionals instead of buying a simple index fund (e.g., S&P 500) that matches the market return." Do you agree or disagree based on the data above?  Click...