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Chart: Which College Majors Are Hottest (In Employers Eyes)?

From WSJ:

Article: This Is One Case Where A PLUS Is Not So Positive

WSJ article out today warning of the dangers of Parent PLUS loans. I thought this was particularly pertinent as high school seniors pore over their financial aid award letters before making a May 1st decision. Here’s the lede:

Millions of U.S. parents have taken out loans from the government to help their children pay for college. Now a crushing bill is coming due. Hundreds of thousands have tumbled into delinquency and default. In the process, many have delayed retirement, put off health expenses and lost portions of Social Security checks and tax refunds to their lender, the federal government.

What makes this even more disconcerting is the financial aid “packaging” that often occurs where the PLUS loan becomes the

By |April 24th, 2017|Article, Current Events, Paying for College, Student Loans|

Article: Financial Advice From The Stars

We know how much young people look up to, mimic and try and emulate the stars. That’s why I thought this article might grab your students’ attention. Here are a few of the 11 stars that were mentioned (I have to admit that I am having a lot of “who’s that?” moments as I skim through the article, your students probably won’t).

From Bloomberg

Timing is Everything: What’s the Impact of Graduating Into A Recession?

What happens to young people who have the misfortune of graduating into a recession? That’s the question that researcher Bart Cockx of Ghent University, Belgium, and IZA, Germany tries to answer (here’s his one-pager  summarizing the research.) This research provides further evidence of importance of education as demonstrated by the differing outcomes based on educational attainment.

I found this research of interest since I saw this phenomenon first-hand in my family. My older brother graduated from college into a recession in 1981 and struggled to find work. He took a job as a bellhop to get out of the house and ultimately talked his way into an interview and then into an engineering job (yes, initiative does matter!). So, it took him about six months after graduating to find this job. Clearly his technical degree (engineering) came in handy and then once he got that good-paying job in his field his career was back on the right track.

Now onto the key takeaways from the research:

By |April 19th, 2017|Article, Career, Current Events, Employment, Research|

Skill Development: Building Media Literacy Skills

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:

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

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,”

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|

Articles: The History of the Department Store and the Modern Day Department Store Destroyer

Two articles that I thought your students might enjoy since shopping seems top of mind for many teens. I think these would be particularly good as a supplement for your investing or entrepreneurship lessons. One article describes the rise of the department store (Inventing the Department Store in Barrons; about 5 minutes reading) and the other describes the modern day Leviathan that is destroying department stores and other competitors too (Amazon: Primed from the Economist (three articles free per week); about 15 minutes reading).

A Q&A follows focused on the key takeaways from the readings.

Some highlights from the Barrons article:

What led to the first department stores being opened in London? 

As affluence increased in the 18th century and the Industrial Revolution made more goods available, shopping began to evolve into what would become the department store. The first ones began by catering to the most common type of shoppers, women. The first real department store, Harding, Howell & Cos.’ Grand Fashionable Magazine, opened in London in 1796. Its four departments carried furs, jewelry, dresses, and hats, and accessories such as lace and gloves.

Who brought concept to US? Alexander Stewart

What was his insight that led to their popularity?