Ten Guiding Principles for Physician Debt Management

My monthly article from ACEP NOW is on debt management, an important topic for most physicians, especially in the first half of their career when they may have a mortgage, student loans, and perhaps even some consumer debt. Here is an excerpt: 1 Physicians, in general, are entirely too comfortable with debt. Many doctors live primarily, or even entirely, on borrowed money for nearly a decade while in school. At times, it seems like those … Continue reading

Financial Chores To Complete After Divorce

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Aaron Kahn, a financial advisor with Wealth Management Strategies, Inc. We have no financial relationship. A number of readers have asked for a post on divorce. I’m certainly no expert on the subject, but divorce can be a personally and financially devastating experience and is certainly worth a discussion. This might not address all questions readers may have on the subject, but it is certainly a good start.] … Continue reading

Five Steps to Start Saving for Retirement

My monthly column at Physician’s Money Digest is aimed at beginning investors. I run into docs in this situation all the time in real life, on online forums, by email, and in the comments section of the blog. This piece is for you! If you’re just recently become excited and motivated to take control of your finances or investments, or are just coming out of training, enjoy! Here’s an excerpt: Those of us who have … Continue reading

Free Money for Residents Buying a Home

As a general rule, I recommend against residents buying a home for a number of reasons. However, there are exceptions to every general rule. More recently, I have become aware of a program that makes buying a home as a resident not quite as dumb, and perhaps even a good idea for many residents. The program is a grant program that provides up to a $10,000 down payment for low to moderate income homebuyers. The … Continue reading

Capital Gains and Losses –Timing Is Everything!

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post by Glenn Frank CPA/PFS, M.S. Taxation, who is a fee-only financial advisor with Frank Advising and the director of investment strategy at Lexington Wealth Management. Although this post is not a paid or sponsored post, his firm is a paying sponsor of the newsletter and an advertiser on the site. Like every other post on this blog, this one is for educational purposes and does not constitute tax, … Continue reading

Index Annuities Do Not Provide A Stock-Like Return

Index annuities are different from the index universal life insurance discussed previously on this site. While both involve mixing investing and insurance, a straightforward index annuity (and trust me when I say few of these are ever straightforward) neither provides, nor charges for, a death benefit. As “Stan the Annuity Man” who writes for Marketwatch, likes to say, “The upside to an indexed annuity is that there is no downside. The downside to an indexed … Continue reading

Beyond the White Coat – A Review

I recently had the opportunity to exchange a few emails with Jeff Hall, CFP, CIMA, a DFA-approved financial advisor who advises a number of physicians in Tennessee. Some of you from that part of the country might recognize him as a particularly excellent football player who played on the 1998 National Championship University of Tennessee football team. He started a career in the financial services industry while simultaneously trying to get an NFL career launched. … Continue reading

Loosening the Purse Strings Part 2

[Editor’s Note: This is part two of a two part series talking about how my wife and I make decisions about spending large amounts of money on stuff we want, but don’t necessarily need. It will make a lot more sense if you go back and read part 1 first.] The Expensive Vacation Your next major 2014 purchase was your 15th anniversary trip to France that cost you the better part of $10K. Your thoughts … Continue reading

Loosening the Purse Strings

[Editor’s Note:  Those who are familiar with our financial journey are aware that my wife and I decided to forgo spending a great deal of our income in our first few years out of residency in order to put ourselves into a better financial position and speed our journey toward financial independence. Although we wished to grow into our income slowly, our aim was never to accumulate money for the sake of accumulating money. We … Continue reading

What Would it Take For You to Retire in 5 Years?

I recently had the opportunity to give a brief presentation to my partnership. Don’t worry, I didn’t charge them. One statement I made seems to have stuck with more people than any other. I had said something to the effect that I was on track for retirement in 5 years. This was apparently very surprising to a lot of them, especially since I’m the newest partner in the group. I had run some numbers a … Continue reading

State of the Blog 2015

Dear Reader, I started this blog and website in May 2011 with the primary purpose of “helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street.” Like many of you, I had received less than a square deal from several different types of financial professionals, including a realtor, a mortgage lender, an insurance agent, a financial advisor, an appraiser, and even a military recruiter. Part of the reason for my pitfalls … Continue reading

Miserly Versus Thrifty – From a Resident Perspective

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from a regular reader and a pathology resident at the University of Arizona. Originally from Colorado, he is at home in the outdoors. His climbing time, however has been significantly hindered since starting residency, not to mention the impending arrival of twins. We have no financial relationship.] I would submit the question, is there a single recipe for financial independence? Well, is there a single treatment regimen for … Continue reading

What Matters Most In Investing

My interpretation of the finance and investing literature is that the best way to invest is to primarily use a low-cost, broadly diversified, fixed asset allocation of equity and fixed income index funds tilted to small and value factors. Coupled with starting early, smart use of tax-advantaged accounts, an appropriate level of risk for the investor AND his goals, a reasonable investing temperament, and an adequate savings rate, this strategy is highly likely to allow … Continue reading

The Case Against Annuities

My December article for ACEP NOW is all about annuities, particularly their downsides, since those are generally much more significant than their upsides. It was blandly titled, “Annuities Not Recommended as Investment for Physicians.” Here is an excerpt: As a general rule, annuities are products that are made to be sold, not bought, and it should not be surprising that someone who is compensated for selling them would recommend that you buy them. It is … Continue reading

Criticizing the All Weather Portfolio

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Kathryn Cicoletti, Founder of Makin’SenseBabe, LLC, where she tries to make learning money topics a more enjoyable experience. Prior to this endeavor, she spent 10 years working with an asset management firm evaluating hedge funds for possible investment. Her new company sells subscriptions ($12 a month) to investment tools, a monthly newsletter, and email access to her. The videos on the site (free to you) are a … Continue reading