Monthly Archives: July 2014


The Game: How To Teach Investing in 90 Minutes

I always struggle with ways to teach students the right lessons about investing.  What are the right lessons?  If I had to narrow it down to four concepts:  1)  Know yourself and your risk profile (the best investing strategy comes undone if you can’t stick with it) 2)  Diversify  3)  Understand the relationship between risk and return.  4)  Experience the power of compound interest and how it creates wealth.  So, how did a 50-year old board game developed by 3M teach these concepts to a 9th grade classroom in a fun and engaging way?  

I had to be creative to track down this game, Stocks and Bonds (product feature video here), but there is no retail search that Amazon can’t solve and I quickly snapped up a few lightly used versions of this game.  I then tested it with my daughter to try and determine how this might work in a classroom setting.  I drove to school on Monday still ruminating on how I would adapt this board game (how retro) to a 26 student classroom.  I also wondered whether a 50 year old game would engage an audience raised on video games.  

So, here is how the game

By |July 15th, 2014|Uncategorized|

My Favorite Lesson

Monday, I had the opportunity to teach my favorite lesson for high school freshmen (spoiler alert:  I have a lot of favorite lessons so you may read this again in future posts).  The class starts with a simple question:

The total cost to go to Stanford University for 2012-13 was around $60,000.  If my family’s annual income was between $30,000-$48,000, my net price to attend Stanford would be about:

a)  $5,000 per year

b)  $10,000 per year

c)  $20,000 per year

d)  $40,000 per year

I give the students a moment to mull this over before writing down their response (might use clickers in future years so I can get a quick tabulation).  I then start with answer d) and have students raise hands if they selected that answer.  A few hands go up for d), a lot more for c), a few more for b) and none for a).  When I tell them the answer is in fact a), an audible gasp is heard from students.  Responses range from:  “How can that be?”  to “Wow!” to “Is that really true?”

If you want to see for yourself, check out Net Price on College Navigator:

Next come the caveats:  Stanford is a difficult school to get into

By |July 8th, 2014|Uncategorized|