Behavioral Finance

/Behavioral Finance
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As More And More Spending Moves Online…

It becomes easier to spend mindlessly. This is a great graphic (for more, check out this CNN article) to get your class talking about their spending habits:

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Ask your students to think back to items they have bought online recently from Amazon (or other websites) and how many are

Looking to Save Money…Start With A Small Step

Reading one of my favorite newsletters, Farnam Street, last week and came across some good advice regarding that most difficult of human habits: Savings. Here was  their $1/day strategy:

Small Steps for saving money:

By |January 22nd, 2017|Behavioral Finance, Savings|

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Author, Columnist and Personal Finance Advocate Beth Kobliner

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I had a great conversation with Beth Kobliner recently. Beth has an incredible personal finance focused CV. She’s been a columnist at Money Magazine, authored one (and soon to be two) New York Times Bestsellers (Get a Financial Life: Personal Finance in Your Twenties and Thirties), served on the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, and gave financial advice to Elmo on Sesame Street (and a whole lot more too)! In this NGPF podcast, Beth shares the money lessons she learned growing up in Queens, New York as well as the motivation for her latest book, Make Your Kid a Money Genius, to be released in February. You will benefit from Beth’s insights on how to invest, use credit cards wisely and a simple test to control those impulsive purchases. Parents will find Beth’s new book a godsend in describing developmentally appropriate actions to build that financial decision-making muscle that your children need to thrive in this financially complex world. Enjoy!

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Know Thy Source: Rule #1 in Digital Literacy

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Those who use NGPF resources know that we place a premium on teaching students how to navigate the web, discern credible sources of information and do the research required to make sound financial decisions. Occasionally we get pushback that our content should be “commercial free” and that linking to an online article that has ads anywhere on the page is “commercial” and students should not be subjected such distraction. Newsflash: The Internet has gone commercial. All that free content has to be paid for somehow. Isn’t it better that we teach students to be skeptical, critical thinkers about advertising instead of pretending that they can wall themselves off in an ad-free world. 

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Allan Roth, Author, Columnist and Financial Advisor


Thanks to Allan Roth for recently joining the NGPF podcast. I got to know Allan a few years ago when I needed an advisor to help me “tune-up” my portfolio. I appreciated his candor, his analytical chops, his thoughts on asset allocation, his laser focus on fees and his willingness to challenge some of my assumptions. One of his best suggestions was that I create an investment policy statement which serves as a guide to my asset allocation during those turbulent market conditions that try mens’ (and womens’) souls. He wrote a provocative book that I recommend, How A Second Grader Beats Wall Street, which describes the simple strategies needed to be a successful investor (you will find out exactly who this wise second grader is during the podcast). Listen to this podcast and you’ll walk away with some ideas to make you a better investor. Enjoy!

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Dow 20,000: Does It Matter?

Investing commentators are breathless as the Dow Jones Industrial Average closes in on the 20,000 mark. Here’s a smattering of the recent clickbait, I mean, headlines (12.5 million results on Google!):

The Dow closed at 19,963.80 on Friday, January 6th. Ok, let’s just say there is a very high likelihood it crosses that magical 20,000 mark this week. I don’t think I am going out on a limb in predicting that (and you know how much I hate prognosticators!). So, back to the original question, does it matter? 

In My Financial Life: A Nudge in the Wrong Direction

I had one of those annoying situations occur over the break. I got an email (which I missed) from my credit card company notifying me that my automatic payment from my checking account had been returned by my bank. Something about a bad account number which was the SAME account number that I have used to pay the balance on my card (successfully) dozens of times.  You know the drill from here with credit card companies, if your payment is not made on time, the late payment kicks in and interest charges and a higher penalty APR comes along for the ride. As a customer who had NEVER made a late payment on this card, I was confident that  a phone call would reverse all this nastiness and it DID (I blogged about how to negotiate your everyday expenses last year and that advice came through). Phew!

So, when I went to reset my automatic payment on my credit card back to the same account number that I have used countless times, I was dismayed to see this:

Question: How Much Are The “Big 5” Credit Card Companies Spending on Rewards Programs?

From Financial Times (sub. required):

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Answer: A LOT! Almost $23 BILLION in 2016 based on estimates from Instinet

These reward programs provide cash back or points (that can be exchanged for goods or services) to cardholders based on their spending habits. The FT article answers a few questions that students might have: