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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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…

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Let me tell you a little story. It’s the story of a consultant who had a scary idea. She wanted to publish a cookbook.   She had no background in writing, publishing, cooking, blogging or anything related to that goal. In this tall tale, the consultant left her job to follow her dreams, as the…

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We’ve been told over and over by the traditional financial services industry to look for the best investment. In our search for the best, we often use past performance. Doing so makes sense since we rely on past performance for other decisions. For instance, if a university needs a new basketball coach they start by…

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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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Investor behaviour matters a lot. In fact, it probably matters more than skill. To understand why this is true, first you need to understand one fundamental concept: Investment returns and investor returns are almost always different.  In 1999, I was working diligently doing my job as an investment advisor or financial planner (I was never sure what…

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You want to know the #1 rule of personal finance for couples? Spouses almost never agree on the definition of “financial security.” Even the simple act of talking about what to do with extra money can cause conflict in relationships. Why? Because at the core of these discussions are deeply-held values about what security (or…

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Today, I’d like you to engage in a quick exercise with me. Please get out a pen and paper, and answer the following questions: You have something you want to do, and you’re not doing it… yet. What is it? What’s the next smallest step you can take to make that thing happen?   Why…

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My friends, I’m willing to bet that there’s something important you want to do. Badly. Problem is, you’re just not doing it. Isn’t that frustrating? It certainly has been in my life. In fact, I’ve found it so frustrating that I created a game to help.  It’s called “Punch You in the Face.” Here’s how you…

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