Hat tip to The Reformed Broker for this thought-provoking chart which will get your students thinking about the importance of asset allocations:
Questions for students:
Another great interactive from Flowing Data allows users to see top jobs and salaries by state (and for the entire U.S. of A. also). This static chart that I copied from the site displays job and salary information for the U.S. The green areas in the chart are jobs where the Median Annual Salary is $60,000 or more.
“US households spent $3,008, or about $8.35 a day, on average, eating out in 2015… Investing $3,008 each year… would add up 30 years later to… more than $250,000. Similarly, investing $3.50 a day for 30 years instead of buying a latte would add up to savings of nearly $107,000”. (USA Today, June 2017)
We all know that it is hard to save enough for retirement. Financial education teachers also know that students sometimes struggle to relate decisions in their current, daily lives, with how much they will need when they retire much later in life. This interesting article attempts to help close this inter-temporal gap by framing our current weekly spending choices in terms of equivalent dollar amount closer to retirement. “Is eating lunch out two times a week worth losing out on a potential investment windfall of $88,000?”
Questions for Students:
The latest Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) Employment Situation Summary report, commonly referred to as the “non-farm Payrolls report”, was released this past Friday, June 2. 138,000 new non-farm jobs were created in the month of May, which was 47,000 jobs lower than the forecast for 185,000 new jobs, while the unemployment rate fell to 4.3% from 4.4% the previous month (BLS, June 2017). What indication does this data provide about the health of the US economy (MarketWatch, June 2017)?
Questions for Students
Recently, Bitcoin, the most famous of the cryptocurrencies, has soared to all-time highs (Fortune, May 2017), increasing the amount of press attention and internet searches (Google Trends, May 2017) surrounding the little-known digital currency. We’ve also heard this question from many of our users, “what is Bitcoin and what do my students need to know about cryptocurrencies”? You are not alone! 83% of respondents in a 2015 survey conducted by PwC were “slightly familiar/not at all familiar” with cryptocurrencies (PwC, August 2015).
Although a complex topic, we will attempt to shed some light through this brief primer:
Cryptocurrency Explained in One Paragraph: “Bitcoin is a new currency that was created in 2009 by an unknown person using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto. Bitcoins [and other cryptocurrencies] can be used to buy merchandise anonymously. Transactions are made with no middle men – meaning, no banks! There are no transaction fees and no need to give your real name. More merchants are beginning to accept them. In addition, international payments are easy and cheap because bitcoins are not tied to any country or subject to regulation. Small businesses may like them because there are no credit card fees. Some people just buy bitcoins as an investment, hoping that they’ll go up in value.” (CNN Money)
What is Bitcoin (and how is it different from traditional currency)? Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, such as Litecoin, Ethereum, Zcash (Investopedia, 2017), are digital, de-centralized, and verified currencies.
I had a great conversation recently with NGPF Teacher Innovator Award winner, Tara Kelley, a math teacher from Harwood Union High School in Duxbury, Vermont. Tara created a Spring Break Project (who doesn’t want to plan a spring break vacation?) which allowed her students to explore the cost of using a credit card to pay for their Spring Break vacation. They learned through this activity the impact that changing their monthly credit card payments has on the total interest paid as well as the importance of paying off a credit card balance in full every month. Enjoy!
Neat interactive from Flowing Data demonstrating the importance of education when it comes to income for young people (18-34):
Students can toggle between 1966 and 2016 to see how the median as well as the dispersion of wages changes over this fifty year period.
From the Guardian comes an interesting interactive which displays long-term trends in disposable income among different age groups in different countries. Students start by entering an age and a country (all G-8 countries are represented) and then see a series of charts that show three different analyses: