The One-Page Financial Plan: book review of a book worth reading

In his new book, The One-Page Financial Plan, Carl Richards does what he does best, to write and visually convey financial guidance in a down-to-earth, conversational and thought-provoking manner.

Carl writes the weekly “Sketch Guy” column for The New York Times and has previously authored The Behavior Gap. Carl is the Director of Investor Education for The Bam Alliance, which our firm is one of 150 national member firms.

When I first started the book, I questioned the title. How can a financial plan be done on just one page? In the first few chapters, it becomes obvious what Carl means by his title. Of course a comprehensive financial plan that covers everything from retirement savings, estate planning, investment recommendations, charitable giving and life insurance can’t possibly be covered in one page. And that is exactly Carl’s point. To most people, dealing with all those topics is totally overwhelming.

Carl provides a different approach. Understand yourself. Understand your goals and why money is important to you and your family. Then get out Carl’s favorite tool, a Sharpie pen, and write down a few important items on a specific topic on an index card. That is today’sOne-Page Financial Plan.” Deal with those things, then move on to other topics.

This book will not tell you how to invest your millions, but it will help you to have important conversations with your loved ones and your financial advisor, about how to deal with these very important topics. Carl recognizes the benefits of using an independent financial advisor. Carl writes that an advisor is crucial to guide you towards financial success, however you and your family define that. He then points out that a good financial advisor will help you to stick to your financial goals and plans…regardless of the uncertainties of life, and the ups and downs of the stock market.

Carl’s writing is direct and easy to read. The book includes many of his excellent financial illustrations, which he is uniquely known for. I highly recommend this book for those who want to learn more than the next hot stock. If you want to be more comfortable with your financial life and attaining financial success, this is a book worth reading.


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