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Author: spl241 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 60211  
Subject: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/12/2007 10:57 AM
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My first teaching contract was for a magnificent $6K in 1967, when I was a peach-fuzzed 21 who loved getting carded. Hamburger was $.39/lb. and gas was about $.29.9, unless there was a "gas war" when it was less. My DW of 1 month and I lived in a $100/month apartment (utilities furnished, of course, lol!) and actually wondered what we'd do with so much money. On some paydays, we walked to a Mom 'n Pop meat market while coals in the small Hibachi got hot and sinned by buying $1.49/lb. ribeyes. There. I've just dated myself :-)

This post will describe a non-gastronomic "sin," one I hope most readers here didn't commit (or won't) commit. I'm talking about possibly the main self-infliction to a successful retirement: not starting early.

For the first 10 years or so, I remember being mighty PO'd that my employer withheld a whopping (and non-matched) 3% of my gross and sent it to the state, where IN's backward laws required that it be invested in a GIC (guaranteed interest contract). This was a super-conservative instrument of bonds and Treasurys, I believe. When I rarely looked at quarterly statements, I thought of those ribeyes and my mandatory 3% deprivation. I asked myself why they were acting on my behalf when the actuaries said that I had a whole buncha' years to live--the nerve!

Truthfully, there was some discretionary money available all along, mostly due to a 25-year mortgage of $156/month on a $25.5K ranch. (Ring that one up as "dating myself #2 :-P). The kids came along when I was 28 and 31, giving me solid excuses not to investigate that bothersome 403(b) thing that the "old teachers" in their 40's tried to discuss. My dad asked me in my mid-30's the puzzling question of how I thought I'd be situated at his age. "I'd get started if I were you," he said. "And don't be pissed about that 3%. It's not much. Trust me."

In the summer of -87, at age 42, DW pushed me out the door to a retirement planning meeting. With a deep sigh, I committed $20 per check to Fidelity. I made my first two ($20) investments that September. The very next month (you may recall) came Black Monday, Oct. 19, 1987, when the Dow plunged 508 points, or about 22%. Damn those colleague-oldsters and even my father! My begrudged 403 (b) of $40 at that juncture was trashed.

DW was a SAH mom for 11 years. When she returned to work, we had quite a bit of discretionary money. I'd love to say that we maxed or near-maxed our accounts after the heart-stopping 10/19/87; that we'd learned about ups and downs and asset allocation and panic-avoidance and buying on dips and a host of other things. Nope. That extra money went mostly to the credit union, where we enjoyed a nice 5-digit balance for too many years. Meanwhile, our retirement contributions increased too cautiously and incrementally. I didn't know then that some friends/colleagues who occasionally complained about their liquidity being marginal had been stashing away large amounts for years.

When I came to TMF, I lurked "back in the day" when the original REHP was focused on FIRE strategy. I realized that while our nest egg wasn't disastrous, its shell wasn't thick, either. No vacations from 1998 'til I retired in 2005. One "new-used vehicle" was purchased. 403's were maxed, and, fortunately, selections were good to us.

As I said in the subject box, I hope my story isn't yours. If it is, you probably will agree with this: "Catch-up?" One condiment that's much more palatable on hamburgers & fries!









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Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1736 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/12/2007 11:40 AM
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So knowing what you know now, I'm curious if you tried to do anything different in raising your own children to convince them to start saving young. It seems to me that you have done quite a bit in trying to teach them to be financially responsible, so I'd expect that you also included this lesson on saving for retirement early.

My own dad always told me that it was never too early to start saving, and you couldn't save too much. When I graduated from college, he was insistent that I start to put something away for retirement 'because it will be here before you know it.' I did listen, and we are in good shape for retiring around 55 which is also when the kids will graduate college.

For me, I've tried to keep Dad's lesson going, and have told my kids the same thing. They're only 15, but they are putting 100% of their earnings into a Roth IRA for their own retirement some day. So that they do have some spending money from their earnings and because they don't yet make enough to max out a Roth, we actually match their Roth dollars so that in reality, they're saving half and they have half to spend, though they haven't spent on much.

I know my DD has the lesson down, but my DS is taking a bit longer and finding it harder to remember how to do all these things, so I may have to keep helping him longer than I need to help her. I'll do that, though, if it helps him to learn to manage his own finances well.

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Author: AngelMay Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1740 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/12/2007 11:46 AM
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My own dad always told me that it was never too early to start saving, and you couldn't save too much.



I came from a blue-collar family with not much money to be sure.
My daddy told me: "The first thousand is the hardest. Comes easier after that."

I think he was right.

AM

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Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1742 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/12/2007 11:52 AM
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I came from a blue-collar family with not much money to be sure.


Me, too, and mom was a SAHM.


My daddy told me: "The first thousand is the hardest. Comes easier after that."



My dad told me lots of great things, quite a few of which I hear around the Fool like to pay yourself first, and if you have it deducted straight from your paycheck, you'll never miss it.

I am very glad that I always listen to what Dad has to say.

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Author: GusSmed Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1744 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/12/2007 11:58 AM
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I'm talking about possibly the main self-infliction to a successful retirement: not starting early.

When I was about 26, I was self-employed selling a shareware data compression package. You know all those .ZIP files you see on web sites? It was a program that read and wrote those files, and my own format as well.

I was make more than break-even money for the first time, and I'd recently paid off my student loans. I had about $5000 or so, and I thought I'd invest it somehow. My business partner and I talked to a financial adviser, who wanted to talk to us about IRA's. Retirement? Who cared about retirement? I wanted to make some money off my surplus so I could spend it.

I ended up buying 100 shares of Borland (BORL) at $50 / share. I used their compilers, I knew they had a great product, they couldn't go down. 2 years later it was at $15 / share. I negotiated an advance from my employer so I wouldn't have to sell my stock... and it dropped to $6. I gather it's been as high as $19 since then, but it's about $5 now.

I didn't start really saving until I was 30. This time, I went with an index fund. At the time, my goal was still spending money, not retirement. I didn't discover the Fool and the REHP until 4 years later. It wasn't until that point that I realized that all the money I'd saved in the last few years might actually be the start of a retirement fund.

- Gus

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Author: spl241 Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1748 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/12/2007 12:40 PM
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...knowing what you know now, I'm curious if you tried to do anything different in raising your children to convince them to start saving young. It seems that you have done quite a bit trying to teach them to be financially responsible

First, thank you. I have tried very hard. But after the bolded word above, adding "..and failing" after it would be more accurate.

Maybe you remember that long-ago post I wrote about each DD inheriting $62K from one of DW's aunts? They were 23 & 26 when this unexpected windfall fell into their laps. The oldest one (divorced single mom) at least has a nice double-wide to show for it. She's a steakhouse waitress, gets no support, and her annual "bonanza" is getting her EIC-enabled refund each year. She had huge CC debt and owed us a substantial amount when she got her inheritance. I credit her for getting those out of the way, at least.

The younger one is about to be 30 next month. In my OP about inheritances, I described how she bounced a check at a hobby store 7 months later. When she got her money, I told her to pay off $11K on a Cherokee she never should have bought and was told, "I'll think about that, Dad. Thanks." In case she developed "amnesia," I reminded her that she'd still have over $50K after getting the Jeep albatross destroyed. I recommended taking a chunk and having a material blast and giving the Old Man just a few thou to invest for her after putting another few thou in an e-fund. Today, she has an e-fund; unfortunately, the "e" stands for Evaporated. The Cherokee got repo'd & her FICO is in the low-mid 500's.

In her case, I tried like hell to show her the virtue in being single, 23 and debt-free, with some investments and a nice cushion for life's nasty unexpected's. I told her to trust me that that was SUCH an enviable position at her age and emphasized it by telling her how old we were before we had $63,000.

During my teaching career, I think I led at least some horses to water and they took a few drinks. In my personal life, however, the DD's have financial hydrophobia despite some well-meaning tugging on the reins.

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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1751 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/12/2007 12:59 PM
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My daddy told me: "The first thousand is the hardest. Comes easier after that."



My dad told me lots of great things, quite a few of which I hear around the Fool like to pay yourself first, and if you have it deducted straight from your paycheck, you'll never miss it.

I am very glad that I always listen to what Dad has to say.


yup.

i often say, <everything i know about money i coulda learned from Mom...if i'd listened when we were young instead of waiting till we were both old and i figured most out from books and mistakes>

.... did listen to Dad, but he didn't talk about money. Talked about "Cabbages & Kings" ,as they say.


-j
...... amazed at the detail people remember.
......... my first job was '67 ...or maybe 66 ..but i don't know what i made, what rent cost ..sure don't recall price of gas (29.9? wow)

*started* saving in 83 (age 37-ish), but blew it all in 87 (oy ...did it hurt to empty the IRA)
re-started saving in 90-something. (my spreadsheet records go back to 95 .... must've started before that)

45 yrs of Grasshopper; 8 yrs of Ant. now ?

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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1754 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/12/2007 1:12 PM
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My daddy told me: "The first thousand is the hardest. Comes easier after that."

I think he was right.

AM

My daddy heard somewhere that the first million was the hardest, and it comes easier after that. Being the rational man that he was, he decided to skip the first million and go right to work on the second one.

cliff
... he didn't make that one either.

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Author: jgc123 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1759 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/12/2007 2:01 PM
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"So knowing what you know now, I'm curious if you tried to do anything different in raising your own children to convince them to start saving young"

I have given that some thought.

When my daughters graduated college I gave them $500 toward the startup costs for a Roth IRA in order to encourage them to give some thought to planning for the future. They each kicked in an additional $250, and my older daughter has managed to put an additional $250 per year in for the last several years even though she is still putting her husband through school.

My older daughter and husband managed to buy a very small, but solid, brick starter home even though she has a modest salary and he is still in school.

They now enjoy spending some of their modest discretionary income on clean fixtures, painting the walls, and so forth and their home is much prettier than it was a few months ago.

They like good coffee so they buy good coffee beans, grind them up and brew it in the morning.

They cook fairly often and make eating out a special treat.

The like good wine, but they make do on two buck chuck for now and hit us up for good wines for birthdays, Christmas, etc.

They still drive my daughter's 1997 Tercel and hope to keep it running till he finishes school.

And I tell my kids that I am spending every cent of their inheritance.

That is what my dad did and he did it partly because he was an attorney who planned estates for 50 years and saw what happened to kids who are hoping for an inheritance. Not until he made me executor of his estate did I learn how much he had scrimped and saved.

I haven't given it a great deal of thought, but I have done that much.

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Author: GusSmed Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1760 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/12/2007 2:06 PM
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In my personal life, however, the DD's have financial hydrophobia despite some well-meaning tugging on the reins.

I started to post a rather bitter story about a tug-of-war I had with my father on this subject, and then I realized it wasn't really analogous at all.

I've always had a bit of both the spendthrift and the saver in me. The money I made from my paper route in 7th grade evaporated as fast as it came in. When I got my first check from a programming job in high school, I started talking about buying a stereo - I think it was a stereo - on credit, but stopped when I discovered that further money from that source was uncertain.

On the other hand, I'd get things like a one pound giant Hershey's Kiss from my grandmother, and I'd hoard it all year. I loved chocolate, but I also loved the idea that I was rich because I had a big chunk of chocolate in the freezer. Such is wealth when you're a pre-teen. Later, I paid my own way through college, and I wrote the check for the down payment for my mother's car after she totaled her previous one. I'm kind of fuzzy now why my parents didn't have the cash handy, but I do remember writing that check.

So while the argument I had with my father was over financing a trip to Europe with my fiancé on a credit card, in truth I was never like your daughters. I understood the dangers of debt, and I learned soon enough how to tell my first wife "no." I paid off my student loans early, and then hers, which were rather larger.

My parents and I never really did sit down to talk about the ins and outs of finances and savings. It's something I learned partly from observation - my father was very cheap - and partly just from being numerate.

- Gus

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Author: pachouly Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1769 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/12/2007 3:09 PM
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I didn't start really saving until I was 30. This time, I went with an index fund. At the time, my goal was still spending money, not retirement. I didn't discover the Fool and the REHP until 4 years later. It wasn't until that point that I realized that all the money I'd saved in the last few years might actually be the start of a retirement fund.

At my first permanent job after college, a colleague (my age) told me to start a 403b. I didn't - I lived fairly frugally but was just making ends meet between a low-paying job, high city rents, and large student loan payments. I did manage to save a few hundred a month in a savings account, which proved useful when I went back to graduate school a few years later. I started on the retirement accounts when I was 28.

Do I regret not listening to her? Sometimes. Perhaps if someone had shown me what even $50-$100/month compounded to over time, I would have.

pachouly

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Author: ResNullius Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1777 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/12/2007 4:24 PM
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Perhaps if someone had shown me what even $50-$100/month compounded to over time, I would have.

I think every high school student should be required to take a course in basic economics and finance. I think every college student should take another such course in advanced economics and finance. These are essential tools for everyone, needed to get ahead in life.


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Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1785 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/12/2007 8:40 PM
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I think every high school student should be required to take a course in basic economics and finance. I think every college student should take another such course in advanced economics and finance. These are essential tools for everyone, needed to get ahead in life.



Instead of palming off this responsibility on the schools, I did something radical. I've been teaching my children about finances as they have been growing as I consider this a parental responsibility similar to teaching them to cook, do laundry, and maintain a vehicle. I do realize not all parents think like I do, however.

We've done the compounding lesson several times, and they know the rule of 72. They really liked it when I built a spreadsheet to show them what $100 in their Roth IRA would grow to in 40 years at varying interest rates.

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Author: reallyalldone Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1786 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/12/2007 9:01 PM
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Instead of palming off this responsibility on the schools, I did something radical. I've been teaching my children about finances as they have been growing as I consider this a parental responsibility similar to teaching them to cook, do laundry, and maintain a vehicle. I do realize not all parents think like I do, however.

Count me in the group. Along with teaching, we(like you) modeled the behavior we hoped they would imitate.

For people who say they needed to have been taught at school, the best resource I had was the first edition of Andrew Tobias' The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need. All I needed to do was read it. I started saving for retirement around age 22.

rad


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Author: ResNullius Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1787 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/12/2007 10:14 PM
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For people who say they needed to have been taught at school, the best resource I had was the first edition of Andrew Tobias' The Only Investment Guide You'll Ever Need. All I needed to do was read it. I started saving for retirement around age 22.

It wasn't my intention to suggest that parents shouldn't teach their kids, but the fact remains that probably 99% of parents don't teach their kids. As a result, I think kids would benefit from having schools teach some of the basics. After all, schools teach so much crap it wouldn't hurt to actually teach something useful.


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Author: PolymerMom Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1788 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/12/2007 10:46 PM
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While I was in college, Dad was managing his investments so he could retire. (He was blue collar w/ minimal pension plan, but always saved.) I think I absorbed the idea by osmosis.

When I got my first job I elected to contribute to my retirement program as soon as I was eligible. When I left that job, seven years later, I asked for the lump sum. (It was a state plan and you could do that.) That money served as the down payment on our first house.

For the next three jobs (about a year each) I didn't save anything. MDH was in grad school.

At my next real job, I signed up for contributions to a "profit sharing" plan. In a few years, 401k's came along and we switched to that. MDH did max contributions, as well. We were DINKs (Double Income No Kids) and wanted to minimize our taxes.

By the time the boys came along, we were used to living without the 401k contributions and they continued.

Now, I find I'm in the "involuntary separation" program. Since we have decent savings, I'll take the separation pay (almost 1.5 years, pre-tax) and officially retire next year - after we digest the taxes on such a windfall.

I'd like to say it was a conscious decision to save, but that's not really the case.



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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1791 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 4:10 AM
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<<It wasn't my intention to suggest that parents shouldn't teach their kids, but the fact remains that probably 99% of parents don't teach their kids. As a result, I think kids would benefit from having schools teach some of the basics. After all, schools teach so much crap it wouldn't hurt to actually teach something useful.
>>


I would say that 99% of parents DO teach their children about finances. Unfortunately in a consumer society, that often unfortunate.


And if credit card companies can capture colleges and universities to help them market credit cards to college freshmen, I see no reason why schools wouldn't wind up having GMAC credit teach how to buy your first new car and how to get that first credit card and so on.




Seattle Pioneer

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Author: FordLove Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1793 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 7:53 AM
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And if credit card companies can capture colleges and universities to help them market credit cards to college freshmen, I see no reason why schools wouldn't wind up having GMAC credit teach how to buy your first new car and how to get that first credit card and so on.


Ah the credit card companies, the first hurdle to retiring early.

I was watching some thing on TV for a bit about the effects of the new bankruptcy law. They had a PR guy from a credit card company talking about 'taking personal responsibility'. It just struck me as so much crap. Here he is talking about taking personal responsibility when they are giving out credit like it was candy. If John never pays anybody back and I lend him $100 I need to take some responsibility in making such a bad loan. Sure John needs to take responsibility for his life and pay people back, but responsibility is not a zero sum game.

That said, we plan on using them to the best of our ability. We are looking for a credit card to get some sort of cash back but pay them off every month. Vampires.

Ford


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Author: ResNullius Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1794 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 8:32 AM
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That said, we plan on using them to the best of our ability. We are looking for a credit card to get some sort of cash back but pay them off every month.

Always, always pay off the credit card in full each month. If you can't afford to pay it off, then you can't afford to use it in the first place. As for rewards, pay close attention to the fee charged for such cards, because the fee can exceed the benefit. On the other hand, if you travel a lot and use the card for business, then you can pile up a ton of points as a side benefit. I currently have over 400K of points on my AmEx Rewards Card, and that's not counting the points I've used over the years. I charge enough to make it worth the fee, but the majority of folks don't, so watch out.

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Author: FordLove Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1795 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 8:42 AM
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Always, always pay off the credit card in full each month. If you can't afford to pay it off, then you can't afford to use it in the first place. As for rewards, pay close attention to the fee charged for such cards, because the fee can exceed the benefit.

Sage advice.
And yes this would be for monthly bills that we can pay. Mainly to consolidate our bills because we are lazy. Throw the car insurance, electric water and cable onto one bill and get something back.

We have seen way too many people end up working for the credit card company to ever get in deep with them.

Ford

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Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1796 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 9:11 AM
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It wasn't my intention to suggest that parents shouldn't teach their kids, but the fact remains that probably 99% of parents don't teach their kids. As a result, I think kids would benefit from having schools teach some of the basics. After all, schools teach so much crap it wouldn't hurt to actually teach something useful.



I can't speak for your school system, but we do still teach math in ours, and that's from kindergarten all the way up to 12th grade. They learn all those things like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and percentages.

Last time I checked, finances were based on math, so I'm at a loss as to what's not being taught in school other than that thing about delayed gratification otherwise known as you-can't-spend-money-you-do-not-have. Oh wait, isn't that stuff covered under negative numbers?

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Author: FoolYap Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1797 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 9:37 AM
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I can't speak for your school system, but we do still teach math in ours, and that's from kindergarten all the way up to 12th grade. They learn all those things like addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, and percentages.

I've seen people (maybe you?) assert this before, and I think it's a bit of a disingenuous claim. It's akin to saying that you've been taught how to make a loaf of bread, so why aren't you a pastry chef? It's just flour and other ingredients mixed up and baked, right?

Rightly or wrongly, I think many kids view mathematics as an abstraction, something you do because you must, in school. I don't think learning algebra automatically teaches you about budgeting, loans, etc. It is a necessary foundation skill, but it's not sufficient all by itself, for most people.

--FY

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Author: cattleman22 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1798 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 9:47 AM
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{{Last time I checked, finances were based on math, so I'm at a loss as to what's not being taught in school other than that thing about delayed gratification otherwise known as you-can't-spend-money-you-do-not-have.}}


You are completely right. It is not that people have not been taught the skills. It is that they simply do not care about going in debt and being irresponsible. They care more about keeping up with the Joneses. This is not a skill or talent that can be taught in school. Though I can understand why some people would want to try to give the schools this job. Those people know that the skill of being responsible and not keeping up with the Joneses can never be taught in school, thus the school will always be failing. A failing school needs more tax money.


c

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Author: AngelMay Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1799 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 9:49 AM
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I've seen people (maybe you?) assert this before, and I think it's a bit of a disingenuous claim. It's akin to saying that you've been taught how to make a loaf of bread, so why aren't you a pastry chef? It's just flour and other ingredients mixed up and baked, right?

Rightly or wrongly, I think many kids view mathematics as an abstraction, something you do because you must, in school. I don't think learning algebra automatically teaches you about budgeting, loans, etc. It is a necessary foundation skill, but it's not sufficient all by itself, for most people.

--FY





I've often wondered why schools don't start little kids off with an appreciation for just NUMBERS and how important they are. For instance, house numbers help you to find the address you are looking for. Miles per gallon of gasoline tells you how far you can drive if you only have one gallon in order to reach the address you are looking for. You can count the candles on your birthday cake if you know how to add simple numbers.

Kids are pretty smart. They would soon realize that numbers are a huge part of our everyday lives. From that point, schools could build on the importance of the numbers -- teaching the kids how to make sure they have enough money to buy the yo-yo at the dime store. (Do they still have yo-yos and dime stores? well... you get the picture.)

From these humble beginnings, kids can be made to see the practical applications for numbers that actually apply to them in their own lives. And from there they can be introduced to the more complicated applications that teach us all manner of things that will be practical to them as adults.

I think we just go about it in the wrong way. We write silly math problems like (if anyone saw "How Green Was My Valley") "the bathtub has a hole in the bottom that leaks 2 gallons an hour. If you pour in 3 gallons an hour, and the bathtub holds 150 gallons, how long will it take to fill the bathtub?" Why would a kid care about that? His bathtub doesn't (in all likelihood) have a hole in the bottom.

Why not make the problems fit the real-life situations of the child?
And why not make at least 50% of the problems fit the problems in the lives of GIRLS?

Math is really fun if it's taught right.
And the sad part of all this long post is -- I never realized this until I was an adult.

AM

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Author: lizmonster Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1800 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 9:50 AM
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I've seen people (maybe you?) assert this before, and I think it's a bit of a disingenuous claim. It's akin to saying that you've been taught how to make a loaf of bread, so why aren't you a pastry chef? It's just flour and other ingredients mixed up and baked, right?

I was taught math. I even got a college degree in math (albeit abstract math). I learned summations and limits and all sorts of things. Never once were any of these abstract calculations referred to as "simple interest" or "compounding." The terms could have easily been integrated into ordinary math classes without decreasing the actual math being taught - and while I can't speak for all students, it certainly would have helped me.

I was a math whiz in high school, and I breezed through most of my college courses. Financially, I hung on to my father's magical thinking ("money will Just Appear when you need it!") for a very long time. Knowing the math of financial management isn't enough for an awful lot of people (maybe even most people), and saying "it should be so" doesn't make it happen.

On the plus side, once I got my head on straight, things like budgeting and paying bills (and even doing tax returns!) became tremendous fun. But finances had to stop being emotional to me and start being ordinary numbers first.

-lizmonster

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1801 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 10:09 AM
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<<And if credit card companies can capture colleges and universities to help them market credit cards to college freshmen, I see no reason why schools wouldn't wind up having GMAC credit teach how to buy your first new car and how to get that first credit card and so on.


Ah the credit card companies, the first hurdle to retiring early.

I was watching some thing on TV for a bit about the effects of the new bankruptcy law. They had a PR guy from a credit card company talking about 'taking personal responsibility'. It just struck me as so much crap. Here he is talking about taking personal responsibility when they are giving out credit like it was candy. If John never pays anybody back and I lend him $100 I need to take some responsibility in making such a bad loan. Sure John needs to take responsibility for his life and pay people back, but responsibility is not a zero sum game.>>


This gets back to the issue of whether people are competent to manage their own lives. Should people have the liberty to manage their own lives or must other people manage their lives for them?

Drugs, credit, even fatty foods and carbs. Should we be a free people or one where government makes most of the key decisions about our lives?


Personally I think the new BK law is a good one. It gives lower income people who are presumed to be incompetent to manage their finances much the same deal as always, while holding those with higher incomes and presumably more smarts to a higher obligation to repay their creditors.

The higher income/smarter people are often the people with business bankruptcies who have much higher debts and have chosen to take greater financial risks. Holding them to a higher standard might cause them to be more careful before undertaking such risks.

Unfortunately, our liberties came from the Enlightenment idea that people were reasonable and could think through the consequences of their actions and use their liberties wisely. The extent to which government is thought to be needed to regulate most decisions people make every day suggests that this political theory was wrong, and that slavery of one kind or another, whether to individuals or to government, is the proper state of most people who cannot manage liberties themselves.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: cattleman22 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1802 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 10:11 AM
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{{But finances had to stop being emotional to me and start being ordinary numbers first.}}

Do you honestly think schools can teach that to students? Or is this another way to show that schools are "failing" and they therefore need more money?


c

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Author: Goofyhoofy Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Top Recommended Fools Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1803 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 10:21 AM
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Do you honestly think schools can teach that to students?

Yes. Ever hear of "credit counseling"? What is that if not "teaching"?

Teaching is only one part of education, of course, but it is an important part. In my high school we had something called "Freshman Arts" - 9 weeks in 4 disciplines, each cut in half. All boys and all girls had to take shop, home ec (cooking & sewing), art, and music. Obviously we had traditional math classes, english, foreign languages, social studies, geography, etc. and in our homeroom, in addition to "hygiene" we had "budgeting" and other issues that were likely to help us into adulthood.

Not everybody passes "budgeting", just as not everybody passes "hygiene" or "geography."

Or is this another way to show that schools are "failing" and they therefore need more money?

No.
 


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Author: reallyalldone Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1804 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 10:34 AM
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I've often wondered why schools don't start little kids off with an appreciation for just NUMBERS and how important they are.

We did this at home with our kids. What did you do with yours ?

We also gave our kids credit cards as teenagers and then they got their own in college. They have all done quite well managing their finances.

rad

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1805 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 10:40 AM
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<<I've seen people (maybe you?) assert this before, and I think it's a bit of a disingenuous claim. It's akin to saying that you've been taught how to make a loaf of bread, so why aren't you a pastry chef? It's just flour and other ingredients mixed up and baked, right?

I was taught math. I even got a college degree in math (albeit abstract math). I learned summations and limits and all sorts of things. Never once were any of these abstract calculations referred to as "simple interest" or "compounding." The terms could have easily been integrated into ordinary math classes without decreasing the actual math being taught - and while I can't speak for all students, it certainly would have helped me.
>>


Every math class that I've ever taken has covered elements of interest calculations, and most math texts use examples taken from financial calculations of one kind or another. Perhaps you were a victim of some "new math" program?


Anyone who uses their skill to read ought to encounter the idea of personal financial amangement and the very large number opf books teaching those skills. The problem is WHAT SKILLS ARE GOING TO BE TAUGHT?

Children seem to learn how to apply for credit readily enough, be it credit cards, on line payments, mortgages or bankruptcy. When people are motivated to learn, they do so. The idea of personal responsibility and long term fincial planning however, are not things most young people are interested in, so they don't learn and don';t aspply the skills until they become important.

Over on the credit card board a genrous percentage of people motivated to do something about their debts are doing so because they are interested in buying a home, and debt problems impair their ability to do so. If reality intruded earlier, perhaps they would wise up earlier.


Then there are the people who don't wise up even as long as they have a spouse who can be manipulated to let them to continue to spend.

Lots of people have or develope a yen to spend. A lot fewer people have a yen to save and invest. I personally think it's a waste of time to spend much time trying to convince some college Freshman of wise and foolish ways to use that new credit card.

A third of a century ago, most states didn't permit people to make enforcablke contracts until age 21. Younger people were deemed to be incompetent to make such contracts. Was that a wise policy? Along with the ability to get credit cards comes the ability to obligate onesself for large amounts of student loan debt. It's rather common for that to be done in foolish ways that damage people long term as well.

Are people competent to make contracts at age 18?



Seattle Pioneer

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Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 10:42 AM
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<<Teaching is only one part of education, of course, but it is an important part. In my high school we had something called "Freshman Arts" - 9 weeks in 4 disciplines, each cut in half. All boys and all girls had to take shop, home ec (cooking & sewing), art, and music. Obviously we had traditional math classes, english, foreign languages, social studies, geography, etc. and in our homeroom, in addition to "hygiene" we had "budgeting" and other issues that were likely to help us into adulthood.
>>




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Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 10:49 AM
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<<and in our homeroom, in addition to "hygiene" we had "budgeting" and other issues that were likely to help us into adulthood.
>>


Somehow I doubt that taking a high school class in "hygiene" is going to influence how many people wash their hands after going to the restroom very much, or the percentage of people who make foolish financial decisions.

However, when people decide they want to buy a house, suddenly they often become self motivated students on the subject of personal finance and dealing with credit problems ----you see this all the time on the credit card board.


It's not a matter of basic knowledge, it's a matter of being motivated to use knowledge that is readily available for those who are interested. I wish it were otherwise, but it's not, in my experience.




Seattle Pioneer

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Author: markr33 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1808 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 11:17 AM
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Every math class that I've ever taken has covered elements of interest calculations, and most math texts use examples taken from financial calculations of one kind or another. Perhaps you were a victim of some "new math" program?

The "new math" -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr1qee-bTZI


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Author: pachouly Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1809 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 11:32 AM
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Instead of palming off this responsibility on the schools, I did something radical. I've been teaching my children about finances as they have been growing as I consider this a parental responsibility similar to teaching them to cook, do laundry, and maintain a vehicle. I do realize not all parents think like I do, however.

2gifts, I have to say that while I admire your approach and hope to emulate it someday, yourself and many of the people on these boards are not representative of the world at large.

My parents are well-educated people (both have Masters) who struggled to make ends meet for most of my childhood -- partly due to their disparate financial styles, I suspect. My father did teach me to be frugal by example. My mother showed me how to spend by example. No discussions were ever had about sensible financial planning and attempts of mine to ask advice about such things during my teens or my early twenties went nowhere beyond, 'You're over 18 and responsible for yourself'. My father has a retirement plan through work, but my mother has done little to no retirement planning and I expect to provide some support for her in the future.

I don't blame them - they just don't know how to have conversations of this sort. Fortunately, myself and my siblings are fairly resourceful and self-sufficient and we do have such conversations these days.

Educating oneself about financial matters IS a personal responsibility -- as are not abusing drugs or alcohol, eating healthfully, getting exercise, etc. However, most of us would benefit from some guidance on all of these -- even if it is a 'Simple Start Guide' or perhaps a free community education course. The amount of information available (especially erroneous information!) is staggering, and, for a novice, very daunting.

I still remember (over 15 years ago now!) my HS Chemistry teacher taking 2 periods to show us what it mean to support oneself on mimimum wage -- what % would go to taxes, rent, car, food, etc. That lesson stuck with me for a loooong time.

Perhaps this type of information doesn't belong in schools. I don't know. I do believe that providing some free course in basic financial planning would benefit a community and its members and such courses should be readily available and highly recommended for high school students.

pachouly

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Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1810 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 11:32 AM
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Why not make the problems fit the real-life situations of the child?


We have something called Impact Math in our schools, and the word problems are more real-life, which was something I have liked about the program.

Our high school also does have a Personal Finance course as an elective, but from what I can see, the kids get very little chance to take any electives given the state and school requirements for graduation plus the requirements to get into college. Most of the kids tend to want to take things like the computer courses [web design, graphic design], the marketing courses [business planning, entrepreneurship], and things like that.

I know that my DD would have 2 extra slots if the colleges she were interested in didn't 'recommend' that she have 4 years of a foreign language. Personally, I think some of the electives including Personal Finance, have a higher educational and life value than foreign language, but she has to take those extra 2 years to get into the college of her choice.

Then there are all the state and federal mandates, most of which aren't funded and are what people tend to be really complaining about when they talk about wasting their tax dollars. So to make Personal Finance a requirement, which is what I think the suggestion in this thread is, then something else has to go or people have to find a way to fund it in addition to what's already there.

Although I frequently see people expressing the desire to add Personal Finance as a required course, I don't see much being done on the other end to convince the powers-that-be to get rid of another requirement so that there's money, nor do I see the effort to raise additional funds for the added mandate.

You just can't have it both ways.

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Author: FordLove Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1811 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 11:41 AM
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This gets back to the issue of whether people are competent to manage their own lives. Should people have the liberty to manage their own lives or must other people manage their lives for them?

I was mainly struck by the sheer hypocrisy of his call for people to take personal responsibility for themselves. Your company makes it easy for people with bad credit to get a credit card. Not only easy, but actively seeks out those who will have bad credit judgment and then talks of “personal responsibility” when those loans go bad. As if they didn't have a huge amount of culpability for those bad loans. Then they go crying to congress with big bags of cash so they can get the money out of those bad loans. If a bit more corporate responsibility was in place their wouldn't have been such need for this legislation in the first place.

Drugs, credit, even fatty foods and carbs. Should we be a free people or one where government makes most of the key decisions about our lives?

Should we be a society that allows corporations to target the uneducated and the dumb, and then let them cry foul when they make uneducated and dumb decisions?

I'm all for freedom, but we should also have freedom from companies conducting predatory business practices. I'm not saying that people shouldn't be allowed credit. I was saying that it is hard to champion personal responsibility when you take none. When you make bad decisions and change the rules so you will not be held accountable for them.

Ford

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Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1812 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 11:46 AM
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2gifts, I have to say that while I admire your approach and hope to emulate it someday, yourself and many of the people on these boards are not representative of the world at large.


See, I'm just doing what my parents did, and what their parents did, and what my brother did, so in my world, it is normal for parents to teach their kids life skills including managing money.

I also disagree that people in the world at large don't have this knowledge. I think that the drive to have more stuff just overrides their common sense. It really doesn't take more than the first credit card bill after you left a balance to see that that behavior is more expensive because interest charges are added. It means that they should focus on the total cost of the item and not the 'affordable monthly payments' that the sales guy is pushing. It is the lack of self-discipline and the inability to wait for a delayed gratification that is driving behavior, and I somehow doubt that some of these people would get it or change their behavior if they just had a class in school.

I don't happen to believe that a requirement for students to take personal finance in school will make the behavior change, and I don't support adding money to the school budget for yet another requirement.

I guess I'm tired of all problems being pushed to the schools 'because all parents don't teach that thing to their kids.' That's a lame excuse to me, and continues to let the parents off the hook for the work that they are supposed to do and which is known as raising their own children. We've pushed all sorts of things to the school based on this logic, and I'm not convinced that this has had the desired effect.

There are lots of things I'd rather be spending my school budget dollars on, and personal finance as a requirement is pretty low on the list.

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Author: SuaSponteMark Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1813 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 11:47 AM
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Ah the credit card companies, the first hurdle to retiring early.

---

That's funny - the float they've given me has probably netted me a small four figure sum in the past few years. Also, they free a lot of time. Finally, the ones paying me cash back have netted me another four figure sum.

But of course I'm from that evil "personal responsibility" camp so I should be immediately ignored.

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Author: lizmonster Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1815 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 12:19 PM
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But of course I'm from that evil "personal responsibility" camp so I should be immediately ignored.

Actually, Ford was pointing out that personal responsibility goes both ways.

If your six best friends have loaned money to Jim and Jim has stiffed them, how smart is it for you to go ahead and loan Jim money? Yes, he's shirking his personal responsibilities when he stiffs you as well. But you're shirking yours by lending to him in the first place, and I'm not going to weep for you (or change any federal laws) when you complain about the money you lost.

IOW, your stupidity is no excuse for his greed and irresponsibility. But neither is his irresponsibility to blame for your stupidity.

BTW, I use my rewards card every chance I get. But you can bet I check my balance on-line several times a week, and I verify my due date every time. I'll take their money, but I don't trust them an inch.

-lizmonster

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Author: FoolYap Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1816 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 12:47 PM
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BTW, I use my rewards card every chance I get. But you can bet I check my balance on-line several times a week, and I verify my due date every time. I'll take their money, but I don't trust them an inch.

Nor should you, especially when they are wont to move the due date forward without notice (or at least, buried in the fine print if notice was given).

I pay my card off every month, haven't paid any interest of fees in years. Sometimes I pay the bill as soon as it arrives, but often I let it sit for several days, the longer to gather interest in ING on the money that'll pay the bill. But they almost got me a few months ago, when I almost didn't notice that the due date on a bill had been moved forward by a full week. Sneaky SOBs.

--FY

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Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 12:48 PM
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<<This gets back to the issue of whether people are competent to manage their own lives. Should people have the liberty to manage their own lives or must other people manage their lives for them?

I was mainly struck by the sheer hypocrisy of his call for people to take personal responsibility for themselves. Your company makes it easy for people with bad credit to get a credit card. Not only easy, but actively seeks out those who will have bad credit judgment and then talks of “personal responsibility” when those loans go bad. As if they didn't have a huge amount of culpability for those bad loans. Then they go crying to congress with big bags of cash so they can get the money out of those bad loans. If a bit more corporate responsibility was in place their wouldn't have been such need for this legislation in the first place.
>>


I have no ties to any credit card company other than owning some bank stocks.


Yes, people have a considerable degree of personal liberty to go into debt if they choose to do so. No longer is credit rationed out only to a worthy few, which caused complaints by the left as well.


Access to credit has had a good deal of deregulation, and the result has been more personal liberty, and greater personal responsibility.

The wise benefit enormously from such policies while the foolish are ground up by the consequences of their follies.


I don't think the dumb and uneducated are really the ones targeted. The dumb and uneducated probably don't have enough money to be the main target of credit card companies and, let's say, McDonalds. The main targets are the working class and middle class I would suppose.

And fast food and credit are tools that, prudently used, give people greater personal freedom and perhaps more wealth. Foolishly used, they can cause harm. But that's the nature of a lot of choices in life.


I've always supposed there were three basic groups of people to consider with this kind of issue:

1) A minority who benefit and apply academic learning, the advice of adults and experts

2) A majority who learn from making mistakes

3) Another minority who never learn.



Is it wise to restrict the personal liberty of the first two groups of people in order to protect that third relatively small minority? If you do, you keep useful tools from the hands of a large majority of people who can use them wisely to the immense benefit of society.




Seattle Pioneer

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1818 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 1:13 PM
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<<If your six best friends have loaned money to Jim and Jim has stiffed them, how smart is it for you to go ahead and loan Jim money? Yes, he's shirking his personal responsibilities when he stiffs you as well. But you're shirking yours by lending to him in the first place, and I'm not going to weep for you (or change any federal laws) when you complain about the money you lost.
>>


Credit cards can be cheap sources of credit for the careful and responsible person, and you can even make money by borrowing money if you are shrewd.

The compensating fact of life is that credit card companies can sharply jack up credit costs for those who borrow too much or fail to pay back money as required. Penalties and punitive high interest rates are deterrents to bad credit behavior, and allow credit card companies to send a strong message to people about the cost of irresponsible behavior.

I wouldn't be surprised if Jim(in your example above) would borrow money from hid friends in order to make payments on his credit cards, because his friends haven't investigated his credit and understood the risks they were taking, while the credit card companies have.

Many people who post on the Credit Card board got a wake up call when their interest rates went sky high and they got hit by expensive fees. They are responding to a wake up call from their credit card companies. Is it really better to allow them to continue a destructive pattern of behavior by failing to send them that wake up call, or to postpone it?



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1819 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 1:18 PM
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<<<<NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp. has begun offering credit cards to customers without Social Security numbers, typically illegal immigrants, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

In recent years, banks across the country have been offering checking accounts and even mortgages to the nation's fast-growing ranks of undocumented immigrants, most of whom are Hispanic, the paper said, adding these immigrants generally have not been able to get major credit cards.

The new Bank of America card is open to people who lack both a Social Security number and a credit history, as long as they have held a checking account with the bank for three months without an overdraft, the Journal said.

>>



http://today.reuters.com/news/articlenews.aspx?type=domesticNews&storyid=2007-02-13T053517Z_01_N13447905_RTRUKOC_0_US-BOFA-CARD.xml&src=rss&rpc=22



>>



So, is this an evil credit card company seeking to exploit a vulnerable new group, or will this be a positive benefit to the large majority of people who will get this credit card and have access to interest at cheap prices (if they behave responsibly) for the first time?



The issue of whether business should again be conniving to subvert the nation's immigration laws is a separate issue.




Seattle Pioneer

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Author: IndecisiveFool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1820 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 1:19 PM
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It wasn't my intention to suggest that parents shouldn't teach their kids, but the fact remains that probably 99% of parents don't teach their kids. As a result, I think kids would benefit from having schools teach some of the basics. After all, schools teach so much crap it wouldn't hurt to actually teach something useful.

My parents didn't teach me about finances. My school did help me with finances. It was called a math class. I still have trouble with people who say the lack of financial education is the reason for a large revolving credit card bill. It doesn't take a genius to understand you owe interest if you don't pay your bill in full and you pay increasing amounts of it as your balance increases.

IF

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Author: IndecisiveFool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1821 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 1:33 PM
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I pay my card off every month, haven't paid any interest of fees in years. Sometimes I pay the bill as soon as it arrives, but often I let it sit for several days, the longer to gather interest in ING on the money that'll pay the bill. But they almost got me a few months ago, when I almost didn't notice that the due date on a bill had been moved forward by a full week. Sneaky SOBs.

Online billpay really helps with this problem. Set up the payment as soon as the bill arrives. With online billpay, you can specify the date that the bill is paid.

IF

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Author: reallyalldone Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1822 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 2:11 PM
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Online billpay really helps with this problem. Set up the payment as soon as the bill arrives. With online billpay, you can specify the date that the bill is paid.

Big shocker - I do this as well.

None of this stuff is rocket science. Open the bill, read the bill, pay the bill. Actually, modeling this behavior for your kids puts them way ahead. Kind of like that other tough one, when you have a job, show up on time and work.

rad


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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1823 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 2:17 PM
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Too many kids have no idea where money comes from or how to use it...they are used to big allowances and no limits on spending, and parents who consume in large quantities and try to spend like there is no tomorrow.

The kids usually follow what their parents have done by example, and that is 'charge it'....from big ticket items, to clothing and shoes to designer goods to even buying fast food at Macdonalds.

Everything is 'payments' and minimum payments.

I don't think I had 'financial education' in high school 45 years ago....nor in college.....but I had frugal parents. I didn't have a credit card until after I graduated from college. Now, kids are given the family credit card to go to the mall to buy things like school clothing...... or given a card to buy gas for the car.

High schools should require students to learn to balance check books and learn about 'financing' but it likely won't happen with the new math.

Kids follow what their parents do.......and now parents seem to be on the kick of 'extracting' home equity in record amounts over the past 10 years....'cashing out' and spending all that 'found money'. And kids think money grows on trees with everyone making 'tons of money' in the stock market year after year, and the party should rock on forever because 'they deserve it'.

I do think the 'new math' you tube was quite a bit biased.......heck, calculators are here to stay, and there really is no reason to spend 100 hours drilling in long division to students.

Its sort of like 'penmanship' in days of old, when folks dedicated hundreds of hours to learning how to trum their quill, and refill their inkwells, and blot the finished writing to prevent smearing.....or writing with a 'fountain pen'..... heavens forbid, ball point pens....then marker pens.....what did the world of caligraphy turn into?

Kids 'write anything'? Maybe checks in their checkbook....but even that is going the way of 'on line payments' and billing to your bank account or credit card for all monthly payments.....

Kids ought to be able to do simple math.....I'm not sure that doing 23/65th times7/8ths, then that product divided by 27/32 is all that relevant. If they know how to do it on a calculator, great.....


t.



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Author: IndecisiveFool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1824 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 2:21 PM
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Kind of like that other tough one, when you have a job, show up on time and work.

I've mastered the on time part.

IF

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Author: tenworlds Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1825 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 2:43 PM
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That's funny - the float they've given me has probably netted me a small four figure sum in the past few years. Also, they free a lot of time. Finally, the ones paying me cash back have netted me another four figure sum.
But of course I'm from that evil "personal responsibility" camp so I should be immediately ignored.

-----

Nah, it isn't the 'personal responsbility' thing, it's the smug arrogance people like you and SP exude that send people elsewhere for good information. Maybe it's just me, but I'd just as soon not have to wade through a stinky, eye-watering pile of manure to find a pearl of wisdom that is more readily available from straight-up folks like Gus, or FY, or intercst.


-just sayin'





Rich

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Author: FoolYap Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1826 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 2:50 PM
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Online billpay really helps with this problem. Set up the payment as soon as the bill arrives. With online billpay, you can specify the date that the bill is paid.

Online billpay is how I managed to avoid getting a check in late to them when they moved the due date. :-P

For whatever reasons, I prefer writing a check under normal circumstances.

--FY (Luddite)

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Author: 2gifts Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1827 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 3:33 PM
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Nah, it isn't the 'personal responsbility' thing, it's the smug arrogance people like you and SP exude that send people elsewhere for good information. Maybe it's just me, but I'd just as soon not have to wade through a stinky, eye-watering pile of manure to find a pearl of wisdom that is more readily available from straight-up folks like Gus, or FY, or intercst.


OK, I can take a hint. Since I suspect I'm in that group of people who aren't providing any good information, I'll just be a responsible person, and go elsewhere. No point in cluttering up this board with my bad information. I certainly wouldn't want anyone following in my footsteps.

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Author: IndecisiveFool Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1828 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 3:35 PM
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For whatever reasons, I prefer writing a check under normal circumstances.

I have more trust in the internet than the postal system.

IF

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Author: lizmonster Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1829 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 3:48 PM
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OK, I can take a hint. Since I suspect I'm in that group of people who aren't providing any good information, I'll just be a responsible person, and go elsewhere. No point in cluttering up this board with my bad information. I certainly wouldn't want anyone following in my footsteps.

Actually, 2gifts, while I vehemently disagree with you on the issue of teaching finance in schools, I think you provide plenty of good information. What others are doing (that I haven't seen you do) is adding deliberately inflammatory statements to otherwise on-topic posts. I assumed that's what the poster you're replying to was talking about. I could be wrong, of course.

As for following in your footsteps - I'd love it if my daughter ended up with your financial acumen. I just hope she develops a little more empathy for those who don't excel at the same things.

-lizmonster
doesn't understand why some folks find calculus difficult, but can't deny that many do

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Author: GusSmed Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1830 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 3:53 PM
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OK, I can take a hint.

I may be mistaken, but I don't believe that remark was directed at you.

I like Mark. But as I see it, Mark put a chip on his shoulder, and hollered out "Knock this chip off my shoulder! I dare you!" And Rich went ahead and did exactly that.

- Gus

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Author: ResNullius Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1831 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 3:57 PM
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I have more trust in the internet than the postal system.

I left my firm almost 8 years ago, but I've continued to do a little part-time consulting from my home. This means that I've had to FedEx and regular mail things on a fairly regular basis, with a real need for them to arrive in a timely fashion. If something absolutely has to get somewhere, regardless of time, I send it FedEx. If something needs to get somewhere, and time isn't important, then I use Priority Mail from the Postal Service. The PM almost always arrives at its destination within no more than two days. A few times, however, it took several weeks. Twice, it never arrived at all. FedEx has never failed to perform as advertised. The price difference is huge, but worth it if when needed.


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Author: ResNullius Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1832 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 4:02 PM
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I like Mark. But as I see it, Mark put a chip on his shoulder, and hollered out "Knock this chip off my shoulder! I dare you!" And Rich went ahead and did exactly that.

I started the ball rolling on the issue of teaching finance in schools. I didn't view it as a liberal or conservative issue, but it somewhere became one along the way. I don't see how anyone could oppose teaching basic finance to students as a way of preparing them for life. Who knows, maybe a few of the teachers might learn basic finance too. I guess some folks disagree, which just goes to show that my views aren't necessarily held by everyone else, which is something I've known for most of my life. Why folks can't have a civil discussion on the subject is beyond me.


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Author: GusSmed Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1833 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 4:12 PM
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I don't see how anyone could oppose teaching basic finance to students as a way of preparing them for life.

I'm certainly for it. I really wasn't all that well prepared for the real world when I left home. When I applied for my first salaried job, I was looking at moving to another city, and I had no clue at all what my expenses would be, or whether my salary would cover them. Mostly people manage it, but it seems like the first year or so could be made a lot easier with systematic education.

I didn't get that job, but that's another story.

Why folks can't have a civil discussion on the subject is beyond me.

Old injuries, I think. The "I'm from that evil 'personal responsibility' camp" remark carried a truckload of old anger with it. So did Rich's response, of course, but I saw that as being a little more justified, given the circumstances.

- Gus



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Author: 0x6a74 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1835 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 4:25 PM
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Why folks can't have a civil discussion on the subject is beyond me.

Old injuries, I think. The "I'm from that evil 'personal responsibility' camp" remark carried a truckload of old anger with it. So did Rich's response, of course, but I saw that as being a little more justified, given the circumstances.



noticed something a couple days ago.

new board.
'old' posters .... folks who've been around TMF, but not around each other.

to an extent, people bring their reps and style from other boards ... what's 'banter' on LBYM (eg), looks like 'incivil' to someone from another board.

will take a while to get used to each other.


=

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Author: sofaking6 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1836 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 4:41 PM
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I can barely manage to add and subtract without a calculator, but I saved enough to buy a house at age 27 and have never been near deep debt. I think my highest CC balance ever was $4k, which was a recent event due to an anticipated windfall. It's paid off now.

The only late payments I've ever made on anything were some utility bills from when I was recovering from surgery, they just got lost in a lot of unopened mail. I have one aged-off dispute on my credit record from cancelling a gym membership and getting billed for an extra month.

I think this stems from one thing: a desire to not owe. Or, perhaps more specifically, a sense that what I owe, I must pay. I really get the sense that a lot of people who get into deep debt do so from a sense that they're spending someone else's money.

6

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Author: tenworlds Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1837 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 4:54 PM
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OK, I can take a hint. Since I suspect I'm in that group of people who aren't providing any good information, I'll just be a responsible person, and go elsewhere. No point in cluttering up this board with my bad information. I certainly wouldn't want anyone following in my footsteps.
-----

I'm not suggesting anyone leave. There is a wealth of good information available here and I'm only saying that I prefer not to deal with attitude baggage sometimes attached to it by some posters. FWIW, you're not one of them.

I know how to tune it out when the noise to good info ratio becomes too unbalanced for me. Maybe I'm just turning into a curmudgeon, but I find I have less & less patience for unnecessary 'digs' like the posts du jour from PA. I can go there if I feel like sparring. I'm here because, having started late in the world of 'finances', I have a bunch of catching up to do.




Rich

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Author: reallyalldone Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1838 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 4:57 PM
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I don't see how anyone could oppose teaching basic finance to students as a way of preparing them for life.

Feel free to teach those who choose to be taught but don't mandate it. I really don't want anyone else teaching my kids personal finance.

rad

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Author: sofaking6 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1839 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 4:59 PM
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Feel free to teach those who choose to be taught but don't mandate it. I really don't want anyone else teaching my kids personal finance.

I can just debates like the creationism vs evolution issue popping up...

6

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Author: ResNullius Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1840 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 5:04 PM
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I'm here because, having started late in the world of 'finances', I have a bunch of catching up to do.

It's never too late to improve one's financial situation. An extra $100K in a portfolio can mean $4K to $5K per year for life, if it's invested properly, and that means an extra $350 to $400 per month. This can make a difference, and even half that amount can make a difference in the overall financial quality of retirement. It's never too late to start doing things the right way, or at least a better way.


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Author: tenworlds Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1841 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 5:04 PM
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Old injuries, I think. The "I'm from that evil 'personal responsibility' camp" remark carried a truckload of old anger with it. So did Rich's response, of course, but I saw that as being a little more justified, given the circumstances.
- Gus

-----

Justified or not, Res is right. I probably need to back away from the keyboard for a bit when I see those 'chips' put out there. No sense in adding to the mix. I keep forgetting that 'wrestling with pigs' adage.

Apologies to all.






Rich
-backing away


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Author: FoolYap Big funky green star, 20000 posts Feste Award Nominee! Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1842 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 6:09 PM
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I have more trust in the internet than the postal system.

Maybe it's because I write software for a living, that I don't? It's a little like working at the hot dog factory: It kinda puts you off of eating them.

:)

--FY

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Author: reallyalldone Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1843 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 6:19 PM
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I can just debates like the creationism vs evolution issue popping up...

Fer sure. I encourage my kids to use credit cards. They understand how to get the most out of them. I suspect those who want to mandate financial education have a different agenda.

rad



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Author: sofaking6 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1844 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 6:31 PM
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Fer sure. I encourage my kids to use credit cards. They understand how to get the most out of them. I suspect those who want to mandate financial education have a different agenda.

Right, imagine if Citibank provided the textbooks.

6

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Author: tedhimself Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1845 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 6:35 PM
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I was taught math. I even got a college degree in math (albeit abstract math). I learned summations and limits and all sorts of things. Never once were any of these abstract calculations referred to as "simple interest" or "compounding." The terms could have easily been integrated into ordinary math classes without decreasing the actual math being taught - and while I can't speak for all students, it certainly would have helped me.

When I was in the fourth grade we had a unit on shopping. We had a make believe store and were issued "checks". Each account had an amount of "money" in it, and you could write checks at the store for various things and shop for "food". There was emphasis to keep your money because something more interesting might appear in the store tomorrow. We were graded on how well we kept our "checkbook" balanced. And we were graded on how much money we had left at the end of the week. The two or three people who had the most money lkeft won prizes. This was to teach you to save for the future. This was all in the years before credit cards came along.
Ted


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Author: FordLove Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1846 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 7:07 PM
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I was taught math. I even got a college degree in math (albeit abstract math). I learned summations and limits and all sorts of things. Never once were any of these abstract calculations referred to as "simple interest" or "compounding." The terms could have easily been integrated into ordinary math classes without decreasing the actual math being taught - and while I can't speak for all students, it certainly would have helped me.

Really Liz?

I thought the interest compounding continuously was one of the classic examples of e.

IE A being the balance after t years, and P being the initial deposit, and r = annual interest rate.

If interest is compounded n times a year the equation for compound interest is

A = P*(1+r/n)^nt

When n -> infinity
Then A = Pe^rt

Not that it made much impact on me at the time.

Then again, I had to learn all that crap later. Sure I use it, but a good way to make someones eyes glaze over is to start talking about interest rate vs discount rate and all that. I can make someone fall asleep at thirty feet

Ok, I admit it. I can be a pedantic bore at times

Ford

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Author: tedhimself Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1847 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 7:10 PM
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...IE A being the balance after t years, and P being the initial deposit, and r = annual interest rate.

If interest is compounded n times a year the equation for compound interest is

A = P*(1+r/n)^nt


Playing around with a financial calculator can teach a person a lot about how much difference compounding interest can make.

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1848 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 7:30 PM
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<<Nah, it isn't the 'personal responsbility' thing, it's the smug arrogance people like you and SP exude that send people elsewhere for good information. Maybe it's just me, but I'd just as soon not have to wade through a stinky, eye-watering pile of manure to find a pearl of wisdom that is more readily available from straight-up folks like Gus, or FY, or intercst.


OK, I can take a hint. Since I suspect I'm in that group of people who aren't providing any good information, I'll just be a responsible person, and go elsewhere. No point in cluttering up this board with my bad information. I certainly wouldn't want anyone following in my footsteps. >>


Heh, heh! Hogs will root around to find an acorn while others would rather do without if they aren't spoon fed.




Seattle Pioneer

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Author: lizmonster Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1851 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 7:57 PM
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I thought the interest compounding continuously was one of the classic examples of e.

It probably is. I don't remember it being taught that way, though - I remember the term "compounding," but there was no real-world stuff in any of it. (And for those of you who are going to tell me I should have figured it out from the use of the word "compounding" - well, of course I should have. Except that nobody had ever talked to me about how credit cards worked, so I had no way of making the association.)

Ok, I admit it. I can be a pedantic bore at times

You are many things, Frodo. Pedantic - okay. Boring, not so much.

BTW, thanks for the math review. It brings back pleasant memories.

-lizmonster

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Author: PanemetCircenses Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1853 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 8:27 PM
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It probably is. I don't remember it being taught that way, though - I remember the term "compounding," but there was no real-world stuff in any of it.

I have a few math degrees myself. Just from my recollections:

From the times I TA'd and, later, taught calculus, there were always examples of compounding interest problems. Later in advanced calc there was the derivation of e shown as an example of taking the limit of compounding period down to zero. Then there are all of the financial examples in prob/stat if you go that route.

That being said, I agree with Peter Lynch when he said (paraphrasing) that all the math you'll ever need for financial matters you should have learned by junior high.

--B+C

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Author: lizmonster Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1855 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 8:33 PM
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From the times I TA'd and, later, taught calculus, there were always examples of compounding interest problems.

I can tell you for certain I never had real-world problems when I took calculus - one of the things I loved about it was its abstract purity. I could do the numbers without having my mind cluttered up with silly things like practicality. ;-)

But I skipped freshman calculus, so I may have missed it.

-lizmonster

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Author: PanemetCircenses Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1856 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 8:34 PM
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I really don't want anyone else teaching my kids personal finance.

I am generally okay with a descriptive class but not with a prescriptive class.

FWIW,
B+C

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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1857 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 8:47 PM
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From the times I TA'd and, later, taught calculus, there were always examples of compounding interest problems. Later in advanced calc there was the derivation of e shown as an example of taking the limit of compounding period down to zero. Then there are all of the financial examples in prob/stat if you go that route.

And I don't think teaching it specifically as a compounding interest problem would make a damn bit of difference. Most people understand the concept of compounding interest, maybe not the mathematics but the idea. Going from the idea to implementing it in the real world is where people have problems.

I have a friend I'll call Stan because his name is Stan. Great guy, horrible with money. But his parents have money. Stan explained many times that his dad never had a job that was anything more than middle income, but his dad packed a ham sandwich every day to work and saved and invested his whole life and by late middle age was worth a big pile of money. So his dad retired early and bought a big house on a golf course.

So having personally seen the example of how to achieve financial success, Stan blows every dime he gets. I don't think a class would have made a damn bit of difference.

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Author: AngelMay Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1861 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/13/2007 9:17 PM
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Then again, I had to learn all that crap later. Sure I use it, but a good way to make someones eyes glaze over is to start talking about interest rate vs discount rate and all that. I can make someone fall asleep at thirty feet



Wow... could I ever use you around here at bedtime! ;o)

AM

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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1869 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/14/2007 1:08 AM
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<<That being said, I agree with Peter Lynch when he said (paraphrasing) that all the math you'll ever need for financial matters you should have learned by junior high.

--B+C
>>



"The beginning of financial independence is understanding the implications of exponential equations."


----Seattle Pioneer



Sometimes there's no substitute for quoting yourself.



Seattle Pioneer

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Author: FordLove Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1870 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/14/2007 8:08 AM
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Wow... could I ever use you around here at bedtime! ;o)

May I suggest the Audible route? It may not work for everyone, but Adrienne used to have problems going to sleep. Then we signed up for Audible and piped the iPod through the speakers in the bedroom.

Watching TV would keep her up, but listening to an audiobook lets her lay back with her eyes closed. Before she knows it she is out. The iPod also has a sleep timer, although others do as well.

Audible usually has a new $10 download everyday so it might be a good way to try it out. www.audible.com

Of course you would have to see if there was an easy way to listen in your bedroom. Most MP3 players will play audible files, although you should check.

Ford

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Author: cattleman22 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1872 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/14/2007 9:31 AM
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{{OK, I can take a hint. Since I suspect I'm in that group of people who aren't providing any good information, I'll just be a responsible person, and go elsewhere. No point in cluttering up this board with my bad information. I certainly wouldn't want anyone following in my footsteps.}}


This board has very strict troll definitions. Anyone who believes in presonal responsinility and who is not an extreme liberal is a troll.


c

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Author: cattleman22 Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1873 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/14/2007 9:32 AM
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{{doesn't understand why some folks find calculus difficult, but can't deny that many do}}

Calculus is not that difficult, it is just that it is taught so late and it is made out to be so difficult that makes it seem really hard. I think calculus, at least limits and integrals should be taught as soon as curves and lines are taught.


c

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1874 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/14/2007 9:48 AM
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"Calculus is not that difficult, it is just that it is taught so late and it is made out to be so difficult that makes it seem really hard. I think calculus, at least limits and integrals should be taught as soon as curves and lines are taught."

SImple calc wasn't bad....then Complex Variables and Advanced Calc I and II got real interesting.....maybe some enjoy it...I sure didn't.....

Sorry.....barely made it through both...along with most of the class....only a small percent 'excelled' at those..........

the other engineering coureses were a lot more fun! (and full of calc).....Fluid Mechanics, Thermo, Mechanics I and II, Power Systems, Circuit Design I and II, Communications Theory, Coding Theory, Computer Sciene I, II , III etc, Algorithms, Programming I and II, Database Theory and Practice, Materials Science, Semiconductor/IC, Power Systems, etc...........

Almost as bad as Advanced Probability Theory and Information Theory.... that is really weird stuff that blows your mind.....

Spent 31 years in Engineering.....and decided to kick back at age 52.5..... interesting to follow new technology, but no interest to start whipping out the advanced math.....

A simple calculator, a finanical calculator (or program), and common sense, and ability to do common math is more than enough to enjoy retirement...

Or, as Scott Burns says, if you can wake up once a year, find your yearly statement, divide by two...you can retire on your Couch Potato portfolio, be diversified in 5 minutes, then go back to being financially comatose for another year.....if that is your style....

If you are depending upon the 'government' to provide for you in retirement, then keep working! THose on welfare are depending upon you to pay the bills....



t.






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Author: sykesix Big gold star, 5000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1885 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/14/2007 12:36 PM
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Calculus is not that difficult, it is just that it is taught so late and it is made out to be so difficult that makes it seem really hard. I think calculus, at least limits and integrals should be taught as soon as curves and lines are taught.

Calculus is dead easy. However, the problems usually include hard algebra and sometimes hard trig. But there is nothing about calculus itself that is so difficult it couldn't be taught in 9th grade, as long as the algebra was toned down to make it grade level appropriate.



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Author: GusSmed Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1886 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/14/2007 12:41 PM
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However, the problems usually include hard algebra and sometimes hard trig.

My calculus teacher's favorite phrase was "it's not the calculus, it's the cotton-pickin' algebra." And he was right.

- Gus

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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1889 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/14/2007 12:58 PM
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lizmonster: I was taught math. I even got a college degree in math (albeit abstract math). I learned summations and limits and all sorts of things. Never once were any of these abstract calculations referred to as "simple interest" or "compounding." The terms could have easily been integrated into ordinary math classes without decreasing the actual math being taught - and while I can't speak for all students, it certainly would have helped me.

I'm running way behind, so this thread may be dead for all I know, but here's my 2¢

Math is taught from textbooks. The people who write those textbooks may well be credit card junkies, or at least ignorant of finances. The teachers may well be credit card junkies. It may be a forest/trees thing. The teachers and writers have no idea about the math of finance. And then there are those darned, esoteric exponents. 8^(

After a few years of doing almost anything, there is a tendency to put one's mind on autopilot, and just go through the motions. This applies to actors, physicians, and teachers, as well as almost anyone else.

First we have to educate (motivate?) the textbook writers (or, the Texas School Board which certifies almose every textbook in the USA) rhwn the teachers. Only then can they do a decent job of sharing the knowledge with the students.

cliff

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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1890 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/14/2007 1:03 PM
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SeattlePioneer: Every math class that I've ever taken has covered elements of interest calculations, and most math texts use examples taken from financial calculations of one kind or another. Perhaps you were a victim of some "new math" program?

Ah, yes, I remember 7th grade, Miss Smith. We were taught to memorize formulas, which is the anthesis of math. For interest it was

I = Prt. Interest equals Principal times rate times time. Period. We were given problems like "What is the interst on $1000 at 6% for two years?"

She liked to say, "This is the only time it is proper to say 'I is prty'". As far as practical, I think she never made any connection herself. It was just a job.

cliff

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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1891 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/14/2007 1:12 PM
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Seattle Pioneer: Credit cards can be cheap sources of credit for the careful and responsible person, and you can even make money by borrowing money if you are shrewd.

I regularly get some "checks" from one of my CC companies offering 0% credit for six months. So I write a check for $10,000 and deposit the money in a 5% CD at the bank. Yeah, they charge $75 for writing the check, but I come out ahead.

cliff
... chisler

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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1893 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/14/2007 1:16 PM
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For whatever reasons, I prefer writing a check under normal circumstances.

--FY (Luddite)

<gasp!> Waste of 39¢!

cliff

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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1895 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/14/2007 1:23 PM
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rich: Maybe I'm just turning into a curmudgeon,

Ummmm, Rich, I don't think you are turning into a curmudgeon. You is one.

cliff
... ex-curmudgeon,

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Author: cevera1 Big red star, 1000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1896 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/14/2007 1:24 PM
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Calculus is dead easy. However, the problems usually include hard algebra and sometimes hard trig. But there is nothing about calculus itself that is so difficult it couldn't be taught in 9th grade, as long as the algebra was toned down to make it grade level appropriate.

I would agree with you with the addition of one further skill that I believe is lacking - that being able to approach a problem and have the basic toolset to understand how to set up the problem. More advanced calculus takes some thought as to how to set up the problem in a way that simplifies the work needed to achieve the answer. It seems that many times students have the skills to solve a problem, but lack the broader concepts about the topics. Basic analysis and problem solving ability (independent thinking skills if you will) seem to be a weakness of many current/recent students going through are education system. Unfortunately, while poor algebra skills may provide an impediment to many avenues in life, poor analysis or thinking skills will throw up stumbling blocks in all facets of life.

cliff





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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1897 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/14/2007 1:26 PM
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Ok, I admit it. I can be a pedantic bore at times

Ford


I am shocked at these confessions today! First a curmudgeon, now a pedantic bore.

Welcome to the club, PB.

cliff

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Author: cliff666 Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1899 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/14/2007 1:30 PM
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I can tell you for certain I never had real-world problems when I took calculus - one of the things I loved about it was its abstract purity. I could do the numbers without having my mind cluttered up with silly things like practicality. ;-)

But I skipped freshman calculus, so I may have missed it.

-lizmonster


You would agree with R.E.D. Bishop's famous toast: "To pure mathematics; may it never be of use to anyone."

cliff

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Author: tenworlds Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1900 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/14/2007 1:33 PM
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Ummmm, Rich, I don't think you are turning into a curmudgeon. You is one.
-----

Heh... only in cyberspace. I'm loved and lauded in real life.





Rich
-aka 'hon', 'dad', 'bro', & 'granpop'


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Author: ogrecat Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1914 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/14/2007 2:50 PM
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My calculus teacher's favorite phrase was "it's not the calculus, it's the cotton-pickin' algebra." And he was right.

- Gus


High school math teacher said don't take calculus until you can do algebra in your sleep.

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Author: vickifool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 1952 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/14/2007 6:20 PM
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Calculus is not that difficult, it is just that it is taught so late and it is made out to be so difficult that makes it seem really hard. I think calculus, at least limits and integrals should be taught as soon as curves and lines are taught.

Calculus is dead easy. However, the problems usually include hard algebra and sometimes hard trig. But there is nothing about calculus itself that is so difficult it couldn't be taught in 9th grade, as long as the algebra was toned down to make it grade level appropriate.


Did you know that "calculus" means "pebbles?"
Romans used to make a temporary abacus with lines in the sand and rocks.

Vickifool

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Author: FlyingDiver Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2035 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/15/2007 3:48 PM
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<gasp!> Waste of 39¢!

40¢ for us. Saydiver had a stash of 20¢ stamps from probably 10 years ago (5 or 6 rolls). It's worth the extra penny to just use them up rather than go out an buy more (and keep these in the drawer).

joe


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Author: tenworlds Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2037 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/15/2007 4:07 PM
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40¢ for us. Saydiver had a stash of 20¢ stamps from probably 10 years ago (5 or 6 rolls). It's worth the extra penny to just use them up rather than go out an buy more (and keep these in the drawer).
joe

-----

You could buy stamps in denominations to make up the diff and save that penny.

Mom always said; "Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves."





Rich
-should've listened to Mom :-\

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Author: telegraph Big funky green star, 20000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2038 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/15/2007 4:46 PM
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"You could buy stamps in denominations to make up the diff and save that penny.

Mom always said; "Watch the pennies and the dollars will take care of themselves.""

Pay the bills via dirrect withdrawal and save the 39c.....plus they leave the money in your accout longer, so you get a few pennies extra interest...

Buy some 1c stamps..they always come in handy when they jack up the rates...but not worth spending 50c in gas driving to the post office to save 5 cents on stamps.....

Every bill but car/house insurance, and deductibles from health insuracne get taken out of accounts direct......no need to come up with stamps..maybe use 3 or 4 a month..... for misc things.

Gas/electric/telephone/cell , the TV bill, the water bill all deducted from account..health insurance taken out of account.....

I write check for real estate taxes about once a year (deduct them every two years on income tax, not every year...can pay in DEc or Jan of each year......)....

Watch the dollars, not the pennies.....



t.




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Author: FlyingDiver Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2039 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/15/2007 4:59 PM
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You could buy stamps in denominations to make up the diff and save that penny.

Which would necessitate a trip to the post office to buy the stamps, which would burn up all the savings at 1¢ a letter for a couple of years. We use maybe 5 First Class stamps a month.

joe


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Author: vickifool Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: 2044 of 60211
Subject: Re: Familiar (?) 'Didn't Start Early' Story Date: 2/15/2007 6:01 PM
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The "new math" -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tr1qee-bTZI


My daughter, the one with the straight-A average, watched part of that with me.

The "lattice" method of multiplication? I always thought they were saying the "lettuce" method.

Vickifool

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