Back-of-the-napkin personal financial advice

Carl Richards, a financial planner and a regular on The New York Times’ Bucks blog, uses graphs and diagrams to explain personal finance. And as you know, sketches are always twice as charming when they are on the back of a napkin. Together, the collection provides sound financial advice, so that you don’t end up poor and bankrupt, chasing the next Google or investing in entertainment.

[via Chart Porn]


  • John Anderson August 13, 2010 at 11:23 am

    If you enumerate the napkins thusly:

    1 – 2 – 3
    4 – 5 – 6

    you will note that the “pattern” of the fold/wrinkles in napkins 2, 3, and 6 are identical.

    Looks to me like Mr. Richards is super-imposing graphics onto scans of napkins to achieve your charming effect.

    The advice, however, sounds good to me.


A Day in the Life of Americans

I wanted to see how daily patterns emerge at the individual level and how a person’s entire day plays out. So I simulated 1,000 of them.

Think Like a Statistician – Without the Math

I call myself a statistician, because, well, I’m a statistics graduate student. However, the most important things I’ve learned are less formal, but have proven extremely useful when working/playing with data.

How You Will Die

So far we’ve seen when you will die and how other people tend to die. Now let’s put the two together to see how and when you will die, given your sex, race, and age.

Life expectancy changes

The data goes back to 1960 and up to the most current estimates for 2009. Each line represents a country.