Bridging the Behavior Gap: A Review of Carl Richards’s Insightful Book


In the world of personal finance, the concept of the ‘behavior gap’ has been a hot topic for discussion. Carl Richards, a financial planner and renowned author, has tackled this issue in his insightful book, “The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things with Money.” (Buy from Amazon) In this blog post, we’ll introduce you to the book, discuss its main points, and share our thoughts on its relevance and impact on the way we manage our finances.

Bridging the Behavior Gap: A Review of Carl Richards's Insightful Book

The Author’s Background:

Carl Richards is a certified financial planner, a New York Times columnist, and the creator of the popular Sketch Guy column. With his experience and expertise in the financial world, he offers practical advice and valuable insights that can help anyone improve their financial habits.

The Behavior Gap:

The ‘behavior gap’ refers to the difference between what we should do with our money and what we actually end up doing. This gap is the result of our emotions, psychological biases, and misconceptions about money, which often lead to poor financial decisions. In his book, Richards explains how the behavior gap can be detrimental to our financial well-being and offers strategies to close it.

The Psychology Behind Money Mistakes:

Richards delves into the psychological aspects that cause us to make financial mistakes. He discusses common biases such as overconfidence, loss aversion, and the tendency to follow the crowd. By understanding these biases, readers can identify their own behavior patterns and learn to make better financial decisions.

The Power of Simplicity:

A key theme throughout “The Behavior Gap” is the power of simplicity. Richards argues that we often overcomplicate our financial lives, which can lead to confusion and poor decision-making. He advocates for a simpler approach to personal finance, focusing on setting clear goals, having a solid plan, and sticking to it.

Goal Setting:

In the book, Richards emphasizes the importance of setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) financial goals. He explains how having clear goals can help guide our financial decisions and keep us focused on what truly matters. By setting SMART goals, we can work towards closing the behavior gap and improving our financial future.

Embracing Uncertainty:

One of the reasons behind the behavior gap is our tendency to fear uncertainty. Richards encourages readers to accept the fact that uncertainty is an inherent part of life, especially when it comes to financial markets. By embracing uncertainty, we can make more rational decisions and avoid reacting impulsively to short-term market fluctuations.

The Importance of Communication:

Richards highlights the significance of open communication, particularly when it comes to discussing money matters with loved ones. By fostering a culture of transparency and understanding, we can make better financial decisions as a family and work towards shared goals.

The Art of Saying No:

In “The Behavior Gap,” Richards teaches readers the importance of saying no to unnecessary spending and investments. By learning to prioritize our financial goals and resist the urge to follow the crowd, we can avoid making costly mistakes and focus on what truly matters to us.

Visualizing Financial Concepts:

One unique aspect of the book is Richards’s use of simple illustrations to convey complex financial concepts. These illustrations, which originated in his Sketch Guy column, help make the book accessible and engaging for readers who might be new to personal finance.


“The Behavior Gap” by Carl Richards is a must-read for anyone looking to improve their financial decision-making and close the gap between what they should do with their money and what they actually do. The book offers practical advice, relatable examples, and simple illustrations that make personal finance easy to understand. By applying the lessons from “The Behavior Gap,” readers can transform their financial lives and secure a more stable future for themselves and their families.

Richards’s “The Behavior Gap” doesn’t just offer a one-time solution for financial improvement. Rather, it provides readers with a new way of thinking about money and personal finance. By internalizing the concepts and principles outlined in the book, readers can develop lifelong habits that will help them make smarter financial decisions and ultimately bridge the behavior gap.

In summary, Carl Richards’s “The Behavior Gap” is an essential guide for anyone looking to gain control over their financial lives and make better decisions with their money. With its straightforward advice, relatable examples, and engaging illustrations, this book is an invaluable resource for readers at any stage of their financial journey. Whether you’re just starting out or have been managing your finances for years, “The Behavior Gap” offers insights and strategies that can help you close the gap and achieve lasting financial success.,This article is an original creation by If you wish to repost or share, please include an attribution to the source and provide a link to the original article.Post Link:

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