The Weekend Read – The One-Page Financial Plan by Carl Richards

51birN1QorL._AA160_I was listening to a conversation last week at a meeting where I was presenting about the collection of trinkets that seems to afflict dentists, a form of “keeping up with the Dr Joneses” emerges at conferences and meetings with people trying to outdo each other in cars driven, holidays taken, business loans obtained and size of mortgage. The attachment to the visible trappings of success I find interesting, as someone who has little desire to own a new car and lives, mortgage free in his holiday home. This wasn’t always the case and I truly wish that I had read this book thirty years ago, it might have saved me some of the pain that I have suffered learning the lessons that I have. There is a saying in coaching that the best time to plant a tree is 30 years ago and the second best time is today – so I have read, enjoyed and learned lessons from Carl Richards’ second book.

As a business coach working with dentists and their teams I regularly have to talk money, how to earn it, keep it and make it work for the long term. I am not an accountant or an IFA, rather someone who has made the mistakes and wants to pass on the lessons to help others making those same mistakes. This is a book that I would happily share with my clients.

Carl Richards is a Certified Financial Planner and a columnist for The New York Times, he is the author of The Behaviour Gap and has a widely circulated weekly newsletter.

He is also someone who over reached himself and lost his home in 2010 so there is a certain amount of Been There Done That & now you can buy the T-shirt to help you going the same way.

What I like most about The One-Page Financial Plan is the way that the author doesn’t presume to tell you what he thinks is right for you; rather, like a good coach, he encourages you to discover your values and goals. He leads the reader through a series of straightforward steps that will help you prioritise what you really want in life and what steps you need to take to get there. He does this because his experience tells him that often the first question that Financial advisers ask is the wrong one and that they and the client need to establish the “Why?” of planning.

Refreshingly jargon free Mr Richards continues the good work that he started in The Behaviour Gap and uses the simply drawn but highly effective cartoon drawings to illustrate the points he makes. The book is split into four sections over 10 chapters, the sections are:

  • Discovery,
  • Spending & Saving,
  • Investing and
  • Strategies for Avoiding the Big Mistake.

I would say that this book is deceptively simple and like all such books will repay repeated reading and, above all, the taking of action after reading.

Available from my Amazon Page here.

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