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/


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Things happen.  The car breaks down. The roof springs a leak. We can’t predict these one-time events. But we can predict that something will happen — eventually. Our job is to plan for when eventually happens, and we can do so by setting aside a little money each month to help offset these one-time events….

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I’m a huge advocate of the “no shame, no blame” rule when it comes to money. But I think there’s some confusion about how the rule works. It’s not that you won’t feel guilt. It’s also not about avoiding responsibility. Instead, it’s about recognizing the zero-sum game of relying on shame and blame to make better money…

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I read somewhere that average Americans will spend more time planning their vacation to Disneyland than they will planning their financial future. I’m not sure that’s correct, but it wouldn’t surprise me. There are a number of reasons why we are hesitant to spend time planning for our financial future, but the biggest one is…

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Let me tell you a little story. It’s the story of a consultant who had a scary idea. She wanted to publish a cookbook.   She had no background in writing, publishing, cooking, blogging or anything related to that goal. In this tall tale, the consultant left her job to follow her dreams, as the…

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There are two types of experts in the world: real experts, and fake ones. The real experts are the people who spend many years refining their knowledge and skill set in a particular area and become masters of pattern recognition. But all too often, they end up toiling away in relative obscurity and poverty, neither…

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We’ve been told over and over by the traditional financial services industry to look for the best investment. In our search for the best, we often use past performance. Doing so makes sense since we rely on past performance for other decisions. For instance, if a university needs a new basketball coach they start by…

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There’s nothing wrong with ranting. Most people do it. I would argue that everybody needs to do it. In fact, I’d even suggest that ranting is a good thing. But only if you do it right. If you do it wrong, the consequences can cost you your job, your friendships or even your marriage. So…

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Investor behaviour matters a lot. In fact, it probably matters more than skill. To understand why this is true, first you need to understand one fundamental concept: Investment returns and investor returns are almost always different.  In 1999, I was working diligently doing my job as an investment advisor or financial planner (I was never sure what…