Category Archives: Stocks

Audio Resource: What’s Wrong With Dow Jones Index?

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18 minute Planet Money podcast from this spring. Provides students with a better understanding of how the Dow Jones index is calculated and constructed and its shortcomings vs. S&P500 and Wilshire 5000 indices.  Good supplemental resource to use during your investing unit.

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Check out the NGPF Investing Activity focused on Asset Allocation using Excel

How Much Is That Investment Education You Provide Your Students Really Worth?

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According to this research study which I unearthed from 2014, more financially knowledgeable workers have higher returns on their 401(k) balances.  While not all that surprising, the research was able to quantify how much that knowledge was actually worth.  It also provides a set of five questions that they used to measure financial knowledge that you could use to test your students.

Here’s their summary:

We show that more financially knowledgeable employees are also significantly more likely to hold stocks in their 401(k) plan portfolios. They can also anticipate significantly higher expected excess returns, which over a 30-year working career could build a retirement fund 25% larger than that of their less-knowledgeable peers. Their investment portfolios are also somewhat more volatile, exposing them to slightly more idiosyncratic risk.

I highlighted the key insight from their research.  So, what do we need to teach students about investing so they can be knowledgeable and generate that larger 401(k) nest egg? Continue reading

Activity Idea: How To Save $100,000 By the Time You Turn 30

I saw this headline in the USA Today and expected something other than a listicle with 10 ways to get to $100K by 30 (including advice such as “go to a cheap school” or “avoid credit card debt.”).  I thought this would be a great question that would enable students to flex their Excel (or Google Sheets) muscles to figure out how they could get there.

Here is link to the spreadsheet.  Remember to have students copy the spreadsheet before completing the activity.  As a teacher, you can modify the spreadsheet based on the Excel skills of your students. The base version has all of the formulas already added. Students have three key assumptions to play with: Continue reading

Audio Resource: What’s a Stock, Bond and Mutual Fund?

This fifteen minute podcast from Motley Fool (start at 1:00 and finish around 16:00) is a good homework assignment prior to your unit on investing.  The three personal finance experts answer a listener’s question (Ok, it’s really not a question):

When my friends start talking about investing, I just sort of nod my head and pretend to know what they’re talking about. I have been doing this for so long I’m too embarrassed to admit that I don’t know the difference between a stock, a bond, and a mutual fund. Help me sound smart.

As students listen, have them key in on the following questions: Continue reading