Tim Ranzetta

/Tim Ranzetta

About Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

What I’m Reading This Memorial Day Weekend

I love long weekends to catch up on some reading, here’s what has my attention this week:

  • The Other Difference Between Jeans and Mutual Funds (Bloomberg); identifies reasons for Vanguard’s recent domination of the mutual fund industry: “The majority of funds are actively managed and 80 percent or more of them routinely fail to beat their benchmarks net of fees. Clearly, there’s an incredibly low probability that investors will get what they’re paying for. That realization alone doesn’t imply how much funds should charge, but less would be a good start.  
    • Chart showing mutual fund fees declining (from Bloomberg:

Podcast: How Can I Use Money Effectively To Promote My Happiness?

I thought you would enjoy this Meg Faber podcast while you were on one of those long summer drives with your family. It could lead to some great conversation too! Lots of thought-provoking wisdom from Elizabeth Dunn, co-author of the 2014 best-seller Happy Money: The Science of Happier Spending. In the podcast, she discusses new research into behavioral finance that she summarizes into five core principles that may make you think differently about how money can “buy” happiness:

We Are #7, We Are #7, We Are #7: When Is the U.S. Going to Commit To Financial Education?

PISA Financial Literacy results are out and here are the standings (by country):

Bringing Financial Education To 1,200 Classrooms In 60 Days: What We Learned from Our DonorsChoose.org Partnership

We set a goal this spring to bring Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF) activities and projects into 1,000 new classrooms throughout the U.S. Our experience leading workshops at dozens of educator conferences all over the country had demonstrated the power of trial. That is, getting educators to spend 15 minutes “trying” out our website using a Scavenger Hunt had a powerful effect as we often heard:

  • “I wish I knew about you sooner.”
  • “There is so much here that I can use.”
  • “This will save me SOOOOO much time!”
  • “Thank you for making my job so much easier.”
  • “I can’t wait to use this resource with my class on Monday.”

We grappled with a big question: Who could we partner with who could act as an accelerant to get more teachers to “try” our projects and activities in as short a time period as possible? Why the urgency? When we hear stats like “20% of high school students are graduating with any personal finance education,” we know we have to do better as a country given the importance of these skills. 

Student Loans: You Better Know What You’re Signing Up For!

As your seniors head off to college in the fall, you better arm them with the information they need to succeed financially during and after college. The biggest issue they will deal with in college: Student Loans. They will be required to go through an online “counseling” process which I would describe as “too little, too late” just before their loan is disbursed. I was trying to come up with a fun way (Ok, I might be stretching it here) to get them to review what in industry parlance is known as the “MPN” or Master Promissory Note for their student loans.  It is 7 printed pages long so rather than have them read straight through, how about a Scavenger Hunt where they will review the Note so they can complete this FAQ (frequently asked questions).  Each of the questions below can be answered within the note:

Chart: How Has Household Debt Grown Since the Great Recession?

The answer might surprise you:

By |May 22nd, 2017|Chart of the Week, Credit Cards, Current Events|

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To Micro-Lending Aficionado, Kristen Goggin of Town School For Boys (San Francisco, CA)

I enjoyed my recent conversation with Kristen Goggin, a 6th grade math teacher at the Town School for Boys in San Francisco, California. Laura Matchett, our director of teacher engagement, “discovered” Kristen who had penned an article about the innovative approach she used in her classroom to develop students who think globally. Find out how she uses the micro-lending website, Kiva, as the centerpiece for her unit that develops entrepreneurial skills as well as empathy for entrepreneurs in other countries (did I mention math skills, too?). Her students use profits that they generate from their own companies to provide loans to start-ups thousands of miles away. Listen to this podcast and find creative ideas that you can use in your classroom too! Enjoy!

  • 0:00~0:58 – Introduction
  • 0:58~2:28 – What Kristen does during her free time
  • 2:28~3:37 – Kristen’s day job
  • 3:37~6:52 – Micro-lending project
  • 6:52~16:35 – How the project works
  • 16:35~19:05 – Business ideas developed by students
By |May 22nd, 2017|Current Events, Entrepreneurship, Podcasts|

What I’m Reading This Weekend

Catching up on my reading this week perusing personal finance articles, blogs, newsletters. Here’s what looks interesting:

  • Dan Kadlec in Right About Money uses the recent ransomware hack to make the point (confirmed by research) that the financially astute are often more prone to falling for financial scams.