Articles by 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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Hey, I have a question for you. Do you remember being a kid and pretending you could fly? I sure do. Now, let me ask you another question. Do you remember jumping off a roof to test that theory? No? Ok, good. Me neither. You know why? Because even as kids, we knew what it…

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This statement contradicts just about every evolutionary instinct we possess. We tend to seek out safety and avoid risk whenever possible. A classic example has to be the instinct that (still) tells us we are safer staying with the group. If members of the herd stray, they are easier for predators to pick off. Staying…

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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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A while back my wife and I hired a financial planner. It was a big change to sit on the other side of the desk and see the process from the client’s perspective. I received some interesting reactions when I told people. The most common one was: Why does a Certified Financial Planner need to…

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Do you remember playing pretend when you were little?  Maybe you were a superhero, a dinosaur or a princess. It’s normal when you’re little, and it’s usually harmless. Most children know the difference between pretending to be a superhero and jumping off the roof thinking they can fly. But adults often forget. For instance, we…

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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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I’m sick of Instagram. I’m sick of comparing myself to everyone else I see there. I’m sick of thinking that #livingmybestlife has anything at all to do with what @Influencer123 thinks (aka, preaches). I’m sick of competing. I’m sick of flipping through other people’s photo streams and feeling envious about what I see. I’m sick…

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