The Behavior Gap

When I received an advance copy of Carl Richard’s book The Behavior Gap, I read it cover to cover in one day. It’s rare that I come across original thinking in the personal finance world and I wanted to bring some of that original thinking to you.

I was fortunate to spend some time with Carl and we recorded our conversation about money its impact on our lives. Carl is known for taking complex financial issues and breaking them down into simple to understand drawings that could fit on the back of a napkin.

One of my favorite drawings from Carl depicts the relationship between money and happiness. Carl explained how we face this contradiction in life where we feel that if we can make just a little more money we’ll be happy, but we’re also told that money doesn’t buy happiness. According to Carl, there is truth in both statements. Be sure to listen to his explanation.

The Financial Planning Industry

We talked about the personal finance industry in general and Carl and I share very similar philosophies. “We’ve fallen prey to this idea that complexity is some sort of intellectual gift,” Carl said.

The industry tends to over complicate the financial planning process by focusing on a product called the “Plan.” When I asked Carl about these plans, he was very clear. “Financial planning is a process…not a 2” binder. A Financial plan is worthless, the process of planning is vital.” I couldn’t agree more.

When I asked him to sum up the message of the book, Carl told me, “If you’re trying to make sense of all these important decisions. The reality is financial planning is about making incredibly important decisions under an extreme uncertainty.”

Free Offer

Carl has been generous enough to offer the first 20 of my readers an 8” x 10” print of his Fear/Greed drawing that is perfect for framing in your office for client discussions.

To get your copy of the print, simply order The Behavior Gap at Amazon and forward a copy of the book receipt to the email address: book(AT)behaviorgap.com (replace AT with @)and be sure to include “Offer from Chuck Rylant” in the subject line. Include your shipping address in the email for delivery of the print.

You can learn more about Carl at behaviorgap.com and also sign up for his free newsletter.

All images included here are owned by and used with permission of Carls Richards.

4 Replies to “The Behavior Gap”

  1. Chuck,

    I read Carl Richard’s and your writings often and I have always been in agreement with both of you, however I do have to take exception with you statement her about the 2” binder. I agree that the process of planning is vital, but so is the plan. For the process to work the plan is required.

    The industry’s failure is in its failure to implement a client centered plan along with using the document they call a plan to figure out merely which assets they can capture and what other products they can sell.

    It’s the implementation of the plan that leads to results that lead to success.

    - Karl L. Hicks, CFP®, MBA

    1. This is a great point that I agree with: “The industry’s failure is in its failure to implement a client centered plan along with using the document they call a plan to figure out merely which assets they can capture and what other products they can sell.”

      Thanks Karl

  2. I’ve always been interested in writings on materialism and our personal development but I’m surprised that I missed reading Carl’s writings. The business community needs people like Carl who can help the audience understand more about financial planning. I’m certainly finding out more about Carl.

    1. Carl is well known in the community of financial advisors and in the public too with writings in the New York Times. I’m sure you will find more of his writing thought provoking. Let me know Dr. Doebler your thoughts if you read more from Carl.

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