Category: Purchase Decisions

Tempted to Play The Powerball Lottery? Try These NGPF Resources To Encourage Student Reflection.

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Jun 27, 2017
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Current Events, Activity, Behavioral Finance, Research, Purchase Decisions, Activities
I meant to post this earlier this month after the news of the $448 million Powerball Lottery winner from California: There is at least one winning ticket for Saturday’s $447.8 million Powerball jackpot, and California Lottery has confirmed that it was purchased in Southern California. The ticket was sold in Sun City in Riverside County, according to the lottery. It is unclear if there are winning tickets in other states. The numbers drawn were 32, 26, 20, 38, 58. The Powerball was 3....

Question: Will You Own A Car in the Future?

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Jun 22, 2017
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Article, Question of the Day, Research, New Products, Purchase Decisions, Current Events, Chart of the Week
Interesting WSJ article (subscription) highlights how dramatically the concept of car ownership is changing in light of current ride-sharing trends and the potential for autonomous vehicles in the future. Here’s a graph that shows how new car buying has slowed dramatically among younger Americans: Other key points from this article (about a 5 minute read): 1/4 of miles driven may be through shared, self-driving vehicles by 2030: “Car ownership, for a long time, has symbolized...

Chart: Have You Bought Any Amazon Batteries Lately?

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Jun 21, 2017
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Purchase Decisions, Question of the Day, Chart of the Week
This chart below is striking fear into the hearts of branded packaged goods providers (think Pampers, Duracell, Kleenex). Why? In a short period of time, Amazon has become a leading online “private-label” supplier of common products like batteries (#1) and baby wipes (#3). Since Amazon owns the final click to the customer, collects oodles of customer data and controls the shopping experience, it is easy for them to work with a manufacturer, slap their name on the product and provide...

The Retail Industry Changed Last Week...NGPF Has Resources Aligned To These Current Events

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Jun 18, 2017
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Current Events, Career, Index Funds, Investing, Financial Literacy, Stocks, Purchase Decisions, Economics
This has been a big week of news related to the Retail Industry in the U.S., with implications for the economy, jobs, shoppers, and investors. This post will explain the big events for the week, their implications for you and your students while also providing activities and lessons that are aligned to these current events. What’s Happening? US Retail Sales declined month-over-month in May, suffering its biggest decline in 16 months.  Coupled with lower inflation, this data suggests...

Shopping In The Amazon Era

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Jun 08, 2017
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Budgeting, Research, Purchase Decisions
A fella two rows back from me on my flight today was lamenting the fall of Sears. He hadn’t shopped there in a while and was surprised how far and how fast the retail experience at their stores had declined. As more and more shopping moves from “bricks and mortar” to online, we better start developing a new skill set for shoppers. You will see one example of what can go wrong with online shopping described below. But before we get to that, here are some stats showing the...

Article: How Online Shopping Makes Suckers of Us All

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May 15, 2017
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Article, Behavioral Finance, Research, Budgeting, Purchase Decisions, Current Events, Ethics
Rather long (about 15 minute read) but intriguing article from The Atlantic that provides great context for trends that I have blogged about the growth of online shopping (here and here). The article describes how in this era of “big data” retailers are harnessing consumer information to price discriminate and obliterate the concept of a fixed price. Here are a few excerpts: Death of fixed price: “This could be seen as the final stage of decay of the old one-price system....

Trends: What Do You Buy Online?

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May 14, 2017
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Chart of the Week, Question of the Day, Research, Purchase Decisions, Current Events
Ask your students which of the following items they tend to purchase online: Books? Toys? Electronics? Clothing? Food and Beverage? See how their answers line up with current and expected online sales trends are for each of these categories. Notice how online sales are expected to continue to gain on “bricks and mortar” sales:  More details from the Economist: The share of retail shopping done online jumped from 5.1% in 2011 to 8.3% last year. That figure disguises the damage...

Audio Resource: How Does Our Spending Reflect Our Values?

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May 01, 2017
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Behavioral Finance, Question of the Day, Research, Teaching Strategies, Purchase Decisions, Video Resource, Audio Resource, Podcasts
Just done listening to this 28 minute Hidden Brain podcast “Money Talks” which asks such provocative questions such as: Would you buy clothing from a department store if you knew the apparel was made in a sweatshop? If you have a choice between a local coffee shop and a national chain, which would you choose? Does how a company treats its employees (e.g, Uber) or customers (e.g., United) factor into your purchasing decision? I also learned a new term listening to this...

Chart of the Week: What Are Your Two Favorite Platforms for Watching "Television?"

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Apr 19, 2017
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Budgeting, Research, Payment Types, Purchase Decisions, Current Events, Chart of the Week
  The answer to this question has budgetary implications given how the cost differential between the platforms. If you are a millennial, your top four platforms, based on a recent survey, are: Netflix Cable TV Hulu Amazon Prime Hat tip to VisualCapitalist for this infographic:  Questions for your students: What are your two favorite platforms to watch television? How about your parents/guardians? What are top rated platforms for millennials? for non-millennials? How do they differ?...

Interactive: What Do Consumers Spend Their Money On?

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Apr 04, 2017
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Activity, Question of the Day, Research, Budgeting, Purchase Decisions, Current Events, Math, Activities, Excel activities, Interactive
If you are a data geek, you will love this interactive tool/data visualization from Flowing Data (be sure to click on the link to take advantage of the interactive nature of the tool): Let me provide some context for what you are looking at. Here are the data sources: The Bureau of Labor Statistics (using data collected by the Census Bureau) estimates spending patterns over time and across demographics, through the Consumer Expenditure Survey. BLS released midyear estimates today. Spending on...

Question: Can You Really Build Wealth Earning The Minimum Wage?

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Apr 02, 2017
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Current Events, Index Funds, Savings, Purchase Decisions
Thought-provoking infographic from Visual Capitalist. I like the question because the knee jerk reaction to the question would be “of course not.” The infographic lists 10 ways to be able to build wealth while earning a low wage. Frankly these tips work for people at all income strata which is why I am including it here. Some questions for your students: What cost item is most important in influencing your ability to create wealth? Would you consider the area you live to be a cheap...

Podcast: How Does Scarcity (Time, Money, Relationships) Impact Our Brain?

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Mar 28, 2017
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Behavioral Finance, Research, Purchase Decisions, Current Events, Video Resource, Audio Resource
Thanks for my friend Dan Mennel for pointing this podcast out to me: Hidden Brain: Tunnel Vision (Episode 65, 36:34) What I like about this podcast: The first fifteen minutes of the podcast deal with the issue of money scarcity and describe how our brains are wired to handle it and how our responses often meet short-term needs at the expense of our long-term goals. From Hidden Brain website: When you’re hungry, it can be hard to think of anything other than food. When you’re...

Articles: The History of the Department Store and the Modern Day Department Store Destroyer

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Mar 27, 2017
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Article, Research, Budgeting, Investing, Purchase Decisions, Current Events, Entrepreneurship
Two articles that I thought your students might enjoy since shopping seems top of mind for many teens. I think these would be particularly good as a supplement for your investing or entrepreneurship lessons. One article describes the rise of the department store (Inventing the Department Store in Barrons; about 5 minutes reading) and the other describes the modern day Leviathan that is destroying department stores and other competitors too (Amazon: Primed from the Economist (three articles...

Video: Suburbs and Cities: Why Do We Live Where We Do?

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Mar 22, 2017
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Budgeting, Mortgages, Research, Purchase Decisions, Video Resource
Hat tip to Big Picture blog who brought this well produced and engaging 10 minute video to my attention. It provides an historical perspective on how cities developed and the factors that determine where people live in in the U.S. compared to Europe. This would be a good supplement to your budgeting lesson as housing costs tend to be the largest expense so where you live is consequential: Questions for students: Why did cities in Europe develop differently than those in the U.S.? Where do rich...

Question: What Percentage of High School Seniors Have A Driver's License?

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Mar 13, 2017
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Question of the Day, Research, Budgeting, Purchase Decisions, Current Events, Chart of the Week, Insurance
Answer (from Pew Charitable Trust): 71.5%, a significant decline from 85.3% in 1996. See chart below the line: Questions for students: Do you have a driver’s license? Why or why not? What year do you see the biggest decline? What might explain why it dropped so much that year? Why do you think fewer high school seniors are getting driver’s licenses? One cause might be the sharp increase in car insurance rates. When do you plan to purchase your first car? Is this older or...

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