What Actions Are Countries Taking To Improve Financial Education?

Thanks to NGPF intern Grace Deng for her tremendous notes on a recent panel at OECD/GFLEC GLOBAL POLICY RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM TO ADVANCE FINANCIAL LITERACY. This panel “Policy Research to Improve Financial Education Outcomes” captured how other countries (China, Australia, England and Russia) are implementing financial education (see video here starting at 2 hour 35 minute mark of video). Interesting to see the parallels in the challenges they identify in their home countries and the challenges that we face in the U.S.

Policy Research to Improve Financial Education Outcomes

 Xue Hu, Deputy Director of Banking Consumer Protection Department, China Banking Regulatory Commission

 Actions Taken

– Incorporated financial concepts into cartoon films in pilot program for elementary school children

By |June 6th, 2017|Current Events, Policy, Research|

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Dave Mancl About How Wisconsin Increased Access to Financial Education

I really enjoyed my recent conversation with Dave Mancl. He provided awesome insights about how actions at the state level can act as an accelerant to get financial education into more K-12 classrooms. Dave’s state, Wisconsin, has been an early adopter in seeing the value of this education and created a comprehensive and holistic approach to increasing access.  In this podcast, Dave shares his work as director of the Wisconsin Office of Financial Literacy in the Department of Financial Institutions and the keys to his success in driving financial education efforts.  You will also learn more about how to successfully manage a nightcrawler business. Enjoy!


  • 0:00~1:08 – Introduction
  • 1:08~1:52 – Dave’s day job
  • 1:52~3:41 – Interest in financial literacy
  • 3:41~6:13 – First job
  • 6:13~11:44 – Office of financial literacy
  • 11:44~15:23 – Increasing access to financial education
  • 15:23~20:37 – Strategies for success
  • 20:37~21:58 – Personal finance at the
By |June 5th, 2017|Advocacy, Current Events, Financial Literacy, Podcasts, Policy|

The Need for Financial Education Is Everywhere…!

As we embark on an advocacy strategy that you will see unfold in the weeks and months, I become more convinced everyday that there is a groundswell of grassroots support for making financial education as much a part of K-12 as the three Rs. I also am beginning to recognize the gaping hole that exists for financial programs targeting underserved populations.   This kind of fits the innovation model described in this Clay Christensen Harvard Business Review article where a disrupter targets markets that aren’t being served adequately today. As the list below shows, there seems to be a shortage of financial education providers customizing their product offering to adequately meet the needs of specific populations.

In the last few days alone, NGPF has received unsolicited inquiries from individuals serving diverse populations who are interested in expanding financial capability:

Wrong Question: Should College Students Be Required to Take A Personal Finance Course?

Kudos to WSJ for asking the question and getting opposing viewpoints on the answer to the question. I am having trouble containing myself so I thought I better get my thoughts down on paper before I explode. First, the newspaper is asking the wrong question. The right question is “Should High School Students Be Required to Take A Personal Finance Course?” College is too late. The biggest financial decision that young people make occurs BEFORE college. Those decisions are “where are they going to continue their education?” and “how are they going to pay for it.” I received way too many calls in my days at Student Lending Analytics from sobbing students and their parents about their predicament of high debt and “I am only a junior.” As we know student debt has a long tail to it and has ramifications far into the future. It is that much harder to course correct several years into one’s college career. 

What’s New With Credit Reports?

Here are a few new developments that we are tracking:

  • Consumers are about to benefit from changes afoot with credit reports (From WSJ [subscription] with hat tip to NGPF Team member, Sonia):

Your Weekend Podcasts

Oops. Meant to get this out on Friday. Here’s what I have been listening to the past week (or hope to listen to soon):

  • Bill McNabb, CEO of Vanguard Group (Masters in Business with Barry Ritholtz; over one hour). Vanguard recently crossed $4 trillion in assets under management. McNabb describes why index funds are increasing their market share, how Vanguard’s robo-advising business is growing, and the importance of fees when it comes to investing over the long-term. For those interested in learning more about index investing, this is a great primer! McNabb also shares some valuable career advice that he gained from an unlikely mentor.
By |March 5th, 2017|Audio Resource, Index Funds, Investing, Policy|

Question: What Regions of the Country Have The Most Upward Mobility?

The Equality of Opportunity Project released a vast trove of data last Wednesday focused, as its name suggests, on identifying characteristics in communities that foster upward mobility. In looking at over 700 metro and rural areas in the U.S., the researchers defined upward mobility in terms of a children’s chances of reaching the top 20% in income distribution given parents in the bottom 20%.

Here’s the results from crunching lots of data (note the legend that indicates lighter areas as having more upward mobility):

Screen Shot 2017-01-21 at 8.09.23 PM

  • An obvious question when one looks at a map like this is “what factors drive upward mobility?” Here’s what the researchers found:
By |January 22nd, 2017|Career, Current Events, Policy, Question of the Day, Research|

Chart: How Strong Are American’s Problem-Solving Skills Using A Computer?

From Economist:


Answer: Meh (or about average for OECD countries with about 33% of adults classified in the “High” category).

This Economist article focused on the need for retraining of low-skilled workers as the pace of automation accelerates and many of their jobs go the way of the buggy whip. As for how to accomplish this, Singapore has a promising example:

By |January 16th, 2017|Article, Career, Chart of the Week, Current Events, Policy, Research|