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

Tactical Asset Allocation – Pro/Con Series

Lee Sheikh

[Editor's Note: This is another in the popular Pro/Con series. My debate opponent,  Liaquat "Lee" Sheikh, a registered investment advisor, sent me a guest post which listed four methods to increase the risk-adjusted returns of your portfolio. I heartily agreed with two of them- using international stocks and diversifying the portfolio across numerous asset classes. But they've been discussed so many times here, I didn't think they were particularly useful to publish. However, his other … Continue reading

Pay Yourself First – A Review

David A. Burd, CFP, and James S. Hemphill, CFP, CIMA, two financial advisers with TGS Financial Advisors, (no financial relationship, but they did send me a free copy of the book) have written a delightful little book aimed at the graduating resident entitled Pay Yourself First: A Financial Guide For Doctors Entering Practice, not to be confused with several other books with the same title. It is self-published, but well-edited, and just 61 short pages. … Continue reading

How Buy Term And Invest The Rest Really Works

It seems that a number of readers and especially whole life insurance salesmen don’t seem to get how the concept of buying term and investing the rest actually works. I thought I would make a chart, using some of my own data, as well as some projections into the future, that would demonstrate the concept. In the chart above, there are four lines. The purple line, labeled Financial Independence, is the amount of money I … Continue reading

The Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP) Scholarship

Dr. Ellenbecker enjoying his time in Afghanistan

[Editor's note: This is a guest post from long-time blog reader and frequent commenter Beau Ellenbecker, DO, a private practice family practitioner who spent a few years in the Army after accepting an HPSP scholarship to pay for medical school. Similar to me, he has mixed feelings about his decision. In 2007, he wrote an HPSP guide for a student doctor website. He sent me his recent revisions which I thought were worth publishing as … Continue reading

A Pre-Retirement Financial Checklist

West Crack, Tuolumne

[Editor's Note: Sorry about the hassle with the registration with Friday's Post (Retirement Plans- Your Largest Tax Break.) That presentation is now viewable without requiring registration.] My monthly column at Physician’s Money Digest is a pre-retirement financial checklist. I did a recent series on investing in retirement, but this checklist is really designed for someone in their last few years before retirement. It discusses debt management, insurance planning, income planning, estate planning, and even the … Continue reading

Retirement Accounts – Your Biggest Tax Break


The third part in my eight part series for QuantiaMD is now out. This is an audiovisual presentation on retirement accounts, the biggest tax break available to physicians. I just finished replying to dozens, perhaps hundreds, of questions and comments posted on it. It was an enlightening experience. I am constantly amazed at the ridiculously low levels of financial literacy exhibited by physicians, mid-levels, nurses and other well-educated and intelligent professionals. It is terrifying, and … Continue reading

Royalty Based Lending


[Editor's Note: This is a guest post from Howard Klemmer, (hklemmer@cox.net) who is a partner with Royalty Lending Financial Services, LLC. We have no financial relationship. Financial professionals submit guest posts like this both to educate readers about financial products and opportunities, and of course because they hope to build their business by recruiting investors or clients. I always try to ensure these posts are heavy on the education, and light on the sales, but … Continue reading

New Options for Student Loan Refinancing

It’s been nearly a year since I did my first post on student loan refinancing. That page continues to be one of the most frequently visited on the blog. I remember being pretty excited to see anybody refinancing student loans at that point. Over the last year, a few other companies/banks have gotten in on the act. Hopefully this is a growing trend. There have been a lot of growing pains for the companies doing … Continue reading

Dr. Shaq’s Financial Lessons

Shaquille O'Neal

Believe it or not, basketball star Shaquille O’ Neal is a great example of someone who figured out how to turn income into wealth. My August column at ACEP NOW discusses some of the ways he did so, as well as reveals the true secret to becoming wealthy. Here’s an excerpt: Achieving financial independence is remarkably simple: make a lot of money, don’t spend a lot of money, and make the difference between what you … Continue reading

Alternative Thinking: Private Real Estate Investments

[Editor's Note: This is a guest post by Phil Ayres, the Chief Technology Officer for REPSE, a real estate platform not dissimilar from blog sponsor Realty Mogul. This site "helps investors understand their preferences for real estate investment opportunities and match them with project sponsors and developers who have private investment opportunities corresponding to their criteria." While I certainly consider private investments an optional part of your portfolio, there is no doubt that real estate … Continue reading

The Daily Interview and The White Coat Investor


I was recently interviewed on a website called The Daily Interview. The focus of the interview (and the site) is more about how to be successful as a professional blogger than how to invest your money, but there were still lots of great personal finance pearls in it. Here are some excerpts or you can read the whole interview here. It’s extremely common for bloggers to select a popular niche and dig right into it.  … Continue reading

An Index Universal Life Insurance Illustration


An insurance agent who is a “believer” in the value of index universal life insurance recently set me an illustration for what he considered to be the best Index Universal Life Insurance (IUL) policy out there. “Best” was defined as having the best annualized return on the cash value. I thought it might be interesting to look at it. I’ve written before about IULs, and I’m not a big fan. There are a lot of … Continue reading

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