Resources Recommended by Kris Bertelsen

Kris Bertelsen is the senior economic education specialist at the Little Rock Branch of the St. Louis Fed.

No-Frills Money Skills Video Series

The No-Frills Money Skills video series covers a variety of personal finance topics. The brief videos use clear, simple language, and graphic elements so that viewers can better visualize the personal finance content being presented. In the end, they will see how important these concepts are to their everyday lives.

The videos in this series are intended for middle school and high school students.

Episode 1: Growing Money - Compound Interest
In the first episode, Kris explains compound interest, or "Growing Money."

Episode 2: Ways to Save - 401(k) and Roth 401(k)
In the second episode, students learn that it is important to save for college, cars, retirement, and the unexpected. The video also explains the difference between a 401(k) and a Roth 401(k).

Episode 3: Get Into Stocks
In the third episode, learn key terms, such as capital gains and dividends, and discover how the prices of stocks are affected by how successful a company is in its respective industry.

Episode 4: Understanding Bonds
The fourth episode provides viewers with information about government bonds, corporate bonds, coupon and non-coupon bonds, and the potential risk and return of investments.

Episode 5: Mutual Benefit
In the fifth episode, learn what investment companies are and how mutual funds work. The video shows the difference between savings and investing and the importance of understanding risk versus reward.

Episode 6: Insurance: Protecting Yourself from Damage
The sixth episode begins with examples of activities with varying amounts of risk and introduces insurance, explaining how it is used to transfer or reduce risk. With a story about a homeowner, students learn several key insurance related concepts and terms.

Episode 7: Car Insurance: Paving the Way
The seventh episode uses a radio talk show format to explain various aspects of car insurance. From the responses to questions from callers, students learn several key concepts and terms related to car insurance.


Insurance: Managing Risk and Balancing Responsibility with Affordability Lesson for Middle School and High School
When tragedy strikes, how do people avoid bearing all of the costs of their loss? Learn more in this issue of Page One Economics: Focus on Finance.

Journey to Jo'burg: A South African Story Lesson for Grades 6-8
Students read the story Journey to Jo'burg: A South African Story and learn about effects of apartheid in South Africa. They also learn about the relationship between investment in human capital and income by examining several careers and the skills required for those careers. Using math skills, students compare the number of people in various occupations and interpret and analyze educational attainment data from graphs and tables.

Less Than Zero Lesson for Grades 2-4
Students learn about saving, savings goals, interest, borrowing and opportunity cost by reading Less Than Zero. Students use a number line and a line graph to track spending and borrowing in the story.

Professional Baseball—Can You Join the League? Lesson for Grades 9-12
In this active learning lesson, students apply economic concepts to a professional baseball league. The lesson underscores the importance of incentives, control of supply, and potential market inefficiencies resulting from a cartel.

Uncle Jed's Barbershop Lesson for Grades 3-5
Students listen to the book Uncle Jed's Barbershop, about an African-American barber who, despite significant setbacks, saves enough money to buy his own barbershop. From the story, students learn about saving, savings goals, opportunity cost, and segregation. The students participate in a card game to further investigate what it takes to reach a savings goal.


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You can contact Kris at 501-324-8368 or