The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money

Carl Richards, Author
Carl Richards. Penguin/Portfolio, $24.95 (192p) ISBN 978-1-59184-464-8
Reviewed on: 11/28/2011
Release date: 01/03/2012
Compact Disc - 978-1-59659-998-7
Open Ebook - 192 pages - 978-1-101-55955-0
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In this accessible book, financial planner and Morningstar Advisor columnist Richards sits down to talk about money and the crazy choices we make. Through personal stories and simple ideas enlivened with a touch of imagery (often literally sketched on the back of a napkin), Richards explains why we keep making bad choices and shows us that we’re often making decisions with our emotions rather than our intellect. However, Richards isn’t saying that investors try to eradicate their emotions; rather, they should aim for an investment strategy that balances managing fear and greed in a way that “truly reflects your own emotional strengths and weaknesses.” Once readers recognize what influences their decisions, they’ll be much better able to act rationally. Richards then covers a vast array of topics, from investor emotions to information overload. He offers suggestions for combatting decisions that might be overly influenced by emotions, such as in periods of market turmoil, by taking “the overnight test,” trying a media fast, or simply finding your focus. Whether relating a Zen story or talking about the Economist smirk, Richards succeeds in showing us how what we often think is right regarding investments rarely is. (Jan.)
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