• On Tulips and Bitcoin: Financial Bubbles Then and Now

    The more I hear Bitcoin discussed in everyday conversation as I'm standing in line at the store, the more I am convinced we've gotten ourselves stuck in a crazy time machine and have been plunked down onto the streets of Amsterdam in the 17th...
  • What Are Bitcoin Futures?

    The Bitcoin futures contract is traded on the CME and can be traded daily. This video explains the contract specifications of the Bitcoin futures contract. For discussion : 1. What is one contract worth in US dollars? 2. What causes the value...
  • 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...
  • How Do Investment Banks Make Money?

    This video explains how Goldman Sachs made money back in 2010. Several financial issues are raised here: 1. What is the goal of the firm? What is the goal of an investment banking firm like Goldman Sachs? 2. What does it mean for Goldman Sachs to...
  • What's Driving the Dow?

    What drives a stock market? Is it strictly gambling sentiment that tosses stock prices around, or is there something more that underlies stock prices? According to this article by Euronext : Simply put, the price of an individual stock is determined...
  • Why the Weakening US Dollar?

    This Financial Times video shows that the US dollar (USD) has been declining significantly this year, but the reason for the decline is not straightforward. The video offers one possible reason for the weak dollar: the Fed's low probability of raising...
  • 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”...
  • Should You Invest In This Market?

    The equity market has been climbing, and this video tells how investors are finally getting used to the idea. In fact, it claims that investors are learning to love this market where they have been nervous to join it so far For discussion What is...
  • 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...
  • Investing Tips for Everyone

    You can start investing now, no matter what your financial condition. The infographic below offers FIVE ideas for low budget investing. These ideas do not always involve investing in stocks or bonds and therefore are easily overlooked when making your...
  • The Tulip Bubble...Again

    Bonds have been going up, up, up. Just like tulips did back in the 1600s. From Investopedia: In 1593 tulips were brought from Turkey and introduced to the Dutch. The novelty of the new flower made it widely sought after and therefore fairly pricey...
  • 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...
  • Investing Long Term Rather than Focusing on Short Term Changes

    In this video interview, legendary investor Warren Buffett talks about the principles of investing for the long term rather than watching daily, short-term valuations. He also discusses the impact of negative rates and how these rates distort everything...
  • Invest in What You Know

    Billionaire Mark Cuban gives some of the same investment advice we've heard in the past: invest in what you know. He invested in what he knew--technology--and came out a winner. For discussion : What does he add to Peter Lynch's legendary...
  • What Is Driving Gold?

    Why is gold so valuable? We can turn to science for part of the answer: Of the 118 elements we are now down to just eight contenders: platinum, palladium, rhodium, iridium, osmium and ruthenium, along with the old familiars, gold and silver. These are...
  • What Does The Big Mac Cost Over There?

    The Big Mac Index is published by the Economist magazine, and gives readers a sense of the differences in purchasing power across international markets. The idea is that a good or service will cost the same in different markets, once we account for exchange...
  • The Meeting That Started the Federal Reserve

    This video from 2011 describes the meeting that took place on Jekyll Island, Georgia where the decentralized Federal Reserve system was mapped out. The controversial meeting had to be held in a remote location like Jekyll Island. For discussion What...
  • Functions of the Federal Reserve

    In the complex financial markets in which we operate, the central bank of the U.S., the Federal Reserve system, faces the great challenge of promoting the stability of the U.S. financial system. This video explains the primary responsibilities of the...
  • Why Buy Bonds with Negative Yields?

    Back in the old days, we taught finance assuming that zero was the lowest interest rate possible. Not so any longer. Today, interest rates are negative and investors are putting up with it. Why? Well, there are several reasons that investors are willing...
  • What is the IMF?

    From the IMF website: About the IMF The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is an organization of 189 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable...
  • 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...
  • Currency Trading Today

    In the video below, currency trading is described as the "Wild West" of financial markets. There's been a shift in the industry, and many former traders have changed jobs. Still, it is a busy and active market: Here's a look at a...
  • 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...