Not All Who Wander Are Lost Part 2

[Editor's Note: Yesterday, Dr. Mom, a regular WCI reader and commenter who wishes to remain anonymous, shared her family's financial journey to relative wealth. Today, she continues her post with some tips for readers. We have no financial relationship.] Now that you have had a chance to comment on our financial lives, here are the points that are most important to me.  They are vastly more personal than financial.  Remember that in personal finance, the … Continue reading

Not All Who Wander Are Lost Part 1

Not all those who wander are lost... The crownless again shall be king

[Editor's Note: This is the first post of a two part guest post from frequent blog commenter "Dr. Mom," a female physician who wishes to maintain her anonymity for now. The title is hers, and since I like Tolkien at least as much as she does, I kept it. We have no financial relationship.] This guest post is in response to requests from several regular blog readers.  WCI was gracious enough to humor them and … Continue reading

Backdoor Roth IRAs and Why You Should Be Funding Them

back doors

My most recent ACEP NOW column concerns the Backdoor Roth IRA. It takes a while to wrap your head around this one, so I don’t mind addressing the subject multiple times. I’m still getting emails, forum posts, and blog comments every week with good questions about the Backdoor Roth. If you’re an attending physician, and not already funding one of these for yourself and your spouse, you’re probably making a mistake. Here’s an excerpt: The … Continue reading

Top 6 Reasons People Bail Out In A Bear Market

AK bear

It has been a long time since our last bear market. There is now a decent percentage of investors, particularly young physicians, who did not experience it personally. There is really no better gauge for your risk tolerance than what you actually did during the last bear market. If you weren’t investing then, I suggest you err on the conservative side when setting your asset allocation. Far better to be a little less aggressive (especially … Continue reading

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