The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money is a personal finance book geared toward people with investments. At the moment, our only investments are our 401Ks and IRAs and we aren’t skittish about it, so I found myself saying “yeah, yeah, OK” a lot as I read. However, if you are nervous about the stock market, the book contains a lot of solid advice.
That said, several of the sections were helpful even if you don’t play the stock market. They cover some of the same topics as All the Money in the World, although I think you’d get more out of All the Money than Behavior Gap, if you aren’t reading for the stock market advice.
At any rate, I liked how the author emphasized that there is no one-size-fits-all financial plan, because a financial plan is really based on your individual life goals. Richards gives ideas for how to integrate your financial decisions with your life decisions, including diagnostic questions and practical suggestions.
Another helpful section offers advice on how to talk about money. Richards points out that often when we think we’re having the same old tense discussions about money, we’re really talking about something else. If you can take a step back and consider what you’re really afraid of or hurt by or frustrated about, you can talk through that issue and then get to the money problem more effectively. Richards also describes ways couples frequently miscommunicate about money and ways that parents can inadvertently freak their kids out about money.
Overall, The Behavior Gap is a quick and easy read, with several helpful points that apply to everyone even if you’re not a skittish investor.
Just out of curiosity, do you have trouble talking about money? How do you talk to your kids or teach them about it?
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