Why Bother With Bonds – A Review

Author Rick Van Ness, an engineer and businessman by training who is now a retired executive on a mission to increase financial literacy, recently published his second book, Why Bother With Bonds and has sent me several copies to give away to you good readers. Rick is a far better man than I, as his entire enterprise, unlike this website, is completely not for profit. In fact, he was giving the Kindle version away for … Continue reading

How to Interview an Investment Adviser

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Aziz Lalljee, the Co-founder and Co-CEO of Finom, a start-up company based in Chicago that provides online information about various financial advisers, attempting to match investors up with advisers who would be a good fit. All rated advisers are independent and fee-only fiduciaries. Like this one, the site and its services are free to investors, but it obviously isn’t free to the advisers who pay referral fees. … Continue reading

The 10 Worst Places To Get Investing Advice

If measured by volume (either definition), the vast majority of investing advice out there is terrible. In the spirit of David Letterman’s Top 10 Countdowns, here are the ten worst places to get investing advice. # 10 Unsolicited emails Have you looked at your email junk folder lately? Aside from ads for Viagra, genital enlargement pills, and x-rated material, there are plenty of “hot stock tips,” usually for penny stock pump and dump schemes. Trust … Continue reading

Thoughts on Bonds at the End of 2014

I had a request recently for a post on bonds. Q. I have been reading a ton on your site and some of the investing books you recommended and much of the emphasis is on the equity side of investing. Would you consider a post on bond value fluctuations? I remember from some of your posts mentioning the good bond returns in 2008. Are there “seasons” where bond returns are higher than their bottom of … Continue reading

How To Compare Disability Insurance Contracts

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Joshua Thompson, CFP, EA, who has his own financial planning firm in Tampa, FL.  In this post, he explains how to use a valuing system to compare various disability insurance contracts you may be considering. We have no financial relationship.] Wearing dual hats as an advisor and as the spouse of an OB-GYN, I specialize in physician-specific financial needs, but I also have to evaluate for personal … Continue reading

Presentation on the Safe Withdrawal Rate

The concept of a safe withdrawal rate is important for anyone planning for retirement with or without a financial planner. It helps you to make estimates of how much you might need for retirement and gives a reasonable guideline for how much you can spend each year while expecting your money to last. I did a recent audiovisual presentation on QuantiaMD explaining this concept. This is # 5 in my series of eight presentations there … Continue reading

How To Buy Disability Insurance

I publish lots of guest posts about disability insurance. There are a lot of frequently changing details in this area, so it’s tough for me to keep up to date since I don’t sell the policies nor have access to all the information that a good independent agent does. However, every now and then it’s good to write an article about it if for no other reason than to provide an opinion on these expensive … Continue reading

The Case for Real Estate as an Asset Class

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Lawrence Fassler, the general Counsel of Realty Mogul, Co., a real estate crowdfunding company that has previously purchased advertising on the site. In this post, he uses the term “commercial real estate” to refer to all types of investment real estate (single family homes, apartment buildings, strip malls etc,) not just commercial properties.] My company specializes in bringing to accredited investors opportunities in commercial real estate, a … Continue reading

Four Reasons to Avoid Individual Municipal Bonds

My November column in Physicians Money Digest gives several reasons why I think it is usually a better idea to use a good, low-cost municipal bond fund or funds rather than trying to pick individual municipal bonds yourself or hiring an advisor to do it for you. Here’s an excerpt: Municipal bonds are attractive to many physician and other high income investors because their dividends are usually federal income tax-free and sometimes even state income … Continue reading

Living Rich by Spending Smart – A Review

A reader recommended Gregory Karp’s Living Rich by Spending Smart to me. It is a great read and very useful for anyone having trouble saving 20%+ of their gross income. I cannot recommend the introduction and second chapter more highly. Unless your main financial issue is overcoming your cheapskate ways, you need to read those. Here are some gems that explain the book’s philosophy: Spending smart is the only way to get out of debt … Continue reading

Moonlighting vs IBR, PAYE, and PSLF: A Student Loan Showdown

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest blog post written by Ramsey Tate, MD. She is currently a fellow and shares tools on personal finance and productivity for women in medicine at Call Me Dr. We have no financial relationship.] Residency and fellowship are a long slog through penury. The light at the end of the tunnel seems awfully far away when you look at the mismatch between your student loan debt and your resident paycheck. … Continue reading

Backdoor Roth IRA Presentation

Sometimes I wonder if I write too often about the Backdoor Roth IRA. Then I see the results of my recent poll where I asked how many of my readers were actually doing a Backdoor Roth IRA. The results were very encouraging, but there is still room for improvement among physicians in general, especially when you realize these are the numbers for those who are really tuned in to personal finance and investing (i.e. those … Continue reading

Qualified Personal Residence Trusts

My October submission to Physicians Money Digest is all about Qualified Personal Residence Trusts (QPRT). Most of you won’t need one of these, but some of you might find it useful, especially if you live in an expensive part of the country. Some high-net-worth physicians may end up with what I call an “estate tax problem,” although the percentage of physicians likely to have this issue is dramatically lower than it used to be. The … Continue reading

Deducting Mileage vs Actual Expenses

[Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from a physician and regular reader named Alex, who wanted to share some of his insights regarding the deduction of vehicle expenses.  At any rate, it’s a good post and we don’t have any financial relationship.] Have you ever wondered what is the most tax-efficient way to deduct your vehicle for business purposes? Is it more profitable to deduct mileage or actual expenses? The Mileage Method When using … Continue reading

The 6 “Catches” of Section 79 Plans

Doctors hate to pay taxes. Insurance agents love to sell insurance. Combine the two with a tax deduction the IRS offers to encourage employers to offer some life insurance to their employees and you end up with situations like Section 79 plans. The Pitch The basic pitch behind section 79 plans is the opportunity to buy cash value life insurance using pre-tax dollars. The returns on cash value life insurance tend to be low, but … Continue reading