• What is Bitcoin?

    Bitcoin seems to be all the rage at the moment. Is this fake money, or is it a legitimate method of payment? This video from the CME answers the following questions: 1. What is Bitcoin? 2. How is Bitcoin created? 3. How can individuals and institutions...
  • Financial Needs of Small Businesses (2016)

    The 2016 Small Business Credit Survey published in 2017 shows: Most firms are optimistic about the future, expressing expectations for 2017 similar to those they held for 2016; a net 61% expect revenues to grow and a net 39% anticipate job growth...
  • Crowdfunding v. Traditional Funding

    Crowdfunding is a way for startups or new ventures to raise capital from many investors in small amounts. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has rules in place for crowdfunding, and here is a recent excerpt from an SEC bulletin : Crowdfunding...
  • Impact of Rising Rates on Financial Markets

    We've been in a low interest rate environment for so long that we aren't really sure what to expect when rates do finally start to rise. This infographic shows the historical impact of rising rates on stock and bond markets. For discussion:...
  • Safety in Safety Stocks

    When investors seek a safe investment, many think of bonds. Fixed coupons and stable prices are attractive to highly risk averse investors. As an alternatives to bonds, some investors buy so-called "safety" stocks, such as utility stocks and...
  • Credit Cards and College Students

    Credit card companies used to find new clients by advertising on college campuses. But the rules have changed: From US News & World Report : Banks have long feasted on unsuspecting young adults by offering them t-shirts, food, and other “free”...
  • Are We Close to a Cashless Society?

    There aren't many transactions today that require cash. You can eat, travel, take a cab or a shared ride, pay your bills, buy a snack, without ever pulling out a single dollar bill. From FastCompany : The U.S. government didn’t issue banknotes...
  • Alternative Financial Services

    Banks aren't the only financial institutions that offer financial services. If you want to borrow money, you can use a rent-to-own store or a pawn shop. If you want to cash a check, you can use some store cashiers or a check cashing store. Each...
  • The Wal-Mart Financial Picture

    When we determine the value of a share of stock, we need to consider the ability of the firm to generate positive cash flow. Consider Wal-Mart, for example. The stock is currently trading at a price of 86.62 per share and the trend over the last five...
  • What To Consider Before Applying For a Loan

    Growing your business requires capital, and entrepreneurs have several choices to finance their businesses. They can use their savings, they can sell assets, and they can borrow money from investors or from a bank. The infographic below identifies a...
  • The Financial Crisis: Ten Years Later

    The last ten years of financial history are quite a blur. First, the rise of borrowing and structured products, followed by the fall of hedge funds and financial credit markets. This video from the Financial Times shows the story of financial market...
  • Trading the U.S. Treasury Yield Curve

    If we collect the yield-to-maturity of each of the U.S. Treasury notes in a table and put them in order of maturity, we'd have the "Term structure of interest rates." If we go one step further and graph the data, putting the maturities along...
  • Financial Markets Over the Last 10 Years

    The low interest rates that we've seen over the last ten years were designed to get the economy back on its feet. To encourage consumers to borrow and spend, the Federal Reserve has been on a low interest rate path that has only recently begun its...
  • Can We Go Entirely Cashless?

    From the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco : The average U.S. consumer still carries cash, despite reports that Americans don’t carry cash anymore . Last year, the Cash Product Office’s (CPO) paper, “ Who Holds Cash? ”, found...
  • The Image of Wall Street

    "It's hard to love money unless you have it." In this video interview with Morgan Stanley CEO, James Gorman, explains why there is a problem with the image of Wall Street. For discussion: In your opinion, what is the average citizen's...
  • Debt versus Equity Financing

    One day you may be in a position to launch your own business. When that day comes, you'll also be in a position to decide how you will raise money to get started. Will you bring in a partner or will you borrow the money? Each method has its one benefits...
  • Time value of money: The reverse mortgage

    In a traditional mortgage, the homeowner receives a lump sum of money at the beginning of the loan, and then makes level payments every period until the loan is fully repaid. At maturity the value of the loan (i.e. the "future value") is zero...
  • Best and Worst Financial Decisions

    "If 30-year-olds knew just how young they’d feel in their 50s and how much life is left to live, they’d take much better care of their finances." ~ Nancy L. Anderson, CFP According to this Forbes article , there are several...
  • How Do You Spend Your Student Loans?

    Turns out a lot of student loans are spent on non-educational expenses, perhaps even frivolous expenses. The infographic below shows some detail about how student loans are spent. The reason for poor financial decisions, like the decision to spend student...
  • How Does the Fed Gather Information?

    As this video explains, representatives from the Federal Reserve visit the community to see what is actually going on. The Fed needs to know the true condition of the economy, and there's no better way than to ask those with boots on the ground. ...
  • Why is $1 Worth More Today?

    The time value of money states that $1 is worth more today than tomorrow. This accounting website explains why: Time value of money is the concept that the value of a dollar to be received in future is less than the value of a dollar on hand today....
  • What Happens When U.S. Rates Rise?

    We've been discussing the possibility of the Fed raising rates for some time now. This WSJ video from 2015 talks about the winners and losers in the event of higher rates in the U.S. Though this article is dated, it is still relevant because rates...
  • Much Anticipated Snap IPO

    From a recent NPR article by Selyukh : When a 2014 Forbes cover featured a grinning cofounder of Snapchat, the accompanying text described CEO Evan Spiegel as "the 23-year-old who told Zuckerberg to take his $3 billion and shove it." Snapchat...
  • The State of Lending Today

    From the Jan 2017 Federal Reserve Senior Loan Officer Survey , a summary of commercial and industrial (C&I), commercial real estate (CRE), and residential real estate (RRE) loans shows: On balance, banks reported that they expect to ease standards...
  • Global Financial Inclusion

    According to the World Bank : Financial inclusion means that individuals and businesses have access to useful and affordable financial products and services that meet their needs – transactions, payments, savings, credit and insurance –...