Category: Question of the Day

Question: How much free financial aid is lost to families who do not file the FAFSA?

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Oct 18, 2017
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Paying for College, Student Loans, Article, Question of the Day
Answer: $2.3 billion The confluence of FAFSA season upon us (you could file beginning on October 1st) and our team working on an upcoming Question of the Day release is what led to the question that is the subject of this post.  From Quartz:  The US government awards federal, state, and institutional money every year to students who fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and meet certain household-income qualifications. But if students don’t...

Question of the Day: Do More Americans Prefer Spending or Saving?

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Oct 16, 2017
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Question of the Day, Savings, Purchase Decisions
Here's what Gallup found (and I was surprised by the results): 59% prefer to save money! Questions: Which do you prefer?  Why do you think more people prefer saving to spending?  Why does America have such a low savings rate despite the fact a majority of people prefer saving over spending? ----------------- Interested in more savings activities? Check out this page on the NGPF website!   ...

Chart: What Are The Mental Mistakes We Make And Why Do We Make Them?

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Oct 09, 2017
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Current Events, Chart of the Week, Behavioral Finance, Research, Question of the Day
Answer (from Visual Capitalist): There's a lot of them (and that's what makes us human). This chart shows all 188 cognitive biases we have (click for higher-res version): Questions: Chose 3 of the cognitive biases on the outside part of the circle (there are 20 of them) that you think you are most prone too. Give examples of times that these cognitive biases have crept into your thinking. Here are a few examples: We tend to find stories and patterns even when looking at sparse data: "I heard...

Can The Dow Jones Really Hit 1,000,000 in a Century? Will Warren Buffett's Prediction Come True?

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Oct 02, 2017
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Question of the Day, Math, Index Funds, Activities
A good math exercise (or spreadsheet activity) that also teaches students about a popular stock market index and the power of compounding. It starts with a simple question: Do you think the Dow Jones Industrial Average will hit a 1,000,000 in one hundred years? From MarketWatch: Doubling, even tripling on that belief that U.S. stocks are the best long-term bet around, he tossed in a fairly bullish call. Buffett said he expects the Dow Jones Industrial Average to be ”over 1 million”...

Activity Idea: What Do You Wish You Knew About Money When You Were 18?

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Oct 02, 2017
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Parent Conversations, Personal Finance, Activities, Activity, Current Events, Question of the Day
I am always looking for ways to engage students and their parents (and guardians or grandparents or older relatives) in conversations about money. This activity idea came from this article in FT (subscription) which was written by an intern and titled...yes, you guessed it, "What I Wish I Knew About Money When I Was 18." The intern asked reporters and other financial experts to share their sage advice. Here's a sampling of what they said: "Young people have to understand that they need skills....

What Company Has Created The Most Wealth Since 1926?

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Sep 25, 2017
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Investing, Stocks, Chart of the Week, Question of the Day
And the winner is.....Apple at almost $1 TRILLION! Great chart from NY Times shows the 50 companies that created the most wealth in the last 90 years (size of the circles is based on the company's compound annualized stock return): Questions: In your own words, how does the graph measure wealth creation?  In looking at the wealth created by companies that have been publicly traded for less than thirty years, what industry are most of the companies operating in?  Which ten companies...

Chart: What's The Cost of Living In Your Community?

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Sep 25, 2017
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Chart of the Week, Budgeting, Question of the Day
Another great interactive map from Visual Capitalist (CEO Jeff Desjardins recently appeared on NGPF podcast) showing the relative value of $100 in communities across the U.S. (go directly to the map on the website which will allow you to scroll over to get information on your specific metro areas):   Questions: Which states/regions seem to have lowest cost of living (where $100 is worth the most)?  Which states/regions seem to have highest cost of living (where $100 is worth the...

Question: Why Are Soft Skills So Important in the Workplace?

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Sep 22, 2017
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Career, Current Events, Employment, Question of the Day
Tim: In the course of two days, I had three educators approach me to ask whether we had any activities or ideas to help their students develop the "soft skills" to thrive in today's workplace. So, we did what we always do and developed a game plan to create one. In the meantime, Danielle took the initiative (a "soft skill") to write a blog post with useful resources for educators ------------------ Danielle's post: More and more, employers are seeking to hire those who have “soft...

Question: What's Your Tolerance for Risk?

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Sep 21, 2017
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Investing, Stocks, Index Funds, Article, Question of the Day
One of the most fundamental questions when creating an investment plan is assessing how one feels about risk, or to put it more specifically, how does one feel about losing money. If you feel the need to check your investment portfolio every hour or so fearing an incipient crash, well you might not do well with a 100% stock portfolio. Similarly if you are a buy and hold (and forget) type, and you understand the value of long-term investing and bought more stock in 2008 when the stock market...

Question: Should You Take that Pay Raise If It Bumps You To Higher Tax Bracket?

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Sep 20, 2017
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Taxes, Question of the Day
Answer: Yes. Apparently this is one of the biggest misconceptions that folks have about our tax system. Marketplace.org takes it from here (3:38 audio): -------- Looking for more NGPF Tax Resources? Go To Tax Page to see tax resources including lessons, activities and questions of the day. ...

Question: What Are Workers Most Satisfied About Their Work?

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Sep 18, 2017
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Career, Employment, Question of the Day
Before throwing this chart up on the screen, you might ask students who work what they are most and least satisfied about when it comes to their jobs. Then they will have a comparison set to compare with the chart below.  Interesting survey data from the Conference Board (hat tip to the Big Picture Blog):     Questions: How did your answers compare to this survey data? Are there any topics you had on your answer that didn't appear on the survey (e.g., compensation)? Overall,...

Who Invests in the Stock Market (By State)?

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Sep 08, 2017
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Stocks, Research, Current Events, Question of the Day, Chart of the Week
Hat tip to Big Picture Blog which had a post from a few St. Louis Fed researchers showing how stock market participation varies by state even when taking into account income levels: Here's a chart showing how participation levels vary based on income level and highlights the state with the highest participation (Connecticut) and lowest participation levels (Mississippi):  Questions for students: Average household income in the U.S. is around $50,000. What percentage of...

To Extend The Warranty or Not To Extend The Warranty; That Is The Question

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Sep 07, 2017
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Insurance, Current Events, Question of the Day
Thanks to NGPF Fellow, Brian Johnson for this recent post on this fundamental question about a popular form of insurance:  This story actually begins in 2000 when flat screen TVs were starting to replace the big tube TVs.  In purchasing my first flat screen TV I did the unthinkable…I bought an extended warranty plan!  What I received was an education and confidence that would save me money in the future. Sure enough, that TV went out with about two months left on the...

What Were The Top 20 Best Selling Toys on Amazon in May?

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Sep 06, 2017
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Current Events, Question of the Day, Purchase Decisions
Answer: Toys related to or similar in nature to fidget spinners.  From the Economist:  The fad started in America in February. By May, all 20 of the top-selling toys on Amazon, an online retailer, were either fidget spinners or fidget cubes, a close relation. There have been many such crazes—who can forget the great loom-band mania of 2014?—but none that spread as fast. Frédérique Tutt, an analyst of the global toy market for NPD, a data company, says that it...

Question: What's the Probability That You Will Live to 100?

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Aug 30, 2017
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Question of the Day, Savings, Research, Current Events, Investing
Talking about investing for retirement may seem abstract to your students, but what if you framed it from a longevity perspective? Do you want to prepare your financial life knowing that you could live to 100? This MarketWatch article provided some actuarial tables showing the probability of living to 100 for different age groups: So students in your class have a not too insignificant chance of making it to 100 (6.1% for men who are 25 today and 10.2% for women of the same age). Ah, the powers...

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