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From: Scott Wolla (misterwolla@yahoo.com)
Date: Fri Jul 25 2003 - 13:12:32 EDT

  • Next message: Scott Wolla: "[Channel-talkeconomics] Video #5 observations - Trading Globally"

    Video #4
    Learning, Earning, and Saving

    I really enjoyed this video because I teach a unit on
    Personal Finance in my Economics class. In reference
    to the millionaire activity, I start my personal
    finance unit with a study of millionaires. I have my
    students build a profile of a typical millionaire
    based on their perceptions as to how much money they
    make per year (they almost always say over one million
    per year – revealing their misceptions of what makes a
    person a millionaire), what they drive, what kind of
    house they live in, what they do for a living, and
    what they do in their free time. Students have formed
    their perceptions of what a millionaire is by watching
    “MTV Cribs” and hearing about the lifestyles of
    various movie stars, rock stars, and professional
    athletes. They believe you become a millionaire by
    winning a game show, or becoming very famous, then you
    live a very extravagant lifestyle. In truth, normal
    people become millionaires by working hard, living
    beneath their means, and investing wisely. After our
    discussion, I have student read the beginning of “The
    Millionaire Next Door” which does a fantastic job of
    revealing the truth. Students then write an essay on
    their perceptions and how they may have been
    incorrect. The activity on video #4 was very similar;
    I plan on using this activity as my introduction to
    the unit instead of the profile activity.

    I also enjoyed the next activity on the topic of
    compound interest. I tend to emphasize the time factor
    to students when we talk about investing. There are a
    number of great sheets showing the outcome of two
    hypothetical investors with the basis of the
    comparison being that one started earlier than the
    other one. Students are always amazed to see how great
    the growth factor of money is over a long time period.
    The question that usually comes up is how can I earn
    9% or 10% rate of return? This is a very thoughtful
    question given that current interest rates on a simple
    savings account are often less than 1%. I almost
    always have students come and talk to me about how to
    take advantage of time and what to invest in (I always
    suggest an index mutual fund). I also do a very
    intensive stock market portfolio activity, which often
    gets students talking to their parents about stocks,
    and often open their own brokerage accounts.

    I thought Video #4 was very well done and I plan on
    using some of these simulations in my classroom.

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