As I migrate my blog from the old website at to the new one here, I’m going over several old documents, posts, and pages.

One thing I stumbled across was this post from Carl Richards of Behavior Gap. He went on record noting the “secret society of real financial planners”. I was fortunate to be included on his list.

It’s an interesting and short read. You can find his post on real financial planners here.

In his snippet about me, he’s referring to a day where I did pro-bono planning with the The National Association of Personal Financial Advisors.



That was a fun day (and quite warm as you can tell from my sunburnt face). I only hope that the people I met with actually took the financial advice I gave.

That was in 2009. If they did take my advice, they’d surely have moved their finances forward in a meaningful way.

As a “real financial planner”, the advice I gave back then hasn’t changed much from what I would give to clients today.

I met with people from all over Las Vegas that day in a giant bus that was doing a nationwide tour. I helped with issues from bankruptcy to divorce to retirement and college planning. You name it – if it was financial planning related I helped tackle it for those interested enough to seek help that day.


Carl Richards – Behavioral Finance Expert

Carl is widely known for his napkin style drawings, my favorite of which is here:

Carl is right, this is the stereotypical behavior from most investors.


Carl is right about the financial industry now, and he was right then. He writes for many well know publications, including Morningstar and the New York Times. He’s even got a couple of financial planning/investor behavior books which are great quick reads if you’re interested!

Most notably, if you’ve seen my office you’ve seen several of his brilliant sketches such as the one above. He has a real talent for taking the complex world of investments and finance and simplifying it down to a napkin and a sharpie marker.

One of the biggest reasons I left the investment brokerage world was their motivations weren’t aligned with mine or my clients. They work for shareholders. I wanted to work for clients as a real financial planner.

They cared about corporate profitability. I cared about my clients profitability.

It’s just a backwards system – they put the dollars in their pockets before the dollars in their clients pockets. They create fancy annuities and investment products which no one understands, least of all the brokers selling them! And they’re the most profitable products for the firm which sells them. Go figure…

The industry is changing however. In recent years there’s been a lot of push towards a fiduciary standard of care. They’re a bit behind though. I’ve been putting our fiduciary obligations in writing to our clients since I formed Redrock Wealth Management in 2005.

It’s just the way it should be! I tell clients outside of their children I feel like my role as a financial planner is their next most important relationship they have, so why wouldn’t I embrace my fiduciary responsibilities to them? It’s ludicrous that anyone would hire a financial planner without a fiduciary role in writing.

If you’re going to be a financial planner, shouldn’t you be a real one? I’m proud to be noted on Carl’s list as such.