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Articles: The History of the Department Store and the Modern Day Department Store Destroyer

Two articles that I thought your students might enjoy since shopping seems top of mind for many teens. I think these would be particularly good as a supplement for your investing or entrepreneurship lessons. One article describes the rise of the department store (Inventing the Department Store in Barrons; about 5 minutes reading) and the other describes the modern day Leviathan that is destroying department stores and other competitors too (Amazon: Primed from the Economist (three articles free per week); about 15 minutes reading).

A Q&A follows focused on the key takeaways from the readings.

Some highlights from the Barrons article:

What led to the first department stores being opened in London? 

As affluence increased in the 18th century and the Industrial Revolution made more goods available, shopping began to evolve into what would become the department store. The first ones began by catering to the most common type of shoppers, women. The first real department store, Harding, Howell & Cos.’ Grand Fashionable Magazine, opened in London in 1796. Its four departments carried furs, jewelry, dresses, and hats, and accessories such as lace and gloves.

Who brought concept to US? Alexander Stewart

What was his insight that led to their popularity? 

History Lesson: The Dow Jones Industrial Average Since 1896 In One Chart

Great infographic showing the price action for the Dow Jones Industrial Average over the past 130 years with historical milestones along the way (click on the graphic to enlarge it):

By |March 26th, 2017|Chart of the Week, Index Funds, Investing, Math, Research, Stocks|

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):

Screen Shot 2017-03-21 at 10.25.25 PM

Questions for students:

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

Video: Suburbs and Cities: Why Do We Live Where We Do?

Hat tip to Big Picture blog who brought this well produced and engaging 10 minute video to my attention. It provides an historical perspective on how cities developed and the factors that determine where people live in in the U.S. compared to Europe. This would be a good supplement to your budgeting lesson as housing costs tend to be the largest expense so where you live is consequential:

Questions for students:

  • Why did cities in Europe develop differently than those in the U.S.?
  • Where do rich people tend to settle in European cities? Why? How is it different in the U.S.?
  • What factors led to more suburbanization in the U.S. compared to Europe?
  • What is the unintended consequence of this move to the suburbs in the U.S.?
  • Where would you prefer to live: the suburbs or a city? Why?

_______

Check out the most popular NGPF Activity: Create A Salary-Based Budget

By |March 22nd, 2017|Budgeting, Mortgages, Purchase Decisions, Research, Video Resource|

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. 

Just Say No To Overdraft Protection!

It’s a $33 billion error that consumers continue to make. From Wall Street Journal:

Banks and other financial firms in 2016 generated the highest level of fees in seven years related to overdrafts on checking accounts, marking a turnaround for a charge crisis-era regulation tried to rein in.

So-called overdraft fees totaled $33.3 billion in 2016, up about 2.5% from 2015 and by 5.4% from 2011, according to Moebs Services Inc., an economic-research firm. Overdrafts occur when consumers make transactions that are larger than their checking-account balance.

Try this tomorrow in your class:

Web Quest: How Do I Buy A Stock (Or Better Yet, An Index Fund)?

A teacher at our recent FinCamp reminded me that we should not forget about the importance of the mechanics of personal finance transactions. What good is teaching students about the importance of investing if they don’t know how to go about setting up an account to buy/sell investments. While we have a activities on how to select a credit card and a bank account, we don’t answer the basic question that many young investors have which is “How do I buy a stock?”

Rather than answer this question for them, have students do their own online research to discover: