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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I have a question for you. Now, this will work best if you grab a piece of paper, and write out your answer. Here’s the question: Why is your money invested the way it is? Before you go on, write down your answer on that paper. I’ve had a blast with this question over the…

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Many of life’s choices fall into two categories: ■ Option A: Exciting and complex and quick, but the action rarely works. ■ Option B: Boring and simple and slow, but it works nearly all the time. I have been thinking a lot lately about why we are so intrigued by Option A. The list is…

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Finding time is hard. I often think about all the things I would do if I could just find the time. But really, what a crazy thing that is to say. Find the time? Where should I look? Did I hide it in the bushes outside the White House? Can I find it on Aisle…

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Remember how you felt during the financial crisis in 2008? People were scared.   Even the professionals were uncertain about what might happen. I know, because I was scared, too. But I couldn’t show it. Whatever was going on, my clients still needed me to provide thoughtful advice and to help stop them from doing…

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Did you read, listen, or watch the news in the last year?  If so, you probably came across one or more of these headlines: Europe Stocks Close Down, Euro Hit as Greek Talks Stumble Russia says it would match any U.S. military buildup in Eastern Europe U.S. fast-track vote leaves Pacific trade pact talks in…

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I like buying high-quality things.  And for the longest time, I’ve had this sneaking suspicion that buying high-quality stuff, which perhaps initially was more expensive, actually saved me money in the long run. It wasn’t until very recently, though, that I noticed a strong argument in support of my hunch. The other day, I was…

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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…