Investing Basics for Physicians With Little Time or Experience, Part II

In Part I, we explored the various types of common retirement and investment accounts, including workplace retirement plans, self-employed retirement plans, and the taxable brokerage account. Today, in Part II, we will explore how to choose funds to occupy those accounts, touching on fees, asset allocation, and asset location (yes, those are two different things), and we’ll touch on real estate. Entire books are written on these topics, so if you’re looking for a deeper dive into some of these topics, please see my recommended book list. This is meant to be a brief overview for the busy professional who […]

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Know Your Enemy: Investing for Retirement

In today’s Saturday Selection, I’ve got a classic selection from The White Coat Investor. It should come as no surprise to you that succesful investing requires you to vanquish several enemies. If you don’t know who they are, you’re unlikely to win, and you may have a tough time realizing the retirement you’ve envisioned and deserve. While Dr. Jim Dahle alludes to a fourth enemy in a way, he deosn’t exactly call him or her out. Instead, he calls out “Bob,” the neighborhood chatterbox who always seems to be doing better than you. The fourth enemy? It’s not Bob; it’s […]

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Money is Everything

Grand Hotel Mackinac

I have a difficult time understanding the level of apathy that so many people have towards money. Apathy may not be the best word. People do seem to care about money and they certainly want more, but I don’t see a lot of people making the wise and sometimes difficult choices that will help them actually grow their money and achieve financial independence. My wife and I were talking about this very thing. I was talking about people wasting money in pointless ways and she said “a lot of people just don’t care about money.”  I guess not, but how […]

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529 Plans: What You Need to Know About College Savings Plans

529 Plan MN

Shortly after our children were born, we started 529 plans to get a head start on college savings. Before they could walk or talk, these lucky kids had thousands of dollars invested in a tax-advantaged account with many years for that money to compound before they might need it.   I say “lucky” because the vast majority of kids don’t have a 529 plan. Greater than 97% of families in the United States don’t use them, which is a shame, because these accounts are an excellent way to pre-fund at least a portion of a child’s future education. There are […]

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Financial Independence Should Be Part of the Medical Trainee’s Curriculum

Physician Ledger

What were you taught about money in school? How about after school? How did you learn about money? If you answered “next to nothing,” “next to nothing,” and “I learned from my own mistakes,” you’re in excellent company. That’s the route many of us have taken, and I think our financial education is in need of an overhaul. The Physician Philosopher agrees with me, and he goes a step further to state that not only financial literacy, but also financial independence should be part of the curriculum. I’ve expressed my opinion that FI can be useful in fighting burnout, but […]

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Would You Quit Your Job as a Lottery Winner? How Financial Independence is Like Winning the Lottery

lottery winner

She watches with anticipation as the numbers pop up on the screen. 3. Her daughter’s age 12, 16. She was born on December 16th! 26. Her age when she graduated medical school and got married. 33. Her current age and the fifth of her lucky numbers. This is really happening. Just one number to go… 11! This one goes to eleven! She figured if she didn’t win the lottery, she could live on half her takehome pay and be financially independent in about 11 more years. But that won’t be necessary. She won the lottery! She really won!* A lottery […]

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Rebalancing Your Portfolio: Why, When, and How

You’ve decided on the perfect asset allocation for you. It matches your risk tolerance, preference for domestic versus international equities, and the numbers, as expressed in percentages, are perfect multiples of ten. You’ve got a spreadsheet to automatically track and calculate those percentages. 60, 20, 10, 10. It all adds up. Then the market does what the market does and it’s all fouled up. 58, 21, 13, 8. No!!!! All is not lost. You can rebalance. Dr. Jim Dahle explains why you might want to do that (besides making the numbers look proper again), when you might want to do […]

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Financial Freedom for Millennials

It’s a great time to be alive, and it’s a great time to become aware of the role your money will play in your life. The number of resources available to you is growing by the day. Today, I’ll be highlighting two excellent resources for millennials with an interest in financial freedom. The first is a playbook to guide you to financial independence from a millennial who has achieved it. The second is a play-by-play memoir from a millennial who discovered the concept and made drastic life changes to make financial freedom a realistic possibility. Personally, I’m a relatively young […]

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The Sunday Best (2/3/2019)

The Sunday Best is a collection of articles I’ve curated for your reading pleasure. Expect most of the writing to be from recent weeks and consistent with the themes presented on this website: investing & taxes, financial independence, early retirement, and physician issues.   Presenting, this week’s Sunday Best:   As we’ve done before, The White Coat Investor, Passive Income MD, and I got together to answer a slew of readers’ questions. We had a great time recording An Interview with Physician on Fire and Passive Income MD – Podcast #90, and I hope you enjoy listening! We’ll stick with WCI […]

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How The White Coat Investor’s Children Will Pay for Their College

I got skin in the game I got a household name I got news for you baby, you’re looking at the man   -The Killers   Dr. Jim Dahle has become a household name in certain circles. In this niche of personal finance information for physicians, you could say he is “The Man.” The man is here to say that he wants his kids to have some skin in the game when it comes to paying for their college education and beyond. Like me, he’s investing in 529 Plans for each of his children, but he also expects them to […]

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Top 10 Financial New Year’s Resolutions to Make (and Keep) in 2019

Happy New Year! Have you made your New Year’s Resolutions yet? If you said yes, have you broken your New Year’s Resolutions yet? I usually wait until mid-to-late January to break mine, but I I’d like to give you some achievable New Year’s Resolutions that you can keep. Each of these ten items will help you improve your financial situation, and most of them are something you can do, check off the list, and move on. I’m not asking you to make any drastic changes in habits, like my good-beer-loving friend across the pond who’s giving up beer for a […]

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The Sunday Best (12/23/2018)

The Sunday Best

The Sunday Best is a collection of articles I’ve curated for your reading pleasure. Expect most of the writing to be from recent weeks and consistent with the themes presented on this website: investing & taxes, financial independence, early retirement, and physician issues.     Presenting, this week’s Sunday Best:   The Leisure Freak‘s been early retired for nine years. Nine Years! And just after the markets had plummeted in 2009. Nine years of spending didn’t quite match up with the anticipated budget. My Early Retirement Spending Miscalculation. It’s Less Than Expected.   Fritz Gilbert of The Retirement Manifesto hasn’t even been […]

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Is It Better to Invest for Cash Flow or Appreciation?

Cashflow or Appreciation

When investing, it’s important to think about your objective. It’s tough to answer the question “Where should I invest my money” without knowing what you hope to achieve. Today, Passive Income MD reviews two of the most common objectives: investing to receive ongoing cash flow and investing in assets that will increase in value. As a W-2 wage earner in the upper tax brackets, I’ve had a strong preference for the latter. Cash flow increases my tax flow, whereas unrealized capital gains from capital appreciation are not taxed now (and may never be taxed). For the time being, I’m in […]

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Tax Loss Harvesting with Vanguard: A Step by Step Guide

When the stock market hiccups, as it is known to do from time to time, you may have one of several common reactions. What?!? I just lost 10% of my net worth. This is horrible! Meh. A 10% market correction happens in most years. It will bounce back. Eventually. Cool! Let’s see what I can tax loss harvest.   The stock market is volatile, and it’s not unusual to see downward swings of 5% to 10% in a few days’ time. While seeing several years’ worth of spending erased from your balance sheet is less than awesome, you’re invested for […]

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2018 Q3 PoF Portfolio, Spending, and Blog Performance Update

With another quarter in the books, it’s time for a quarterly update on my investment portfolio, family spending, and blog stats. It’s the 11th quarter since I started this website, and I’m within 11 months of wrapping up what I believe will be my last “permanent” position in anesthesia. It was also the last quarter of part-time work before returning to full-time anesthesia for the rest of the year. With one of my colleagues departing for a military obligation, I agreed to step up my hours. After learning that he won’t be returning to us, we’re looking at bringing in […]

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Track Your Financial Goals with Four Key Measurements

Today’s Saturday Selection from The White Coat Investor gives you four key benchmarks to track while working to achieve your financial goals. Whether you’re trying to get out debt, save up for a big purchase like a trip, house, or boat, or achieve financial independence, tracking these four key measurements will help you achieve those goals. We wish you success in achieving whatever goals you’ve set! As always, this article originally appeared on The White Coat Investor.   Question: I am an emergency physician who recently completed residency. How can I make sure I am as successful in my finances as […]

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Christopher Guest Post: Chief Mom Officer

Welcome to another edition of the Christopher Guest Post! Today’s guest is a female breadwinner you may already know as the Chief Mom Officer. She’s a hard-working mother of three who somehow finds the time to share her wisdom on her eponymous site, Chief Mom Officer. While she is not a physician, she does have a six-figure income and has been an investment junkie since her teenage years. Now she’s raising teenagers of her own (and a three-year old) while juggling family with professional and blog life. You may recall her guest post here last month entitled Overcoming Obstacles to […]

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Six Financial Considerations for Mid-Career Professionals

Today’s Saturday Selection from The White Coat Investor focuses on people like me. Or more accurately, physicians about my age, but the messages apply broadly to mid-career professionals from any career path. Mid-career may come sooner in non-medical professions, but the considerations remain the same. The typical mid-career professional is probably in his or her forties or early fifties. She might have a decade or more under her belt and a decade or more to go. While there isn’t anything out of the ordinary about the finances of these docs, the advice aimed at the newbies and the near-retirees don’t […]

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