Estate Planning Presentation on QuantiaMD

Estate planning is an important topic for all of us to consider from time to time, especially when major life changes occur. Readers who have been with me for some time know I’ve been doing an ongoing series of presentations on QuantiaMD about financial topics. My latest, # 7 in the series, is all about estate planning. It discusses wills, trusts, beneficiary designations, estate taxes, and probate. Prior QuantiaMD presentations can be found at the … Continue reading

Killing Sacred Cows – A Review

In February I was supposed to present an evening discussion to local Salt Lake City docs with Garrett Gunderson, author of Killing Sacred Cows. It was set up as a bit of a debate, focusing on the differences in our investing philosophies. However, the presentation fell through due to lack of interest. I read his book anyway and had mixed feeling about it. Some parts were very good, many parts were simply low-yield, and others … Continue reading

Improving the Vanguard Individual 401(k) with a Customized Plan

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from WCI advertiser Konstantin Litovsky, who has written before about the merits of a “pooled 401(k) plan.” In this post, he talks about the benefits of a customized pooled plan for your individual 401(k) (also called a Solo 401(k).) You can learn more about choosing an individual 401(k) with this post published a year and a half ago. He titled this post: Turn Your Vanguard Solo 401(k) into … Continue reading

The Perfect Financial Advisor

I am often asked for recommendations both on how to choose a financial advisor, as well as people asking specifically for a financial advisor. My mantra with financial advice is “Good advice at a fair price.” However, when it comes down to specifics, I am often left with a conundrum of one sort or another. You see, I haven’t yet found the perfect financial advisor to send blog readers to. The Do It Yourself Solution … Continue reading

Appropriate Uses of Permanent Life Insurance

Lots of people think I hate permanent life insurance (whole life, variable life, universal life etc) and spend most of my time plotting the demise of those who sell it. While it is true that I think permanent life insurance is dramatically oversold (especially as another “retirement plan” for doctors), there are a few times it can be useful. I am often asked, “Well, what is permanent life insurance good for?” and “You always qualify … Continue reading

Financial Success in a High Cost of Living Area

[Editor’s Note: I think I’ve finally made it as a blogger. I’ve now had the experience of having one of my inspirations to get into blogging send me a guest post. This post by Harry Sit, who has been blogging for years as The Finance Buff, came in response to my Invitation to Contribute a few months ago. As you might imagine, he’s a very talented financial writer. What a pleasure to hardly have to … Continue reading

Lange’s Cascading Beneficiary Plan

James Lange, JD, CPA, in his excellent Retire Secure!, discusses a “beneficiary plan” he has been using for years with his estate planning practice. This plan has been featured in a number of other publications, sometimes with Lange’s name attached, and sometimes without. I think it is pretty smart, even if it is a bit dated due to changes in the law since publication of his second edition. The fact that it still works even … Continue reading

The 5 Mistakes Every Investor Makes and How To Avoid Them – A Review

Peter Mallouk, JD, MBA, CFP, is a financial advisor who wrote an excellent book called The 5 Mistakes Every Investor Makes and How To Avoid Them. It’s not quite a high level book like Retire Secure! that I reviewed recently on the blog. It is a lower level book appropriate as a first investing book. But if that’s what you need, it ranks right up there with anything by Ferri, Bernstein, or Swedroe. In his … Continue reading

Debt-free vs $430K

[Editor’s Note: This guest post grew out of an email interaction I had with a regular reader who is a member of a two physician couple. I was surprised to hear that while she had zero debt, he had a rather large amount of debt and thought it would be an interesting story to juxtapose the two. He has elected to remain anonymous. We have no financial relationship.] It’s no secret that it is expensive … Continue reading

Multiple Roth IRA Conversion Strategy

My April column in Physician’s Money Digest is on a strategy that isn’t particularly new, but if you haven’t heard of it, then it is new to you. I frequently am asked to write something about Roth conversions, and this article gave me a chance to cover them in general, but also the multiple Roth/recharacterization strategy used by more and more people ever year. Here’s an excerpt: The main benefit of a Roth conversion is … Continue reading

9 Ways to Expand Your Roth Space

Roth accounts (IRAs, 401(k)s, 403(b)s) are awesome, and expanding the size of your Roth accounts is a worthy goal for any investor. Everyone knows that Roth accounts provide for income-tax free withdrawals, but sometimes they forget about the other benefits of a larger Roth- including better asset protection in most states, and two significant estate planning benefits- stretch Roth IRAs (completely tax-free for decades after your death) and the ability to lowerhow the size of … Continue reading

Dual Momentum Investing – A Review

[Editor’s Note: This review is a guest post written by a regular WCI reader, Robert Kanterman, MD, a practicing interventional radiologist. This recently published book on momentum investing has been the subject of much discussion in the comments section of several posts as well as on internet forums. I had not read this book at the time the post was written and edited. We have no financial relationship. Bob also notes that he has no … Continue reading

I’m Losing The Battle

I recently had the opportunity to speak to a large group of emergency physicians. I do this periodically and really enjoy it, especially when it can be combined with me getting some CME and getting some turns in at a world class ski resort. However, it made me a little depressed when I realized just how much more work there is to do out there as far as educating physicians about personal finance and investing. … Continue reading

The Diminishing Benefits of Your 401(k)

Using a 401(k) (or other tax-deferred retirement account) can be a fantastic way to save for retirement. However, who gets the most benefit out of using it? It turns out that the law of diminishing returns definitely applies to 401(k)s. Let me show you what I mean. The Minimal Saver Imagine a doctor who has never saved anything for retirement. He has a 33% marginal tax rate and his employer matches the first $10K he … Continue reading

Financial Aspects of Losing Your Spouse Part 2

[Editor’s Note: This is part 2 of a two-part guest post about what to do when you lose your spouse, at least from a financial perspective. If you missed part 1, go back and read it first. The anonymous (to you) author and I have no financial relationship.] Banks You need to notify all banks in which your spouse maintained accounts of his/her death and provide certified death certificates. Joint accounts are not usually a … Continue reading