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The Sunday Best (10/11/2020)

The Sunday Best

The Sunday Best is a collection of articles I’ve curated from the furthest reaches of the internet for your reading pleasure.

Every week, I scan hundreds of headlines, read dozens of posts, and bring you the best of the best to save you time and mental energy.

Financial Independence (FI) is a primary focus, but it’s an awfully broad topic. I tend to approach FI and early retirement from a fatFIRE perspective and through the lens of a physician, so expect to see those biases in the selected articles.

Related topics that have become recurrent themes include early retirement, selective frugality, tax issues, travel, physician issues, and of course, investing.

For more great articles, take a peek at The Sunday Best Archives. Now let’s get to the best… The Sunday Best!



The Sunday Best


Apparently, not everyone thinks $400,000 a year is an amazing salary. It was certainly more than enough for us back when I was earning an anesthesiologist’s salary. Jim Wang of Wallet Hacks addresses a farcical controversy. Here’s How To Survive on an Income of $400,000 Per Year.


One of the biggest revelations of the last fifteen years is the fact that buying a home can easily be inferior to renting, at least from a financial perspective. How do you decide what’s best when you’re prioritizing FI? TicToc Life wrote a thorough guide. Buy vs Rent and Invest: Planning for Financial Independence.


What about having children? They clearly impact every aspect of your life, including your career and finances. One physician talks about the difficult decision she made. Making a Choice: A Surgeon’s Decision to NOT have Children from Life of a Med Student.


Once you are financially independent, you can choose to do a lot of things simply because you can. Fritz at Retirement Manifesto shares the many ways that attitude has manifested in his life since retiring a couple of years ago. Because You Can.


If you want to be in the position that Fritz is in, you’ll want to start saving more of your paycheck. It’s amazing what the impact of an increased savings rate can be. Tim Fallaw of Data Points shows us the data. What’s the Difference Between a 17% and 7% Savings Rate? 


It’s a nice premise. Strong returns, low volatility. How do these funds deliver? Mindful Investing puts his mind to it. Are Low-Volatility Funds Fake News?


Maybe the key to invest in the top-performing funds, volatility be damned. The White Coat Investor looks at the funds that have outperformed with superior returns. Analyzing Winning Mutual Funds.


Does it help to buy stocks or funds that pay no dividend, like Berkshire Hathaway? They’re certainly better from a tax-efficiency standpoint. From Turning Point Money, Why Do Some Companies Not Pay Dividends?


The Physician Philosopher contends that the funds you choose are not the key determinants of your ability to build wealth. This is. The Real Secret To Financial Success.


One definition of financial success is having the ability to be where you want to be and do what you want to do without having to worry about money. For us, that was to be in Spain and spend weeks in these magnificent European cities. Two Months in Spain: A Family FIRE Adventure Part II: Barcelona and Madrid.


The Frugal Vagabond and his wife moved to Spain with their baby a couple of years ago, and he’s picked up some great pointers in his time there. Living Abroad: Five Essential Survival Skills.


If you could retire early and live anywhere in the world, where would you go? Dylin and Allison of Retire by 45 contemplate the question, listing many considerations and tools to help you decide. Where to FIRE in the 2020s (& Beyond).


She’s not quite ready to FIRE yet, but with an MD and MBA, this anesthesiologist has what it takes to become FI in short order. Christopher Guest Post: You Be Three.


Crispy Doc is profusely proud of his Anti-Status Symbols and a bit wary of what his friend might think about his really, really nice house. No, really.


The Alpha Group Coaching Experience


I asked Dr. Turner how to interpret the “Alpha” in his Alpha Group Coaching Experience. Are we creating Alpha Males? Is it like a pre-Beta thing? I genuinely did not know.

The Physician Philospher replied that it does indeed have a dual meaning, although it’s definitely not a “pre-Beta” test. He’s becoming a certified life coach, has benefitted from being coached himself, and is more than prepared to help other male physicians take charge in their lives.

Alpha is, of course, the first letter in the Greek alphabet, and graduates of his coaching experience should be well-prepared to begin a new chapter of a more fulfilling and less harried life.
The program is a 12-week life, career, and money coaching experience. This is not something for the non-committal, and the price tag reflects that. Dr. Turner and his two physician coaching colleagues want to help you become the best man, doctor, dad… whatever it is that you want to be.

The waiting list is now open, and if you join the waiting list and enroll in the program, you’ll get the added bonus of The Physician Philosopher’s $697 course, From Medical Degree to Financially Free, at no additional cost.

Furthermore, as an affiliate who receives a referral fee for sending you his way, I’ll receive a commission if you follow through with it, resulting in hundreds of dollars going to charity as a result of our charitable mission. I’ll let you tell me where you’d like $100 of that money to go once you’ve completed the program. Enrollment opens later this month, and class starts on my birthday, November 18th.

To join the waitlist or learn more about the program, click here.


Alpha Group Coaching Info



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Four Days and Counting


I mentioned last week that in addition to giving up alcohol, caffeine, and more than 2,000 calories a day this month, I also gave up my wife for most of it. She’s been bonding with the newest baby in the family for the last two weeks, acting as a live-in nanny for her cousin.

We had a weekend rendezvous planned at our cabin, but my older son came down with some URI symptoms and a fever on Friday, so we’re isolating at home, not wanting to give any sort of virus to my wife who could pass it along to the baby. We’re also planning on a COVID test on Monday, just in case. Can 2020 please be over yet? [Not that 2021 is going to start off much differently.]

I also gave up my personal Facebook for the month, and I think I’ll extend that hiatus a day or three into November. I haven’t missed the finger-pointing, grandstanding, and nonsense that always seems to take up a higher percentage of my feed in an election year. I do miss doling out birthday wishes, and seeing my friends’ kids get bigger, but that will all be there after the election, too.

Anyway, my lovely bride will be back with us in four days, and we’re all very excited for that!



Have an outstanding week!

-Physician on FIRE


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6 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (10/11/2020)”

  1. Hi PoF! I hope your son recovers soon, and it’s nothing too serious.

    It’s that time of year I guess. COVID numbers are on the rise, so I think it makes sense for you guys to get tested.

    Feel better!

    • Thanks, man!

      My other son got sick a few days later, and I had a couple of days with a sore throat and mild cough, but am on the mend, as well.

      More importantly, my son tested negative, and is back to regular activities. He was able to participate in the final cross country meet of the year.


  2. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  3. PoF,

    Every time there’s a sniffle around here we’ve got that dread creeping up on us about whether or not it’s the virus-who-will-not-be-named. No fun. Hopeful for your son, and it’s certainly better to be cautious in a situation like yours!

    Thanks very much for the share of our Buy vs Rent and Invest article. I know it’s a bit of a dead horse in the PF community, but hopefully, we’ve added some novelty to the discussion. I think the results were a little surprising (along with the sister article on paying off the mortgage early or investing).

    Chris & Jenni

    And PS: you’re probably only missing out on micro influences and imperceivable nudges on FB anyway, you guys catch Social Dilemma yet?

    • I did watch that. Spooky stuff, and I think the documentary played a role in prompting my wife to suggest dropping FB for the month. I haven’t missed it much.


  4. PoF,

    Here’s to a quick recovery for your eldest, and a minimal added time apart from Rayce.

    Perhaps it’s just the doldrums of COVID, but life seems to reinforce that no good deed goes unpunished, her nanny service being the latest example. Hopefully you’ll earn back some karma down the road (In Boglehead terms, perhaps your luck will revert to the mean) to make up for this latest round of lousy timing.



  5. Thanks for highlighting the Alpha Group Coaching Experience, Leif!

    Happy to answer any questions about it, if people have questions!

    ~Jimmy at The Physician Philosopher


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