New York Times columnist, author, and financial planner Carl Richards has made a career out of exposing and analyzing what he calls the "behavior gap" the gap between what you should do with your money and what you actually do.

Richards has boiled down his wisdom on wealth and happiness in a dozen sketches that he's giving away to his readers during the "12 Days Of Behavior Gap," and which anyone can receive by signing up for his newsletter. We've shared them here with his permission.

There are a limited number of things you can control, Richards says, and you don't have power over everything that matters. It's the important things you can control that should occupy your efforts.

It's your advisor's job to help figure out where that sweet spot is. "A real advisor should be the thing between YOU and the BIG MISTAKE," Richards tweeted along with this sketch.

"Even after you figure out the math around a decision, you have to navigate the emotional complexity that comes with money," Richards writes on his website. The best financial moves are usually very simple.

And the way our financial system works, even if you're making great decisions, you still might not see the returns you expect.

No matter how complicated investing may get, some things (like behavior) matter more than others (timing the market).

Your portfolio design is one of the things that matters. "A well-designed portfolio can be the difference between good investment outcomes and disappointment," Richards wrote in the Times. The elements, like those shown below, should create one cohesive unit.

For instance, proper diversification of assets isn't just about having multiple types of one investment it's about making sure your investments are significantly different from each other.

And it's OK that the path between you and your financial goals isn't a straight line.

As long as you stay focused on achieving your own financial goals instead of being sidetracked by what other people most value, you'll get there.

Rather than falling into the typical market cycle ...

Keep repeating what works.

One thing that works is having the right attitude. Here, Richards captures the feeling of gratitude for the people in your life who make you not only wealthy, but happy.

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