• Best and Worst Financial Choices


    Source: Daily Infographic

  • Why Work at the Fed?

    What work environment would you enjoy the most?

    What kinds of projects would be appealing to you?

    What type of work would you believe in?

    The work at the Fed may meet your answers for all three questions above.

  • Career Advice from Those Who Know

    The harder you work, the luckier you get.

    This advice from Michael Bloomberg describes one of the hallmarks of American work ethic and the attitude that leads many small business leaders to success. He goes on to say that without the ability to collaborate and work with others, no one can succeed.

    For discussion:

    1. How important is the ability to sell?

    2. What advice do you find to be most useful from this video interview?

  • Should You Buy Life Insurance in Your 20s?

    Do you have anyone depending on you? Will your passing mean a financial burden for someone else? If so, you may want to consider buying a life insurance policy now, while you're young and the cost of coverage is pretty cheap.

    According to Kiplinger's:

    Sad though your death would be, it's unlikely it would create financial hardship for anyone. Any honest financial assessment of your situation would have to conclude that you have little or no need for life insurance.

    An argument could be made that you should buy a policy now while you're young and rates are low. And if someone -- a parent, say -- depends on you for financial support, then by all means, consider life insurance.

    For discussion:

    1. What kinds of financial burdens would you leave behind for your loved ones if you die?

    2. How much life insurance would cover those financial costs?

    3. What types of life insurance are available to you? What are the benefits and costs associated with each (eg. term life, whole life, variable life)?

  • The Euro and the Eurozone

    With last summer's Brexit, the recent resignation of Italy's prime minister, and other rumblings around the EU, the question of whether a common currency can continue. According to this infographics below, most Eurozone members are in favor of keeping the euro, but not everyone.

    You will find more statistics at Statista

  • High Speed Traders

    Many US stocks aren't traded by humans. On the contrary, many transactions are executed by computers based on algorithms created by "quants" or quantitative analysts. The trading instructions are programmed based on probabilities that are developed from historical trading patterns.

    For discussion:

    According to the high-frequency trader in this video, how successful are the trading algorithms?

    What makes people believe that the "game is rigged?"

    What advantage do high-frequency traders have over regular investors?

    How important is the location of the high-frequency traders?

  • Time Value of Money

    What if you need a car but don't have enough money today? How much can you borrow today if you know how much you can pay back in the future? The value today (present value) is related to the value in the future (future value) based on the interest rate and the number of years you must wait.

    This simple video describes the link between present value and future value.

    For discussion:

    1. How expensive of a car can you afford if you know you can borrow money at 5% per year and you can afford to pay back a loan of $400 per month for the next 5 years?

    2. If you want to buy a $35,000 car without borrowing money, then how much money do you need to save each month if you can earn 3% per year and you want to be able to buy the car in 4 years?

  • A Millennial' s Guide to Investing

    This guide from Forbes gives some practical tips for young people who hope to retire someday. Here are some questions to answer in this video:

    1. What kinds of investments are appropriate for a millennial? Which ones are not appropriate?

    2. What spending habits should you practice?

    3. How should you handle your student loans?

    4. How much should you spend on rent?

  • Rates, They Are A-Rising

    In its widely anticipated move, the Federal Reserve announced that it would be raising interest rates by 25 basis points (or 0.25 percent) in December 2016. The market was fully expecting this move, and the question was not whether the Fed would raise rates, but rather whether rates would be raised multiple times in the coming year.

    You will find more statistics at Statista

    For discussion:

    1. How does the Fed go about implementing monetary policy to raise interest rates?

    2. Why does the Fed need to raise rates?

    3. Who will be most affected by rising interest rates?

  • Best Places to Work in the US

    This Mad Money segment talks to the CEO of Glass Door who describes the best companies to work for in the U.S.

    For discussion:

    What are the top 3 employers in the U.S. according to this video?

    What are the characteristics of great companies to work for?

    What are the most important ways to drive employee satisfaction?

  • What's a Sketch of Cinderella Worth?

    Walt Disney memorabilia is up for auction and expected to fetch some pretty high prices. For sale are Walt Disney's signed will, the legal license to use Walt Disney's name, and a sketch of Cinderalla.

    The question is what are these items worth? In finance, value can be determined a number of ways. If cash flows are expected to be generated, such as rents, royalties, or future resale, then the value is the present value of these future cash flows. If this is too hard to figure out, then the easiest way to identify the value is to auction the item to the highest bidder, thereby identifying the market value.

    For discussion:

    Can you think of other circumstances where present value of cash flows is nearly impossible to identify?

    What is the downside of using the auction market to identify the market value? What happens when there is no good bidder found for an item that is being auctioned off? Should you conclude that the item has NO value? Why or why not?

  • MIllenials Buying Homes

  • Common Money Mistakes that Businesses Make

  • Why Millenials' Retirement Options Aren't That Bad

    According to some experts, the financial outlook for millenials is bleak.

    A recent article in Forbes Magazine describes Mckinsey's outlook like this:

    But that vision is all but gone now, according to a Wednesday report from McKinsey and Company’s research division. Millennials today will have to work longer and spend less if they hope for a comfortable retirement. That’s because their investments, including those in their 401(k)s and mutual funds, will gain far less than the investments from the past 30 years. This period of weak gains on U.S. bonds and equities is expected to last for 20 years.

    An average 30-year-old in the next 20 years will have to work seven years longer or almost double his or her savings rate in order to match the returns of the past, McKinsey projects.

    But this video offers hope. According to this Bloomberg video below, if millenials save, invest, and take a global view to investing, then they should be able to retire and not worry about the future.

    For discussion:

    What is different about the investing world available to millenials as compared with the one available to their parents?

    What reasons are offered for millenials to take hope that their financial future is rosier than experts suggest?

  • Trading the EUR USD Exchange Rate

    With all the political uncertainty we've faced in recent weeks and months, beginning with Brexit and ending most recently with the U.S. presidential election, the price of the U.S. dollar (USD) relative to other currencies such as the euro (EUR) have been the subject of all kinds of speculation. In this video, trading the EUR USD exchange rate is discussed

    For discussion:

    1. What is an exchange-traded fund or ETF? How can an investor take advantage of fluctuating exchange rates by trading this ETF?

    2. What does the speaker mean when he describes the exchange rate as "parity?"

    3. What is implied volatility? How does that affect the currency market?

    4. What trades are recommended in this video? Do you agree with them?