Date Filter: 2015/3/

Activity Idea: Call-In With Your Questions

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Mar 31, 2015
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Activity, Personal Finance, Audio Resource
Listening to this call-in show about financial literacy got me thinking about ways to replicate this in the classroom.  Here is one idea on how you might set this up: All students write down 1-2 personal finance questions that they have that are relevant to their lives. Collect all the questions and find the 6-7 questions that are most prevalent. Assign one of these 6-7 questions to each student so in a class of 21, there might be 3 students trying to answer the same question. Students...

What Percentage of Americans Have an Emergency Fund? Are Saving for Retirement?

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Mar 31, 2015
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Behavioral Finance, Question of the Day, Research, Investing, Savings, Current Events, Chart of the Week
Answer:  63% From USA Today: Questions to stimulate classroom discussion: What do you think is an appropriate headline for the pie chart?  For the bar chart? In looking at the percentage of each age group saving for retirement, which group would benefit the most from the impact of compound interest? What is the appropriate size of an emergency fund?  Why do you think an emergency fund is important? Aside from personal savings for retirement, what are other income sources for people in...

Chart of the Week: Is It Easy To Get A Loan?

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Mar 31, 2015
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Mortgages, Question of the Day, Research, Credit Cards, Current Events, Chart of the Week
From Quartz: Interesting chart showing rejection rates by loan type over the past 18 months.  It provides an effective way to show the difference between secured (mortgage and auto loans) and unsecured loans (credit cards) and why lenders think differently about them.  Here are a few questions to ask students: 1.  What loans have the lowest rejection rates (rejection means the lender says “no”)?  Why do you think this is the case? 2.  What loans have the highest rejection rates (are...

How Many of These Credit Card Myths Do Your Students Believe?

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Mar 31, 2015
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Credit Scores, Activity, Question of the Day, Credit Cards
Before kicking off your credit card unit, see how many of these myths your students believe.   Put these six statements on a handout and ask students to answer TRUE or FALSE (from Christian Science Monitor):   Credit cards are dangerous and should be avoided. Credit cards are for purchasing things you can’t afford to buy otherwise. Credit card debt is not that urgent. Checking your credit score lowers your credit score. There is no penalty for maxing out your card. Opening many accounts...

The Relationship between Bonds, Interest Rates, and #NationalReadingMonth

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Mar 31, 2015
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Personal Finance, Investing, Article
It’s here — my final day of blogging about nonfiction personal finance readings for #NationalReadingMonth. It’s been a fun intro to blogging for me, and I succeeded in posting on 14 of the 19 days since I put the plan into action. Busy work + busy home life meant I missed a few chances. Anyway,  today, on my final day, I feature… Relationship between Bonds & Interest Rates I know what you’re thinking: Why on earth did she choose the driest topic imaginable for...

Before You Sign Up for That New Checking Account That Your College is Recommending…

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Mar 31, 2015
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Personal Finance
From Center for Responsible Lending: Some colleges and banks enter into exclusive agreements to offer students checking accounts – usually these accounts come furnished with a debit card that prominently displays the school logo and can sometimes be used as student ID. For banks, these exclusive agreements mean a captive audience for their bank products (checking accounts, credit card accounts) and usually a customer for life. Studies suggest that banks are a “sticky” product – once a...

Pay your credit card on time!!! But what if you don't?

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Mar 30, 2015
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Credit Scores, Activity, Credit Cards, Personal Finance, Credit Reports, Article
OK, #1 rule is pay all your bills on time. I mean, I guess you could argue that there are other more important rules, but I’d say “Pay all your bills on time” has to be pretty far up on everyone’s list. But what happens if you do, indeed, miss a credit card payment? What Happens If I Don’t Pay My Credit Cards? What is it? This somewhat lengthy article walks you through every subsequent consequence of not paying your credit card bill on time, starting with what to do...

Once You've Earned a Scholarship, You've Got to Keep It!

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Mar 27, 2015
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Paying for College, Personal Finance, Student Loans, Article
Happy Friday, everyone. National Reading Month (March) is winding down in favor of April, which is Financial Literacy Month! WOOT WOOT! It’s about to be our month!!! Until then, here’s another highlight from our huge collection of nonfiction articles… Mistakes That Will Cost You a College Scholarship What is it? A Time magazine article about three problems to avoid once you’ve got a college scholarship so you can be sure to keep the college scholarship. Why is it...

Activity: Before You Make That Decision…Consult Your Future Self

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Mar 27, 2015
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Activity, Behavioral Finance, Research, Budgeting, Investing, Current Events, Audio Resource
In this era of immediate gratification, it is often difficult to think even days or months ahead..forget about years ahead in the future (which may explain why we do such a poor job of saving for retirement). Marketplace’s David Brancaccio (article + 4 minute audio resource) to the rescue with an idea that neuroscientists think should help our myopia:  interview your future self.  Let them explain: If there is no cure, some exercises may help. Professor Kable said even brief reveries...

Question: What Is A Housing Bubble?

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Mar 27, 2015
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Behavioral Finance, Question of the Day, Budgeting, Investing, Current Events, Video Resource
Many of the students in your class may have first-hand experience with the housing bubble.  Now a story from PBS NewsHour (8 minute video) is suggesting that bubbles may be inflating again in certain Florida markets. Here are some questions to ask your students to look for in this piece: What is a “bubble”?  What types of investments may be susceptible to “bubbles?” What evidence does the reporter use to prove that a bubble currently exists? Why did rents rise after the housing...

Would You Invest With This 17 Year Old Hedge Fund Manager?

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Mar 27, 2015
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Question of the Day, Investing, Stocks, Video Resource
From Fox Business: Video here ————— Good opportunity to discuss the following with your students: What is a hedge fund? How has his hedge fund performed?  How would his return compare to the overall market during this period? Do you find his thesis about health care stocks to be compelling? Would you invest with him?  Why or why not? ...

Question: How Can I Become a 401(k) Millionaire?

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Mar 27, 2015
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Activity, Question of the Day, Research, Investing, Stocks, Current Events
Good activity idea from a Fortune article that picks apart the research from Fidelity about the traits of 401(k) millionaires. The reporter has an axe to grind which is apparent: This, of course, runs counter to some of the articles that some (including me) have written about 401(k)s. I once called 401(k)s a “lousy idea, a financial flop, a rotten repository for our retirement reserves.” But if 401(k)s are now minting millionaires, maybe I was wrong. And hey, I have a 401(k) that has far...

How Do I Create A Budget?

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Mar 27, 2015
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Question of the Day, Budgeting
I spent some time with a friend this week who wanted to figure out a way to save more.  As I read this basic article from LiveMint about the keys to budgeting, I kept nodding my head as it aligned well with the conversation I had. Here are the five keys to successful budgeting: Set goals and targets.  For my friend, the concrete goal we set was to establish an emergency fund of 6-9 months of expenses.  While she had minimal debt, she hadn’t built up a cash reserve and felt that this would...

Question: Why Do Consumers Switch Banks?

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Mar 27, 2015
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Question of the Day, Research, Checking Accounts, Current Events
Good article from Kiplinger’s about why consumers switch banks.  It provides a excellent list of factors (mostly fees) that  consumers should consider before opening their first checking account too. Here are the six factors listed: Monthly service fees ATM fees Overdraft fees Minimum balance requirements Low rates on interest-bearing accounts Customer service The article also describes different banking alternatives available to consumers including national banks, local banks, credit...

Question: What Are the Trends with Mobile Banking?

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Mar 27, 2015
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Question of the Day, Research, Checking Accounts, Payment Types, Chart of the Week
From WSJ Real-Time Economics Blog: Questions for students who can read the short article accompanying this chart: What headline would you make for this chart showing usage of mobile banking and mobile payments? What factors do you think are driving these trends? Are you surprised that the numbers aren’t higher?  What might lead consumers to be cautious about using their mobile phones to make bank transactions? —————- Check out the NGPF lesson on Mobile Banking ...

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