What I Wish I’d Known at 18: Money Advice For a Graduating Senior

money lessons graduate

Today’s post is a guest post from radiologist Dr. Matthew Morgan of The First Habit. I typically reserve guest posts for Thursdays, but given the timeliness of today’s topic, it didn’t make sense to put this one at the end of the queue. I’ve met Dr. Morgan a couple times now — he happens to live next door to Dr. Jim Dahle of The White Coat Investor, and I’m happy to hear the first of his six children is graduating and leaving the roost. I certainly hope he reads this one and that his father bookmarks it for the next five! […]

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Should You Invest in a Roth or Traditional 401(k)?

When investing in retirement accounts such as a 401(k), or perhaps for you it’s a 403(b), SEP or SIMPLE IRA, or another variety, you will likely be faced with a choice. Do you invest in traditional, tax-deferred manner or make Roth contributions? Maybe both? Whatever you choose, it’s important that you invest. If you’re employed, there’s a good chance you’ll have some matching dollars invested on your behalf. Even without a match, there are wonderful tax advantages to either option, so be sure to invest as much in these accounts as you possibly can. Should You Invest in a Roth […]

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Do You Feel Lucky, Punk? Determining Appropriate Portfolio Risk

Today, we’ve got a Saturday Selection from the White Coat Investor, where this article originally appeared. This is an important topic for investors, and it’s a great example of how personal finance is personal. Some people are comfortable with risk. Others are conservative by nature. Some people avoid the stock market because they don’t understand it and consider it gambling. Personally, I’ve never been afraid to take risk with my portfolio. I don’t take uncompensated or unnecessary risk, but I am willing to roll with the ups and downs of the stock market with a portfolio that is roughly 90% […]

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My Rich Dad. My Poor Dad.

rich dad poor dad

PoF: Personally, I’m more of a John Bogle guy than a Robert Kiyosaki guy, but I’ve heard if you can separate the wheat from the chaff, there are some valuable lessons to be learned in his books. The most famous of his books is Rich Dad Poor Dad. He may have made one of them up, but I’m not here to debate that. I’m here to present you with a post from Passive Income MD in which he discusses his two Dads, making up neither one of them. Do you have a rich dad and a poor dad? Two rich […]

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Money Lessons from the Amazing Dr. Shaq

Shaq Soda

I’m always intrigued by those who earn millions of dollars per year or even per month. Some manage to blow all that money and then some. Others, like a select few NFL players, choose to spend wisely and save prodigiously. Today’s Saturday Selection highlights the habits of one athlete who was among the highest paid NBA stars for many years. The headlines sadly feature athletes with similar income who don’t have a penny to their name. Shaquille O’Neal will not be featured in a story like that. Shaq is a success story. And apparently, he now holds a doctorate. So […]

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Investing in a Three Fund Portfolio Across Numerous Accounts. Get the Spreadsheet!

I’ve written a number of times on the effectiveness and beautiful simplicity of a three fund portfolio. All you need to do is own one total stock market fund, one total international fund, and one total bond fund and you’ve got a portfolio that is incredibly well diversified and likely to perform as well or better than many far more complicated portfolios. There’s a slight problem, though. Nobody, and I mean nobody, has a portfolio this simple. For one thing, your money is necessarily kept in multiple accounts. You might have a 401(k) or 403(b), perhaps a 457(b), a Roth […]

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I Owned Six Homes and Lost It All With Real Estate Investing

lower ninth ward

Today’s guest post is courtesy of Joseph Hogue, a man who once dreamed of becoming a real estate mogul and fell flat on his face. Joseph previously worked as an equity analyst and an economist before realizing being rich is no substitute for being happy. He now runs My Stock Market Basics and four additional websites in the personal finance and crowdfunding niche, making more money than he ever did at a 9-to-5 job, and loves building his work from home business. Let’s hear what he did and how we did it, and let’s try our best not to follow in […]

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Paying Off the Mortgage is a Mistake I’ll Never Regret

japanese house hilo

Today, we have a guest post from a co-nominee for the Best New Personal Finance Blog at FinCon last year. Neither of us won the Plutus Award, but the nomination alone was an honor. That recognition is not the only thing we have in common. There’s also the fact that both of us chose to be debt-free rather than carry a mortgage in spite of the math that would suggest it’s not the smartest financial move. Why? I’ll let Rob explain, after a brief introduction, which he kindly supplied. Rob of Mustard Seed Money is an accountant for the federal […]

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The White Coat Investor Backdoor Roth Tutorial

backdoor roth wci

Hello, friends! If you happen to be in Park City, Utah for Dr. Dahle’s Financial Literacy and Physician Wellness Conference (or just randomly happen to be here), feel free to join me after my closing talk. I’ll be holding court right next door at the Boneyard Saloon & Kitchen. I’ve heard they have good food and good beer, and I have a feeling I’m going to need both. I was intimidated to see I’d be following Jonathan Clements, author of How to Think About Money and a half dozen other highly regarded personal finance books, momentarily relieved to hear he […]

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Got Student Loans? Alter Your Asset Allocation.

Bull Bison

I’m happy to introduce you to another physician anesthesiologist and blogger, The Physician Philosopher. He has been quite active online in recent months since getting started with his site where he discusses both wealth and wellness from a doctor’s perspective. He’s got a pledge to donate a quarter of the site’s income to endeavors that promote wellness, which I love to see. I have no financial or other relationship with the good doctor, and as far as I know, The Physician Philosopher has no relation to the physician known as The Happy Philosopher. They just both happen to be happy […]

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How to Think About Money

How does one normally think about money? How should one think about money? The answer to the first question, at least for me, has typically been what money can buy. For a lot of years, money bought me stuff. In grade school, money bought me football cards and candy. In high school, money paid for movies and first dates. There may have even been a second date one time, but that’s not important. In college, money paid for tuition and beer. I also spent money on food, clothing, gas, rent, and more beer. The older you get, the more things there […]

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Why I Don’t Bother With an Emergency Fund

Today, we have a Saturday Selection from Passive Income MD. He and I see eye to eye when it comes to this topic. There are certainly a number of good reasons to hold a traditional emergency fund, but there are also arguments to be made against them for people with the means to fund an emergency without subjecting your dollars to significant cash drag. Let’s see what the good doctor’s reasoning is. As always, this post first appeared on WCI Network partner site Passive Income MD.   Before we get started, I wanted to include a small disclaimer: every situation is […]

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The Actual Benefit of Front-Loading Your Investments is Smaller Than You’d Think

front end loader

We’re taking a departure from our usual scheduled programming, bringing you a timely guest post from Mike at Married & Harried on the subject of front-loading your investments. I thought this post was too good to put at the end of the guest post queue, and given the nature of the topic, it’s more valuable information early in the year. I’ve written about front-loading before, but have not done the rigorous analysis to see the numerical value of the benefit of maxing out your available retirement accounts early in the year. Mike has. Thank you, Mike!   Do you front-load […]

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Debt, Equity, Development & More: Types of Crowdfunded Real Estate Investments

crowdfunded RE

Today’s primer on the various options when investing in Crowdfunded Real Estate comes courtesy of Soren Godbersen of EquityMultiple. With dozens of platforms offering a wide array of investment options, it can be difficult to sort out exactly what you’re investing in. Soren brings some clarity that should help you ensure you’re comparing apples to apples and enable you to recognize an orange when it comes along. I am an investor with EquityMultiple, and I do have an affiliate relationship with them, which means investing with them via a link on my site could result in me receiving a payment, […]

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You Can Have More Than One 401(k)

Chicago Bean Wide Angle

With the addition of the pass-thru deduction that could be worth more than $15,000 to self-employed physician and much more to those with different types of pass-through businesses, this Saturday Selection is timely. The good Dr. Jim Dahle channels his inner CPA to describe in detail the rules allowing for multiple 401(k)s. This post actually gave me the idea to start an individual 401(k) for myself in 2016, and this is the third year in which I will contribute to two different 401(k)s. This article originally appeared on The White Coat Investor and has been updated for 2018.   I […]

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Paying Off Student Loans With Passive Income

dollars Grad cap

It’s Passive Income MD’s turn for a Saturday Selection. Today, we will learn how the anesthesiologist tackles his student loans with a passive income stream. Some people like to pay down debt as soon as possible; others like to hang on to low-interest loans indefinitely. I made it a goal to be debt-free by forty, but I did carry my student loans for quite some time after I had the money to pay it off. Let’s see the approach taken by PIMD. As always, this article first appeared on Passive Income MD. Paying Off Student Loans With Passive Income   […]

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Stupid Debts and the Doctors Who Love Them

Train Wreck Alaska

The White Coat Investor busts out one of his favorite words for today’s Saturday Selection. No, not “debt.” I’m talking about stupid. At least he used the word to describe the debt and not the doctors who carry them, right? I’m a live and let live kind of guy, but I have to say I have a similar aversion to debt as the good Dr. Dahle. I’ve been debt-free for a couple years now, and it makes me happy despite the potential arbitrage that can come from keeping low-interest debt and investing the balance in the stock market. But that’s […]

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Vanguard Backdoor Roth 2018: a Step by Step Guide

Backdoor Roth 2018

This year, I made my sixth 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. This post has been updated with fresh screenshots from my 2018 contribution and conversion, which was completed on January 3, 2018. I like to contribute the first day it’s allowed to start the tax-free earnings as soon as possible, but you have until Tax Day in 2019 to make […]

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I Maxed My Retirement Accounts. Now What?

boys two thumbs up

Today’s Saturday Selection comes courtesy of The White Coat Investor. A reader faces a first-world “dilemma” that is not at all uncommon among financially savvy physicians. All available tax-advantaged space has been filled with investments. What should one do with additional “leftover” money? It’s going to depend on the situation, but the good Dr. Jim Dahle outlines a wide variety of options, some of which you might not have considered before. This article first appeared on The White Coat Investor. Dollar amounts have been updated for 2018.   I Maxed My Retirement Accounts. Now What?   Question: I’m an employee and […]

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End of Year Rebalancing and a Required Minimum Distribution

seesaw balance

In January of this year, I wrote one of my favorite posts after helping a retired couple free themselves from their financial advisor, greatly simplify their portfolio, and saving them more than $20,000 per year in the process. For details, please read From 28 Funds to 3, then return here for a follow-up. In summary, the couple previously owned 28 funds (with 48 positions between three accounts). The weighted average expense ratio was 0.64 and they were subject to an AUM fee of 0.73%. By the time we were done, there was no AUM fee, the portfolio’s expense ratio was […]

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