Mar 30, 2018

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To Entrepreneurial Educator, Brian Bean of Tomball Memorial High School (TX)

Brian Bean definitely took the road less traveled—though not always of his own accord—to become a teacher. After a Ponzi scheme he invested in went bust, he vowed to teach the younger generation about money management. What his students simulate in his classroom economy at Tomball Memorial High School (TX) will undoubtedly be situations they face in the “real world,” and Brian wants to prepare them as best he can. This personal finance math teacher extraordinaire has even gone one step further, taking his real world class model and developing it into a business for other teachers across the country to use in their classrooms. Get ready to be inspired!


  • 0:00–0:44 Introduction
  • 0:45–4:18 The town of Tomball
  • 4:19–6:50 Brian Bean, financial math teacher extraordinaire
  • 7:31–10:31 How his personal financial debacle inspired him to teach
  • 10:32–12:53 How scammers used their lives to “billboard” and attract clients
  • 12:54–15:30 Ponzi schemes are a one-trick pony
  • 15:31–18:21 Trust, but verify
  • 18:22–21:25 How to teach the personal aspect in personal finance
  • 21:26–27:38 A day in the life of a classroom economy
  • 27:39–28:05 A word from NGPF
  • 28:06–33:08 Money management experts in the making
  • 33:09–39:10 Ironing out the wrinkles in Brian’s business entity
  • 39:11–42:12 Next up: creating a healthcare marketplace
  • 42:13–46:29 “Growing slow is the goal”
  • 46:30–47:09 Conclusion

Resources mentioned: 

Notable Quotes:

  • “You can approach this aftermath as a victim and understand that, if that’s the case, you will always be vulnerable to being a victim. You need to look back and identify the choices that you made that lead to the vulnerability.”
  • “The biggest problem in education is not that personal finance is being ignored conceptually… that’s not the issue. The problem in my mind is that the focus is on what to do and how to do it. What’s being neglected is the concept of why. What’s being neglected is the behavioral application of making meaningful choices.”
  • “The greatest educational experiences you will ever have are a direct result of your own choices.”

Financial Literacy Month offer

  • Brian would like to offer anyone interested in the Real-World Classroom a 1-year site license for free

About the Authors

Danielle Bautista

Danielle is a native of Southern California and a recent graduate from the University of Maine, where she braved the frigid winters—a feat in and of itself—and earned her Bachelor's degree in International Affairs. She has a passion for working with non-profit organizations and serving populations in underprivileged communities. When Danielle isn't writing NGPF blog posts, spearheading various outreach projects, or managing contests and flash surveys, you can find her doing some sort of outdoor activity, learning a new hobby, or cracking what she thinks are witty puns!

Tim Ranzetta

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.

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