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The Sunday Best (5/26/2019)

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


The White Coat Investor knows how to dish out tough love. After describing the many reasons he loves The Golden State, he goes on to detail 12 Reasons California is a Terrible Place for Doctors to Build Wealth. Wild Light‘s California on My Mind (Explicit) is the perfect soundtrack to this post.


Dr. Mo of Sustainable Medicine begs to differ, sharing his California Love. 18 Reasons California is a Great Place For Doctors to Build Wealth.


Why are people from Utah, Oregon, California, and the rest of the U.S. so interested in building wealth and achieving FI? From the Financial Samurai, who happens to live in California, The Not So Obvious Reasons Why People Want To Achieve Financial Independence.


One obvious reason is the ability to retire. The Best Chapter has done just that, despite having been in positions that she has cherished (tenured professor, CEO). Why Retire from a Job You Love?


Maybe you don’t love the job. Burnout is a real issue. I’ve argued that FI can be a solution to burnout. Along those lines, Passive Income MD sees the potential for revenue streams to alleviate the pain. Avoid Physician Burnout With Passive Income.


Carl from 1500 Days was pretty burned out, and he chose the early retirement route. Is he using a safe withdrawal rate to ensure all works out well? Nope. Why I Think The 4% Rule Sucks (The Most Case Scenario).


Doc Green from DiverseFI is beyond financially independent. I’ve pontificated on the difference between financial independence and financial freedom. I think Doc G and I are on to something here. From the good Doctor, Redefining my Financial Goals.


Early retirement is not without controversy, particularly when it’s presented to the general public in the mainstream media. Money With a Purpose explores why this is. Why Does Early Retirement Have to be So Controversial?


Speaking of controversy, I’ve taken the controversial stance that dividends more or less stink. The early retired Mr. Tako Escapes, who tracks his annual dividends in the sidebar on his site, explores the pros and cons of a high dividend yield in Avoiding The Stink Of High Yield – How Much Is Too Much?



John from ESI Money is a multimillionaire who has been studying others like him for years. He’s asked nearly 100 millionaires the same question, and he recently shared the results in The Secret Splurges of Millionaires. Learn from another batch of millionaires:


Earlier this week, I shared the best ways to undo old, poor investment choices you may have made or that were made for you. What to Do with Suboptimal Assets in Your Portfolio.


He retired early from finance and she retired as a veterinarian. Did I mention they’re in their 30s? An Early Retiree Creates and Shares His Investment Policy Statement.


The Physician Philosopher shares the sad story of Steve, who had his identity wrapped up in a future that was not to be. Physician, Know Thyself: A Self-Identity Crisis.

Parting is Such Sweet Sorrow


If you’re more of a Boyz II Men fan than Shakespeare enthusiast, please accept the alternate heading “It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday.”

We’re in the home stretch of packing up the house, and for the first time in 25 years, I’ve had to decide what to do with all of these football and baseball cards. From roughly age 6 to 17, I was an avid collector.

By avid, I mean I would buy full boxes of wax packs. I purchased complete sets. I would sort and collect, trade, and preserve. I most definitely spent many hundreds of hours and hundreds of dollars on the hobby. The numbers for both were probably > 1,000, to be honest.

Back then, these cards were worth something. That’s what we believed, at least, and the Beckett Guide told us exactly how much. I recall my father saying the cards were only worth what you could actually sell them for, but I had proof right there in the authoritative monthly mag. I even had a subscription for a while.

Cards from 20 to 30 years prior were worth a heck of a lot of money because most parents had thrown out those old, silly pieces of tagboard and the ones that survived were often in rough shape, having been clothespinned to a bike or worse.

The business of trading cards was flourishing in the 1980s and early 1990s, which led to mass overproduction. Gem mint cards were everywhere, and we all took excellent care of our collections. They could be our retirement someday!



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As most manias do, the fad ended with the bursting of a bubble. The Great Baseball Card Bubble devalued the cards tremendously. So I waited.

Most of my estimated 40,000 to 50,000 cards stayed with my parents in their boxes until after I finished residency. They then moved with me a few times, and I would occasionally look through the boxes to reminisce, fondly recalling the excitement of getting a great rookie card or special “rare” card in those wax or foil packs.

Even way back when, most of the valuable (or supposedly valuable) cards were set aside and I kept those separate from the rest. The other night, I looked through the massive pile of cards, hoping to find a few needles in the haystack.


apparently, I collected AIDS cards, among others


Among the odds and ends I did set aside were a Hulk Hogan WWF rookie card and some Transformer cards, both from 1985. I also found a few Bill Belichick cards and learned that that’s how you spell “Belichick,” which is not exactly phonetic if you ask me. I’ve added them to the couple hundred cards I had set aside 25 to 35 years ago.

The rest I’m giving away. I set the piles of boxes out at our “drain the kegs” campfire gathering last night, and I’ll list what’s left for free on Craigslist. I’m finally at a place where I’m willing to part with a piece of my past. A piece that weighs several hundred pounds and isn’t worth that in dollars.

It’s not an easy step to take, but it was one more step towards a more minimalist life.



Have an outstanding week!

-Physician on FIRE

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12 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (5/26/2019)”

  1. I am ten years older than you, PoF, and collected baseball cards in the 70’s but dumped the collection in my teens. However, I interestingly caught the bug again in the mid-80’s while in med school. As a hobby, I would go to card shows and buy cards and collect autographs, including quite a few in person. By the time I was a resident in the early 90’s, I lost interest again.

    Fast forward to a couple of years ago, I sold the majority of the more valuable cards and autographs. It turns out that collecting Roberto Clemente anything was a pretty good idea, after all. A 1962 Clemente in pristine (PSA 9) condition fetched $950 on eBay (purchased for $20 in the 80’s), and my Clemente autographed photo (unauthenticated) sold immediately for $550 (original price, $75). These were the high points, though, and overall, collecting was a financial loser but fun at the time.

  2. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  3. I don’t believe in the bogglehead %WR approach at all. Let’s say you have 3M in a TIRA and expect to live on 3%. That only works till you hit RMD. The first year of RMD you are required to extract 3.566%, the second 3.691, the 10th 5.08%, the 20th 8.02%. Your RMD is dictated. You don’t have to spend say all 5.08% you are forced to take out. You could stock pile cash or reinvest some how, but your plan of pulling out a “super safe” 3% is thwarted year 1 once you RMD. This schedule generates extra taxes so much of your safety plan is converted into a tax generating scheme for the government. At 20 years you still have plenty of money but a larger % goes to taxes unless you have some way to mitigate taxes. That’s the reality of maxing out “pre tax” accounts and it has nothing to do with bogglehead folk lore. It turns you cash pile into a governmental money machine late in life.

    • Agreed! I figured this out and plan on converting some decent piles of pretax $$$ to Roth account over the next 9 years. That will give me more tax planning options rather than that RMD.

  4. Hey, thanks for the mention PoF! I’m a big fan of focusing on compounding over something like dividend yield.

    Glad you noticed my post for your Sunday Best! 🙂

  5. Awesome list as always. I had missed some of these and will check them out.
    I loved those “A-Team” cards. Mr. T was scary and cool.

  6. I did the cardinal sin of baseball card collections when I used to glue the cards to a large scrapbook. Pretty much destroyed any value they had (I remember having a lot of old Yankees like Don Mattingly and Reggie Jackson in it too.

    Never really remembered what happened to it. Parents probably gave it away.

    I used to collect coins and my father collected stamps. I have both collections still and not sure how much they are worth but some are probably up there in price. I personally liked the proof coin sets (uncirculated with mirror finish) with some going back to the early 50s.

    Will pass them along to my daughter if she wants them.

  7. Thanks for including me in the Sunday’s best and featuring the guest post.

    I’m finding it equally difficult to part with collectibles and random sport junk I’ll probably never use again. There’s just some stuff that doesn’t make sense to move due to weight. Also about to go down the facebook marketplace or craigslist route for the stuff that’s just a little too valueable to put out for bulk trash. Its also irritating that one affluent neighbor hoards the stuff then has a yard sale as if its own when usually I like seeing the construction workers/housekeepers get the stuff of value.

  8. I wish I could like Cory’s comment above. I have some cards at my parents house including a complete set or two of baseball cards. Then there is the box my father in law gave us. He had given us some before and they had burned in the fire. We thougth we we’re done with them but somehow he found another box to give us. I have now doubt they are not worth much.

    Oh well, at least I didn’t collect beanie babies.

    • I’ve got a couple of unopened complete sets and several that I put each and every card individually into those 9-card plastic sheets in big binders. Soooo much time and effort.

      I also have a complete set of USFL cards and I’m hanging on to those. There is some value there.


  9. POF,
    My kids started playing Yu-Gi-Oh when they were young so I got into it with them. We collected cards. I bought boxes of cards from stores going out of business. I would sort them and keep the good ones separate. I had over 25,000 cards. We traveled to play in tournaments. Then the kids lost interest and I didn’t want to go to the tournaments without them. I held onto the cards for their value to go up. I guess I spent about $5,000 buying those cards. I finally decided to get rid of them. A card shop offered me $500. He said no one plays with the old cards, they are into the latest cards now so he will have a hard time selling my “antiques.” I was sure I could at least get my money back since I bought them cheep. It didn’t work out that way. That is the usual outcome of speculative investing. It was fun though. And I was once rated on the Yu-Gi-Oh tournament circuit.

    Dr. Cory S. Fawcett
    Prescription for Financial Success

    • You’re pretty lucky to have been offered $500, I would think, even if it is a 90% loss.

      I’ve never heard of Yu-Gi-Oh but our kids have been into Pokemon in recent years.

      Cheers and have a great hike! [He’s hiking >400 miles of the Camino de Santiago]


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