New Products

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NGPF is always at the ready…

You know we here at NGPF are always happy to help, which is why we didn’t think twice about responding to a unique email we received through our website. Dorothy was trying to solve a problem involving her church group: It’s got members who have joined at various points, anywhere from the past year to being a charter, founding member of the organization. They wanted to buy funeral flowers, as the members pass away, at varying price points based on length of membership. Dorothy turned to NGPF for a solution for keeping account of these flower purchases.

Now, this is not typically the type of support NGPF is in the business of offering, but, as mentioned before, we love to help! So, I created a quick spreadsheet so that Dorothy and her group can track their funeral flower spending. I love spreadsheets, so it was a perfect project for a Friday morning!

And, it ties in nicely to a little teaser promo here — NGPF surveyed earlier this year about spreadsheet usage in your classrooms, and we’ve identified it as an area where teens (and some teachers) could use a little support. That’s why one of our focuses for Spring semester will

By |December 13th, 2016|Excel activities, New Products|

What’s Changed in Personal Finance Since 2001?

I received an email from a personal finance curriculum in my inbox this morning (nothing unusual here, I get a lot of them:). The provider was encouraging their educators to update their curriculum since they had heard some were still using their 2001 edition (Remember Friends? That was the top TV show in 2001). Yikes! Quick digression, ok, let’s call it a commercial: Since NGPF makes all of its content available online, we make real-time updates when circumstances change, such as when the FAFSA becomes available three months earlier.

I thought it would be interesting to think about how the financial services industry has changed since 2001. In other words, what are students missing if they are being taught from a 2001 edition?

Future of Retail: The Supermarket May Never Be the Same Again!

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This image on the right may become a thing of the past if Amazon has their way! But first, I must digress…

For those who have listened to my podcast or read my blog, you probably know about the first stock I purchased in the fall of 1989. I took a few hundred dollars from my first paycheck and walked on down to the Quick and Reilly brokerage office in Boston and set up an account (the concept of online trading still about five years away). Thirty minutes later, I had my 100 shares of a company called CheckRobot in my account (and the riches were going to flow). Their innovation: automated checkout lines. Customers would skip the checkout line and be able to scan their own items and take their groceries and their receipt and pay at a centralized pay station. Customers would love it, companies would love the labor-saving aspect of it (one clerk for 5 checkout lines) and orders would flow in…well that’s not how it happened. Adoption was slow to non-existent, the company ran low on funds and was forced into a merger where shareholders got very little:( I got a valuable lesson in risk.

Interactive: Grappling With The Ethics of Self-Driving Cars

Skimming this FT article about Apple’s efforts in the autonomous vehicle market, I was intrigued with the introduction of ethics into the conversation:

Apple urges the regulator to continue “thoughtful exploration of the ethical issues” of self-driving cars.

“Because automated vehicles promise such a broad and deep human impact, companies should consider the ethical dimensions of them in comparably broad and deep terms,” Apple writes. These considerations include privacy, how the cars’ software systems make decisions and the impact on employment and public spaces, it says.

As the technology gets closer to adoption, I expect the focus will shift to the ethical implications, especially this idea of how the software systems will make decisions. Which makes this next resource so engaging. Here is a fascinating interactive developed by the MIT Media Lab which forces students to grapple with these ethical issues. The 45 second video above explains the simulation in greater detail (440,000 views after just three months!):

Mini-Activity:

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To Vicki Zhou, Co-Founder of Wise Banyan

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If you want to hear the story of a passionate entrepreneur in a highly competitive and fast-changing marketplace, then you must listen to this podcast with Vicki Zhou, the co-founder and co-CEO of Wise Banyan. Billed as “the world’s first free financial advisor,” WiseBanyan brings low-cost financial planning to the masses. In our conversation, Vicki shares how she went from getting patents on medical devices while in college to taking the leap to Wall Street and then to co-founding her current venture. She describes the differentiation strategy she is pursuing to stand out from the crowded field of robo-advisors. We also learn about the financial goals that her users set when they first sign up on her site and how they have fared at achieving them. Learn what it takes to be an entrepreneur in this fascinating corner of investing that will become the new paradigm for your students (and also get a lesson in trees too!) Enjoy!

Details:

By |November 14th, 2016|Current Events, Investing, New Products, Podcasts, Stocks|

NGPF Launches “The Fine Print”

download-9Read the fine print!

We hear that advice all the time (a quick google search found it here and here and here). Yet, we didn’t see any resources out there that would actually develop the critical thinking skills required to navigate the complex world of financial products. So, today we launched a new product “The Fine Print,” mini-lessons to give students practice with the important forms, statements and agreements they will encounter in their financial lives. Given that our website is hitting records today, this product is clearly popular with teachers!

What are the features of “The Fine Print?”

What Does the New FICO Score Measure?

bubble-scoreAnswer: Your driving behavior

From Forbes:

The new FICO score will be built using data captured while you drive. A driver would have to install the eDriving smartphone telematics solution, which will “capture acceleration, braking, cornering, speeding, cellphone distraction, and other behavioral data, as well as provide the proprietary, predictive analytics platform to fuel the FICO Safe Driving Score.”

Your driving behavior will be captured, stored and analyzed in the same way that credit risk data is captured and stored by credit bureaus and analyzed by FICO. This data will then be used to create a score. If you are constantly speeding and using your cellphone while driving, expect a bad score. 

Wonder who might be interested in this data?

NGPF Product Launch: Question of the Day

Looking for great bell-ringers to get your class off on the right foot? 

Look no further. Next Gen Personal Finance is pleased to add to our product arsenal with Question of the DayWe developed this product after repeated teacher requests for great questions to ignite classroom discussions!  Question of the Day comes with three parts: an engaging question, “the answer,” and follow-up questions to keep the conversation going. We currently have thirty questions covering 11 topics including budgeting, investing and identity theft! 

Here are some popular questions you might want to check out: