WebQuest

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What’s the Cost Of Financial Ignorance For Young People? Or Why Personal Finance Should Be Required for Graduation!

Answer: $795 Million ANNUALLY in checking fees

  • You could buy 2 fidget spinners for EVERY American and still some money left over with that amount that young people pay in banking fees

Here were the two key takeaways based on recent research from NerdWallet (spoiler alert: It’s all about the overdraft fees):

Student Loans: You Better Know What You’re Signing Up For!

As your seniors head off to college in the fall, you better arm them with the information they need to succeed financially during and after college. The biggest issue they will deal with in college: Student Loans. They will be required to go through an online “counseling” process which I would describe as “too little, too late” just before their loan is disbursed. I was trying to come up with a fun way (Ok, I might be stretching it here) to get them to review what in industry parlance is known as the “MPN” or Master Promissory Note for their student loans.  It is 7 printed pages long so rather than have them read straight through, how about a Scavenger Hunt where they will review the Note so they can complete this FAQ (frequently asked questions).  Each of the questions below can be answered within the note:

Question: What Happened To Snapchat (The Investment)?

Investors loved the IPO (shares shot up from IPO price of $17 to $29 at one point on the first day of trading) but when it came time to announce their first quarterly results as a public company, well….I will let the chart from YahooFinance do the talking:

Ben Carlson, a blogger, titled a recent blog post on this disappointment: A Good Lesson For Millennial Investors. So, what did it teach them?

Interactive: How Does Your Disposable Income Compare to Peers in Other Countries?

From the Guardian comes an interesting interactive which displays long-term trends in disposable income among different age groups in different countries. Students start by entering an age and a country (all G-8 countries are represented) and then see a series of charts that show three different analyses:

Product Review: Worried About Overdrawing Your Checking Account? There’s An App for That!

A whole lot of peoples’ pain ($33 billion in overdraft fees) seems like an opportunity to one entrepreneur!

From BusinessInsider:

Mark Cuban was crushed with overdraft fees in his 20s. Now he’s backing an app that’s trying to help people avoid having to pay them. The billionaire has invested in a new app called Dave that aims to predict coming expenses for users to help prevent them from overdrafting on their bank accounts.

Have your students go to Dave.com and review the app:

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.

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:

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

Answer (from ID Analytics report): 72%

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Questions for students: