The Young Dentist’s $40,000 per Year Decision

Douglas Carlsen, DDS

[Editor's Note: This is another in our ongoing series aimed at dentists by columnist Doug Carlsen, DDS. The principles espoused are useful for high-income professionals of all persuasions.] Two months ago, I wrote of a recent dental graduate who has $10,000 per month payments for school loans, a mortgage, an auto, a new dental practice, and credit cards.  His total debt is $1.175M. The responses on The White Coat Investor blog ranged from outrage to … Continue reading

The Reason You Take Market Risk

My ten year old canyoneer with her mother

Volatility, particularly on the downside, is not an investor’s friend. Most of us don’t do “the investing thing” to get a rush. This is serious business for us. I also am not planning on leaving gobs of money behind to my children or to charity. My children, like me, will much prefer getting money in their 20s, when they really need it, compared to later in life. I also try to do my charitable giving … Continue reading

Deleveraging Your Life

cabin photo

Leverage. It’s a wonderful thing. Real estate investors and homeowners use it all the time to magnify their returns. However, leverage works both ways. It increases returns by increasing risk. What is the risk? The risk that you cannot service the debt. Regular readers know I’m not a huge fan of debt. I’m not quite as rabid as the Dave Ramsey types (although even he makes an allowance for 15% of income toward retirement and … Continue reading

How Interest Rate Changes and Valuations May Impact Various Real Estate Markets

Mark Mascia

[Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Mark A. Mascia, President and CEO of Mascia Development. It's not particularly physician-specific, and I came very close to rejecting it outright for that reason. However, I thought the ideas it explored were very interesting and worthy of publication. In this post Mr. Mascia tries to determine which real estate markets nationally are undervalued or overvalued, and how rising interest rates might affect that. This has important … Continue reading

The Retirement Tax Trap – Another Way To Sell You Insurance You Don’t Need


A frequent technique used by life insurance salesmen to sell you permanent life insurance you probably don’t need, is to invoke what is often called “the retirement tax trap.” I see these in books, in comments left by insurance agents on this blog, and in videos on the internet like this one. Let me summarize this video and show you how this schpiel generally goes. If you want to test your “insurance agent defenses”, watch … Continue reading

From Medicine to Fee Only Planning


[Editor's Note: I get an email several times a month from doctors who are considering going into financial planning. Apparently, the grass is looking greener over there for some reason for a few doctors. Steven Podnos, MD, CFP is a physician who has made the jump into the financial planning world. He is basically a full-time financial planner and a part time physician with the Air Force Reserve. I asked him to write an article … Continue reading

The Wealth Anatomy Podcast Interviews The White Coat Investor


I was recently interviewed on The Wealth Anatomy Podcast, a podcast run by a financial advisor and a veteran by the name of Ryan Michler. Ryan had the wonderful, life-changing opportunity to deploy to the Middle East with the military. His deployment affected him in a way similar to the way my deployment affected me…neither of us ever wanted to do that again so we got out of the military. I went on to be … Continue reading

Physician Mortgage Loans for Other High-Income Professionals

halloween house photo

I have had a lot of inquiries, particularly from dentists, about whether they were eligible for these fancy-schmancy “physician loan” style mortgages. I define a “physician mortgage” as one that allows less than 20% down but doesn’t require PMI, will be issued with a contract rather than proven income, and generally either ignores the student loan burden or just takes into account the reduced payments available through ICR/IBR/PAYE programs for federal loans. So I decided … Continue reading

Managed Futures as an Asset Class

[Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Donald Wieczorek who manages a futures fund (both commodities and other types) and is married to an emergency medicine resident. Although Mr. Wieczorek would obviously love for you to invest with him at Purple Valley Capital, I felt the educational value of the post was sufficiently worthwhile to publish. Larry Swedroe is the most famous advocate for commodities (via collateralized commodity futures -CCF funds) among Boglehead authors … Continue reading

Finding a Good Financial Advisor


My September column at Physician’s Money Digest was all about finding a good financial advisor. I am often accused of being “anti-financial advisors.” That’s not true in the least. I recognize that the vast majority of high-income professionals, including physicians, would benefit from using the services of a financial planner and investment manager who offers good advice at a fair price. Unfortunately, most self-styled “advisors” do not meet those 2 criteria. When searching for an … Continue reading

A Serious Reply – More Arguing About IUL


When you put yourself and your ideas out on the internet, it’s best to have a thick skin, especially if you have chosen to reveal some personal and identifying information as I have. Although on this blog I write about a myriad of subjects, including living below your means, portfolio design, student loan management, retirement planning, insurance of many types, estate planning, asset protection, and mortgages among other subjects, 95% of the “hate email,” “hate … Continue reading

How Dentists Retire By 50

Douglas Carlsen, DDS

[Editor's Note: Doug Carlsen, DDS, is a dentist who retired at 53. He is a new columnist at The White Coat Investor. This is his second column. Let me know how you like his articles by email or in the comments section.] In 2007, I wrote an article for Dental Economics titled “Retire by 50.”  It described a small and quiet group of dentists who amass wealth early and then fall off the radar before … Continue reading

The Secret To Successful Stock Investing


Sssshhhh! Let me tell you something very special. Lots of people have spent countless years and billions of dollars trying to learn the secret to successfully investing in stocks. But right now, in just a few seconds, and at no cost to you, I’m going to let you in on the secret: STAY IN THE PELOTON! Let me tell you what I mean. Stock investing is a lot like a flat stage in a multi-stage … Continue reading

Disability Insurance Occupational Classes

When purchasing individual disability insurance, it is important to meet with an independent agent who can sell you a policy from any of the “big six” insurance companies, Guardian (Berkshire), Standard, Metlife, Ameritas, Principal, and MassMutual. One of the reasons for this is that for your state, gender, and especially specialty, one company’s policy may be much cheaper than a similar policy offered by another company. Your specialty, or occupational class, is one way in … Continue reading