It’s time to test your financial literacy
Dear readers, we discussed the all encompassing role of mathematics in our economy, our lifestyles, and our very existence, last week.
We alone determine where we end up in our financial life. We can’t rely upon anyone but ourselves. We can help each other and we can be vigilant, but we can’t accomplish this incredibly important goal without a good understanding of financial information. So how financially savvy are you right now?
Today’s column, and next week’s, are exclusively devoted to testing your maths skills. The test below is composed of Sixth Grade level maths, investing, and basic financial planning skills for domestic situations needed in Bermuda.
If you would like to participate (or stress yourself out — as one reader stated), scan and send your answers to me confidentially, of course. No one needs know what your score is and don’t fear maths — remember you use it every day.
The answers will be published on March 31. There are 25 questions in total. The remaining 11 will appear in next week’s column. Please note that some questions may have more than one answer.
1. Matt has borrowed $6,000 to take a foreign vacation. Troy has borrowed $6,000 to buy a used car. Who is likely to pay the lowest finance charge?
b. They will both pay.
2. If you went to college and earned a four-year degree, how much more money could you expect to earn than high school diploma?
a. About 20 per cent more.
b. About 70 per cent more.
c. About 10 times as much.
d. The sky is the limit, I am an entrepreneur.
3. Which one of these investments is protected against losses in Bermuda?
a. Local shares issued by a Bermuda company.
b. A corporate bond.
c. A certificate of deposit at your local bank.
d. None of the above.
4. Justin started his first job in Bermuda: gross pay of $3,000 leaving take-home pay of $2,000 per month. He must pay monthly $800 for rent, $300 food, and $200 transportation. If he budgets $100 each month for clothing, $50 for restaurants and $250 for everything else, how much can he save in three months?
d. Nothing, he forgot about his credit card minimum payment of $300 per month.
5. A new money market fund returns a dividend of about 2 per cent, annually. What does this mean?
a. I have 2% more at year end.
b. I could have any amount at year end.
c. I could lose my principal.
d. The return is guaranteed by the bank.
6. A stock costing $20 per share pays a $2 dividend. It is now trading at $25 per share. What is the current yield?
a. 8 per cent
b. 10 per cent
c. 5 per cent
7. Natalie has a $10,000 sitting in a five-year term deposit at 1.5 per cent interest, compounded annually. What is the total, plus interest after one year?
8. What amount has accrued after the five-year term?
9. Ruth recently passed intestate. Her family property is joint owned with her brother.
a. Her assets will be distributed according to her will
b. Government will decide who inherits her assets
c. The family property passes to her brother.
10. The area of a rectangular patio is 5 5/8 square yards and its length is 1½ yards. What is the patio’s width, in yards?
11. What is 34,992 divided by 81. No multiple choice, simply enter your answer.
12. Zina and her dad decide to jointly purchase real estate. They are looking at adjustable and fixed-rate mortgages with a 20-year repayment. What is the better choice in a rising interest rate climate?
a. Neither, they are going to pay cash.
b. The adjustable-rate mortgage because it is only five years.
c. The fixed-rate because Zina can budget carefully for the payments.
d. The fixed-rate even though the rate is higher than the adjustable-rate mortgage, currently.
13. You head to the grocery store for a quick meal pick-up. You buy a box of salty crackers and a pound of hamburger. Each item cost $4. The hamburger serves four people a four-ounce patty with a protein pack of 25 grams each. Sixty crackers (the whole box) contain 30 grams of protein. So which is the better nutritional deal?
a. The hamburger cost per serving of protein is $1.
b. You will have to eat 45 crackers to get the same amount of protein as one 4oz hamburger patty.
c. The cracker cost per serving of protein is more than three times as much.
d. All of the above.
14. How good are you at estimates? A company makes yellow and white golf balls. Sales for three years of yellow golf balls are $204,132 in year one; $225,624 in year two; $237,108 in year three.
Yellow golf ball sales will increase in year four. The ratio of yellow golf balls to white golf balls sales in a year is to be about 1:5. The average sales price of a box of 12 yellow or white golf balls is $23.94.
Estimate the company’s total sales, in dollars, of golf balls in year four.
There you have it. Next week will feature the remaining questions.
Martha Harris Myron CPA CFP JSM: Masters of Law — international tax and financial services. Pondstraddler Life, financial perspectives for Bermuda islanders with multinational families and international connections on the Great Atlantic Pond. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
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