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The Sunday Best (5/27/2018)

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:


What do you call a multimillionaire family just going about their business as if they have no more or less than anyone else? That’s the Millionaire Next Door practicing Stealth Wealth. Jim Wang of Wallet Hacks celebrates them in Stealth Wealth: Why True Wealth is Best Left Hidden.


Want some stealth wealth of your own? Or just regular, in-your-face wealth? Learn from those who know how to achieve it. New Retirement shares 15 Important Lessons from Regular People Who Have Achieved Total Financial Independence.


Don’t think you have to be perfect to win this game. The Happy Philosopher, a part-time radiologist and all-around great guy admits to eleven mistakes and a handful of wins in his misguided pursuit of FI. How to make financial mistakes and still achieve financial freedom.


If the Happy Philosopher isn’t speaking your language and I’m failing to make the grade, we’re not the only games in town. Crispy Doc highlights a few of our friends. Physician Finance Bloggers: 50 of Them.


Like Everlast says in one of the anthems of my misspent youth, Jump Around, “I’m the cream of the crop. I rise to the top.” From Dr. Nii Darko of Docs Outside the Box, the Top 5 Personal Finance Blogs for Physicians.


Crispy Doc was thorough, but he left out one of the newest entrants in the physician personal finance blogosphere. Number 51 is a radiologist who has stumbled his way to an enviable financial position in his mid-to-late forties. From Xrayvsn:


We forgive mistakes around here, even as egregious as some of those you see listed just above. After all, there are many paths to FI (here’s mine). From our neighbor up north who goes by Prairie FIRE Canada, Choose Your Own Adventure: The 5 Personas of FIRE.


I think most of those five personas would agree that $3 Million is enough to proclaim FIRE. The Retirement Spot isn’t so sure. Three Million Dollars May Not Be Enough to Retire On.


Seriously? How much is enough? My friends at Fiology started a series of lessons designed to help you find the answer to that question and many more. An article of mine appeared in Lesson 9: Retirement Account Basics. I encourage you to read them all.


Here’s a good lesson. Don’t buy too much home, dummy. J.D. Roth makes a more eloquent argument on Get Rich Slowly in Does the American Dream Require a Big American Home?



Answer quick MicroSurveys for cash. Designed with convenience and timeliness in mind, 70% of surveys are answered on a mobile device in just a few minutes.

Physicians, Pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals are invited to join Incrowd today!


Memorial Day Weekend


I hope you’re enjoying a long weekend. For those of you working or on call, thank you for the work you’re doing, so the rest of us can enjoy some quality time away!

Also, amidst the picnics and road trips, take a minute to think about what we’re celebrating this weekend. The fallen soldiers that have given us this freedom.

I am grateful for all who have served, a list that includes my father and both grandfathers, and have great respect for those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.



Recommended Insurance Agents


If you’re finishing residency and haven’t lined up disability insurance, you should consider locking in a rate that may be lower than you can get as an attending. I’ve compiled a list of quality agents that know the business well and focus on own-occupation disability and term life insurance. These are policies you should have in place while pursuing financial independence. I did.

To find the list, click here or find them under the “Recommended” tab in the header.


Recommended Insurance Agents


I’ll be featuring the recommended agents one at a time. First up is Lawrence Keller of PFS, whose smiling face should look familiar. He was one of my first advertisers and we had a chance to meet when we were both speakers at the WCI Financial Literacy Conference in March of this year.

Physician Financial Services

Lawrence B. Keller, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, RHU®, LUTCF has been in the insurance and financial services industry since 1990. Unlike medicine, which has a standardized path that physicians must take to gain the education, training and experience requirements necessary to obtain board certification, the insurance and financial services industry does not. Working with an agent that is familiar with the underwriting of both disability and life insurance policies for physicians can all but guarantee a smooth underwriting process in which the desired outcome is likely. While he might not be a doctor’s first phone call regarding their insurance needs, he is often their last.

Have a swell week!

-Physician on FIRE

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11 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (5/27/2018)”

  1. Excellent blogs from today’s ” Sunday’s Best “.

    I wish Dr. Xrayvsn continued success as he turns his life around and looks for happiness in the years ahead. That takes true courage to open up as he did so that we can all learn from his experience.

    Mark from the ” The retirement spot ” does an excellent analysis in his post ” $ 3 million may not be enough “. I like that he is an accountant and expertly takes us through the numbers and history of the market. At the risk of a little ” confirmation bias “…. I too agree with his premise after my other prior readings. Quoting W Berstein’s Investor’s Manifesto pg 48 ” Always consider Pascal’s Wager: What happens to my portfolio -and my future- if my assumptions are wrong ? ” The gains required to cover a loss are exponential. So the 90% drop from 1929-32 required a 900% gain to recover to the original value. I remember ( different of Mark’s ) a statistic of less than 1% of the US population owned stocks during 1929.. and those were the titan families of industry that had other means to feed themselves. This is very different from today and the “Animal Spirits ” that Shiller refers to as there are so many more people ” in the market ” who somehow own stocks in one way or another ( own individual accounts, pensions, 401k. etc ). Benjamin Graham in ” The intelligent investor ” also highlights this history on p 113 where it took 25 yrs till Nov 1954 for the Dow Jones to fully recover. I was astounded to see on this same page of Graham’s book that dividend yields averaged 5.6% during that time. Furthermore, if you invested $1 in 1900 but spent your dividends .. you would have a $198 portfolio by 2000. Not bad !!! Had you reinvested the dividends during that same entire time… you would have.. wait for it $ 16,797.. an astounding 84.8 fold difference according to Graham. WOW !!! So it pays to reinvest, rebalance and ” buy more ” when the CAPE is 5 in 1920-21 or in 1932 or 1974 to 1985 when the CAPE is on average 9 for a decade with high dividends. That’s where the magic of compounding really works… but you have to have the courage to rebalance during these times or the math doesn’t work. If we are going to quote history as our guide in our analysis.. we have to apply it to the entire period to validate the numbers. Just my two cents worth ( non inflation corrected ) !!! I’d look forward to anyone’s thoughts on this… to help me see other perspectives that differ from ” my confirmation bias ” also knowing that Shiller says the calculated CAPE at present is at historic levels of 1929 … Eeek !!!

    Cheers and wishing you a Happy Memorial day while thanking all those that serve our country.


    • when the bogelheads attack I always take me a double shot of B & G (Bernstein and Graham), or buy me a couple shares of BRK.B. Calms me right down and gets my head right. Re-balancing is simply a forced discipline to periodically buy low and sell high across asset classes. It’s the crank on the money machine.

      CAPE levels are damn high but we aren’t on the gold standard anymore so deflation is unlikely (but not impossible). They are not as high as the 2000 .com bubble which generated the lost decade. Bernstein breaks risk down to 2 levels shallow risk and deep risk. Shallow risk is the normal risk we see exhibited in the market even the 2009 event was shallow risk, by 2013 S&P had regained its previous 2007 high. If the FED hadn’t acted and sequestered the banks and put them in idle, we would have experienced deep risk, the permanent loss of capital.

      I guess shallow risk is risk where you’re alive to see the recovery, deep risk is risk where you’re dead before recovery happens

  2. Subscribe to get more great content like this, an awesome spreadsheet, and more!
  3. Last night at a friend’s daughters’ bat mitzvah I surprised a group of 13 year old by correctly naming the singer and title of Nelly’s “Ride with me.” Today I made the Sunday best. I think my life has officially peaked early.

    Thanks for the generous honor!

    And I’d agree that xrayvsn has made a very auspicious debut!



    • “Why must I feel this way? Hey! Must be the Money!”

      As you know, I dish out the link love pretty freely.. When I see other bloggers generously linking to others, I reward that behavior. I’m amazed there are more than 50 of us now. As a group, we should have some real impact on our colleagues.


  4. Thank you so much for being included in this Sunday best edition. I just got up and the traffic to my blog has already exceeded my personal best and its only 10 am!

    To be now be mentioned by all 3 members of the white coat network within 5 weeks of starting the blog is mind blowing.

    I absolutely love blogging and glad that it is finding a receptive audience.

    Thanks again for helping me spread my word to an audience that is massive

    • Happy to help, my basement-dwelling friend!

      Interesting aside — I was once very interested in radiology. It was my first elective, and although I loved the technology and many aspects of the job (it is a ROAD specialty), I found the pace of diagnostic radiology a bit slow for my taste.

      My second elective was anesthesia, and that’s the ROAD I ultimately went down.


  5. I’m going to put out an add for a book series I just read written by William J Bernstein PhD MD, financial author and finance adviser.

    The Ages of the Investor
    Skating where the Puck was
    Deep Risk
    Rational Expections

    I never understood the purpose of a risk free asset till I read this series. It always seemed to me risk free assets were for chumps. After reading this series I think I want some.

    • Thank you so much 🙂 It’s honestly like hitting it big in Vegas. I’m just amazed at the amount of traffic that came over to my blog. 🙂

  6. Xrayvsn really does have an incredible story. The message is really good but I think he forgot to mention it in the conclusion….even if you did make all the “mistakes” in the book, you can still turn it around in life. 🙂 Cause he’s doing great and lots of life left.

    Have a good memorial day!

    • Thanks Lilly. I really appreciate the kind words from a blogger I definitely respect and admire as well. Well my upcoming posts are going to hopefully start exactly what you mentioned, a turn around in life. Hopefully everyone can see that even though you may have made “every mistake in the book” you can dig yourself out of it. Have a great memorial day weekend as well.


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