Savings

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Question: What Is Your Most Valuable Asset Today?

Answer: You!

To a student with little in the way of financial assets, this is a critical question for them to answer. Why? Because it provides them with the right mindset as they are coming to conclusions about their post-high school life.

From “Of Dollars and Data,” one of my new favorite blogs:

Nearly all articles written about investment and personal finance (mine included) focus heavily on financial assets despite the fact that most of your value (like mine) is likely not contained within financial assets. Most of your financial value is already contained within yourself, waiting to be unlocked over time. What I am talking about is a concept called human capital, or the value of all of your skills and knowledge. Your human capital can be thought of as an asset that you use to earn money. Understanding this concept should provide the motivation behind why you should save and invest.

He goes on to introduce the concept of present value to come up with a dollar value for human capital based on a future income stream discounted to the present using a discount factor. The example he gives is pay of $50,000 over 40 years discounted at a 3% rate yields a present value of $1.1 million. The point he makes is that human capital is an asset that eventually declines over time which explains why saving is so important.

He provides this nifty graph to display this concept:

Interactive: How Can I Retire Early?

As an educator, I often get this question from students. Yes, I know they have attention spans that are minute to minute (or text to text) but when the subject of retirement comes up, they usually fixate on “How can I get there as soon as possible?”

What I love about this post from Mr. Money Moustache (last seen on this blog in 2014), is the simplicity of his answer and how it all comes down to ONE factor: 

Chart: Could You Come Up with $400 In Case of An Emergency?

From WSJ:

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In 2015, we posted research indicating that 47% of Americans couldn’t come up with $400 in case of an emergency. These charts and data tables provide some additional context around that statistic. Questions for your students:

Article: Financial Advice From The Stars

We know how much young people look up to, mimic and try and emulate the stars. That’s why I thought this article might grab your students’ attention. Here are a few of the 11 stars that were mentioned (I have to admit that I am having a lot of “who’s that?” moments as I skim through the article, your students probably won’t).

From Bloomberg

What’s New In Financial Education Research?

Hat tip to Brian Page for reminding me about the recent Cherry Blossom Financial Education Institute held in early April. Here’s a summary of a few of the papers that were presented that you might be interested in:

What Are We Watching? Three Of Our Latest Curated Videos

The NGPF Team is always scouring the web for videos to add to our Video Library. Here are the latest that the team has uncovered:

Pay Day 101: Direct Deposit (from Young Illinois Saves), duration of 3:48, provides a good description of how direct deposit works from the perspective of young adults:

Question: Can You Really Build Wealth Earning The Minimum Wage?

Thought-provoking infographic from Visual Capitalist. I like the question because the knee jerk reaction to the question would be “of course not.” The infographic lists 10 ways to be able to build wealth while earning a low wage. Frankly these tips work for people at all income strata which is why I am including it here. Some questions for your students:

By |April 2nd, 2017|Current Events, Index Funds, Purchase Decisions, Savings|

Resource Lists for Financial Educators (courtesy of Barbara O’Neill of Rutgers Cooperative Extension)

What does a distinguished professor do during her sabbatical? Curate personal finance resources, of course! In this blog post, Barbara O’Neill shares the fruits of her hundreds of hours of labor in putting together three awesome resource lists (see bottom of post for links to her lists), including what what she considered the “best of the best” from the NGPF library. As she describes below, the purpose of her odyssey was to replenish her “well” of creative learning activities. I hope that your “well” overflows as you find resources that will work in your classroom. Thank you Barbara for this tremendous gift to the community! Your commitment and dedication to improving financial literacy in this country inspires us.