Articles by Carl Richards

Carl Richards

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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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…

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In September of 2016, my family and I moved from the mountains of Utah to New Zealand. It was hard. Really hard. Like, harder than I expected. I’m not complaining. I’m just stating, “travel” is not just the beautiful sunsets, gorgeous beaches, and interesting people you see on Instagram. I totally underestimated the cognitive demands…

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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?…

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“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…

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You are not your spending thoughts. Spending without thinking about the long-term consequences is a problem. And by the long term, I mean just 30 days from now when the credit-card statement arrives. Some people label this type of spending “impulsive.” Others use the word “urge” to describe the feeling that comes just before they…

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In its most simplistic form, planning is the process of charting a course from where you are today to where you want to go. The first step is to become crystal clear about what I call your current reality, or where you stand now. I used to think that being very clear about your current…

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Today, I want to talk to you about your worries. After all, who doesn’t love worrying? Thousands of years ago, it was part of what kept humans alive. Is that a lion in the bushes? Was that a tiger? Nine times out of ten, there probably was no large-toothed animal about to pounce. But worrying…

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Last year, a guy made headlines because he was caught using a lowly flip phone. In a world of gold iPhones and palm-size phablets, it does seem a little odd that someone would still use such a low-tech device. But it was the identity of the person using the phone that got everyone’s attention: Jerry…

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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…