18Apr, 2017

Question: What’s the Average Credit Score In Your Community?

By |April 18th, 2017|Chart of the Week, Credit Scores, Current Events, Question of the Day, Research|

Update of an earlier post from January 2016 (we like to keep things current around here:)

Here’s where the data came from for this report:

In order to identify the cities with the highest and lowest credit scores, WalletHub’s analysts compared the average credit scores of residents in each of 2,534 U.S. cities as of October 2016, based on TransUnion data.

Click on a dot in the map near where you live to determine how your community’s credit score compares with the rest of the country:

18Apr, 2017

What Are We Watching? Three Of Our Latest Curated Videos

By |April 18th, 2017|Checking Accounts, Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Payment Types, Research, Savings, Teaching Strategies|

The NGPF Team is always scouring the web for videos to add to our Video Library. Here are the latest that the team has uncovered:

Pay Day 101: Direct Deposit (from Young Illinois Saves), duration of 3:48, provides a good description of how direct deposit works from the perspective of young adults:

17Apr, 2017

Next Gen Personal Finance Announces 2017 NGPF Summer Institute Fellows

By |April 17th, 2017|Featured Teachers, Professional Development, Schools In News, Summer Institute, Uncategorized|

Next Gen Personal Finance is pleased to announce its 2017 class of NGPF Summer Institute Fellows. Due to the success of last year’s Institute, we increased our investment and will be hosting TWO Summer Institute sessions – which means 24 outstanding educators will be joining us in Palo Alto this summer! The Institute brings together a passionate and talented group of educators who will create new activities, curate resources, collaborate and deepen their content expertise in selected topics — and have a lot of FUN in the process!

Once again, we received an overwhelming number of applications for the Summer Institute, highlighting the hunger for quality professional development opportunities. To meet this need, NGPF is underwriting the cost for TEN FinCamps to be delivered throughout the U.S. in 2017. What’s a FinCamp? Check out the details (including a video) here. We currently have four FinCamps already on the calendar, so please contact Laura, our Director of Teacher Engagement at, if you are interested in learning more.

We are extremely pleased to announce The 2017 NGPF Summer Institute Fellows:

17Apr, 2017

Next Gen Personal Finance Announces 2017 Jump$tart Scholarship Recipients

By |April 17th, 2017|Contest Previous, Featured Teachers, Professional Development, Schools In News, Uncategorized|

NGPF is excited to announce the recipients of the NGPF Scholarship to attend Jump$tart’s National Educator Conference in Washington, D.C. from November 3-5, 2017! Each scholarship winner will receive a $425 scholarship to cover the cost of the conference and accommodations and will be feted at a NGPF reception prior to the conference. 

Our scholarship winners hail from 22 different states, teach in rural, urban and suburban settings and have experience ranging from one year to over twenty years. For half of the group, this will be their FIRST Jump$tart National Educator Conference. Here were just a few of the reasons they gave for why they wanted to attend this conference:

  • “I am always looking for new ways to implement interactive methodologies and new materials into my classroom. Going to the Jump$tart NEC each year is a great opportunity to learn about what’s available from colleagues around the country and from business professionals who are dedicated to financial literacy.”
  • “I plan on taking information learned during Jump$tart NEC 2017 to teach the first ever Year Long Financial Literacy to be offered here at my high school. I will also incorporate this curriculum into my Accounting and Business classes, so that more of our
17Apr, 2017

Interactive: What Are Your Odds Of Winning the Lottery?

By |April 17th, 2017|Behavioral Finance, Current Events, Interactive, Question of the Day, Research|

Great simulation from LA Times allows you to play multiple iterations of the PowerBall lottery to see how even small wins can’t hide the fact that ultimately you will LOSE!

Screen Shot 2017-04-17 at 6.48.55 PM

Here’s how it works: 

16Apr, 2017

Skill Development: Building Media Literacy Skills

By |April 16th, 2017|Article, Ethics, Writing assignment|

The world of personal finance is constantly changing…the products that students are evaluating today will be different tomorrow…robo-advisers, target date retirement funds, Venmo, mobile banking didn’t exist just a few years ago. This makes media literacy such a critical skill to develop in our students. To become financially capable they will need to be lifelong learners and know what sources to turn to in order to get quality, credible information. Unfortunately, in this era of fake news, this takes practice and a cynical eye.

That’s why this article from Bloomberg (“Read With Caution When There’s Money at Stake”) caught my attention. It highlights three lessons that readers should be aware of when reading the financial press:

16Apr, 2017

Think You Can Pick A Mutual Fund That Can Beat the Market? Think Again And Buy An Index Fund Instead!

By |April 16th, 2017|Chart of the Week, Current Events, Index Funds, Math, Question of the Day, Research, Stocks|

Based on this recently analysis, go ahead and buy an index fund. Over any recent time period (1, 3, 5, 10 and 15 years) you would have trounced actively managed funds. Of course, “past performance is no guarantee of future results,” however, when you see the persistence of index fund success over short, medium and long-term periods, and the primary reason for it (they carry lower fees), I would put my money (and do) on this trend continuing.

Chart from SPIVA U.S. Scorecard Report (only first four lines, full analysis available by clicking on link):

14Apr, 2017

Schools in the News

By |April 14th, 2017|Advocacy, Schools In News|


Beating the odds – that’s what we live and breathe at NLA. With that mindset, Mrs. McNamara, our Financial Literacy teacher, submitted an application to the Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF) Summer Institute.  We are happy to report that Lady Mac, as she is known here, was invited as one of only 12 teachers nationwide [editor’s note: NGPF is hosting two sessions, each with 12 teachers, this summer in Palo Alto] to the all expenses paid June event in Palo Alto, California.

  • Teacher Nick Simmons of Hopkins Academy (MA) Succeeds in Making Personal Finance A Graduation Requirement (Amherst Bulletin)

13Apr, 2017

Question: How Much Credit Card Debt Are Americans Carrying?

By |April 13th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Answer (from Federal Reserve analysis reported in WSJ): After restating earlier figures, the  level of credit card debt hit $1 Trillion in December of 2016, a level it last seen prior to the recession.

Here is a chart showing how credit card balances (a.k.a. revolving consumer credit) has varied over the past decade:

credit card debt feb 2017

Fun facts from a CBS article:

13Apr, 2017

What Do High School Seniors Think About the Financial Aid Process?

By |April 13th, 2017|Behavioral Finance, Chart of the Week, Current Events, Paying for College, Student Loans|

It’s April so I thought I would do a temperature check for my AVID class just before we dove into an activity analyzing aid award packages. Here’s the word cloud that came from their individual responses (with some mentor comments sprinkled in which tended to be more on the positive side):

Screen Shot 2017-04-07 at 12.56.44 AM

Why did I do this?

12Apr, 2017

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To Greg Hock About What Teens Need to Know About Taxes

By |April 12th, 2017|Podcasts, Taxes, Uncategorized|

Thanks to Greg Hock for taking time out during this busy tax season to join me on the NGPF podcast. I have been a client of Greg’s for a few years now and appreciate the value-added services that he provides that go well beyond just filing a tax return. I enjoy exchanging ideas and getting his perspective about building financial capability in young people, which come from years of experience of being a trusted parter with his clients.  I enjoyed our wide-ranging conversation in this podcast, which went from discussing the career path of an accountant to why he took the leap of faith to start his own firm and into specific teen tax tips and common myths when it comes to filing taxes. So, just in time for tax season, here’s Greg Hock…enjoy!


  • 0:00~1:29 – Introduction
  • 1:29~2:29 – How does one become a tax expert?
  • 2:29~3:46 – Experience of working at a Big 4 accounting firm
  • 3:46~5:22 – The entrepreneurial journey: starting his own accounting firm
  • 5:22~8:03
12Apr, 2017

Simulations: How Ride-Share Companies Use Behavioral Science To “Nudge” Drivers

By |April 12th, 2017|Uncategorized|

Lengthy article in NY Times (5,000 words, about 30 minutes) recently about the behavioral tactics utilized by Uber and Lyft to nudge its drivers to take certain actions.  Not necessary for students to read the article as I focus this post on 3 of the 4 simulations embedded within it and suggest mini-activities for students to experience the tradeoffs inherent in being a ride-share driver. The simulations also demonstrate how the best interests of the company often diverge from the interest of their drivers. I see these simulations as a fun way to bring behavioral science into the math, psychology, economics or personal finance class.

  1. How changing number of drivers impacts idleness of drivers.