Monthly Archives: March 2017


What I Have Been Reading This Week…

Here’s a weekly round-up of articles that caught my attention this week that I thought you would find interesting:

  • Want to find out what it feels like to own a volatile stock? Find out how this investor got emotional by making a $3 trade in this MarketWatch article, “I drove myself crazy by investing $3 in the stock market.”

“Turns out, it doesn’t cost much to drive yourself batty over your investments. For the past week, ever since I broke one of my cardinal investing rules by buying an individual stock, I have experienced pronounced emotional swings over the company’s every tick and trade, feeling accomplished when the price rises and despondent when it falls.”

  • You may have heard about robo-advising to create passive investing portfolios, now the largest fund company in the world is investing in algorithms to make stock picks in actively managed funds. Find out more in this NY Times article “At BlackRock, Machines Are Rising over Managers to Pick Stock,”

Schools in the News



  • High school students taught financial literacy lessons (

Chicopee Comprehensive High School students are learning real life lessons, such as how to stay out of debt when they grow up. Every year for the last nine years, the school has been setting aside an entire day to educate 11th graders on financial literacy. It is called the “Financial Literacy Day Challenge.” They learn about making a household budget; paying the mortgage, the grocery bills, and when they marry, the cost of day care.

By |March 31st, 2017|Schools In News|

Which Personal Finance Concepts Cause the Most Confusion?

Skimming the recent GFLEC and the TIAA Institute Personal Finance Index (P-Fin Index) Report. So, let’s start with what’s different about this report:

  • Asked more questions than you would typically find in a financial literacy research report. 28 questions were asked on 8 different topics (3-4 questions per topic):
    • Earning
    • Consuming
    • Saving
    • Investing
    • Borrowing/managing Debt
    • Insuring
    • Comprehending risk
    • Go-to information sources

This is the most instructive chart as it shows the areas of greatest weakness:

By |March 30th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Question: Can You Open A Bank Account Online?

Answer: You can, but it’s extremely hard at the 30 largest retail banking institutions. Note that the question was NOT “Can you open an online bank account online?” As that answer would obviously be YES.

From Credit Union Times:

According to a study of nearly 1,400 people who successfully applied for checking accounts at the nation’s 30 largest retail financial institutions, only 8% of successful applicants were able to complete the entire process from start to finish on their smartphones or tablets — a full 67% had to finish the process in another channel, such as going into a branch.

Regarding millennials, it appears that banks are happy to steer them to their branch system:

By |March 30th, 2017|Checking Accounts, Current Events, Question of the Day, Research|

T-2 Days…NGPF Has Contests, PD, Resource Ideas Planned for Financial Literacy Month

With Financial Literacy Month (#FLM2017, #FinLit, #afinlitfuture) right around the corner, we wanted to share with you our plans! NGPF has a full slate of activity planned for the month of April with contests, PD opportunities and resources that you won’t want to miss.

Get A Sneak Peak at NGPF’s One-Semester Course; Register for our April 25th Webinar

We hear it all the time — “Your website has SO many great resources, I don’t know where to start.” Or, “There’s no way I could teach all of your units in my one-semester course; how do I choose?” We’ve heard your requests and are excited to launch our One-Semester Course! Join us on Tuesday, April 25, as we unveil this new Course Map. Register today!

Attend this webinar and you WILL:

Laura’s Insights: NGPF in the Classroom!

This year, NGPF took our show on the road and taught personal finance workshops in several local schools.  These experiences included a 3 day workshop at the Nueva School (San Mateo), a four session workshop at Castilleja school (Palo Alto), seven sessions with an AVID classroom at Mountain View High School (Mountain View) and our intensive 6 week workshop at Eastside Prep (East Palo Alto). In this post, I will share my experiences at the Castilleja School, an all-girls school just down the road from our office.

Given the time constraints (only 4 sessions), I modified our recently released 8-Hour Workshop and focused on Paying for & Budgeting During College, Understanding Debt & Credit, Why Credit Scores Matter and finishing with a Crash Course in Investing.

In each of the sessions, the girls engaged with the content and asked many great questions. Here were some of my highlights:

Life Strategies: Apply the Concept of Compounding to Your Life

I came across two articles recently that had me nodding my head frequently because they made a lot of sense. Both articles dealt with a similar theme: how small, incremental changes add up to large improvements over time. I like to think of the NGPF blog as an example of this. In the process of curating and writing two blog posts everyday (with help from the team), I hope that I am getting a little bit smarter about personal finance and more creative about brainstorming ways for educators to utilize these resources in the classroom.

The first article from the Irrelevant Investor blog views the issue from an investor’s perspective. Here’s a sampling of recent headlines that demonstrate how the media tends to stay focused on the negative:

By |March 29th, 2017|Article, Behavioral Finance, Career, Current Events, Investing, Research|

You Know That Annual Fee On Your Credit Card…Well, It’s Negotiable!

From WSJ (subscription):

More than 80% of people who ask their card company for relief from their annual fees receive it, according to a new survey. Most get the fee waived entirely, while a smaller portion receive a fee reduction, according to a report released Monday that surveyed around 950 card users.

Why are card companies so flexible? Well, it’s a competitive marketplace out there:

By |March 29th, 2017|Activity, Audio Resource, Credit Cards, Current Events, Research|