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The Sunday Best (12/10/2017)

The Sunday Best

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:


We returned home just six days ago after more than three weeks away. The location of our home has shifted several times in my career, and Coach Carson can identify. The former Clemson All-American linebacker has been living with his family in Cuenca, Ecuador for the better part of a year. What is Home? Travel Reflections From an Expat Entrepreneur.


Home is in Portugal for Ben Davis, the millennial Ph.D. with plans to retire by 33. From Cents to Retirement, Early Retirement in Portugal: Geographic Arbitrage on Steroids.


Your health care coverage options will vary depending on where you call home. Is this the year The White Coat Investor chooses a Health Sharing Ministry? All options are on the table in Our Annual Health Insurance Dilemma.


The Crispy Doc, who penned a clever guest post for me the other day, shares My Single Most Important Investment. Not my investment per se, but his. And no, it’s not his home.


I don’t know about you, but I’ve been searching my home for any Bitcoin that might be lying around. I checked all the couch cushions, but all I came up with is 37 cents in Normalcoin, 7.5 Cheerios, and enough Legos to build a model Bitcoin mining setup.


I still don’t own any, don’t have any plans to dabble in it, but everybody’s talking and tweeting about it, so here are a few posts from bloggers whom I respect:


Chris of Money Mozart featured a bunch of people who managed to get ahead financially without the benefit of Bitcoin. 17 Insanely Smart People Who Saved a Ton of Money.


Some of those seventeen have FIREd, that is, they’ve retired early. Mr. 1500, the financially independent dude who left his job earlier this year sees a problem with FIRE. Forgive the redundancy and read The Problem With FIRE.


A Good Life MD sees not a problem, but a paradox. The Lifestyle Deflation Paradox – Decrease Your Lifestyle to Increase It.


If that can work, why not minimalism for a family of seven? In a guest post for Cait Flanders, Ms. Montana talks Big Family Minimalism.


We preach relative frugality here (spending less than your high-income peers). What’s the point? The Physician Philosopher ponders many reasons in Moderately Frugal: Wealth Without Wellness.


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The Chase Sapphire Preferred is my top pick for your first rewards card. Welcome bonus of 80,000 points worth at least $1,000 when used to book travel (after a $4,000 spend in 3 mo) and other great perks you can learn about here.


We Have A Winner!


Congrats to Dr. P for his luck in last week’s contest. He won himself a free audiobook version of The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins by being the 4th person to comment on The Sunday Best and for being a subscriber (I checked). Google’s random number generator gave me number 4. Congratulations, Dr. P!



I promise you that was the first time I clicked “GENERATE” and this thing was not rigged, but I actually had the pleasure of meeting Dr. P in Maui last year as we both attended an anesthesia seminar. We had a lot in common, and I’m happy to send him down the “simple path to wealth,” although I think he’s well on his way already. Thank you, JL (Jim) Collins for the giveaway offer. Dr. P and I both appreciate it.

Hawaii is a great place, and I can’t wait to go back. Don’t tell my boys, but that’s where we’re headed for our next 3+ week adventure away from work. We’ll be eating poke and watching whales for nearly all of February. Some people dismiss the idea that it’s smart to save half your take-home pay, but to be able to do something like this in the twelfth year of my career makes me awfully happy.

Stay tuned this week for a detailed report on our first lengthy family trip since going part-time and a guest post from a regular reader who leaves insightful comments that are nearly as long as the posts themselves!



Have an outstanding week!

-Physician on FIRE

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19 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (12/10/2017)”

  1. Thanks for the mention, PoF! We are still 5-6 months from our own return “home.” It should be an interesting transition back (definitely bitter-sweet).

    Speaking of transitions, how has that transition back to freezing cold been:)

  2. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  3. Bitcoin’s fluctuations are absurd. When financial news becomes front page news, that’s when a turning point occurs. Usually it’s during market crashes, but I think it also applies for bubbles. Of course, I’m not putting any money on that prediction…

    Looking forward to the trip report.

  4. Thanks for your generosity, PoF! You and my mom now share the hotly contested title of people who have called me clever over my lifetime.

    I’ll echo hatton1 that your referrals are not helping my free time. Please do not discourage hatton1 from starting a blog – those posts I’d make time to wade through.

    WCI’s recent tweets about bitcoin have had me laughing in a way that makes people leave your subway compartment. I’ve come to realize he’s a younger, more digitally savvy version of my uncle who mailed me wry articles from the Wall Street Journal all through college.

    I had already enjoyed GLMD’s Lifestyle Deflation article, and I have found myself perusing Ms. Montana’s old posts and jumping on her fan bandwagon.

    Thanks for continuing to put great new reads on my radar.

  5. I’ve been thinking about BTC. I think it’s digital crack. I think it’s an electrode linking the Medial Fore-brain Bundle and your bank account. I think its a dopamine shotgun that operates at a level that is cortically unfiltered like shoot-em up games fantasy football, craps and Facebook.

    I don’t think it’s “currency” It’s too volatile.
    I don’t think it’s a “store of wealth” It’s lost 80% 4 times
    I don’t think it’s “all about the block chain” The block-chain is simply a peer to peer ledger method.
    I don’t think it’s like “tulips” BTC is limited to 21M coins, tulips you grow in the ground.
    I don’t think it’s going anywhere, it’s trading futures on the CBOE as of tonight, which means it can be leveraged, shorted and spread.

    Trade it like a free trade. Buy some with money you can afford to loose, let it double or triple and then sell your original stake, and let the profit ride. You are on the elevator risk free. It will probably never go to zero (it’s worse draw down has been 80%), so anything in your account after you make the free trade will be a profit.

    I own some BTC and I think it likely will become an asset class with low correlation to stocks or bonds and therefore a diversity hedge.

  6. Thanks, PoF! (Or maybe thanks to Google). And thanks to JL Collins for his great book and soothing voice. I am enjoying listening to it on my way home from work.

    PoF, I’m curious if you are talking more about personal finance with colleagues at work, friends, and family now that you are semi retired, have become a self taught expert of sorts, and are closer to your official ‘reveal’ at WCI Con? It is probably difficult to maintain balance between preserving stealth wealth and offering advice to those you think would benefit.

    Have fun in Hawaii! Unfortunately I won’t be running into you this time… Your adventures are a great motivator for those of us working towards FI.

    • WCI Con — I like it!

      With maybe one or two exceptions, I haven’t talked personal finance much more now than I did before (which isn’t much at all). People generally don’t like to ask questions or talk about money in person, and I’m OK with that. They can always find me here online.

      Enjoy the book!

  7. “I don’t know about you, but I’ve been searching my home for any Bitcoin that might be lying around.”

    LOL I’m tempted to do the same, but I’m pretty sure I’ve stocked away any Normalcoins I have, so I think I’ll need to wait for a magic to happen. There hasn’t been a day that goes by without me hearing or reading something about Bitcoin. I don’t have money to invest in it, but I’m curious how it’s going to pan out. 😀

    • Part of me wanted to ignore the Bitcoin craze, but it’s pretty tough to do that with the incredible rise of it in recent days and weeks.

      Still not investing it, but I wouldn’t leave one laying on the sidewalk, even if it were upside down. 😉


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  9. You are responsible for my inability to get anything done! I am reading all these great new blogs you keep linking to. I am getting no exercise and my fingers are cramping from all these replies I sprinkle around the internet. Help!

    • My sincerest apologies, hatton1.

      If your fingers are cramping from leaving a handful of comments, you may want to avoid starting a blog of your own!


    • We’re home now and I’ve got a very busy workweek coming up.

      I’ll be dreaming of Hawaii. You know how to reach me.


  10. Thanks for the shout out POF! Really appreciate that.

    And I loved CrispyDoc’s post on his best investment ever. I made the same best investment, fortunately. I am 8 and a half years in at this point and the return on investment has been second to none.


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