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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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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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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Recently I shared how scared and worried I felt at the thought of losing my wife after her accident. As frightening as that experience was, it also helped me reflect and decide that I didn’t want any more regrets. I thought you might feel the same way, so I asked for your deathbed wish list….

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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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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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