Videos: What Was Considered Good Financial Advice In the 1940s and 50s?

Jan 23, 2017
Video Resource, Budgeting, Investing, Savings, Checking Accounts, Stocks

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Put this in the category of “not so current events.” Something about my impending birthday has me getting nostalgic for the “good ole days.” I stumbled across this trove of videos from the 1940s which would have been the financial advice that my teenage Mom would have been given. Here are some of the highlights that I thought you would enjoy (with questions):

  • Keeping a Budget: Your Thrift Habits (it’s 10 minutes long, but the first five minutes will give you plenty to discuss):
    • How was Ralph able to buy his camera?
    • What was the budget method that worked for Ralph (full disclosure: this was how I kept track of my newspaper route revenues)?  How did he track his progress toward saving for his camera?
    • Is it easy to make a budget work? Why or why not?
    • What are Jack’s sources of income?
    • What are Jack’s regular expenses? irregular expenses?
    • Why did Jack find it difficult to save?
    • What would be on your list of “Watch these expenses?”
    • Identify an item that you would like to save for and break it down to how much you need to save per week.
  • Banking: Using the Bank (again a 10 minute video but the first five minutes is adequate to get the point across)
    • What are the benefits of using a bank?
    • What are the differences you notice between using a bank in the 1940s and today?
    • What was the FDIC insurance levels then? Now?
    • Where do the deposits that customers make go after they are deposited into the bank?
    • What questions did the bank president ask to determine if making the loan was a good idea? Do you think the process is similar or different today?
  • Stock Market: What Makes Us Tick?  (12 minutes animated short, start at the 2:00 mark)
    • What is the process to sell shares of stock in a company?
    • What does it mean to own shares in a stock?
    • What role do directors play?
    • What is required in order for a company to be “listed on the New York Stock Exchange?”
    • Who would an investor go to in order to acquire shares in ODM? Track the various steps to buy/sell stock.
    • Do online research to figure out how stock trades occur TODAY.

About the Author

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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