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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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’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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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…