Recent Arizona Dental Grad vs. $10,000 Per Month Debt

Douglas Carlsen, DDS

[Editor's Note: I recently brought Doug Carlsen, DDS, a dentist who retired at 53 and a great skier, on as a regular paid columnist in the hopes of being able to relate a little bit better to the dentists among my readers, and hopefully attract more dentists to the website. As long-term readers know, 80% of what is covered on this blog applies to everyone, no matter what their income status and 95% of it … Continue reading

9 Bad Reasons To Hire An Investment Adviser (and 6 Good Ones)

Making Progress in Heaps Canyon, Zion NP

I frequently see articles about why you should hire a financial advisor, especially an asset manager. Recently, OJM, a physician-focused financial advisory firm, sent me a link to a newly-written article on the subject. I don’t mean to pick on them, because I’ve seen dozens of articles like this one. They provide some useful information, but the main point of these articles is that # 1 You need an investment adviser, # 2 Your investment … Continue reading

Family Limited Partnerships

My dad is paying me modeling fees for this lousy picture.

Q. I am a DDS and operate my business as an S-corp. My wife and I own (have a large mortgage) our dental building as an LLC that the practice pays rent to monthly. We keep our rent at a reasonable rate. It was suggested to me that we set up a Family Limited Partnership (FLP) and jack up the rent so that the practice has more write-offs (minimizing taxes) and then make my two … Continue reading

Updates in the Disability Insurance Marketplace Part 8

Larry Keller

[Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Lawrence B. Keller, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, RHU®, LUTCF, a frequent contributor to the blog.  This is another in his long-running series updating you on some of the intricate details of the disability insurance marketplace.  This particular post deals with Berkshire, Ameritas, and Standard. We have no financial relationship.] Berkshire Occupation Class Upgrades In an effort to help their agents and brokers be even more successful in the … Continue reading

Want to Come Work With Me? (Emergency docs only)

My group is hiring several more positions beginning in Summer of 2015. We will be opening up an emergency department in a brand new hospital in (very) Northern Utah County and thus will need to add some new BE/BC residency-trained emergency physicians to our small, democratic group in order to staff it. Further Details Main Facility: Jordan Valley Medical Center – a ~30,000 visit Level III Trauma community hospital in West Jordan, UT, a suburb … Continue reading

4 Ways Income Investors Get It Wrong


My July column at Physician’s Money Digest was all about income investing vs total return investing. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, read this column. If your plan is to only spend the interest in retirement, then definitely read this column. Then come back here and let me know what you thought in the comments section. For decades, there has been a grand debate afoot in the investing world between “total return” … Continue reading

A Tale of Two Doctors – Using the Future Value Function

When it comes to personal finance, some things matter more than others. The secret to wealth is no secret, and getting rich slowly works best. The path to wealth is to make a lot of money, save a lot of it, and to make your money work as hard as you do. Consider the decisions made by two physician partners and the eventual effects on their wealth level. Let’s start them out at age 35, … Continue reading

Captive Insurance Companies for Physicians

Tony Kendzior

[Editor's Note: This guest post, originally titled "A Captive Conversation," is from Tony Kenzior, CLU, ChFC, an insurance agent who frequently comments on the blog and with whom I have no financial relationship. The subject, Captive Insurance Companies (CICs), is not one I am an expert on by any means. However, these companies are frequently proposed by insurance agents to physician groups as a way to lower insurance costs, lower taxes, and boost savings. I … Continue reading

Building Wealth Across the Generations

Families are awesome, especially when they can work together toward common goals. In fact, the ability for generations to work together can be a true wealth-producing machine. It requires a very long-term view, excellent family dynamics, and a little bit of education and “starter wealth,” but if done properly, can be far more powerful than any other personal finance concept. If generations are willing to “cover” each other, they can increase their ability to take … Continue reading

The Affluent Investor – A Review

Phil Demuth, PhD

I read or skim through just about every financial book I can find. I tend to only review the physician-specific ones on this website, but I occasionally make an exception for one that I think is particularly good. The Affluent Investor is one such book, and of all the books I’ve read this year, probably the one I learned the most from. That’s saying quite a bit, since the law of diminishing returns definitely applies … Continue reading

The Statistic Whole Life Salesmen Don’t Want You To Know

It takes 5-15 years for a typical whole life policy just to break even to where your surrender value equals your premiums paid (not counting the time value of money or inflation.) If you count inflation, some policies never break even while most take decades to do so.  This brings to mind an important question: How many people are still holding their policies after 5, 10, 15, or 20 years? Luckily, this data is tracked … Continue reading

5 Steps to Help Physicians Choose The Right Mutual Funds

My monthly column in ACEP NOW is on choosing the right mutual fund. Many investors mistakenly skip the pre-requisite steps of setting goals and developing an asset allocation and hope to simply pick some good funds out of their 401(k) to invest in. It’s not surprising that their investment returns reflect the fact that they aren’t actually following any kind of a reasonable plan. In this article, I discuss five things you should be looking … Continue reading

WCI Coming To St. Louis This Week!

The final rappel out of Heaps Canyon, Zion NP, and the reason for the late notice

Sorry for the late notice, but for those of you who live in or near St. Louis I just wanted to let you know about a speaking engagement I’ve got this week that you are invited to attend. Mason Road Wealth Advisors, a fee-only financial advisory firm, is bringing me out to speak to their clients and prospective clients this Thursday, July 31st at 7 pm at Meadowbrook Country Club, 200 Meadowbrook Country Club Estates … Continue reading

Investing in Retirement Part 5

Bonus points for naming the beheaded guy

If you haven’t read the first four parts of this series, I suggest you go there first: Part 1: Sequence of Returns Risk, Inflation Risk, and the Safe Withdrawal Rate Part 2: Getting income from your various asset classes Part 3: Non-Portfolio Income and how it relates to your portfolio Part 4: Early Retiree issues and Tax Diversification In Part 5, I’m going to discuss a few last issues relevant for the retired investor. The … Continue reading

Investing in Retirement Part 4

Crossing a 42 m bridge to nowhere- Val d Isere, French Alps

Part 1 of this series covered the dilemmas faced by retiree investors. Part 2 warned against become too focused on income. Part 3 showed you how to reduce your need for portfolio income using Social Security, Pensions, SPIAs and rental real estate. In Part 4, I’m going to discuss a few issues faced by early retirees and a discussion of how to benefit from the tax diversification you worked so hard to achieve during your … Continue reading