Date Filter: 2014/09/

Sometimes the Simple Solution… : How to Think About Investing (Fun With Spreadsheets)

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Sep 30, 2014
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Personal Finance, Lesson Idea, Index Funds, Investing, Mutual Funds
Investing is hard to teach.  Talk to personal finance teachers and ask them what concept they find most challenging to teach to high school students and many will tell you it is investing.  How can you possibly cover a landscape that encompasses thousands of stocks, thousand of mutual funds, not to mention that other staple, bonds?  There are so many choices for you to teach (but also for investors to choose from), that it is easy to feel overwhelmed.  No surprise that the market for...

What’s the Catch? Identity Theft Monitoring Services

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Sep 30, 2014
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Credit Cards, Identity Theft, Personal Finance, Lesson Idea
Home Depot, Target, insert almost any retailer here.  Stories of data breaches abound so interest in credit monitoring or identity protection services are also growing.  Which makes the story this week about a fine levied on U.S. Bank all the more interesting. Audio here: Here are the details (from Marketplace): The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau just fined U.S. Bank in connection with identity protection and credit monitoring services it was selling. Customers were charged for credit...

Top 5 September Posts on Next Gen Personal Finance Blog

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Sep 30, 2014
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Personal Finance
Here’s what people were reading this month: Question of the Day: What do High School Students Spend Most of Their Money On? Question of the Day: Would You Rather Have $1,000,000 or Double Your Money Every Day for 30 Days Starting With A Penny? The Changing Nature of Investing: How Should We Rethink Teaching Our Students? Question of the Day (and Current Event too!): What Does the Federal Reserve Do? You Can’t Get this Credit Card Unless You Pass this Quiz! Always interested to hear how...

Credit Card Trends

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Sep 30, 2014
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Budgeting, Credit Cards, Identity Theft, Personal Finance
Your next debit card will likely be “chipped.”  Bank of America leading the way (MarketWatch) Bank of America Corp. is the first major U.S. bank to issue debit cards with chip technology, a move that other banks are sure to follow, according to financial industry experts.  The bank says it already offers the chips on credit cards and will issue cards with chips when replacing expired cards and to new customers. Watch out for those charges on your credit card (WSJ): When consumers sign...

Question of the Day: What Is The Lifetime Value of A College Education (By Major)?

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Sep 30, 2014
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Career, Paying for College, Policy, Question of the Day, Research
Another Question of the Day! I have been waiting for a resource like this to demonstrate to students how lifetime earnings can vary significantly based on the major they select in college.  In other words, not all college degrees are created equally.  The Hamilton Project is out with a database showing lifetime earnings for 80 college majors.  They have an excellent interactive tool that allows students to select various majors (and types of degrees) and compare lifetime earnings for each of...

Question of the Day: Why Are Fewer People Going to College?

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Sep 30, 2014
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Career, Paying for College, Question of the Day
Good opportunity to engage students in some critical thinking including interpreting data and reasoning skills as well as understanding the value of a college degree. The chart above shows the downward trend.  PBS NewsHour highlights the factors at work here: Strengthening economy and more jobs reduce flow to colleges.  The opposite occurs in a down economy. This slight decrease follows boom of 3.2 million students between 2006-2011. Sharper reduction in 2 year colleges where enrollment...

Activity: Mindfulness In Personal Finance

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Sep 30, 2014
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Activity, Behavioral Finance
Reading this NYT article about mindfulness and how reflecting for even a few milliseconds about a purchase can influence our decision-making.  Here’s the research: A recent study by Tobias Teichert and Jack Grinband discovered that “postponing the onset of the decision process by as little as 50 to 100 milliseconds enables the brain to focus attention on the most relevant information and block out irrelevant distractors.” By postponing the decision process you are putting “some space”...

Question of the Day: What’s Happening with Checking Fees? Hint: They Are Not Going Down.

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Sep 29, 2014
Bankrate released survey today on banking fees.  Good opportunity for students to reinforce their understanding of key checking fee terms.  Here are the highlights from USA Today: Out of network ATM fees and Overdraft Fees are surging: The average fee for using an out-of-network ATM climbed 5% the past year to a new high of $4.35 per transaction, according to a survey released Monday by Bankrate.com.  Overdraft fees also surged, rising on average the past 12 months to $32.74. That’s the...

Featured NGPF Lesson: Budgeting

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Sep 29, 2014
Our Next Gen Personal Finance unit on Budgeting is unique for a lot of reasons. First, the entire unit is based on an in-class assignment that Tim’s successfully executed many times in his personal finance classes. Students loved it, so we took that single project– students design a post-graduation budget for themselves– and transformed it into an entire unit. In Lesson 6.1 Budgeting Basics, students learn some fundamentals of employment, such as the difference between gross and net pay...

Schools in the News

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Sep 26, 2014
A round-up on news around the country about high schools and their personal finance programs: Rockford High School (MI) requiring all seniors to take personal finance class beginning with Class of 2016 (Mlive): Rockford High School senior Derek Scholl thought it would be a smart move to take a personal finance course to learn how to manage his money before heading to college.  “I really want to learn about finances and how to take care of my money,” said Scholl, 17, on Thursday, Sept. 11,...

Behavioral Finance At Work: Why Don’t People Refinance Their Mortgages?

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Sep 26, 2014
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Mortgages
I know that it is hard to engage students about mortgages or explain how or why to refinance, so I file this post under:  a reminder that the world is messy and we are not the economically rational beings always acting in our best interest.  Fascinating paper studied why mortgage holders who would have benefited from a refinance at lower interest rate chose not to.  This chart tells the story by graphically displaying the value of savings that households were giving up by not...

Investment Game: Who’s The Best Investor?

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Sep 25, 2014
Hat tip to NJCFE Financial Capability Upgrade Webinar yesterday.  Learned about a quick, easy to implement game with a key takeaway about investing. The simulation works something like this: Ask for a coin The flip of the coin will determine if the market is going up (Heads) or down (Tails) Ask all students to stand up Let them know that they are all financial advisors pulling in $100,000 per year and that their clients are counting on them to increase their wealth.  If they do well, they...

Lesson Brainstorm: How to Protect Against Credit Card Fraud?

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Sep 25, 2014
Home Depot’s massive credit card breach (over 50 million accounts impacted) offers an opportunity to teach your students about how they can protect their own identities as the hackers get more sophisticated.  First, what happened at Home Depot? From NY Times Bits Blog: Home Depot confirmed on Monday that hackers had broken into its in-store payments systems, in what could be the largest known breach of a retail company’s computer network. The retailer said the exact number of customers...

Credit Card Rate Reductions and Fee Waivers: Sometimes You Just Have to Ask…

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Sep 25, 2014
I love articles that provide common-sense tactics to help consumers save money.  Given the competitive environment for many financial services, don’t be afraid to negotiate lower fees and/or rates.  Credit cards provide a good example where such negotiating can work.  Survey results (and my personal experience) show that asking your credit card company to lower your interest rate or waive that late payment fee works.  From Creditcards.com: The survey of 983 credit card holders found...

Power of Storytelling: A Savings Story

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Sep 25, 2014
We all know the power of a good story.  For a great example of this, check out Steve Jobs Commencement Address at Stanford back in 2005.  I bet those stories he tells will stick with you for a while.  So, how can we tell a story that will make it clear to students that saving is the key to incredible wealth? Here are two that provide an incredible contrast and show that it is not how much you earn that matters but how much you save (also great message about giving back also)! First, Osceola...

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