Current Events

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Ask Reddit: What’s the Best Way To Build Credit?

An important skill for students to build is the ability to critically analyze any form of media (articles, videos, reader comments or even friends and family) that they rely upon for financial advice. Forums such as Bogleheads can be a useful place to find financial advice but still requires a critical eye to separate the signal from the noise.

I came across this question on Reddit (“Just turned 18, What is the best way to start building credit) that had a manageable number of responses. I thought this would be a good assessment to use after your Managing Credit unit. This question about building credit has become more important for young people given CARD Act regulations that make it difficult to get a credit card before the age of 21 unless you have a parent co-signer or an independent source of income.

Here’s the mini-activity. Ask your students to…

Activity Idea: Personal Finance In My Life

My travels took me to Chicago and New York recently and here are some images related to personal finance that I captured:

  • Thanks to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago for recently co-hosting the Financial Literacy Summit with VISA. I enjoyed moderating the panel on Expanding Access to Financial Education Programs (video for Session 6  here):

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  • Would you take tax advice from a “tax truck?” Seen on the streets of New York the weekend before Tax Day:

Chart: Could You Come Up with $400 In Case of An Emergency?

From WSJ:

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In 2015, we posted research indicating that 47% of Americans couldn’t come up with $400 in case of an emergency. These charts and data tables provide some additional context around that statistic. Questions for your students:

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

Question of the Day: What Are the Three Most Useful Inventions of All-Time?

Answer:

  • Most useful: Cell phone, disposable diaper and alarm clock.
  • Most important: Electricity, Internet and The Wheel

From Time Invention survey of 10,197 people in seven mature markets (South Korea, the U.S., Germany, Sweden, Australia, the U.K. and Singapore) and 10 emerging markets (South Africa, Kenya, Russia, the United Arab Emirates, China, Brazil, Turkey, India, Mexico and Indonesia).: 

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To Prof. Meir Statman About Behavioral Finance

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I enjoyed my recent conversation with Finance professor Meir Statman of Santa Clara University, which is just down the street from the NGPF offices. Meir conducted some of the earliest research in what we now know as behavioral finance. He discusses his book, Finance for Normal People, and shares his insights about how investing should be taught in school (spoiler alert: Keep It Simple!). He also describes his approach to playing the stock market game and why fees matter so much when comparing investment options. You will know more about investing after you listen to Prof. Statman. Enjoy!
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What’s New In Financial Education Research?

Hat tip to Brian Page for reminding me about the recent Cherry Blossom Financial Education Institute held in early April. Here’s a summary of a few of the papers that were presented that you might be interested in: