In addition to his careers as a writer and financial planner, Carl Richards is adding a new position: “chief storyteller,” as he puts it. With the kind of story he has to tell, it’s a title that works.
In a lengthy article he wrote for The New York Times that ran last November, Richards described the experience of being a financial advisor who lost his house in 2010 after the real estate market collapse. He wrote that he had taken on more debt than he could manage, and the house was sold in a short sale, a deal in which the bank holding the mortgage takes back the property for less than what’s owed.
Richards had formed his own practice after leaving Merrill Lynch in 2004. This week Richards announced a new move: he has sold Prasada Capital Management, his RIA in Park City, Utah with $30 million in assets under management, to Buckingham Asset Management in St. Louis, Mo. (Buckingham made Registered Rep.’s Top 50 RIA Asset Managers list last year.)
Richards has been hired by Buckingham’s sister firm, BAM Advisor Services, in a new full-time position as director of investor education. BAM provides back-office and other services to advisors.
With some hard-won knowledge about managing money, he’s moving more closely into the education market. Richards will produce articles and videos on financial practice for Buckingham, and speak to Buckingham advisors around the country. It dovetails nicely with a broader writing career he’s built for himself—Richards contributes on financial issues to the Bucks blog of The New York Times, and to NPR, and he writes columns for Morningstar Advisor.
Last month Richards’ new book, “The Behavior Gap: Simple Ways to Stop Doing Dumb Things With Money,” was published by Portfolio, part of The Penguin Group. In it, he talks about how people let emotion get in the way of making good financial choices. It’s illustrated throughout with sketches Richards has drawn describing financial concepts in elegantly simple ways. (See below.)
Terms of Buckingham’s acquisition of Richards’ practice weren’t disclosed. He said Buckingham will handle his clients’ day-to-day needs, but he plans to stay in contact with his Prasada clients. “I really, really like those people, and I know them really well,” he said. “The ability to continue to create interesting content depends on me having experience on the ground level.”