• Managing Credit Card Debt

    There's a good chance that the very people you think are financially secure aren't. Many American's carry an ongoing balance on their credit cards and pay only the minimum payment each month.

    The infographic below shows the downside of carrying a credit card balance.

    For discussion:

    What are credit card interest rates today?

    What advice would you give an individual who is using his/her credit card to furnish a first apartment?

    Infographic: Managing Credit Card Debt

    ©2017 FINRA. All rights reserved. FINRA is a registered trademark of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. Reprinted with permission from FINRA.

  • Struggling to Make Ends Meet at $90,000 Per Year

    Middle class is the families that earn between $50,000 and $150,000 per year, and though they should be earning enough to live comfortably they are actually living paycheck to paycheck. In the video below, two teachers earn a family income of approximately $90,000 per year. But in the event of an unexpected financial crisis when their car gets side swiped overnight, they struggle to make ends meet.

  • Snap IPO: Back Where It All Began

    The infographic below shows that 105 days after its IPO, Snap's stock price was back to $17 per share, which was the initial price at the IPO. Looks like investors don't see much upside and therefore aren't bidding the stock price up any higher.

    For discussion:

    What does the future of Snap look like?

    What differentiates Snap from its competitors?

    What problems or challenges does the firm face?

     You will find more statistics at Statista

  • Traditional or Behavioral Finance?

    Traditional finance says that investors are rational who weigh information properly and pay the correct value for an investment. But according to behavioral experts, not so.

    This video interview with legendary Daniel Kahneman describes the loss aversion that most people experience.

    For discussion:

    What is the experiment that Professor Kahneman describes?

    How does this experiment demonstrate loss aversion?

  • Why So Many Americans Have No Savings

    Could you meet a $400 emergency?

    47% of respondents say that they can't meet the emergency without borrowing money. And they're embarrassed about it.

    This video with author Neal Gabler shows that this is a common situation among the American middle class.

    For discussion:

    What is financial fragility?

    How widespread is financial fragility?

    Why is financial fragility so widespread?

    Who is to blame for a family's financial fragility?

    What changes would you advise the average family to make to have sufficient savings to meet emergency needs?

  • Global Economic Outlook from the IMF

    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) produced this infographic that shows the outlook for 2017-18.

    For discussion:

    Based on the outlook below, what investment choices seem to be the most promising?

    World Economic Outlook Update, January 2017 Infographic

    Source: International Monetary Fund

  • Charley Ellis: The Shift in Active Investing Over 50 Years

    Active managers charge a fee to make investment recommendations, in contrast with passive investing where the investor accepts the same return that would be earned by buying a basket of stocks that match the market average. Active managers charge a fee and that fee has increased over the years, attracting more active managers into the market.

    This interview with Charley Ellis gives an excellent overview of active investing and what has happened over the last 50 years.

  • Can You Do Better than Stock Experts?

    Is it worth the time and expense to pick stocks that you think are going to beat the market? What if you selected your stocks by simply throwing darts at the newspaper? Would you do better, the same, or worse than a managed fund (that is, a fund managed by experts)?

    This video describes the difference between passive and active investing. Burton Malkiel, author of Random Walk Down Wall Street explains.

    For discussion:

    1. What is passive investing?

    2. Can you beat the market by picking stocks, that is by actively marketing?

  • Ben Graham on Investing

    This archive video shows the legendary Ben Graham, author of The Intelligent Investor. He describes the activity of the investor in the stock market:

    "You have your choice between tossing coins and taking the consensus of expert opinion. And the result is just about the same in each case."

    For discussion:

    1. Who was Ben Graham and what was his influence on modern finance?

    2. What does it mean that "information is already reflected in the stock price?"

  • The Cost of Financial Stress

    Financial stress is one of the key destroyers of marriages and is the root of anxiety for many. The infographic below shows the behaviors surrounding financial stress, including:

    • no savings
    • no budget
    • late payments of bills

    For discussion: what surprises you the most about financial stress? What advice would you offer your friends and family regarding their finances?

    financially-stressed

    Source: Best infographics

  • Do You Need a College Degree

    We've all heard the arguments. Who needs a college degree when some of the most successful people in the world never graduated?

    While that is true, and some super successful people dropped out of school, that's not a ticket to success. From this CNBC article, "The Myth of the Mega-Successful Dropout":

    In a recent study, we investigated how many of the wealthiest and most influential people graduated college. We studied 11,745 U.S. leaders, including CEOs, federal judges, politicians, multi-millionaires and billionaires, business leaders and the most globally powerful men and women.

    ...We found about 94 percent of these U.S. leaders attended college, and about 50 percent attended an elite school. Though almost everyone went to college, elite school attendance varied widely. For instance, only 20.6 percent of House members and 33.8 percent of 30-millionaires attended an elite school, but over 80 percent of Forbes' most powerful people did. For whatever reason, about twice as many senators — 41 percent — as House members went to elite schools.

    This article explains why college, so the next question is why finance. Though some people have a sense for business and have a natural ability to evaluate risk and choose successful investments, studying finance will help you answer the following three questions:

    1. What projects should be chosen? This question addresses capital budgeting, which is the process we use to choose projects that offer benefits that outweigh the costs.
    2. How should the project be funded? This question is the capital structure question. In other words, what mix of equity and debt will be best for the firm making the investment?
    3. How should the day-to-day financial decisions be made? This final question addresses working capital management. In this third area of finance, we learn about managing short term assets like inventory and accounts payable as well as short term liabilities like accounts receivable.

  • A Day in the Life of a Trader

    This video gives a glimpse into the day in the life of a trader in NYC and in London.

    For discussion:

    What does the day look like to you? Does the pace of work sound exciting? Why or why not?