Carl Richards' personal finance drawings pull no punches.

Carl Richards: Live and doodling

Tess Vigeland Mar 2, 2012
Carl Richards' personal finance drawings pull no punches.

“You know we’ve got a problem when CNBC is on in your dentist’s office. [Money has] become America’s favorite spectator sport, but it’s not meant to be that way.”

That’s according to Carl Richards, whose art and advice simplifies the complicated of worlds of economics, personal finance, and investing. “Simplifies” might actually be an understatement. Richards is a certified financial planner and creator of Sharpie-on-cocktail-napkin sketches to the New York Times “Bucks” personal finance blog. His new book, “The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things With Money,” is filled with his simply drawn social and financial commentaries. “Sometimes we don’t know where we actually stand,” says Richards. “Financial planning, like any journey, at least starts with a clear definition of where you are. And I’m surprised at how little we know about where we are.”

Richard’s message is one many financial advisers subscribe to: “Short-term boring, long-term exciting.” But it’s his drawings, which illustrate the stupidity, irony, and humor in our financial lives that have given his message such resonance. We sat down with Carl at the Kimball Art Center in his home of Park City, Utah, to discuss his art and and the art of giving sound financial advice in ways Americans can understand.

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