When we hear the word “investment,” what do most people envision? Chances are the stock market will be one of the first things to pop into our heads. We’ve all heard about those people who bought shares in Google the first day it went public, and now they’re millionaires. But the stock market is not for everyone. You would be wise to consult top-quality financial education programs to help prepare for the ups and downs involved in managing a stock portfolio.
For instance, good financial literacy programs will point out the Google, Wal-Mart, and Microsoft success stories are just one side of the stock market coin. On the other side lie companies like Enron and WorldCom. Remember them? It’s just as easy to make a drastic mistake buying stock as it is to win big.
The key to making it in the stock market is planning. A financial education program will guide you to gain knowledge, education, and experience before you ever venture into a stock trade. Although the stock market has the potential to offer good returns compared to other investment options, the risks can be quite high as well.
The National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) provides a financial education workshop for every education level and age group, from preschool children through seniors. In addition to classroom instruction, they rely on games, practical activities, and highly-trained live instructors to keep the material fresh and entertaining. Their programs cover all aspects of a sound money education, of which learning about the stock market is an important piece.
Two elements of the stock market are fundamental to gaining a solid financial education:
Supply and demand: the stock market runs according to this rule, which states that supply is the quantity of stock available for sale and demand is the number of stocks investors are willing to buy. If supply is greater than demand, stock prices fall, and vice versa.
Risk and return: the more risk you take, the higher the potential return.
Tips to Creating a Memorable Financial Education Program
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There has been a surge in financial education programs across the United States in response to the recent economic state of affairs. The positive news it that many organizations have stepped up to the plate to deliver these programs; however, many of the courses are not effective and leave participants missing key concepts.
This article will show you how to choose an effective youth financial education program and give you the resources to reduce the time and cost of implementation.* Financial education programs should blend financial success instruction with theory-based education. To clarify, ‘success’ does not refer to getting ‘rich’; instead it refers to having the skills necessary to achieve a sense of financial well being.
Implementing a financial literacy program that provides practical and usable money tips has been shown to keep the participants engaged throughout the learning process. In addition, the retention rates are increased as students relate the learning of this information to directly impacting their lives.
Find Youth Financial Education Programs that are fun and keep students interest. There are programs on the market that have a good mix of entertainment and education. Programs like the Money XLive Multimedia Course leverages ‘star power’ through their use of celebrities and educators. Another event, the Real Money Experience’ gives students a hands-on education as they visit twelve booths and make the financial decisions they will face when they move out. There are many other edu-tainment programs available that will make a lasting impact on your participants.
Choose a Certified Financial Education Specialist. Financial education programs are more than just the curriculum. As with traditional subjects, the educator plays an important role in getting the participants to pick up this information. The subject of money is different than any other subject taught, as there are past personal experiences that student have connected with this topic. To ensure your program is effective provide educator training prior to starting the initiative.
Choose a financial education program that is developed around the NFECs’ financial education standards. This can ensure you have educated students on the key financial matters that will impact them. This will help an organization develop youth financial education programs that exceed national financial education standards while also ensuring it is usable in the real world.
Extend the reach and frequency of your message through a variety of funding options. It is important you seek ways to continue to host your financial education programs so that you are able to reach more people with your message. There is a big need for financial education programs and concerned citizens, organizations, schools and others that are committed to increasing the financial skill sets of people can make a bigger impact by reaching more people.
Maximize the effectiveness of your financial education programs by following the tips mentioned above. The long-term impact of your practical financial education program makes a lasting difference in the lives of those you touch.
Mandating Financial Education Programs
By Chet Sanders
There is one good thing that has come from the Great Recession, a renewed focus on the need for financial education programs.Surprisingly to most, financial education programs have not been offered in the modern day school system. I may be dating myself but when I was in school, I took a Home Economic class that did cover budgeting and other financial topics intermixed with sewing and cooking.
I find it strange that the topic that everyone needs to understand the most is taught the least. Why aren’t financial education programs taught in school? I mistakenly assumed that since everyone knew the importance of having money management skills, that passing a financial education class had to be part of student’s graduation requirements.
So why aren’t ‘financial literacy programs’ required in schools? The fact is most teachers and schools DO what to teach money skills, but they do not have the time nor budget necessary to do so.
With the No Child Left Behind Act schools receive funding based on how well students do on standardized tests. Unfortunately, financial literacy is not a portion of that standardized testing. As a result, the majority of states do not require any financial education programs to be delivered to students at any point in their school life – even through their PhD.
Funding is another major obstacle facing educators who want a financial education program in school. Our schools in many areas are so poorly funded they cannot even provide students with their own books. Most people would agree with me – our education system needs additional funding. The investment we make now in our youth the stronger and better this country will be in the future.
I was happy to hear the NFEC had come up with a solution to the time and funding issues.
To address the time issue the NFEC designed curriculum that can be integrated with and meet core subject standards – English, Math, Social Studies. This eliminates the time requirement associated with taking class time to deliver something that doesn’t fulfill required coursework.
They also offer a wide variety of classes and workshops that work as an after-school program or weekend crash courses. These types of events can really impact students while not distracting from instruction of the core subjects.
The NFEC also solved the funding issue for schools through grants, sponsorships and fundraisers. Besides consulting on these topics, the NFEC also provides financial literacy funding options.
The NFEC also hosts a signature fundraiser that is similar to a jog-a-thon style of collecting money. Instead of having students collect money based on the miles they run, they earn money based on how many hours of volunteer work they complete. When students work for a financial education program, they value the experience more plus it allows them to build important life skills in the process.
The NFEC also bridges the gap between the education and corporate world.
Sponsorships can assist in offsetting costs and can even act as a school fundraiser. Of course, the NFEC only works with sponsors that have the highest ethics and that promote positive products or services.
In today’s world many people are experiencing financial hardships and retirement shortages. A big portion of this problem can be attributed to the fact they never had a financial education program and missed out on receiving money management education.
The recent recession took its toll on many people, and in doing so, has increased the attention on innovative financial education programs. There has also been an increase in the financial literacy funding available to organizations that are focused on providing people money skills.