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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:


I love a good compilation post, particularly when it includes me. This one, created by a college student at Teen Budgeting (start ’em young!) also includes 13 additional awesome authors, most of whom have been featured in The Sunday Best before. Finance Bloggers: What They Wish They Knew in College.


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The Super Bowl comes to Minneapolis in 9 months. Tickets will be insanely expensive, but I might consider going if the home team is playing. The freedom-seeking WoWs of Waffles on Wednesday saw their teams play on the big stage once: That Time We Spent Way Too Much on a Football Game.


A good beer can occasionally salvage an otherwise rotten day. The author behind Struggle has a grander vision. How Craft Beer Can (Sort of) Save the World.


Vagabond MD holds $500,000 in cash equivalents, which can seem irrational to an investor like me. Logic doesn’t always make us happy though, as pointed out with some hardcore math by Michael Kitces at Nerd’s Eye ViewBuying Happiness And Life Satisfaction With Greater Cash-On-Hand Reserves.


Residency programs across the nation will be graduating a new class of physcians in two short months! A few blog posts on where to start with personal finance got my attention recently. The White Coat Investor wrote The Bare Minimum and Chad Chubb of Wealthkeel has some tips in I Am an Attending Physician, Now What? Finally, Some Random Guy Online shared New Attending Physician Baby Steps.


As a physician who loves travel, it’s fun to discover a physician who blogs about travel! Sightsee MD shared his trip and his pictures from a Family New Years in Ireland.

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Are you looking for more fuel for your FIRE? Michael @ Financially Alert listed 10 Provocative Early Retirement & FIRE Blogs You MUST Read. Spoiler Alert: this one’s on there. For even more physician and personal finance blogs, check out my blogroll.


Miss Bonnie MD wrapped up a 4 part series on Financial Advisors (parts 1, 2, & 3) by sharing her selection, how she found her, and included an extensive e-mail interview with the prospect. How To Find And Vett A Financial Advisor.


Scott Trench of Bigger Pockets shared the nickel version of his new book, Set For Life, in a guest post with Coach Carson. The Financial Runway — A Three-Step Bluepring for Early Financial Freedom.




I’ve been wrestling with a couple issues this week, and my mind keeps circling back to… well, wrestling.

I wrestled off and on as a youngster. I retired early from the sport a couple times only to be drawn back to the mat for a variety of reasons including how tough I looked in a singlet. Actually, the fact that my sixth grade homeroom teacher was the high school wrestling coach played a larger part in my first return after a couple years off.

After three years of being too small to compete at the varsity level, I was finally nearing triple digits in weight as a sophomore. I made varsity by being the best option remaining when our best wrestler at 103 pounds broke his arm, despite the fact that I was 98 pounds soaking wet.

After launching my A squad career with a quick first period pin in what proved to be a close dual meet, it was all downhill from there. I lost the vast majority of my matches and although I enjoyed being a part of the team, I just wasn’t very good at wrestling and I decided I was done at the end of the season.



The following season began and we had a great team, but our 112 pounder was getting pinned a lot. I wasn’t good at wrestling, but, having spent entire periods on my back, I had gotten really good at keeping one shoulder blade off the mat at all times.

I rapidly lost 10% of my body weight and rejoined the team (I had ballooned to 125 as a junior), losing a whole slew of matches on the way to our hometown’s only berth in the state tournament as a team, and without getting pinned a single time. I actually did pin a kid in the regional semi-final, and I can still hear the roar of that crowd whenever I recall that one shining moment.

The season ended unceremoniously as we got clobbered twice as a team, and I was pinned in my last match after telling the team in our huddle that I was tired of “just not getting pinned.” The idea was that I would do something better than not get pinned, not worse. For the record, I still maintain that I wasn’t pinned, and all the lockers I punched after that wrong call deserved it.


Yes, I Have a Point.


Wrestling has been on my mind this week for a couple reasons. We received tragic news the other day. Our 103 pounder from that state tournament team passed away earlier this week at 39. The last time I remember chatting with the gregarious fellow was about ten years ago at a memorial for our 125 pounder, who didn’t make it to 30.

I didn’t need another sobering reminder that life is short and can be taken quickly, but that’s what I got, and my heart goes out to his family. We were a close bunch on that team, which included my older brother and the buddy that I visited in Colorado last week. It’s heartbreaking to know that there’s one fewer of us among the living at such a young age.

While I didn’t exactly love to wrestle or enjoy the performance anxiety, I did take away lessons that have helped me become successful. I learned to keep working when thoroughly exhausted. I learned to recognize my own strengths and weaknesses, and how to try to take advantage of those of my opponent. I also learned how to lose weight.


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The other far more trivial wrestling-related thing on my mind is weight. About 18 months ago, I thought I could stand to lose five pounds. I’ve done the opposite; now, I could stand to lose ten pounds.

I once lost about 14 pounds in 14 days, and I was skinny to begin with. I did it with strenuous exercise, eating a lot less than normal, and some it was probably water weight. It was probably far easier to do at 14 as opposed to 41. Nevertheless, I kept the weight off for a few months by maintaining a low calorie diet.

As a physician married to a registered dietitian, I don’t condone crash diets, but the fact is, I know I have the willpower to lose weight by eating less. The last time I felt I could stand to lose ten pounds was before our wedding, and I lost more than twenty over the course of three or four months.

That was ten years ago, and I haven’t quite gained back the twenty pounds, but it’s getting a little too close for comfort. As in, some of my jeans don’t fit as comfortably as they once did.

So, I’m going to be eating a bit less, and I’ll try to do it in a way that’s sustainable by making better choices when I’m hungry, laying off the chips and ice cream. I’ll probably even drink less beer.

Why am I telling you? Accountability. Putting goals out there for everyone to read seems to work for others. Here’s to me dropping ten pounds and getting back in shape!


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-Physician on FIRE


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44 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (4/30/2017)”

  1. Awesome round up!!! I’m definitely going to check out some of these articles that I missed.

    Sorry to hear about another teammate passing away. It’s crazy to think about people that we grew up with no longer being around.

    I’m going to say that you didn’t see Pearl Jam in concert only due to the fact while you were growing that they were in a fight with Ticketmaster.

  2. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  3. Sorry about your teammates. I am still bothered by the death of my best friend and college roommate at 43. Breast cancer. One of my good residency friends committed suicide his first year in practice. Insulin. Both deaths bother me.

    I too have noted people posting about concerts. We over lap with Willie Nelson and Chicago. My older brother always smokes these lists.. He saw the Beatles. He also saw Jimmi Hendrix and Janis Joplin. By the time I was old enough to go to concerts the Beatles were broken up and Janis and Jimmie were dead.

  4. Sorry to hear about losing a fellow wrestling teammate. My football team was very close – we had team sleepovers after every Friday night game. So I can relate to the commardary that develops from team sports.

    I used to be a hefty 215 – a combination of drinking too much beer in college and getting my first job where I could afford more than ramen. I ended up drinking less beer, but I also switched to drinking higher quality beer! That coupled with running a few half marathons helped me get down to 180.

    Finally, I’ll guess Snoop Dogg. I just don’t see you as the Snoop Dogg type!!

    • Thank you, GE. And thanks for the tasty beverage at Day Block yesterday!

      You may have a hard time picturing me at a Snoop Dogg concert just as I have a hard time picturing you weighing 215. But I was there in 2005, donning my black LA Raiders cap, laid back (with my mind on my money and my money on my mind).


  5. Another great list of posts! Very sorry to hear about your former teammates. Crazy ho young both of them were.

    It sounds like we’ve had similar weight patterns. Sadly losing the few extra vanity pounds has gotten a lot harder as I’ve gotten older.

    If I had to guess, I’ll say Chicago.

    • Good guess, but I actually saw Chicago just a couple years ago. It may have been a Saturday. In the park. I think it was the 4th of July.

      Actually, it Friday May 1, 2015 at Jazz Fest in New Orleans. I saw No Doubt, Macy Gray, and Shooter Jennings that same day after attending a CME meeting called “New Jazz in Anesthesia.”


  6. Sorry to hear about your former teammate dieting. My grandfather died at 42 and became a parapalegic at 30. That’s always in the back of my mind as I age.

    I was also a wrestler, about 15 years including 2 years of college and some coaching. The good news is weight loss isn’t to hard. The bad news is if you do it long enough years later your not quite right in that area…don’t crash diet regularly…

    • Your grandfather had it tough — sorry, man.

      I only did the “crash diet” once so I could join the team as quickly as possible. The team was a couple tournaments into the season when I decided to join them. I know it’s not a good thing — we would mark our height as we grew every couple months. My brother basically stopped growing every winter as he cut weight four years in a row. I only did it the one time. Guess who ended up an inch taller?


  7. Snoop Dogg.

    The Viking’s odds are at 12/1 to make the Super Bowl, so I don’t think you need to set money aside for tix quite yet. It would be fun to see the Packers at 13/2 play and win there, however! ?

    • I think you meant to say it would be fun to see anyone but the Packers play and win there. That’s how I would phrase it, anyway, and that gives me better odds.

      I did spend one evening in tha dogg pound — not a bad guess, though.


  8. The sobering reminders seem to happen more each year now. I try not to focus too much on them, but I’ll be at a funeral Tuesday for the husband of a teacher I work with. He was 47 – happy one day, gone the next. Have the reminders influenced our plans? For sure. The first concert I went to in high school was Chicago! Looking for some bonus points that you haven’t seen them…

  9. So sorry to hear about your friend. I always feel too young when I hear about a friend from high school or college passing.
    I try to take it as a reminder to enjoy all the moments I have now with the ones I love.

    I’ll guess Moody Blues as the concert you didn’t attend.

    • Thank you, HIP.

      True story: As the Moody Blues sang about “chasing the clouds away,” in Tuesday Afternoon, the sun poked through the clouds for the first time (it was an outdoor concert).


  10. I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. It’s very sobering, for sure. I hope his family has support to get through this tough time and the road ahead.

    I’m on a bland, repetitive diet now to lose 8 vanity pounds. I find that by removing the decision making around mealtime I stick to the right foods and portions.

    My guess is Beck.

  11. Awesome roundup!
    It is amazing to be included among so many other great and far more experienced finance bloggers.
    Thanks for giving me the opportunity to reach a larger audience.

  12. I followed my nerdy friends in posting Broadway (& off) plays instead of concerts, only none were a lie. I used to live in NJ and made it to a few shows with cheap tickets. 🙂 The local theater had Newsies before it went to Broadway. 🙂

    I’m sorry to hear about your teammates.
    A friend’s mother passed away, unexpectedly at 69 a few weeks ago. Which sounds old-ish, until I realized my 69 year old uncle is retiring this summer.

    • My broadway show would be a short list — particularly if we’re listing shows actually seen on Broadway in New York. Here’s that list:
      1. Phantom of the Opera

      We saw another show in London, and the show actually matches the name of one of the bands I listed. My wife has seen quite a few more shows than me, and I’ve seen way more football games than her.


  13. I’m just going to pick the Rollins band because I don’t even know who they are ? Thanks for giving me a leg up on the competition last night! I’ll take the fun bonus points!

  14. Two names seem quite unlike the others – Bloodhound Gang and Danzig. Bloodhound Gang could’ve been done on a lark, I guess (you did go to Snoop Dogg, after all), so I’m going with Danzig.

    If you have seen Danzig, rock on, but that must mean this is only a partial list of the concerts you’ve seen. I’d expect some Iron Maiden and Metallica lurk in your history 🙂

    • Good eye Paul – it is an eclectic mix and a partial list, but I specifically recall having tread marks on my tee shirt from the shoes of all the crowdsurfers when Glenn Danzig was on stage. Please don’t tell my Mother.

      I haven’t seen Metallica, but I did see Bruce Dickinson play Iron Maiden hits when my buddy (also on that wrestling team) was a bouncer at the club they were playing.

      Thanks for playing!

  15. I’m sorry for your loss.

    Love the accountability of your goals, thanks for sharing. For my goals I tend to write them down and have them in a place that I will see a few times a day. Helps me remain accountable and to give me a gentle nudge to get back on track

  16. Sorry for the loss of a friend. The fragility of life is very real and we see eat frequently as doctors. This is why I do not understand the need to “succeed” in a traditional sense. Working more, meeting with more people, pushing, pushing, and pushing. For what? Who knows.

    I can promise you for most of us, when we die, no one will really care that you were a hospital administrator (unless you provided care for a ton of underserved people), but your kids will care if you were there. Your spouse will care if you were a partner.

    Thanks for the great round up as always PoF….I have a cold beer (light of course) with your name on it next time you come to NorCal.

    • Nothing is certain but death and taxes. As physician, we deal with more than our share of both.

      And I’m willing to make some sacrifices to lose a few pounds, but drinking light beer is not one of them. Maybe a good sessionable sour — Bear Republic had some tasty ones.


  17. Hey – Thanks for the inclusion!!

    I’m sorry about your loss. It’s really sobering to have those types of things happen so close to you. We had a pretty close call of our own this past year. Really makes you reconsider what’s important in life.

    As for the SuperBowl, even if you don’t go to the game, go to the NFL Experience and take the kids. It’s awesome, you see all the rings, the Lombardi Trophy, there’s all sorts of plaster castings of hand prints of the players and games for the kids. There are guys signing autographs, and I think it was like $20 to get in. Well worth it for any football fan.

    Here’s the details from this past year.

    • I thought that was pretty great that you got to see your teams face off on the big stage.

      I don’t have high hopes for my team, but I do hope to check out the festivities with the kids as you mentioned. I requested the weekend off a year in advance.


  18. We dropped some serious cash for a once in a lifetime experience to see the Steelers in SB XL (and then once more in a lifetime in XLIII). I can’t say I regret the money spent either time, though I don’t know if I would feel that way if they would have lost. You only live once, so if you have a chance to do it, I would recommend going. It was pretty awesome.

    • No kidding!

      We FIRE bloggers get a bad rap as an overly frugal lot. When you can have an experience like that, it can be OK to open up the wallet.

      I wonder how many more “once” in a lifetime opportunities will present themselves.


      • Agree totally and we are not into the whole extreme frugality thing. We spent the first decade of our careers keeping our core expenses low, but not afraid to splurge when awesome experiences presented themselves. Once we got hardcore into the FIRE movement, we started getting overly focused on getting expenses as low as possible to reach FI as quickly as possible, and quickly discovered that we do not like the idea of living a life centered around a set budget as dictated by adherence to the 4% rule. We realized that a traditional retirement would either require either living a life centered around a budget or working several additional years to build a bigger nest egg to keep withdraw rate safe and give wiggle room. Neither were appealing options, so we instead are taking a more hybrid approach of building a large nest egg and then focusing on building a lifestyle we would not want to retire from.

  19. Good job putting your weight loss goal out there PoF.

    It’s pretty normal for adults to gain weight as we grow older and our metabolism slows. It’s also hard to lose weight because our habits are so well ingrained!

    Good luck to you!

  20. Crash diets, as you know, are almost always just a temporary fix. You need to make lifestyle changes for lasting changes. My weakness is chips and fries. I have been eating a lot less of them which helps make my exercise efforts much more efficient. Fatty foods just have such a high ratio that even being Vegan and exercising 4 to 5-days a week it is tough to overcome. I can maintain 160lbs and have a small belly, but in order to get below that and reduce the belly, I’ve got to drop those foods. So it just becomes a matter of how bad to I want it.

    So sorry to hear about your former teammate. My brother lost a good friend in high school just before he was going to graduate and a friend of mine lost his older brother. There are just no guarantees, even when we are doing everything right.

    cd :O)

  21. Very sorry to hear about the loss of your classmate. Your sharing this really does help provide much needed perspective on our careers/lives.

    Also, thanks so much for naming one of our posts to the Sunday’s Best! This is seriously the highlight of my professional life post-boards passing! I appreciate your feedback on the blog and hope to continue to add content and improve the appearance, etc as I learn WordPress. Hopefully, our travel paths will cross soon (preferably at a craft brewery at some very cool international location). Thanks again!

    • Sure thing, Doc!

      I enjoyed your pictures from Ireland. Brought me back to our trip 10 years ago. I took a picture of the same bar you did. It’s pretty iconic in that area of Dublin, I believe.


  22. I know what you mean about the jeans, ever since I stopped tracking calories with myfitness pal, the pants seem to have become just a bit tighter for my liking.

    I still say my preferred method of weight watching is increasing my activity output by a ton, but that’s hard with a desk job. Still, I find it more fun than just starving a bit, which also has proven to be very effective for me.


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