Research

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Chart: How Have World Stock Markets Changed Over The Past 100 Years?

Interesting graphic from a Credit Suisse report comparing the relative size of stock markets in 1899 vs. 2016 (great for a history course):

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Questions to ask:

Question: Who Has The Best Cell Phone Plan?

We know your students love their smartphones. How about putting that obsession to use by having them read this article from the NY Times “Picking a New Phone Plan? Here Are Your Best Bets?” As the article notes, every few months the carriers update their pricing models (check out our earlier posts on the topic here and here):

Shopping for a phone plan can be as daunting as picking a health insurance package. The rates and options constantly change, and it feels impossible to make simple comparisons between carriers. Case in point: The best phone plans we recommended a year and a half ago are now obsolete because the wireless carriers have completely changed their offerings.

The article goes on to highlight the “best plans” for different types of users: Single User, Single Power User, Average Couple, Power Couple, Family of Four, Occasional Traveler. Here are some ideas on how you can structure this as an activity for students to discuss with their parents or guardians (copied from an earlier post):

Snapchat Is Going Public. Would You Buy Their IPO?

First an admission. I have never used Snapchat. Despite that, I thought their upcoming IPO would be a good hook to get students interested in how the stock market works. Before diving into the specifics of Snapchat (actually it is their parent company, SNAP, who is going public), here’s a good video from Wall Street Survivor that explains what an IPO is:

Questions:

Video Resources: Avoid Those Checking Account Fees

It’s often the first financial product that a young person will use. Maybe they start with a savings account but eventually they graduate and pair their savings account with a checking account. In that process of setting up this new account, the customer will be asked (or they should be) whether they would like “overdraft protection.” The term sounds innocuous and better yet lures them in after all who doesn’t want to be protected. Have your students watch one or more of these videos (hat tip to NGPF’s Jessica for curating these videos from December 2016) and odds are they will choose to “just say no” when it comes to overdraft protection.

This Pew Charitable Trust video from December 2015 interviews people “on the street” to get their thoughts on overdraft fees and policies. Also highlights the blind spots that consumers have when it comes to the “fine print” of checking account agreements. A great overview and only 3 minutes long! Pair this video with the NGPF Fine Print: Reading the Fine Print of Your Checking Account and you will have savvy students when it comes to checking fees!

Key questions for your students:

By |February 20th, 2017|Checking Accounts, Debit Cards, Research, Video Resource|

Article: What’s the Future of Credit Scores?

Think Big Data. The Economist (5 minute article, college reading level) enlightens us on this topic in their article: “Big data, financial services and privacy:”

This is all part of an “intensifying data arms-race in finance”, says Magda Ramada Sarasola from Willis Towers Watson, a consultancy, which claims that no industry used more big data last year. Banks and insurers used to rely only on what customers and credit agencies told them, but today websites and mobile-banking apps let them get much more close and personal. Less conventional sources are also popular. Social-media profiles, web-browsing, loyalty cards and phone-location trackers can all help. In a trial, FICO, America’s main credit-scorer, found that the words someone uses in his Facebook status could help predict his creditworthiness (tip: avoid “wasted”). Even facial expressions and tone of voice are being studied for risk.

Just another reason to be careful with social media..your bank or lender may be reading but then again the lines between social media and finance seem to be blurring:

By |February 12th, 2017|Article, Credit Scores, Current Events, Research|

Interactive: How Much Have Incomes Changed for Specific Jobs Over the Past 50 Years?

Interesting interactive from Flowing Data demonstrating how income in various occupational categories has changed since 1960. Here’s what income distribution looked like in 1960 for several occupations (more occupations included on the website):

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Student can click on the SELECT YEAR button and see how these income distributions change over time.

Questions for your students (be sure they go to the interactive to answer the questions):

By |February 8th, 2017|Career, Chart of the Week, Interactive, Question of the Day, Research|

Chart: How Do Credit Card Companies Make Money?

Students need to understand the business models behind credit card companies as well as other financial service companies. Why? It provides a roadmap for consumers as to how they should use the financial product to AVOID becoming a profitable part of that business model. NerdWallet has a report out about credit card trends, which included this chart showing how credit card companies make money:

Question: How Much Should You Save For Retirement?

I heard this on Marketplace.org last night and thought it was worth sharing. It seems the old “rule of thumb” of  saving 10% for retirement needs to be updated:

By |February 7th, 2017|Current Events, Index Funds, Investing, Question of the Day, Research, Stocks|