Monthly Archives: January 2016


Video Resource: What Are Boiler Room Sales Tactics?

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This Economist article “The Cockroaches of Finance” highlights trends indicating that “boiler room” financial outfits, employing high pressure sales tactics, still persist even after their heyday in the 1990s:

Boiler rooms trade on coercion and intimidation, and this one was no exception, say prosecutors. Victims were told that their conversations had been recorded and were legally binding agreements to buy, and that if they reneged they would face late fees and property liens. It is alleged that one even liquidated an annuity to hand over $250,000.

Video Resource: Guess Who’s Using Payday Lending? (OR Why Payday Lending Should Be Covered In All Personal Finance Standards)

Answer: 42% of millenials have used an Alternative Financial Service (AFS, defined as payday loans, pawnshops, auto title loans, tax refund advances, and rent-to-own products), according to this recent study titled “Millennials & Financial Literacy— The Struggle with Personal Finance” completed by PWC and George Washington University. This number frankly shocked me and will ensure that we publicize the NGPF lesson Predatory Lending.

What Are The Biggest Lies You Hear At A Car Dealership?

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Students often have their hearts set on getting a new car after graduation (either high school or college).  Before they go, they probably want to bone up on the “tricks of the trade” that they may encounter there.  This LifeHacker article highlights their top five inaccuracies that buyers might encounter on the car lot:

  • That “limited time” deal will probably be back later
  • You don’t have to finance through the dealership
  • Advertised financing deals are often misleading
  • Those awards from JD Power, Motor Trend and others aren’t as important as they sound
  • EPA estimated gas mileage can be misleading, even without intending to be


Better yet, convince them not to buy a new car and check out one of the most popular NGPF lessons on buying a used car.

By |January 31st, 2016|Article, Personal Finance, Purchase Decisions|

What’s A Credit Fumble?

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Credit Fumble (as defined by Credit Karma): overspending on credit cards, missing payments, having an account sent to collections or defaulting on a loan. An all too frequent event that snares 2/3 of people before they turn 30 years of age. 

It’s Super Bowl week here in the San Francisco Bay Area so time for the football analogies to flow. This one comes courtesy of Credit Karma, who is out with sobering survey results about the consequences of financial errors made prior to the age of 30 (note the low percentage of survey respondents who had received financial education prior to college and how these mistakes led to the boomerang phenomenon of moving back in with parents). Here are the main takeaways:

Activity Idea: Financial Advice By Text

sms-reminder1I came across this TechCrunch article about a new company called NextGenVest:

It’s setting out to help students manage the process of financial aid applications and financial management. Think: your friend who’s already done it all, checking out your forms and guiding you through the process.

The platform provides reminders, guidance and on-demand help over SMS text message and Snapchat (see examples below).

So, what’s the activity? Pair your students up. One student is the financial novice asking a question about one of the financial activities below while the other student is the “financial expert,” who will need to know the topic that they should prepare for (see sample list of topics below):

NGPF Podcast: Matthew Gherman, Personal Finance Evangelist at Murrow High School (Brooklyn, NY)

Thanks to Matthew Gherman of Edward R. Murrow High School in Brooklyn, New York for joining me recently on the NGPF podcast show.  Matt teaches Honors Economics, AP Macro Economics and College Now Business Administration and is the Personal Finance Coordinator at Murrow (sounds like a busy guy!). Matt recently received the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Teaching Champion Award for his work incorporating personal finance into his economics curriculum ((Darren Gurney, another Sloan recipient appeared on our blog show previously). 

Listen to this podcast to hear Matt’s insights on:

By |January 26th, 2016|Uncategorized|

Career Interactive: How is the Way We Work Changing?

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Stumbled across this interactive on Quartz that describes five trends changing the way we work (click to enlarge):

  • Shifting capital investment: from tangible assets to intangibles
  • The rise of data
  • The talent economy
  • Changing times, changing employees?
  • Good-bye Nine-To-Five (rise of contingent workers)

With each chart/graph provided, students have an opportunity to interact with the data to learn facts like:

By |January 26th, 2016|Activity, Career, Current Events, New Products, Research|

Identity Theft: So, How Much Is that Stolen Account Worth? and “What Are The Most Common Passwords?”


Data from Trend Micro in a CNBC article found that Uber accounts are worth a lot more to criminals than credit card accounts:

Uber, PayPal and even Netflix accounts have become much more valuable to criminals, as evidenced by the price these stolen identifiers now fetch on the so-called “deep Web,” according to security company Trend Micro.

Here’s the value of a stolen account:

By |January 26th, 2016|Current Events, Identity Theft, Question of the Day, Research|