Articles by Carl Richards

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Carl Richards is a Certified Financial Planner and a columnist for the New York Times, Morningstar magazine and Yahoo Finance. He is author of 2 books, The Behavior Gap & The One-Page Financial Plan. Carl lives with his family in Park City, Utah. You can find his work and sign up for his newsletter (which has an international audience) at www.behaviorgap.com/


Learning to Deal With the Impostor Syndrome
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Learning to Deal With the Impostor Syndrome

On paper, your investments in stocks, real estate or even cash may look like your greatest assets. While all those things are superimportant, you have something else that’s even more valuable. It’s the investment called you.   Finding ways to increase your value while doing the things you love may be the most important thing…

Regret Less, Act On Your Wish Lists Now
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Regret Less, Act On Your Wish Lists Now

On your deathbed, it’s too late to make wish lists. That’s the thought that went through my head high over the ocean, willing the plane to go faster as I rushed thousands of miles back to New Zealand to meet up with my gravely injured wife in the hospital near Christchurch. Let me back up….

The solution to maintaining a budget is awareness
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The solution to maintaining a budget is awareness

I talk to many people who have problems with spending. Sometimes it’s friends. Sometimes it’s co-workers. Sometimes it’s neighbours. And yes, sometimes I talk to myself about my own struggles. What I’ve discovered over the years is that most of our problems do not come down to income. Instead, we don’t notice enough. Spending mindlessly,…

Don’t Let the Status Quo Stop You
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Don’t Let the Status Quo Stop You

Some of us really like the status quo. Even when we have a better alternative, many of us are content to keep on doing what we’re doing. I think about this every time my wife and I swap cars. Depending on who is running what errands that day, we’ll switch between our big car and…

Make a Plan on How to Handle Risk, Then Stick to It
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Make a Plan on How to Handle Risk, Then Stick to It

I ski the back-country a lot, so I pay close attention to reports of avalanches. In particular, I pay attention when a skier is caught and killed by one. This year alone there have been 20 avalanche fatalities in the United States. In January, there were nine fatalities in nine days. Very few avalanche accidents…

Are You Chasing Success or Happiness?
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Are You Chasing Success or Happiness?

For the next few minutes, I want you to focus on the most successful person you know (and yes, it may be you). What makes this individual successful in your mind? Professional accomplishments? Personal wealth? Now, I want you to think of the happiest person you know. Did you come up with the same name?…

Doing Nothing Isn’t a Financial Plan
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Doing Nothing Isn’t a Financial Plan

“I don’t know what to do.” I’ve heard those words a lot over the years. Smart, successful people with good educations would sit across from me and tell me they’d done little to no financial planning. They just didn’t know what to do, so they did nothing. I’m not surprised. Uncertainty has a way of…

Worry is worthless
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Worry is worthless

Worry is a terrible strategy, but for a long time it was the only one I knew. Now, I consider this a safe place, so don’t judge me when I tell you a little story. For years, when I would send in the sketch that goes with my column for the New York Times, I…