The North Star Sunday Best (4/23/2017)

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.

Next weekend, I’ll be meeting up with some of the upper Midwest’s finest personal finance bloggers for barbecue, beers, and bocce ball. We actually call it “grilling out” rather than barbecue, but I liked the alliteration.

I hope you’ll enjoy a sample of some of their latest and greatest posts in this week’s special, limited, spectacular edition of The Sunday Best.

Presenting, the North Star Sunday Best:


He’s a lawyer / dog sitter / bicycle courier / upcycler / Airbnb ($40 off for you) host. The Financial Panther tells us why in How I Made $14k in One Year With the Sharing Economy.

I like my tenderloin medium rare, but my Wealth Well Done. Bill from the blog of that same name shares 7 Wealth Creation Tips that I Learned in a Break Dancing Crew.


Apathy Ends reminds us of life’s ephemeral nature and the importance of liquid luxuries in Life is Too Short for Crappy Beer. I couldn’t agree more.


I do save some money by brewing good beer at home and buying fewer beers at retail or brewery prices. Amanda @ Centsibly Rich finds all kinds of ways to save money. 38 Things I Never Spend Money On.


Saving money creates wealth. So does earning money. Peter @ Bible Money Matters shares 50 Ways To Make Money: Maximizing, Creating And Increasing Your Income.


This millennial is on fire! Gwen from Fiery Millennials started her eventual real estate empire with this triplex purchase. Rental Property #1.

I’m a fan of DIY investing and passive index funds, but many people are not. The Grounded Engineer has noticed this, too, asking Why Do So Many People Fall Victim to Active Fund Managers?


Anthony is a mindful minimalist. I’m neither of those things, although I’d like to be more of both. Seeking inspiration from Break the Twitch, I Came across Anthony’s Ideas to Keep You Inspired While Decluttering.


I’ve been following Mr. Firestation since his working days, and he’s now been retired for over a year. He’s acquired plenty of insight during that time, and luck for us, shared them in an insightful series of posts:


I Probably Shouldn’t, But I Have to Tell Someone!


I tried to play it cool like it was no big deal. A little liquid courage from a seasonal flight at Left Hand Brewing helped a bit. Internally, I was giddy as a schoolboy, but externally, I tried to be Mr. Casual when I met Mr. Money Mustache.

MMM studio
outside the MMM studio

A couple years ago, when I dreamed up an idea to start this blog, my primary influence was MMM, with The White Coat Investor a close second.

MMM introduced me to the concept and many benefits of financial independence, and WCI was great at teaching physicians how to manage their money. As I brainstormed what I envisioned for this site, I literally wrote down “MMM meets WCI.”

That was about a year and a half ago. If you would have told me that I’d soon be visiting both of these massively influential bloggers, on back-to-back days no less, I might have punched you in the face, or at least the shoulder. But that’s exactly what happened on Thursday and Friday this last week.

On Thursday, I visited the overly generous and cool 1500s in Longmont, Colorado. They introduced me not only to Pete and his lovely wife, but also to a bunch of other cool people who are on board the FI train, including a gal with an Airbnb empire, a Southern Mustachian, a talented young author whose new book hits the shelves today (Thank you for the advanced copy, Scott!), a retired forensic IRS agent, and a guy who helps people rock climb in big cities. Most of us gathered around the kitchen for this fun group photo.


FIRE starters


Pete was super cool, by the way (as was everyone I met), and he didn’t so much as clench a fist when some of my less Mustachian tendencies came up, including my annual spending, which is double to triple his. I admit to practicing a very light or à la carte version of Mustachianism, but I’m trying to spread his message to high-income professionals who might not otherwise consider it, which counts for something.


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The following day, I went back to SLC for a quick meetup with another financial mentor and hero of mine, Jim Dahle, MD of the White Coat Investor. We talked shop, enjoyed a delicious meal with a tasty beverage (a Proper pale ale for me, lemonade for the good doctor), and marveled at the 100-mile view from his perch overlooking the city.


100 mile view
i can see for miles and miles


I know it’s not cool to name drop, but when you meet the people who have had such a profound effect on your life, it’s hard to keep it to yourself. This site would not exist if it weren’t for these awesome people. My life plans would be more ordinary, and now these extraordinary people are a part of my life. To ignore the fact that I had an incredible weekend would be a disservice to the impact these fine men and women have had on me.

I love the personal finance community, and for me, it’s becoming more than just an online community. I feel plugged in and can’t wait to meet most of the authors of today’s featured posts next weekend!



Have a great week!

-Physician on FIRE


What, you’re still not using Empower? Track all your accounts in one place like I do.

47 thoughts on “The North Star Sunday Best (4/23/2017)”

  1. That’ll teach me to take a three month break during all this fun meet up stuff!

    I’m hopeful I’ll get to meet MMM at some point down the road. I feel like I should bring him at least a plate of cookies and a case of Surly for helping me save massive amounts of money.

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  3. I recognize Mr. & Mrs. 1500’s kitchen! It is a great place to sample beers. His connections in the beer smuggling industry are of the highest order.

  4. Thanks for the shoutout doc! Awesome that you got to see those financial celebrities!

    It seems like we got a great crew up north and I’m bummed I’m going to miss the gathering. Have a beer for me! Writing this to you from sunny and warm Puerto Rico.

  5. Ahh, you met Stephen. I had the chance to meet him in Nashville one day but wasn’t able to. Perhaps the next Vandy game he attends I’ll be able to meet up, or perhaps see him at the annual Camp Mustache.

    I wonder if I should hack my way to FinCon? Could be fun. Thanks for the updates.

  6. Well that is pretty darn awesome. Don’t sell yourself short though either. I think you are already on the varsity team, but pretty darn close if not.

    We spent the week in Sedona. Used Groupon for a Jeep Tour so less expensive then normal, but still a bit of coin for 7 people. Still, the laughs and photos are priceless.

    We also all tried the Unicorn Frappacino. Great times.

    Certainly lights the FIRE hope a bit.
    cd :O)

  7. Hobnobbing with the rich and famous now I see! 🙂

    Haha, despite the name dropping it’s cool that you got to meet up with such famous folks. Looks like good times!

    I’d feel pretty stoked if I had the opportunity to meet all those people too, so I probably shouldn’t tease you too much!

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  9. Another awesome collection. Have you considered doing another Christopher Guest classic and adding a Best in Show for your Sunday Best? Just a thought while I was reading through today’s post.

    I think the spiritual equivalent of your week would be meeting the Dalai Lama and the Pope on consecutive days. I’ll let you decide which one is which. What an awesome experience!

    • It will feel like we are “Waiting for Guffman” until “A Mighty Wind” blows in at FinCon in October.
      I just hope they don’t elect PoF one of the official “Mascots” of FinCon. We will never hear the end of it then.

      Sorry, couldn’t resist.

      Awesome experience PoF. Glad you shared it and made it back home safe. Have a great week.

      Tom @ HIP

    • Nicely done, fellas.

      I have seen people combine the answers to 1 question from dozens of bloggers into a compilation post — I may consider doing something like that once I have a back log of dozens of Q & A’s.


  10. “Life is too short for crappy beer.” Truer words have never been spoken.

    Nice weekend roundup, as always. Glad to learn about the meet-ups. When I described MMM to my wife she thought that he was a sort of recluse, but from all that I have heard and read, nothing could be further from the truth.

  11. PoF and All,
    Is there a post/thread that shows us how to position our portfolio for income after retirement?

    • I haven’t really written anything like that, but there are a lot of personal decisions to make regarding risk tolerance and personal preference. I don’t expect my portfolio to change drastically pre versus post retirement. Personally, I like the idea of keeping a certain number of years worth of expenses in fixed income (5 years in bonds or CD ladder) and the rest in stock funds.


  12. Hey man, happy to be part of the club! Looking forward to meeting you next weekend. Peace from Bill @ Wealth Well Done. By the way, I am a huge fan of medium rare tenderloin too! The inspiration for our name actually came from this bible verse: ” ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ Matthew 21:25. We are all about learning how to master the small decision in life, because we’ve learned that everyday excellence in the small things, leads to opportunities to do big things in life.

  13. Doc, will you be coming to FinCon this year? I had a couple of geek-out moments at last year’s FinCon when I met some of my favorite bloggers and know how you felt when you got to meet a couple of your favorites. Totes jelly that you got to meat MMM & WCI on back-to-back days. Very cool, indeed!

    Thanks for the links – I’m always looking for a good book and am off to look up Set For Life right now.

    • I will be there, and I hope to see you in Dallas!

      I read the first few chapters on the plane — it’s very well written and excellent advice from a largely Mustachian perspective. I’ll be reviewing the book at some point.


  14. It’s pretty sweet that you met both of your blogging mentors/heroes. My cousin lives in Longmont and when I visited her 2 years ago I did not have the courage to reach out to MMM. I thought about it long and hard but did not want to be that weird dude from the web trying to contact him.

    Same thing with SLC. I visit a friend from residency about once a year. Love the town but never got the nerve to contact WCI.

    You have motivated me and maybe in the future I can meet both these peeps! Another great Sunday Best. I always love articles about what people have learned in their first year of early retirement.

  15. I wish I had known you were coming to CO — I would have driven up to see you.

    Maybe next time. Or perhaps you can come to Colorado Springs and do The Incline with me. 😉

  16. FWIW PoF, I was equally giddy when I got to meet you in Hawaii last fall. My wife will confirm that fact; she still makes fun of me for how excited I was…

    When I introduce your blog to my colleagues, I may be guilty of occasionally name dropping that I met you. Never your real name, of course.?

    Thanks for creating such a valuable site. Keep up the good work!

    • Aha! That’s great. That was my first reader meet-up. It was equally exciting for me.

      I hope our paths cross again. Soon, I’ll have more time, and possibly an RV! Maybe we’ll drag it down your way.


      • There’s a nice little curling club nearby if you make it this way during the winter that would make you feel right at home. Although I don’t think I would want to drive an RV long distance during winter in the Midwest…

    • Yeah… on one hand, I don’t mean to take advantage of others’ generosity by dropping names for personal gain, but on the other hand, I can’t pretend it didn’t happen.

      It’s a pretty big deal to me, and I don’t have people in my day-to-day life I can tell that would appreciate the significance. So I told you!


  17. Thanks SO much for the call-out, Doctor! It’s funny that even in this most digital of activities, it is still the people we meet – or dream of meeting – that give us the biggest kick, or genuine inspiration!

    • Your posts have been inspiring to many, I am sure. Early retired by 50 and living pretty large. I’m happy to know all has gone well for you with the transition.

      Bummer you won’t be joining us next weekend, but I’m sure we’ll get a chance to meet up at some point.


  18. Congrats on meeting both of your blogging heroes in one week, along with a lot of other fine bloggers. You must feel like those athletes who looked up to a superstar growing up, but eventually you made the big leagues yourself and became teammates with them.


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