8 Reasons Why You Should Invest With Mutual Funds Instead Of A Variable Annuity

Savannah Headstones

Today’s Saturday Selection is a classic post from The White Coat Investor. In the post, he outlines the numerous ways investing in plain old mutual funds beats a variable annuity. I obviously agree with the good doctor. Half of my investments are in passive index funds in a taxable account. Zero percent of my nest egg is tied up in a variable annuity, or any type of life insurance product for that matter. As per usual, this post originally appeared at the WCI network partner site The White Coat Investor. Variable annuities (VA) are an insurance product that is best […]

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The Story of Dr. Moneybags

Today’s post is a guest post rom Tom @ High Income Parents. A fellow anesthesiologist and father of five, he has burst onto the blogging scene in the last few months with some wonderful and relevant posts for high income families.     A number of his articles have landed on the pages of The Sunday Best, and his writing was featured yesterday in a guest post @ The White Coat Investor. I encourage you to check him out! Now, please tell us a story, Dr. Tom.   The following is a dramatization. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents […]

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Case Report: Roth or Traditional Contributions for a Low Six-Figure Household

Most of my writing is directed at physician households, and most (attending) full-time physician households have solid six-figure salaries. In a well-compensated specialty or with a dual income, it’s not unusual for a household to have income of $500,000 or more. However, not all of my readers are in that position. Some are students or residents. A resident couple will make $100,000 to $120,000. A PA or NP may have a similar salary, as will many different combinations of individual or dual income households. Today’s post was inspired by a reader who has a low six-figure household income. Six figures, yes, […]

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A Vanguard Three Fund Portfolio Just Got Cheaper!

Vanguard, the brokerage company that gave the world its first passive index fund in 1976, has been a low cost leader for over forty years. The firm has been known to have the lowest cost passive index funds, but recent moves by Fidelity and Schwab actually undercut Vanguard’s fees on a few popular funds. The other day, Vanguard announced it had lowered its fees on those key funds that make up the three fund portfolio, while also lowering its fees on a mere 164 other funds this year. The move makes Vanguard’s funds equal to or cheaper than Fidelity’s, but not […]

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The State of Real Estate Crowdfunding

Today’s post is a guest post from Soren Godbersen of EQUITYMULTIPLE, a crowdfunding commercial real estate investment company. The company is not a site sponsor, but I do have an affiliate partnership with them (if you invest with them via a link from this site, the site earns money).  I personally have not made crowdfunded real estate investments like my friends The White Coat Investor and Passive Income MD have, but the deals will start to look more attractive as my income drops and tax treatment of such deals will improve in the coming years. -PoF. Soren, the floor is […]

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2017 Q1 PoF Portfolio, Spending, and Blog Performance Update

Another quarter has come and gone, and I thought it would be a fine time to update you on my portfolio, the markets in general, and some facts and figures regarding the blog.   PoF Portfolio Update   I haven’t made any significant changes to my investment portfolio. I have added a solo 401(k), which gets a portion of website profits. The account represents 0.15% of the overall portfolio.     My taxable account has TLH (tax loss harvest) trading partners VFIAX (S&P 500) and VTSAX (total stock market). The international funds are also TLH partners, although not ideal, since one […]

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Debunking The Myths Of Whole Life Insurance

Saturday Selection: Debunking The Myths Of Whole Life Insurance This classic post originally appeared on The White Coat Investor.   There are more than 400,000 insurance agents in this country, and almost all of them would love to sell you a whole life insurance policy.  If you buy a policy with premiums of $40,000 per year, the commission would typically be somewhere between $20,000 and $44,000 for that agent. As you might imagine, that commission can be highly motivating, especially given the median insurance agent income of $47,000.  To make matters worse, many of the worst policies offer the highest commissions. As […]

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Top 5 Reasons This Physician Holds $500,000 in Cash

Minnesota 51 Iowa 14

Today’s Top 5 list is a guest post from VagabondMD, a late-career interventional radiologist who has been a regular reader here, and a frequent contributor of wisdom on the WCI forum. In his early fifties, he is looking forward to reducing his workload to part-time status this fall. Take it away, VagabondMD!  Top 5 Reasons I Keep a Half Million Dollars Under My Mattress*   (* my wife asked me to add here that we really do not keep any money under the mattress. None at all. Really.)   It is personal finance dogma to maintain a liquid (i.e. cash) […]

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Revisiting and Revising the Investor Policy Statement

Lego Pet Town

A year ago, I published a post with an authorative, almost demanding title: You Need an Investor Policy Statement. Did you listen? Or even hear me? Most likely not, as my readership then was a fraction of what it is now. Either way, I encourage you to go back and consider the original post. While you may not need an IPS, this simple document will help you define your goals and the strategies you intend to implement to achieve stated goals. An IPS is a set of guiding principles. Asset allocation is a vital piece, and if you don’t have an IPS, this […]

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Plan Bs, Redundancies, and Contingencies

I woke up to a cool house a couple weeks ago. Not the “hey man, cool house!” type of cool (well, actually, yeah, it is) but I’m referring to the air temperature in this instance. It wasn’t ice cold, but rather chilly, so I put on another layer and waited for the furnace to do its thing. The furnace did not do its thing. It was 10 a.m., the thermostat was set to 69° F, and it was 61° in the house. Air was coming out of the registers. Cool, 61 degree air. The furnace was out. I didn’t freak out. […]

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Top 5 Reasons to Front-Load Your Investments

amana front loading washer

As January comes to a close, it’s a great idea to explore what it means to “front-load” your investments, and why you should do so if you can. To front-load is to invest a lump sum of money early on, as opposed to dollar cost averaging over a longer period of time. Typically, we’re talking about investing as much as you can afford in the beginning months of the year, although there are other ways to front-load, as we’ll discuss in reason number four. Note that front-loading has nothing to do with a front-end load, which is a fee paid up […]

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From 28 Funds to 3: Simplifying to a Three Fund Portfolio

In real life, I don’t talk about money with many people, but there is one retired couple that I discuss dollars with rather freely. In recent years, as I’ve broached the subject of early retirement, they’ve taken a little more interest in what I’m doing, and have taken a closer look at what they’ve been doing. As you might know, I am a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) investor. The man in the couple I’m talking about is a DIY master in many ways. He repairs things. He designs things. He builds things. Then he remodels them. He built a complete 24′ by 30′ workshop for […]

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Vanguard Backdoor Roth: a Step by Step Guide

This year, I made my fifth pair of “Backdoor Roth” contributions with Vanguard. If you’ve heard of the Backdoor Roth, that’s great! You’ve been paying attention. If not, I’ll give you a brief overview, and a number of links to additional articles with more complete descriptions of the history and important caveats. I want this site to be a source of both good information and quality, relevant resources. I won’t re-invent the wheel of cheese, but I will cut you off a slice by walking you through the steps, complete with screen shots. I’ll also show you one goof that I made, and […]

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PoF Portfolio Returns: How Did We Fare in 2016?

A new year is upon us, and I can’t think of a better time to look back and take stock of what we’ve got in the portfolio and analyze its performance. 2016 saw its share of highs and lows. We dealt with the lingering threat of raising interest rates from historic lows. There was the Brexit vote, which rocked the markets for about a week, then completely blew over. We had a vote of our own in November that had profound effects on the markets. After it looked like the bottom was falling out in the overnight futures, the markets recovered […]

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My Money Is Worth More Than Your Money

Sam Adams picture

No, Kate and Andrew, I’m not talking about your loony Canadian dollar. Nor am I referring to the measly seventy cents or so that the New Zealand and Australian dollars are now worth. This article has nothing to do with exchange rates. Although, friends, it is true that my money is worth more than yours. Today’s post is focused on the value of the American dollar in various retirement accounts. While I have seen a few very detail-oriented people adjust their net worth based on where their money is held, most of us — myself included — just add up […]

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DAF Giving Tutorial from Fidelity and Vanguard Charitable

One of my goals when I started this site was to inspire. Inspiration is a lofty goal, and a loaded word, but charitable giving is one area where I love to see others follow my lead. A month ago, I shared the news of my gift of $100,000 with you, and I am happy to report that several of you were indeed inspired to contribute handsomely to newly founded donor advised funds (DAFs) of your own. Via the comments section and e-mail, I heard from at least five readers, two of whom also reported giving $100,000. One of those five readers, a young man […]

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What You Don’t Know CAN Hurt You

Ka'anapali beach

I’ve learned so much about life and money in the last couple years. When I look back to mid-November, 2014, I was entirely unaware of the world of personal finance blogs. If someone were to mention MMM, I’d assume they were either referring to the Minnesota Mining & Manufacturing company (also known as 3M) or maybe the similarly named delicious chocolate with the thin candy shell. Late November that year, I would discover Mr. Money Mustache, and within a couple months, The White Coat Investor. I would read more books, put my investments under the microscope, and start making projections […]

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Which Costs More: A 10% Tithe or a 1% Account Fee?

A few weeks ago, I was asked by a reader to consider writing about the financial impact of charitable giving on wealth building. I was hesitant. While I believe in charity — I’ve pledged to donate half of this blog’s profits — the inescapable fact is that parting with money decreases wealth. Greed Trumps generosity when it comes to financial gain. I let the idea simmer on the back burner for a few weeks. How could I write this post without looking like a cold-hearted jerk who wants you to hoard your money? That’s not me! I absolutely believe you can […]

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