I picked this book “The One-Page Financial Plan: A Simple Way to Be Smart About Your Money (Carl Richards)” because I liked the title.
If you do not like to read finance related books because they are complex to understand.Then the author Carl Richards has made your life easier in the book. In this book the author has simplified our financial plan with the most basic knowledge and wisdom. The author states that before framing your financial plan one should know what is important for you.The author emphasizes that one should identify why is money important to you? One should identify his priorities, prioritize them and always understand their balance trade-offs. The author has succinctly written that:
We don’t like asking ourselves why money is important because it often reflects how we feel about money instead of what we know. It’s much easier (we think) to talk about numbers and cents than about our emotions and deep desires.
Having an understanding of your values can help you make better financial decisions—not better because they reflect some Wall Street strategy, better because they’re tailor-made for you.
It turns out the way we spend our money and our time often says something about what we value.
That’s why the old saying “The calendar and the checkbook never lie”
resonates with so many of us.
The author has framed the following equation:
What you really value= Time Spent + Money Spent.
The author has repeated the mantra of Suze Orman “No SHAME NO BLAME”
The author has stated that to generate the financial plan the things you have to Invest are:
1) Dollars (Money)
The financial plan is nothing but Guess where you want to go:
1) What is the goal?
2) When do you want to do it?
3) How much will it cost?
The most important question need to be answered is
WHERE ARE YOU TODAY? ———————-> WHERE DO YOU WANT TO GO?
A typical Financial Plan should consists of:
1. Financial Goals: It could be Retirement, Child Education, Child Marriage, World Travel, Big House, New Car etc.
2. Plan to Reach Goals:
The author has written that
The One-Page Financial Plan isn’t about getting things “right.” It’s about realizing that you will always get things at least a little wrong.
If we approach the process with the right frame of mind, reflecting on our mistakes may help us avoid repeating the same mistake in the future. But at a certain point, you need to make peace with what’s happened in the past and move on. This is especially crucial when you’re assessing what’s important to you. Don’t use the mistakes you’ve made in the past as an excuse to deny yourself what’s really important.
When you find yourself obsessing over the same issues time after time, remind yourself that no matter how bad things seem, you can gain control and clarity by remembering what matters most. It will help you focus on the things you have some control over, and let go of the things you don’t. It can take time to figure out what’s really important.
Don’t worry about getting it “right.” You can—and should—simply course-correct your guess when you notice yourself going off track.
John Bogle, founder of the Vanguard Group, once said when pressed to offer his own rule of thumb about how to build an investment plan: “There might be advice that’s better than this, but the amount of advice that’s worse is infinite.” So, are there better ways?
3. Investments that fit the plan: It could be stocks, mutual funds, CD, Market Money Funds, Bonds etc.
4. Repeat Steps 1 to 3 till you achieve all your financial goals.
Financial success is more about behavior than it is about skill.Hence one could hire financial advisor The important thing to remember is that if you want help, it’s not because someone is smarter than you, but because that person isn’t you.
The author has given some tips to protect your finances by sticking to 72 Hour Test to curb impulse purchases. Shopping should be done within the Budget.According to author budgeting equals awareness. Its purpose isn’t to punish ourselves for spending money; it’s to become very aware of how we’re spending our money so that we have enough for the things that matter most.
The author has advocated the Diversification of assets for long term. A Sample Plan suggested by author for retirees is as follows:
1. Determine what you’ll need in the next 10 years( Leave it in CDs and savings)
2. Remaining money you do not need for more than 10 years put 60% in Stock Market with following split
A 18% of total portfolio-International Stocks.
B 42% US Stocks
C 40% Safe Fixed Income Bonds
3. Re-balance portfolio once a year
The author has concluded the book with following nuggets of wisdom:
1. Stick to the Plan
The best financial plan has nothing to do with what the markets are doing, nothing to do with what your real estate agent is telling you, nothing to do with the hot stock your brother-in-law told you about. It has everything to do with what’s most important to you.
Building a strategy around your unique goals and values and recording the rationale behind your plan in an investment policy statement (IPS) is perhaps the best way to avoid getting sidetracked. Investment Policy Statement should bring peace for us about Money.Why? Because you’re going to be thrown all sorts of curveballs—fear when the market is scary, greed when it’s doing well, temptation to splurge just this once. Having a plan in place will serve as a touchstone when you’re tempted to do something crazy.
Your IPS will remind you about what you said was important when you weren’t in the heat of the moment. Often, that simple act is enough to help you close your financial statements and get back to your gardening.
2. Automate: The various investments should be automated as much as possible.
3. Remember, Remember, Remember
Don’t let the difficulty of the decision stop you from acting.
4. Leave it alone
Investment done Right and Watching Grass Grow Both are Boring.
This book is definitely a must read for you if you want to frame your one page financial plan.