The One-Page Financial Plan: A Simple Way to Be Smart About Your Money

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Penguin, Mar 31, 2015 - Business & Economics - 224 pages
Whenever I tell people about my job as a financial advisor, the conversation inevitably turns to how hopeless they feel when it comes to dealing with money. More than once, they’ve begged, “Just tell me what to do.”

It’s no surprise that even my most successful friends feel confused or paralyzed. Even if they have a shelfful of personal finance books, they don’t have time to make sense of all the information available. They don’t just want good advice, they want the best advice—so rather than do the “wrong thing,” they do nothing. Their 401(k) and bank statements pile up, unexamined or maybe even unopened.

What they don’t realize is that bad calls about money aren’t failures; they’re just what happens when emotional creatures have to make decisions about the future with limited information. What I tell them is that we need to scrap striving for perfection and instead commit to a process of guessing and making adjustments when things go off track. Of course we’re going to make the best guesses we can—but we’re not going to obsess over getting them exactly right.

The fact is, in a single page you can prioritize what you really want in life and figure out how to get there. That’s because a great financial plan has nothing to do with what the markets are doing, what your real estate agent is pitching, or the hot stock your brother-in-law told you about. It has everything to do with what’s most important to you.

By now you may be wondering, “What about the details? How much do I need to invest each year, and how do I allocate it? How much life insurance do I need?” Don’t worry: I’ll cover those topics and many more, sharing strategies that will take the complexity out of them.

The most important thing is getting clarity about the big picture so you can cope with the unexpected. Maybe you’ll lose the job you thought was secure; you’ll take a financial risk that doesn’t pan out; you’ll have twins when you were only budgeting for one. In other words: Life will happen.

But no matter what happens, this book will help you bridge the gap between where you are now and where you want to go.

 

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User Review  - deldevries - LibraryThing

Personal finances, but certainly a clear and simple concept. Start with simple statements of what you want out of life and then plan from there. Maybe a "one-page" idea could be conveyed even more simply than this book. It is not obvious at first glance what the one page consists of. Read full review

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Contents

Title Page
CHAPTER
CHAPTER 3
PART
PART THREE
PART FOUR
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Copyright

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About the author (2015)

CARL RICHARDS is a certified financial planner and a columnist for the New York Times, where his weekly Sketch Guy column has run every Monday for over five years. He is also a columnist for Morningstar magazine and a contributor to Yahoo Finance. His first book, The Behavior Gap, was very well received, and his weekly newsletter has readers around the world. Richards is a popular keynote speaker and is the Director of Investor Education for the BAM ALLIANCE. You can find his work and sign up for his newsletter at behaviorgap.com. Richards lives with his family in Park City, Utah.

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