State Of The Blog 2014

medical student loan refinancing

A large percentage of my regular readers have been following The White Coat Investor for less than a year.  You have probably noticed that full disclosure of financial conflicts of interest are important to me.  It is nearly impossible to run any kind of financial business, including this blog, without having a financial conflict of interest.  I cannot eliminate them and run a for-profit business at the same time, so I choose to disclose them and let you take that information into account when evaluating the information you read here.  As part of this effort, each year I disclose how I make money on this site in my annual “State Of The Blog address.”  If you are interested, you can read the 2012 report and the 2013 report.

Thank you!

The first order of business is to thank you, my loyal readers.  Thank you for taking the time to read something some yea-hoo put up on the internet.  Thank you for the thousands of emails, comments, guest posts, poll responses, and ideas.  I am grateful for the many people who took the time to show appreciation for the time and effort put into this site.  I also appreciate the many polite criticisms and corrections.  Sometimes we simply disagree, but occasionally I make an error and am able to correct it thanks to your help so I don’t lead too many people astray for too long.  Thank you also for supporting those who support the site by purchasing advertisements.  I hope to provide the advertisers with good value for their money by connecting helpful professionals with those who need their services.

Productivity

In 2011 I managed 162 posts and pages.  I added 134 in 2012, and another 206 this year.  The website currently consists of 42 pages and 460 posts.  There are over 6000 comments now on the blog, over 3500 from just this year, and that’s not counting thousands and thousands of spam comments you never see.  I apologize that my spam filter only catches 99% of it so those of you who “subscribe to comments” see a few of them in your email box.

Visitors

Insuring-Income-250x250-bannerViewership has increased from 5500 unique people per month in 2011, to 23,500 in 2012, and now to a whopping 36,400 in 2013.  Pageviews have also increased from 21,000 to 85,000 and now to over 143,000 per month.  RSS/Email readers have increased from 163 to 729 to 1477.  Newsletter readership has increased from 599 to 1,353.

Blog Finances

I have become much better at running a business this year compared to last, and made more money as a reward for that.  Increased visibility and viewership helped with that goal.  I was able to write off my entire gross income (~$1000) in 2011, but had a net profit of $6,749 in 2012.  This year I did quite a bit better, with the blog providing me the equivalent of about a month’s pay for a typical physician.  Here is where my income came from in 2013:

Income

  • Privately Placed Advertisements — $20,119
  • Google Ads — $1930
  • Amazon Affiliate Program — $1266
  • Other Affiliate Programs — $874
  • Writing and speaking fees — $3900
  • Surveys — $270
  • Tips from readers — $20
  • Total — $28,379

Expenses

  • Paypal fees (allows me to take credit cards) — $506
  • Internet — $733
  • Cell Phone — $1052
  • Hosting/Domain — $149.39
  • Business Registration — $70
  • Books — $160
  • Conference and travel expenses — $2,313
  • Other expenses — $154
  • Total Expenses — $5,167

Net Business Income — $23,212

My financial goal for the year was a profit of $12,000, which I obviously exceeded.  This year I will be aiming for $30,000.  It might seem like a modest increase, but I’m not planning on spending more time on it than I did this year.

What’s Coming Up in 2014


I plan to continue to publish 3 posts a week this year.  If I can get enough high quality posts, I’ll try to publish one guest post per week from readers or financial professionals.  If you’d like to submit one, here are the guidelines.  I will also continue popular series such as the Pro/Con series, the Friday Q&A series, and the Back to Basics series.  The biggest news for 2014 is my upcoming book newsletter readers already know about.  Thanks to the feedback from dozens of you, it is taking a little longer to publish than I had originally planned, but it will be far better than the original manuscript.  I’ve added 5 chapters, expanded others, corrected errors, and clarified many points.  I’m hoping to have it available on Amazon in about a month.  Subscribe to the FREE monthly newsletter to stay up to date on this project, as well as get information not published on the blog, including a market report and links to all the best physician related finance stuff on the internet.  If you’re not already following the blog via RSS/Email, you can sign up here.

Have a Happy New Year!

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Comments

State Of The Blog 2014 — 28 Comments

  1. Thanks for the great blog. I appreciate every post (even if I personally disagree with some) because it allows for some rich discussion with our financial advisor. Because of your website I feel I have a much firmer understanding of the financial nuances unique to a physician group of individuals. Keep up the good work.

        • Depending on what service you use you might be able to switch to AirVoice (AT&T MNVO) or PagePlus (Verizon MNVO) and get a similar plan for cheaper while using the same network. It take a just a bit of effort to get your phone switched over successfully, but the savings can add up. I’m in the process of switching to AirVoice now.

  2. Congratulations on your financial success! I am very happy for you, and wish you continued success for 2014 and beyond. Medicine has become a grind, and finding additional sources of income has become almost a necessity. I have read your posts regularly since the CNN article featured your website a while back. Looking forward to more great content!

  3. The site keeps getting better all the time, I for one am glad it’s providing you with some returns. I guess the real question remains, is all the work you must do to keep it running only ~ a month of your time, or is the blog still “charity care” (aka donating your time for the betterment of society)? :)

    • There are certainly elements of charity still involved! That said, the best job you’ll ever have is the one you’d be willing to do for free.

      Some of my biggest dilemmas are actually involved in accepting advertisers. For example, a reader searching for an adviser pointed out that a financial adviser who advertises with me isn’t a CFP, which I often recommend. While it was easy to point out that there are exceedingly few advisers out there available at a fair price who meet all of my recommendations, comments like that keep me on my toes to make sure I’m not selling out readers to make a buck.

  4. Thanks for the blog. I will attempt to encourage viewership amongst my residency program.

    Still looking forward to your continued expansion on topics, particularly asset protection and non-traditional investments.

  5. Thanks for the blog. I know it takes a lot of your time to do it because you are not just writing opinion. Your posts are backed with facts and figures. I appreciate that you are willing to discuss mistakes as well as successes.

  6. WCI, thank you very much for your interest and dedication to the world of finance for busy working professionals. I applaud your success and hope for more in the future. I have been following and contributing to your blog almost since the beginning. Even though I have earned my MBA, your blog has been at least as influential on our family finances. I will continue telling my friends and family what a great reference and forum you have produced. Thank you and Happy New Year!

  7. I, too, appreciate all the time and effort you put into the site. I appreciate your disclosures and find your financial reporting of the blog interesting and is reflective of your high standards for the site. You deserve every penny of it. I would guess it is only a fraction of what you have/will help others save over their life times. Good luck in 2014 and with the book. Thanks!

  8. Thank you for another fantastic year. I have been following your blog since its start and have appreciated the guidance. It’s great that you are finally earning a return on the blog. I wish you a great 2014…

    I would also like to request some more material pertaining to readers that are finishing residency/fellowship. Articles focused on practice settings, important first financial steps, ect…

    Thanks again!

  9. As a 4th year medical student planning on having an income next year I have found your blog extremely helpful and it has helped me avoid one mistake already of over-paying a financial adviser. Thanks.

  10. Congrats on the success of this site, and thanks a million for the path you set me on. Because of you I have devoted hours learning about taxes and proper asset allocation. I regularly pass on your site to physicians. I hope you are able to turn this business more profitable than your clinical shifts. Good luck!

    • That’s kind of a backhanded compliment. I hate to think I’ve made anyone spend hours learning about anything so boring as taxes!

      I’ve had a few opportunities to turn the business into something more profitable than clinical shifts, but haven’t found the right one yet. While it is fun to make money (not that fun since nearly every dollar I made went into a Solo 401K), the mission is far more important to me.

      • Let me rephrase my compliment. You have saved me tons of time looking for answered and steered my in the right direction for building wealth. Between the books you have recommended and bogleheads.org

        Its kinda funny, but I kinda enjoy learning about the tax code. Its boring but its not. Not to mention no accountant can understand my financial situation and expenditures better than me, and therefor I probably should be doing my own taxes with an accountant consult. You stated I need to have 2 jobs. Physician and financial advisor. I would like to think I am pretty damn good physician I want to be just as good as a financial advisor. I’m sure I still have a lot to learn

  11. Hi WCI,

    Congratulations on your continued achievements and I wish you even more success in 2014 and beyond.

    I don’t know if these kinds of comments help but let me list my three favorite WCI posts of all time:

    1. Percentage of Current Income Needed in Retirement. I let out a sigh after I read this one. I am currently spending 35% in taxes, 24% saving and 16% on housing (75% total) and am living on 25%.
    When I retire, I won’t be saving, my housing should be paid off and my taxes should be much lower than the 35% I paid.

    2. How Much a Financial Advisor can Cost You. Those simple graphs have saved me millions! If one day, I have the chance to meet you, I will buy you a beer.

    3. Safe Savings Rate: although the graph is from Pfau, I can easily estimate that since I will work for 30y and be in retirement for 30y, I need to save about 17% of my annual income to maintain a standard of living with 50% of my current income. And then I can easily adjust if I feel like I will work less.

  12. Great Job! This is the best practical investing information I have found on the internet. Also thanks for posting the numbers about traffic and income. Very interesting!

  13. Agree with all the positive comments! This blog is literally the most useful tool I have found to become a more competent captain of my financial ship.
    Thanks for all your hard work, and congrats on your well-deserved success.
    The checklist for a new attending ought to be required reading for every resident!

  14. I’m a dentist, 2.5 years into private practice. If I knew about your blog a year and a half ago, I would have saved around $6000 in IUL and whole life premiums. I managed to fend off the first attempt to sell me whole life, but still felt like I needed a professional to tell me how to manage my money. That caused me to seek out a legitimate financial adviser, and I ended up getting sold an IUL for myself and smaller WL policies for myself and my wife by a financial adviser (a guy who is a fiduciary and a CFP for what it’s worth) who just coincidentally happens to be a patient of my practice. I started to feel like something wasn’t quite right a little over a month ago and ended up on your blog.
    Your posts on the various forms of cash value life insurance have been eye-opening. The series on whole life myths could have been a list of the sales tactics I fell for. I even read a book that my adviser gave me to “educate” me (The Retirement Miracle, by Patrick Kelly) that your site has helped me to realize was complete snake oil. Thanks for helping me see the light and realize that my finances aren’t some special case that requires an insurance product that I don’t understand.

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