I get a lot of thank you notes by email and in the comments. After four years of blogging, I thought I’d start keeping track of the more interesting stories and notes people send me, so I’ll occasionally be adding them here:
First of all I want to thank you for what you do. It’s because of you that so many thousands of professionals have a firmer grasp of personal finance and the steps they need to take to ensure fiscal health. I first got turned on to your blog a few months ago by a colleague, and the knowledge I have gained as a result is beyond measure. Here’s an example of how I personally have benefited.
As many others, I am a victim of unscrupulous financial planners. Toward the end of my residency in Anesthesiology, we were approached by a couple of financial advisors who had arranged to hold a seminar/sales pitch at our hospital after hours. How they were even allowed to do this is beyond me, but there they were, extolling the virtues of their services as “specialists in physician financial management”. Wanting to get started on retirement planning, but not having a plan in place, I signed on. And there began the pouring of my money into high load mutual funds and life insurance. The funny thing is, from the beginning, I never fully trusted them, and constantly wondered if their guidance was really in my best interest. But with my complete lack of financial literacy, I wasn’t able to validate those suspicions.
Worse, I didn’t even know how to go about investigating the question! And anytime I did manage to feebly inquire why they had me in these high cost mutual funds with 5% loads at Fidelity, they always had slick (and confusing) answers that I had no power to comprehend, let alone refute. Then when I had built up enough of a portfolio, they moved me to “cheaper” institutional funds at SEI where each fund had an ER in the 1.5-2.5% range AND an additional 1.1% fee for all AUM.
But, finally, after reading your blog and some of the selected works you recommend, I gained the confidence I needed to dump those advisors, liquidate my funds and move them to Vanguard, and come up with my own asset allocation and investment plan. As a result I’ve already saved hundreds if not thousands in unnecessary fees, and I finally feel like I’m in control of my financial future. Anyway, I know that’s a long story but I wanted to illustrate just how helpful you’ve been to me and I’m sure many others who come out of residency both very competent practitioners and very lousy stewards of their money. NO MORE!
From a military family practitioner:
Thank you so much for taking the time to help me out! It kind of feels like a celebrity just wrote to me… 🙂 Your advice is fantastic…It’s like a fog lifting….You are a lifesaver!…You are quite incredible. You saved who knows how many just at work, and then probably more than you know from your website & book from financial standpoint.
From a resident:
I read this book in 2 days and am truly amazed at the wealth of information. I wish I read this info when I started residency but I’m glad I found it before I finished. My wife is a physician also and after reading through your website we looked at our disability insurance providers and our “financial advisors” and the crappy policies these salespeople provided us.
I feel ashamed that I recommended these service providers to my colleagues thinking that I was being helpful. I will recommend your book to all of my colleagues secure in the knowledge that I am helping my colleagues on their path to financial freedom. Don’t give up on trying to educate your peers. You are changing more lives than you realize!!!
From a 31 year old dentist:
I know you get a ton of these emails but I just wanted to send a note and say thank you for doing what you do! I stumbled across your blog while researching whole life policies. My previous life/disability insurance rep (who I’ve come to learn is a ‘captive’ rep through my studies of your website), was hammering me on WL and trying to get me to convert some of my term policy to WL. He was VERY good at it. Anyway, I was so very close to not only doing this, but also purchasing an additional policy on my newborn child!! Your website was instrumental in helping me avoid this huge mistake. I used it to locate an independent rep through term4sale.com. My new agent not ONLY got me a better, cheaper, longer term policy at a better health rating, but also replaced my disability policy with one that is $1000 a year cheaper for double the income protection. (and yes, I did my due diligence on the disability contract!)In addition to all of this I have learned a tremendous amount on retirement planning and exactly what I need to be doing now while I am relatively young to achieve financial independence. Since finding your blog I’ve begun maxing out my wives’ and my ROTH IRAs, maxing out my 401k, begin maxing out my 457 starting next month, and opened a 529 for my daughter. My wife and I have also begun drafting our wills. I’ve purchased your book and read your blog regularly. Wish I could do more! Keep doing what you are doing, it means a lot!
From a psychiatrist:
Thank you for taking the time to build such a wonderful website and imparting your knowledge for free. Your blog is one of the most informative and motivational websites on the web. Your articles on starting a business have been quite influential, and as a result I’ve gained the confidence to start my own private practice.
From a fellow in Orthopedics:
As I complete my training next month and move into “attendinghood”, I just wanted to take the time to thank you and to tell you how important your website and your book have been to my family and me. Up until 2-3 years ago I knew nothing about personal finance, investing or taxes. My wife and I were expecting a child and we had loans piling up and no emergency fund, life insurance and no financial plan.
Now, I can honestly say I have read 8 books on finance and investing, am a daily reader of your website and am jokingly known as the financial/investing guru to the local fellows and residents when they have questions. I have been recommending your book to every resident/fellow/attending and rotating medical student I have met from Houston to Atlanta as it has impacted my life so much.
From a new attending physician:
I am a fairly new reader of your blog, and just finished your book not too long ago – best $10 I’ve spent in my entire life!
From a Dermatology resident:
I am an intern going into dermatology and I started reading your site [recently.] I had posted several questions about student loan management and disability insurance which you promptly answered. I just wanted to let you know how much your blog has impacted me.
I am married with two kids and have 200k in medical student debt, my husband stays at home with our kids right now and for the foreseeable future. I was so stressed out about cash flow at the beginning of my intern year I put my loans into deferment, was not budgeting well, and ending up paying for groceries on credit. After reading your website, my husband and I bought and read your book and got on the same page about short term and long term goals and a monthly budget. I applied for RePAYE which I was accepted for, and am now paying $84.00/mo, will likely refinance at the end of residency and pay them off within a couple years after graduation. I got both life and disability insurance through [one of your advertisers], and he’s been good to work with. I paid down 4k of credit card debt, and put the remaining 8k on a 0% interest credit card for two years with the goal of paying it down in that time frame (before that I had that entire sum on a card with 14% interest accruing!). And we are saving to savings account and a Roth IRA monthly (a small sum, but it’s still something!).
Anyways, I guess I just feel like I owe you a huge thank you for what you are doing. I…feel like I’m developing some measure of financial literacy for the first time in my life.
From a new intern:
I wanted to email and say thank you. You came to speak to us when I was a fourth year and that set me on a track of learning about investing and investing. You came at just the right time and saved me from buying a whole life policy and paying for bad advice. I was able to find a good level term policy and disability policy from your advice. I’ve since read as much of your blog as I can and your book as well as most of your recommended books. I am on my way to paying off debt and financial independence. Thanks for all the good advice.
From a new attending who just paid off his loans, 7 months out of residency:
Just wanted to express my thanks. I recently graduated from residency in family medicine. Several months ago I was deciding how to start my retirement fund, and I was about to make a big financial mistake by letting a “financial adviser” (insurance salesman) talk me into buying front loaded mutual funds and getting his cut. 1 day before I sent him my money, a residency friend of mine, out of the blue, sent me an email that directed me to your site. And boy, am I glad she did.Within 1 week, I bought your book and read it, and had read about 1/4th of the articles on the site. Still working on the rest (also reading Physician on FIRE and occasionally Mr Money Mustache).Now, 7 months out of residency, I have my student loans completely paid off, and over $30,000 in various retirement accounts using low cost vanguard funds.My wife used to laugh when I would talk about your website with her or my colleagues. Then I showed her the plan to become a millionaire before age 40. It’s a little less funny to her now, and a lot more awesome. In addition, your website has been a big encouragement for our family to tithe/donate more of our income to church and charity. I appreciate this aspect of your site as well.