Posted on

Reader Suggests Ridgewood Schools Need to Teach Financial Literacy

” Too bad we’re not teaching any REAL financial literacy in the schools (not the cursory required HS financial literacy course)… especially in a “rich” town like Ridgewood.
RW kids should come out of RHS ready to run a business or manage a sophisiticated financial portfolio. Instead they learn how to use a checkbook (a dying financial tool).
If RW was actually still a top tier school district, RHS students would graduate with at minimum a 4 year plan to fund college and enough funds to at minimum pay for freshman year.
Instead we waste precious teaching hours on distribution of wealth, groupism over individualism, the importance of diversity over competency and so forth, not to mention pure time wasters like sleep in days, comfort dogs and the like. “

Posted on

New Jersey Financial Literacy Education Bill Signed?


the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Jersey City NJ, does anyone find the humor in the very idea that the financial illiterates in Trenton have signed a bill requiring “financial literacy” to be taught in schools?

Perhaps it should be a required coarse for the Governor and the state assembly . Dare we even go so far as to say even ex-governors should be forced to take the starting with former governor Whitman.

Acting Governor Sheila Oliver signed legislation (A-1414) requiring school districts to provide financial literacy education to middle school students in grades six through eight. The financial literacy instruction will emphasize budgeting, saving, credit, debt, insurance, investment, and other issues associated with personal financial responsibility to ensure New Jersey’s youth have access to the tools and foundation needed for sound financial decision-making.

“Financial responsibility is an important acquired and learned life skill and with the increasing financial challenges millennials face, it is a skill that must be a necessary part of our educational curriculum,” said Acting Governor Sheila Oliver. “Governor Murphy and I are happy to partner with the Legislature by signing this bill today to help New Jersey students learn how to effectively manage their personal finances and help set them up for success in life.”

Primary sponsors of the bill include Senators Dawn Marie Addiego and Ron Rice; and Assemblymembers Angela McKnight, Nicholas Chiaravalloti, Eliana Pintor Marin, Jamel Holley, Benjie Wimberly, and Annette Quijano.

“I am delighted the financial literacy bill was signed into law, so students can receive education on key topics that they will need for the rest of their lives,” said Senator Addiego. “We must reach people early on in life so they can plan ahead and build a foundation of financial knowledge that will help them live an independent lifestyle.”

“One of the most important lessons a person can learn is how to manage their money. Many young people go into adulthood knowing little about finances, and end up making decisions that cost them in the long run,” said Assemblywoman McKnight. “Teaching our kids early about the importance of managing their money and making sound financial decisions can prevent them from making costly mistakes and set them on the right financial path.”

“This bill would allow financial education to be infused into currents subjects, helping younger students in Jersey City and across the state get a head start on understanding the very things that will impact them every day,” said Jersey City Mayor Steven M. Fulop. “Learning about credit, investing, savings and other financial aspects are critical tools to building a foundation and setting our students up to succeed. Financial literacy is already being taught at the high school level, and we’re excited to expand this to younger students at the start of the new school year in September.”

Acting Governor Oliver signed the bill at President Barack Obama Elementary School – PS 34 in Jersey City.

Posted on

Ridgewood Resident Gets Fleeced for $6000 in IRS Phone Scam

March 22,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Ridgewood Police report that on March 16, a Ponfield Place resident reported a theft by deception. The resident reported receiving a phone call from an individual claiming to be from the I.R.S. The caller reported the victim owed $6000 and needed to pay immediately or they would be arrested. The victim was instructed to purchase sixty iTunes gift cards to bring her account up to date. The victim then purchased sixty $100 gift cards and the caller requested the serial numbers, the victim then scratched off the back portion of the gift cards and provided all the serial numbers. The victim realized shortly thereafter the call was a scam and reported the incident to the iTunes theft department, the victim was then advised to report the incident to the Ridgewood Police Department before they would further their investigation.

The Ridgewood Police Department once again would like to remind citizens of the increased amount of scams. Always investigate communications made through postal mail, telephone, and/or the internet to prevent fraud and deceptive activity. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the Ridgewood Police Department to ensure you’re not becoming a victim of these scams.

Posted on

Wesley Learns to Invest by Prince Dykes

Wesley Learns to Invest by Prince Dykes

Wesley Learns to Invest
by Prince Dykes MBA (Author), Wesley Dykes (Author)

March 4,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, For the first time ever a fiction book offers a kid-friendly introduction to the stock market and investing. In “Wesley Learns to Invest”a father teaches his son about the ins and outs of saving and investing.

Young Wesley is about to turn eleven years old, and he really wants a new GS4 gaming system. But money doesn’t grow on trees, so Wesley will have to work hard and save his money to be able to make that purchase. Wesley’s dad helps him out by teaching him the importance of investing and how stocks work.

Wesley Learns to Invest follows Wesley and his dad as they walk through a financial journey—from discovering what the stock market is, to choosing the right stocks, making a purchase, and receiving a dividend check. With his dad’s advice, Wesley is able to set goals and work toward them. Offering a gentle introduction to stocks and long-term goals, Wesley Learns to Invest offers a fun and engaging way for adults to demonstrate to children the value of making smart decisions and spending money in a way that will yield the best benefit rather than simply seeking instant gratification.

The author Prince Dykes, MBA, IAR, SA , is an award-winning author /podcast host/youtuber and International Speaker.
Prince hosts the Investor Show (Podcast). After completing my MBA, in 2012 and earning his series 63, series 65, and insurance licenses while serving active duty in the military, Prince dedicated his life to educating children and adults on the power of investing.

With his Investor Show where he interviews investors from all over the world Prince has gained thousands of followers, hundreds in sales/downloads and even was a ABC Shank Tank Finalist. Currently, he is raising money to fund the cartoon based on the book Wesley Learns to Invest which will educate kids and adults on the world of investing.

order today

Posted on

Financial Planning Association of New Jersey Warns of the Cost of College Debt on Social Security

RHS Grad
January 6,2017

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, While Financial Planners have been advocating for smarter legislation on student loan programs for years, the news is finally spotlighting a concern over its impact on Social Security income if debts aren’t paid.

The Financial Planning Association of New Jersey (FPANJ) has long held advocacy positions in Trenton that have encouraged careful decision making with regard to student loan programs. However, the impacts haven’t been well publicized until recently, when the Wall Street Journal ran a piece on how Social Security checks can be reduced if debts for college aren’t paid.”Our efforts in public financial education – and in the Capitol – have included a message to stop the borrowing before it happens,” explained John Crosby, CFP® ,ChFC, CAS, CLTC, CRPC®, and Advocacy Chairperson for FPANJ. “The best solution to this issue is always to make an educated decision before you choose to borrow, where to borrow, and understand the types of student loans are available.”

The reality is that for student loans and other non-tax debts, the government can garnish wages or suspend tax refunds for anyon(e who fails to pay their student loans. They can take 15 percent of your Social Security check as long as the remaining balance doesn’t drop below $750. There is no statute of limitations on student loan debt, so it doesn’t matter how
long ago the debt occurred.

Crosby noted that lawmakers have an opportunity to protect Social Security in a bill (HR4988 Social Security Benefits Restoration Act) presented by Rep. Patrick Murphy (D-FL) in April of 2016. However, this bill is still awaiting a co-sponsor, along with similar proposals from 2015.

The best way to protect yourself is to become knowledgeable, said Crosby.

“Financial Literary programs can address this topic to help students and/or parents understand the importance of higher education and the financial responsibilities that come with it. Partnering with a Certified Financial Planner(TM) is the best course in understanding your options, whether you plan on paying for college or taking out loans.

“Often a candid discussion among a planner, parents and the student can help avoid serious financial consequences down the road. And really, that is what FPANJ and its members are here to do.”

If people don’t have a Financial Planner, Crosby recommended a tool found on the FPANJ website ( at the top of the page. “Find A Local Planner” helps consumers look for a specialist in the area of college planning, and within their geographic area.

Posted on

Assembly Considers Making financial literacy a required subject in New Jersey Schools


FPANJ Applauds A-3396: Creating a Requirement for Financial Literacy Education

Financial Literacy Education has always been part of the pillars in the FPANJ mission; important legislation could help make it a reality in all New Jersey schools

December 7,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ,  The Financial Planning Association of New Jersey (FPANJ) is eagerly watching the New Jersey State Legislature as it considers a bill that would make financial literacy a required subject in coursework taught to all children in grades K-8.
Assembly bill 3396 was first introduced in March, and amended in October. Among its provisions:

Basic financial literacy would be taught in elementary schools to teach students “sound financial decision-making”
Courses would be age appropriate
Course would cover budgeting, savings, credit, debt, insurance and investment, among other areas

John Crosby, CFP® and FPANJ Advocacy Director, said, “To say I’m excited about this is an understatement. This bill represents a clear commitment to our children by providing them with a foundation for success in life. Everything we do is impacted by sound decision-making with our finances, and this bill can help our students gain the tools necessary to understand how these decisions impact their lives.”

FPANJ has been a part of many community efforts to educate children on how money works and impacts their lives. Members volunteer their time with Junior Achievement of New Jersey to mentor students at their “Finance Park,” which served more than 11,000 students throughout the regions. They also participate in “Financial Planning Days,” offering information on various financial topics to consumers, including one-on-one sessions to address individual concerns.

“We know there are limited hours in the day for school children, and there is likely to be some debate on how we can add this curriculum, but we are convinced that financial literacy has far-reaching impact on students beyond money,” Crosby added. “We are committed to staying involved in this discussion as it moves through the statehouse.”

ABOUT FPA of New Jersey and FPA:

Financial Planning Association of New Jersey is part of The Financial Planning Association® (FPA®). FPA connects those who need, support and deliver professional financial planning. FPA believes that everyone is entitled to objective advice from a competent, ethical financial planner to make smart financial decisions. FPA members demonstrate and support a professional commitment to education and a client-centered financial planning process. Working in alliance with academic leaders, legislative and regulatory bodies, financial services firms and consumer interest organizations, FPA is the community that fosters the value of financial planning, and advances the practice and profession of financial planning.

Posted on

Nearly Two-Thirds of Americans Can’t Pass a Basic Test of Financial Literacy


Madeline Farber / Fortune
5:12 PM ET

Apparently the message of the financial crisis didn’t get across

Quick: If you take out a $1000 loan that has a 20% rate, how much will you owe a year in interest?

Answer: $200. But if you got that wrong, you’re not alone. Nearly two thirds of Americans can’t calculate interest payments correctly, according to a new study. About a third said they didn’t even know how.

One of the silver linings of the financial crisis was that it was supposed to have taught many Americans a lesson, albeit painful, about the dangers of debt, and financial issues in general. Apparently, the message, though, didn’t get across.

All told, a new study, which was released today, estimated that nearly two-thirds of Americans couldn’t pass a basic financial literacy test, meaning they got fewer than four answers correct on a five-question quiz. Worse, the percentage of those who can pass the test has fallen consistently since the financial crisis to 37% last year, from 42% in 2009.

Posted on

Garrett Tours Bergen Businesses and Schools

Scott Garrett on tour Bergen County

April 9,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Montvale NJ, Rep. Scott Garret addressed students at Saint Joseph Regional High School in Montvale about the role of Congress and the importance of financial literacy.

Seinfeld GIFs Help Explain the “Fiduciary” Rule

Garrett also toured some New Jersey Businesses in Bergen County were “precision” is the name of the game at Glebar Company a manufacturer of industrial equipment in Ramsey. Less precise, however, are the mountains of rules and regulations passed down from Washington, D.C. that bludgeon businesses here at home and depress hiring in New Jersey.

Garrett also stopped by Nova Electric in Bergenfield to discuss their business and the concerns many Americans are having about the state of the economy.

Then a trip to Wallkill Valley High School ‘Stuff the Bus’ full of food to help restock the shelves at the Sussex County food pantry. Local initiative always seems more effective the big government one size fits all programs .

Posted on

Financial Literacy Month Is The Right Time To Get Your Fiscal House In Order


March 31,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog
Ridgewood NJ, Parents often are encouraged to teach their children how to handle money and to begin the lessons at an early age.

One problem with that, though, is many adults aren’t all that financially literate themselves.

For example, one survey revealed that about 80 percent of Americans admit to making some sort of financial mistake, such as not saving enough for retirement, failing to track their spending or taking on too much debt.

“People can make financial mistakes for a lot of reasons,” says Brett King, the managing/founding partner and Senior Vice President Investments for Elite Financial Associates (
“But often it’s because they simply haven’t taken the time to make a personal budget and plot out their spending and investing habits.”

April is National Financial Literacy Month, making it the opportune time for people to review their fiscal situation and figure out how to do better.

King says there are several steps to consider as people try to make sure they are getting the most out of their money:

• Build a reserve account for emergencies. Major medical problems, job loss or other unexpected events can undermine anyone’s financial stability. That’s why it’s important to build an emergency fund. Many experts recommend the fund be large enough to cover all your expenses for three to six months, though that’s a tough goal for most people. But something is better than nothing, King says, so try to stash away at least a little each week.
• It’s never too early to start saving for retirement. “A lot of people tell themselves they will begin to save for retirement when their income reaches a more comfortable level,” King says. “But the longer you delay, the harder it’s going to be to accumulate the amount of money you will need when you retire.” If saving is difficult right now, one strategy would be to start small and increase your contribution each year as your salary grows. Even setting aside a small amount out of each paycheck now can make a big difference over time because of the power of compound interest.
• Adjust your strategies as financial circumstances change.Reviewing your income and expenses shouldn’t be a one-time event. For example, if you become a new parent you may want to shift some of your money into a college-savings plan for your child. Be ready to change to deal with the new realities life tosses your way.

“If you have concerns about whether you’re making the right decisions about your money,” King says, “you should seek the assistance of a financial professional who can give you guidance in getting your financial house in order.”

About Brett King

Brett King is the managing/founding partner and Senior Vice President Investments for Elite Financial Associates ( Brett is a registered representative of IFS Securities. His career in financial services spans more than three decades. He holds a Series 7 stockbroker license, a Series 22 for limited partnerships and a Series 24 Securities Principle license. He also holds insurance and annuity licenses in multiple states.