Our guest for today is Carl Richards, a certified financial planner and the director of investor education for the Bam Alliance, a community of over 130 independent wealth management firms throughout the United States.

Carl is also the creator of the weekly Sketch Guy column in The New York Times, and is a columnist for Morningstar Advisor. Carl has also been featured on Marketplace Money, The Leonard Lopate Show, Oprah.com and Forbes.com. In addition, Carl has become a frequent keynote speaker at financial planning conferences and visual learning events around the world.

Through his simple sketches, Carl makes complex financial concepts easy to understand. He also recently wrote a book called The One-Page Financial Plan – A Simple Way to be Smart About Your Money

Here are the highlights of my conversation with Carl

• How the Sketch Guy column stemmed from Carl’s need to communicate his messages effectively to his clients and the appeal it brought to visual learners.
• His tip in striking while the iron is hot, going with the flow and grabbing opportunities as they come.
• What financial planning is all about and how you can go about making plans of your own, starting from understanding your values, knowing your goals, assessing where you are today and figuring out where you want to go.
• The possibility of having an entire financial plan in one sheet of paper, for this plan to serve as your reminder to keep you on track if you are tempted to veer away from your original goals, and to not be apprehensive of guessing about your future as it is part of the process.
• The power of putting goals down on paper and the importance of tracking your expenses in order to lead you to places where you can save money.

Quotes from Carl in this episode

“Men make plans and God laughs.”

“When we have plans, we should not be committed to the plan but to the process of planning and going with the flow.”

“Get really clear about where you are at today and guess where you want to go. The process of planning is filling in that gap in between.”

“Let go of your false sense of precision. Just put a stake in the ground, head to that direction and realize that it will probably change but that’s okay as it is part of the process.”

“When you combine hard work with intention, cool things happen.”

“It’s easier to say ‘No’, when you have a much bigger ‘Yes’.”

“Don’t give up, just keep sticking to the process.”


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