Question of the Day

/Question of the Day
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Question: What Financial Products Should A Young Person Use To Manage Their Money?

Hanging out on the Boglehead Forum today skimming the topics that have received the most replies. Forums seem so “old school” in this age of social networks (Facebook, Twitter, SnapChat) but the ones that have survived and thrived have done so for a reason. For those not familiar with the Boglehead Forum, the forum is named in honor of John Bogle, founder of Vanguard Investments, and attracts knowledgeable, thrifty investors passionate about sharing their knowledge in a variety of topics. Anytime I descend into the rabbit hole of a forum thread, I find myself wiser for the time invested. Students need to know where to go for reliable, credible sources for financial information.

I thought your students would benefit from this thread titled “College-bound teens and finances,” since it takes a holistic view on how to set up a young person for financial success from a parent’s perspective (other people’s parents which probably helps:) Here was the opening question on the thread: 

Interactive: What Do Americans Earn Per Hour?

Simple interactive from CNN shows the percentage of jobs at a given wage range and as you rollover a given wage band you see a list of representative jobs with their hourly wage and annual salary (note that data is from May 2013 from Bureau of Labor Statistics):

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Questions for students:

By |March 23rd, 2017|Career, Current Events, Interactive, Question of the Day, Research|

The FED Raised Interest Rates At Their Last Meeting…How Much Will That Cost Credit Card Revolvers (in Billions)?

Answer (from MarketWatch based on NerdWallet analysis): $1.6 billion

From MarketWatch:

The Federal Reserve raised its target range for federal funds by a quarter percentage point to 0.75%-to-1% on Wednesday, and signaled two more rate increases in 2017. Put another way, this increases how much banks will be charged to borrow money from Federal Reserve banks. (The Fed raises and lowers interest rates in an attempt to control inflation.)

I know some of you are trying to figure out how that decision from the Federal Reserve translates into higher costs for credit card revolvers. Here is the transmission mechanism:

By |March 21st, 2017|Credit Cards, Current Events, Math, Question of the Day|

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. 

Question: How Many Borrowers Can’t Repay Their Student Loans?

Answer (from Consumer Federation analysis reported by CNBC): In 2016, more than 4.2 million out of 42.4 million borrowers were in default. This is a 1.1 million student increase from 2015.  Default is a condition where the borrower has not made a payment on their loan for 9 months.

What makes this more troubling is that these increases in defaults are occurring at a time when the economic statistics, especially unemployment rates are at historical lows (from Washington Post): 

Question: What Percentage of High School Seniors Have A Driver’s License?

Answer (from Pew Charitable Trust): 71.5%, a significant decline from 85.3% in 1996.

See chart below the line:

What Are The Five Most Valuable Brands In The World?

From BrandFinance:

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Questions:

What Percentage of 18-22 Year Old’s Credit Applications Declined?

Answer (from ID Analytics report): 72%

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Questions for students: