Category: WebQuest

Question: How Much Do Consumers Spend Annually on Product Warranties?

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Nov 30, 2016
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Question of the Day, Behavioral Finance, Research, WebQuest, Purchase Decisions, Current Events, Audio Resource
Answer (From Marketplace.org with 2 minute audio below): Over $42 Billion Questions:  What are examples of product that typically offer warranties? Have you ever bought a warranty? For what product? Do you think warranties are a good deal for consumers? Why or why not? Do you think this is a profitable business for the warranty company? Why or why not? My warranty story: I was fresh out of business school twenty years ago working with an investment management business. One of my first tasks...

Question: How Much Income Does A Household Need To Be In Top 1%?

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Nov 09, 2016
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Interactive, Behavioral Finance, Career, Question of the Day, WebQuest, Current Events, Chart of the Week, Audio Resource, Math
A good interactive from CNN to stimulate discussion in your classroom and infuse some math too (hat tip to a teacher at JumpStart National Conference who pointed this out to me; sorry that I didn’t catch his name:). As you move the slider bar on the left, the point of the graph moves up to show the percentile ranking: Questions: What does the shape of the curve tell you about income distribution in the U.S.? What are the income ranges that would put a household in the middle half of...

WebQuest: Look Out Below! What Happened To These Stocks Last Week?

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Nov 07, 2016
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WebQuest, Behavioral Finance, Research, Investing, Teaching Strategies, Stocks, Current Events, Chart of the Week
A good reminder that the stock market is a risky place particularly when you invest in individual stocks. These three popular brands saw significant drops in their stock prices last week. My idea for the assignment: Send your students on a Webquest to find articles explaining why these popular brands saw their stock prices get pummeled last week. Go to Yahoo Finance and type in tickers GPRO, FB and FIT and then scroll down to Company News and skim 2-3 articles to discover the specific...

What's New With Prepaid Debit Cards?

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Oct 06, 2016
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Debit Cards, Policy, Research, WebQuest, Checking Accounts, Purchase Decisions, Current Events
New regulations are on their way..here’s an FAQ to help you and your students sort it all out: How big is the market for prepaid cards and who uses them? (Atlantic): The market for prepaid debit cards has grown dramatically in recent years: The number of people using the cards in addition to their checking accounts increased by 50 percent between 2012 and 2014. According to a report from Pew by 2014, around 23 million Americans were regularly using reloadable cards, and more than...

Why Your Personal Finance Lessons Need to Be Current

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Jul 31, 2016
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Activities, Activity, Research, Budgeting, Credit Cards, Personal Finance, WebQuest, Checking Accounts, Payment Types, New Products, Current Events, Credit Reports
Reason #1: Money is pouring into start-ups to disrupt the financial sector. Here’s a market map showing all the start-ups looking to disrupt the financial services industry (here’s recent financing activity) and they are targeting your students (millenials) for their services:  Ok, I know you can’t be expected to know who all of these new companies are, so why not use your students to do the research? We created a project for this very purpose, Online Tools and Apps, in which...

WebQuest: Amazon Enters Student Loan Business (Updated on 9/2/16)

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Jul 27, 2016
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Paying for College, Research, WebQuest, Student Loans, New Products, Current Events
Lots of ink spilled last week on the announcement that Amazon is entering the student loan business. Use it as an opportunity for your students to get a better understanding of the student loan landscape and how to navigate the various loan types. Here are a few questions that your students can answer about this current event (see recommended articles below): How is Amazon getting involved in the student loan business? Will they be making student loans directly to students? Who is...

Question: What's Your Side Hustle?

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Jul 18, 2016
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Article, Career, Question of the Day, Budgeting, WebQuest, Employment
I was first introduced to the concept of the side hustle during my podcast with Ash Cash in November of last year. The gig labor force is becoming a larger and larger part of our economy as this infographic demonstrates.  Three data points make a trend, so I connected these two dots with this recent article appearing in Quartz about millenials and their “side hustles:” On weekends, Colleen teaches fitness classes. Mary builds websites. Luke sells vintage video games. Tony...

New Product: Access Your Money Before Payday

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Jul 11, 2016
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WebQuest, Research, Budgeting, Savings, Payment Types, New Products, Employment
From Marketplace.org: Most Americans are used to the idea of having to wait to receive their wages until payday, often a bi-weekly or monthly affair. That’s starting to change, as more businesses are offering employees earlier access to their earnings. The practice doesn’t really have a name yet, though some refer to it as Instant Pay. Some of the services that offer it include Activehours, FlexWage and PayActiv. The idea is that employees can get paid for some of the hours they’ve...

Before You Take Out A Car Loan...Here's A Useful NEW Worksheet To Compare Offers

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Jun 15, 2016
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Purchase Decisions, Activity, WebQuest, Activities, Tips for Teachers
From the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau comes a worksheet to help car buyers compare loan details. Here’s the first page of the worksheet: What is there to like about this tool? It encourages car shoppers to comparison shop for their auto loan just as they would for their car. We know based on research that about half of home buyers don’t comparison shop for mortgages so one would presume that the number that comparison shop for auto loans is even lower (especially when the...

Question: Where Are You Shopping These Days?

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May 15, 2016
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Behavioral Finance, Question of the Day, Investing, WebQuest, Stocks, Purchase Decisions, Current Events, Chart of the Week
Answer: Not at malls, apparently (chart courtesy of Bloomberg). This chart shows how retail traffic (light green) and luxury retail traffic (dark green) have been dropping consistently over the past 18 months. Not only has foot traffic been dropping but so have retail stocks. Here’s a taste of the carnage that occurred last week (from NY Times): RETAIL ROUT Shares of the department store chain Nordstrom dropped 12.9 percent after the company released disappointing quarterly results late...

Activity Idea: Name and Tame The 10 Cognitive Biases That Hurt Us Financially!

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May 10, 2016
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Activity, Behavioral Finance, Investing, WebQuest, Teaching Strategies, Tips for Teachers, Cartoons
Hat tip to Big Picture Blog, which shared some cartoons highlighting the cognitive biases (see Bandwagon Effect above) that we all suffer from which impact our money management decisions. So, how to incorporate into your class? Here is an idea: Have students work in pairs to do online research (a Webquest of sorts) about ONE cognitive bias. You can assign them to ensure that all ten are covered. Their research should include: Description of what the bias is. Three ways that this bias can...

Chart: Do Millenials Save?

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Feb 17, 2016
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Question of the Day, Budgeting, Savings, WebQuest, Current Events, Chart of the Week
According to this survey (hat tip, Economist), they do in England: From the Economist: So, not only are Britain’s young labouring under the weight of poor job prospects and a bubbly housing market; instead of using what little disposable income they have to have a good time, they’re also being terribly responsible with their finances. How depressing is that?  Activity idea: Webquest to find comparable data in the US. Are millenials saving to the same degree in America?  ...

WebQuest: What's New With Checking Accounts?

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Feb 06, 2016
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Credit Scores, Policy, Research, WebQuest, Checking Accounts, Payment Types, New Products, Current Events
Flurry of news articles recently about checking account changes proposed by the Consumer Financial Protection Board (CFPB). Good opportunity to mix policy analysis with an understanding of checking account features (also might want to mix in the Spent documentary (from minute 7:00 – 13:00) which vividly demonstrates the cost of being unbanked.  Ask students to identify the main elements of the CFPB proposal and whether they think this is a good idea. If you want to spice this up a...

Is Candy Crush Really Worth $5.9 Billion (Yes, with a big B)?

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Nov 10, 2015
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Investing, WebQuest, Current Events, Article
Answer: That is the price that Activision Blizzard recently paid to acquire King Digital Entertainment (creator of Candy Crush Saga game). From Reuters: Video game maker Activision Blizzard (ATVI.O) will buy “Candy Crush Saga” creator King Digital Entertainment (KING.N) for $5.9 billion, as the heavyweight of console and PC-gaming makes a major push into the faster-growing mobile market. The deal is one of the biggest in the industry in recent years, more than twice the size of...

Question: What Percentage of Consumers Are Using Chip Cards?

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Nov 02, 2015
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Question of the Day, Credit Cards, WebQuest, Payment Types, Current Events, Chart of the Week
From Washington Post: 37% as of September 2015, according to Square From Washington Post: New credit cards with chips may be safer than the old magnetic stripe variety we all know. But they’ve caught a lot of unwanted attention lately, getting blamed for slumping user growth at Netflix, overwhelming small businesses and sparking a new round of consumer scams. The challenges that chip cards face may seem ubiquitous — at least in this latest news cycle. But how many people are...