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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The Zen of Diversity: Asset Classes, Epochs, and the Efficient Frontier

Minister's Tree House

After reading a number of insightful comments from “Gasem” that were almost as long and complete as some of the posts I write, I asked if would be interested in sharing some of his thoughts on investing in a more formal manner. The result is today’s post that spans a wide range of topics, including those mentioned in the title: asset classes, epochs, and the Efficient Frontier. The author suggested a couple titles to me. The first was “crazed ex-commodities trader, fills out matchbook cover, goes to med school and is led to seek the zen of diversity” Too long, […]

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What is Passive Income?

halona blowhole

Today’s Saturday Selection is the first from our newest addition to the network, Passive Income MD. In case you missed it, he was introduced on Monday, although he’s been actively blogging on passive income and related topics for at least a year and a half. So what is passive income? It can be tricky to pin down exactly what qualifies as “passive,” so I’ll let someone more qualified than me give you a working definition. This post originally appeared on Passive Income MD. So, PIMD, what exactly is passive income?   Definitions of Passive Income   The term “passive income” […]

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What To Do With A Windfall

tahquamenon falls

Our Saturday Selection for today is another Q & A from nearly five years ago, but the answer hasn’t changed. Dr. Jim Dahle fields a question from a reader anticipating a large windfall. It’s a common question, and the answer often depends on your current financial situation. Obviously, you will have different needs if you are in intern with $300,000 in debt versus a financially independent physician with $3,000,000 to your name. Questions like this are often posed on the WCI forum. For example, Student question about a “windfall” How to best spend a windfall/inheritance? What to do with retired […]

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2017 Q3 PoF Portfolio, Spending, and Blog Performance Update

It’s time for a quarterly update on our investment portfolio, our family’s spending, and blog stats. Another quarter has come and gone, and the overnight freeze warning notification on my new phone is one of many indications that fall has clearly arrived. I’ve been looking forward to this time of year. The part time portion of my career began last week, but I’m putting my time in this week, getting all my monthly hours in over the next eight days. Free time will be limited, so let’s get right to those updates.   2017 Q3 PoF Portfolio Update   Below […]

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The Dark Side of Physician Finance: Why You Have a Target On Your Back

Pearl Harbor Battle Ship

Today’s guest post comes from Ryan Inman, a fee-only financial planner who specializes in helping physicians and their families build a solid financial future through his firm, Physician Wealth Services. As the husband of a pediatric pulmonologist, Ryan has a unique insight into what it’s like to be a part of a physician family and thoroughly enjoys helping his clients.     Additionally, Mr. Inman is the voice behind the Financial Residency podcast, on which I’ve been a guest. Now, let’s learn about The Dark Side.   There is no such thing as a rotation in personal finance. I wish […]

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Selling Shares Beats Collecting Dividends

Dividend Tax

When I described my drawdown strategy in early retirement, I stated we will “sell from the taxable account first.” I also plan to collect quarterly dividends from my index funds, but if Vanguard were Burger King and I could have it my way, I’d hold the dividends and take bites out of my account only as needed. When I discuss the downsides of dividends, note that I am only referring to receiving dividends in a plain old brokerage account, a.k.a a taxable account. Anything that happens in a tax advantaged account like a traditional or Roth IRA, 401(k) or similar […]

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