Monthly Archives: September 2016


Question: Why Are Consumers Turning to Fintech Solutions?

From Visual Capitalist (again):


Looking for more information about new innovations in financial services, check out these earlier posts (here, here, here and podcast with VCs Colleen Poynton and Alex Davidov).
Quick question for your students: What financial apps do you use and why did you choose it? 

Infographic: What’s the Difference Between Active and Passive Investing?

Nice infographic from Visual Capitalist highlighting the differences between active and passive investing (you can learn more about this topic through an upcoming podcast with Jim Rowley of Vanguard) :

By |September 29th, 2016|Chart of the Week, Current Events, Index Funds, Investing, Stocks|

Question: How Can Fake Bank and Credit Accounts Impact Your Credit Score?

For those of you following the Wells Fargo fake account saga (some Senators might use more choice terms to describe their actions), your probably familiar with the details of millions of fake bank and credit cards that were set-up by overzealous branch employees trying to hit their sales quotas (I posted how this case is emblematic of why consumers better understand the sales incentive structure for financial products).

Hat tip to Jessica Endlich for pointing out the additional harm that may have been caused to customers’ credit scores as a result of Wells actions. To understand how they might have been harmed, we turn to NPR (3:37 audio):

Question (with a Few Videos too): How Do Slot Machines Hook Gamblers?

download-16I am flying back from Oklahoma after a great workshop organized by Oklahoma Council of Economic Education (thanks to Amy Lee and team!) and Oklahoma Jump$tart (thanks to Melissa Neal!). Among Oklahoma’s 14 financial literacy standards is this one: “ Understanding the financial impact and consequences of gambling.” I think that this is quite unique among the state standards that I have come across. With that thought still fresh in my mind, this headline caught my attention: “How Slot Machines Mess With Your Brain To Get You Hooked On Losing (Bloomberg).” 

Here were a few research findings in the article:

Question: Who Are the World’s Ten Largest Companies…

…and how has the list changed over the past ten years?

Hat tip to Big Picture Blog for this extremely simple yet insightful chart:


Questions for students:

These 16 Pages Will Teach Your Students All They Need to Know About Investing…

download-15Here’s a free (and simple) guide to investing from Dr. William Bernstein that brings some clarity to investing. The title tells it all, If You Can – How Millenials Can Get Rich Slowly (it’s really only 14 pages of text and well worth the 15 minutes). Will be a great extension activity and/or long-form reading assignment at the end of your investing unit. Here’s the tantalizing question that the booklet opens with:

Would you believe me if I told you there is an investment strategy that a seven-year old could understand, will take you fifteen minutes per year, outperform 90% of finance professionals in the long run and make you a millionaire over time?

Article: Help Me With My 401(k)!


Ok, I have to admit that this headline caught my attention “Help! I have no ideas where my 401(k) is, or what to do with it.” The article goes on to describe an individual who has had several jobs and lost track of her 401(k)s along the way. I like the plain English language the writer uses to describe the elements of a 401(k).

Here are a few highlights:

  • Regrets from the innovator who created the 401(k):

The man responsible is Ted Benna, and he’s currently in his 70s and semi-retired on a horse farm in Pennsylvania. In 1978, he realized that a newly passed tax code — yes, section 401(k) — left a loophole for retirement savings that we’ve been exploiting ever since. Then, in 2011, he startedtelling reporters that he’d accidentally created “a monster”: a giant finance vehicle fueled by hidden fees that Americans are blithely packing their hard-earned money into, unaware that their savings are just spinning wheels in the mud. It’s all become too complicated and confusing, Benna said. People can’t understand their own retirement plans anymore.

  • Taxes and 401(k)s:
By |September 27th, 2016|Article, Career, compound interest, Index Funds, Investing, Mutual Funds, Stocks|

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To Kristin Wong, Prolific Financial Blogger

With hundreds of blog posts, articles and media mentions under her belt, Kristin Wong has her finger on the pulse of personal finance. We cover a lot of ground in this conversation on the NGPF podcast but what I found most interesting is Kristin’s recent revelations about money that have led to a dramatic shift in her money mindset. You will also learn how she comes up with material for her writing, where her interest in personal finance derives from and her favorite apps for managing her finances. You also will enjoy her favorite life hacks that you can apply to your financial lives. Enjoy!