Question of the Day

/Question of the Day
­

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|

Question: What Are The Ten Most Popular Passwords?

download (4)

 

 

 

 

 

Before I answer, please let your students know if their password shows up below on this list, they better change it NOW!

Answer (from Consumerist):

By |January 19th, 2017|Current Events, Identity Theft, Question of the Day, Research|

Chart: How Much of Millennials’ Food Budget Is Spent on Dining Away From Home?

Answer: 47%

From The Atlantic/BLS:

58f46a188

The chart is interesting when you look at it over a 20 year arc (instead of focusing on the short term ups and downs), where seniors have actually increased their dining away from home more than the other age groups (on a percentage basis).

From the Atlantic:

Question: How Much Debt Do Consumers Have?

A great opener to your Types of Credit unit. Start by asking your students to rank from largest to smallest the various types of consumer debt:

  • Credit Cards
  • Mortgages
  • Auto Loans
  • Student Loans

—————-

Answer and visual below (from Visual Capitalist and Equifax): $12.4 trillion (as of August 2016)

Chart: How Is Card Fraud Committed In US Compared to Rest of the World?

From Federal Reserve Payment Study 2016:

screen-shot-2017-01-10-at-3-12-39-pm

Questions for your students:

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? 

Charts: What Are The Most Common Non-Cash Forms of Payment?

You might ask your students to rank order the following non-cash payment types from most common to least common and see how they do:

  • Credit cards
  • Checks
  • Prepaid debit cards (often called prepaid cards)
  • Debit cards (what comes with your checking account)
  • ACH (automated clearinghouse payments – see definition below)

_________

The Federal Reserve is out with their triennial report on non-cash payment trends and there are some fascinating charts within it (look for more over the coming week). Today, we focus on the big picture…what are the trends in how people are paying for stuff in a non-cash way? 

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

From Financial Times (sub. required):

screen-shot-2017-01-03-at-4-03-52-pm

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: