Why financial literacy is more important than ever

It’s easy to become complacent about our finances with the vast number of websites, apps, and businesses available today that specialize in helping people manage their money.  Granted, technology can be a powerful partner in financial management, but it cannot replace a strong understanding of factors that should inform decisions about how, where, and when we spend our money.

Why is financial literacy more important than ever?

Our financial landscape has grown increasingly complex.  Before a young person approaches college or a career, he or she is faced with big decisions on how much money to borrow for tuition, how much to save, how to invest, and how to grow and protect their budding wealth.


Image via GW Today

Dr. Annamaria Lusardi, a professor of economics and accountancy at the George Washington School of Business, wanted to test how financially literate populations are, both in the United States and internationally.  What she found was surprising.  She discussed her research recently at a TEDx Foggy Bottom gathering.

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Special upcoming event! Meet the Experts, August 15

Join us in San Francisco on August 15 for an exciting and unique opportunity! 

Meet the Experts is a speaker series designed to provide secondary and post-secondary educators with an opportunity to interact with leaders from throughout the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. Our objective is to foster greater understanding about the roles and responsibilities of the Fed and to highlight emerging issues in the economy.

The event is a professional development opportunity that will bolster your knowledge about economics, and you will return to your students with fresh content and new teaching ideas.  Set yourself up for success in the upcoming school year and register today.

Confirmed speakers include:

2014-05-28 MTE-lineupJohn C. Williams, President and CEO of the SF Fed.  John is an expert on monetary policy and business cycles, and is a strong advocate for economic education.

Mark A. Gould, First VP and COO at the SF Fed.  Mark is responsible for all administration, operating, and financial services activities.  He is also product director of the Federal Reserve System’s Cash Product Office.

Mary C. Daly, Senior Vice President and Associate Director of Research at the SF Fed.  Mary specializes in labor markets, public economics, and social welfare.

Kevin Lansing,  Research Advisor, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.  Kevin specializes in macroeconomics, monetary economics, and asset pricing.

This event is open to high school, community college, and university educators. Students in teacher education programs are also welcome to attend. There is no fee for this event.

We are still in the planning stages of this event, and details are subject to change.  Please check back for updates.  Last year’s agenda will give you an idea of the exciting and informative content that will be included in the day.

Register now! We look forward to having you join us.

Why it Still Pays to Get a College Degree

Has the high cost of college tuition discouraged your students from considering college a viable option? A new study from our researchers here at the SF Fed suggests that a college degree is still a great investment for the average student.

Three Reasons to Get that Degree

1.  Higher Annual Earnings: Although common knowledge, it’s worth repeating – college graduates, on average, out earn high school graduates year in and year out. In 2011, the difference between annual wages of someone with a four-year degree and a person with a high school degree averaged $20,050. That’s a 61% earnings “premium” for having a college degree (see chart below).

Why it still pays to get a college degree Figure 1

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Our Education Advisory Group and their survey work with the flipped classroom model

We celebrate teachers all year for the work they do in the classroom for economic and personal finance education!  In honor of 2014 Teacher Appreciation Week, we wanted to put a bright and appreciative spotlight on the extraordinary teachers who make up our Education Advisory Group (EAG).

What is the SF Fed Education Advisory Group (EAG)?

2014 EAG croppedCurrently in its second year of existence, the EAG is a group of approximately 20 teachers from throughout the nine western states that comprise the 12th District. They work with us for a period of one year, providing feedback on content ideas, teaching activities, economic education resources, the use of technology, and best practices related to teaching about the Federal Reserve and the U.S. economy.  The EAG is a professional development opportunity for secondary and post-secondary educators who have a vested interest in economic and personal finance education.

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