The Sunday Best (9/19/2021)

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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!





Lots of people have interviewed me. It’s my turn to interview you. Announcing three written interview series that will feature readers on the regular. Interviewees Needed: the FIRE Starter, FIRE Crossroads, and Post-FI Interview Series. That could be you!


FIRE comes in many flavors, and that’s a good thing according to Money Flamingo. Why We Need Different Types of Financial Independence.


When investing with “play money,” which can be 5% to 10% of your pre-FI portfolio or any amount above your FI number when post-FI, it’s OK to swing and miss when batting for home runs. Mr. Tako Escapes swings for the fences in The Epic Quest For Multi-Baggers.


The startup world offers grand slam opportunities among the strikeouts, and it can be exciting to be part of something new. Chuck Pettid with discusses the stages of funding for new and growing businesses. Pre-seed, Seed, Series A, B, C: How Startup Fundraising Works.


How does inflation work? And how can our investments protect us? The Banker on Wheels weighs in on this timely topic. How to Protect Against Inflation.


Speaking of inflation, the White Coat Investor has announced WCICON22 in sunny Arizona this February. It’s the biggest one yet, the most expensive, and the first dual-mode Physician Wellness and Financial Literacy Conference yet with in-person and virtual options. Read more in the WCICON22 Announcement!


Practicing medicine got to be more expensive after Investing Doc‘s most recent hire. Don’t make the mistakes he made in the Employment Contract That Lost Me A Hundred Grand.


Losing $100,000 is taking a step away from financial independence. Step into it. 5 Ways to Get Started on Your Financial Independence Journey if you haven’t already.


Maxing out retirement accounts is one step. The Physician Philosopher and Ryan Inman pair up to discuss retirement accounts for the self-employed. MMM 86: Solo 401Ks and Saving Taxes on 1099 Income.


Have millennials gotten the shaft? How has Generation X fared as compared to the Baby Boomers? Sorry, Gen Z, you’re relegated to the kids’ table in this conversation, but you’ll have your time to shine. The Economist Writing Every Day digs into the data. Who is the Wealthiest Generation?


If you want to be among the wealthiest, do what they do. A mere millionaire can emulate the same strategies they use to reduce taxation. The Financial Samurai recommends that you Never Sell Assets And Pay Less In Taxes Like Billionaires.


Yes, the rich borrow money. For many, leverage played a major role in obtaining their wealth. Personally, I rather like being debt-free, but that’s just me. Jonathan with Parent Portfolio explores investing with OPM (other people’s money). 4 “No Money” Ways to Invest In Real Estate.


A sensible loan-to-value ratio will decrease your likelihood of being wiped out. Passive Income MD offers up 9 other factors to get real estate investing right. How to Increase Your Chances of Success in Real Estate Investing.


Leif from Five Year Fire Escape will tell you that his FIRE strategy is tightly revolved around real estate. His guide on getting started: How to Get Into Real Estate – Your Guide from a Veteran Investor.


Getting Into Real Estate


Why do I feature real estate as much as I do here? There are three primary reasons.

First, the asset class has played a key role in many of my FIREd friends’ early retirement plans. It’s also something I’ve gotten into more, particularly after reaching FI.

Second, there’s only so much one can write about VTSAX or the three fund portfolio. I do talk about them a lot, and they make up the bulk of my investment portfolio, but there’s not much more to say that hasn’t been published here or in books.

Third, real estate pays. I’ve promoted Vanguard hundreds of times in recent years and I have yet to earn a dime from them. Conversely, I do receive advertising and/or referral fees from many of these real estate investing platforms and courses.

I do invest a good amount of my own money in most of the companies featured, and I see rave reviews of the courses below which are put together by people I know and respect. Still, I’m not going to pretend that I’d feature them as prominently as I do if there were no money to be made. We have a charitable mission here, after all. No margin, no mission, as Dr. Dahle likes to say.


Coach Carson’s Real Estate Deal School

With that lengthy disclaimer, I’d be remiss if I didn’t remind you that today is the final day you’ll be able to enroll in Real Estate Deal School in 2021. The course is updated and offered twice per year.

“Coach” Chad Carson has been investing in residential real estate for about 20 years since graduating from Clemson. It’s the only real job he’s had, and he knows this stuff extremely well, having been on the buying side before and after the Great Recession. He’s also a humble and effective educator, and I’m honored to call him a friend.


“First, from like a psychological perspective, I liked how right from the start Chad was like ‘don’t worry about being perfect, just pick a number, pick a day, and just do it. That really set the tone for the entire course. A lot of what’s stopping me – and I’m sure a lot of people – is the need to be perfect. It cripples you and paralyzes you.

And then I really liked figuring out my why – I want to have income flowing while I’m traveling and just enjoying myself. It’s my big why.” -Michael Nguyen


When you enroll, you get access to all of the current and future modules in the course,  a half-dozen other “grad level” real estate courses he’s created (a cost of ~ $700 if purchased separately), 10 weeks of group coaching calls, and an online community of current and former students, many of whom are growing the number of doors producing income for them.

He also throws in one physical workbook and a copy of J Scott’s The Book on Estimating Remodel Costs. Enroll and keep learning beyond the 30-day money-back guarantee period and I’ll throw in a couple of more books including Chad Carson’s Retire Early With Real Estate and any other real estate book with a value of up to $25 of your choosing.


Check Out Real Estate Deal School


SemiRetired MD’s Zero to Freedom Through Cashflowing Rentals

This premium 7-week course from Drs. Leti Alto and Kenji Asakura isn’t available today, but it will be tomorrow! Join the waitlist and be the first to know about bonuses for new students.

Hundreds of physicians have come out of this incubator program ready to purchase their first investment property; some make that move by the time the course is over.

With a focus on tax-free cashflow, the course creators have replaced their clinical income with investment income in five short years. You’ll learn how they still pay no income taxes by clever use of real estate professional status.

Waitlist members will also be invited to join a pop-up Facebook group with other like-minded individuals. I’ll make the same offer I made above of tossing in two additional paperbacks to help you on your real estate investing journey if you choose to enroll and keep the course.

Join the Zero to Freedom Waitlist


Still COVID Negative!


At this point, to be 0 for 4 in getting COVID in our household feels like something of an accomplishment.

After a bit of traveling that included my wife taking my older son to New York City for 4 days to celebrate his birthday and me going to two B1G Ten football games, we went ahead and took advantage of a free local drive-through testing station this week.

This is one test where a negative outcome is a positive thing, and I’m happy to report that’s what we got. Now, if we can just get more kids vaccinated, we might be open to some more regular family travel for the four of us. Still waiting to hear when a booster might be an option for us, as well.

Until then, we’ll continue to have fun locally. Props to our local Austin Brother Beer Company for an excellent 6th Anniversary party on the patio yesterday. The Austin-tatious 15-pack variety pack with 5 different punch-packing imperial beers is a concept I hope they keep!




Learn how to better manage your student loan debt, and explore refinancing to a lower rate with cash back offers up to $750! Student Loan Resource Page


Delta Piles on the Miles


Once in a while, the welcome bonuses on the Delta co-branded American Express cards is increased significantly. It just happened this week, and the piles of miles will be available for a limited time starting now through 11/10/2021.

If you’re also hoping to start traveling more regularly sometime in the next year or so, now’s the time to start banking some frequent flier miles while remaining grounded.

You can now earn 70,000 Skymiles on the Delta Skymiles Gold Card (rates and fees) (with $2,000 in purchases in the first 3 months).

With a new Delta Skymiles Platinum Card (rates and fees), you can earn 90,000 Skymiles + 10,000 MQMs with $3,000 spent in the first three months.

Finally, the Delta Skymiles Gold Business Card (rates and fees) will get you 70,000 Skymiles and a $50 statement credit after a $2,000 spend in the first three months.

Each of these cards comes with an annual fee, although the fee on both Gold cards are waived in your first year. With Skymiles valued at 1.1 to 1.3 cents per mile, you’ll get your money’s worth if you fly Delta. See below for further details on these three Delta cards.


Delta SkyMiles Gold Business American Express Card

70,000 Skymiles + a $50 statement credit after $2,000 spent in first 3 mo. + $100 credit for a future Delta flight when spending $10,000 in a calendar year. Offer expires 11/10.
PoF Summary

First checked bag is free for up to 4 members in your party. Double points on worldwide restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and Delta. $99 annual fee waived in year 1.


Delta Gold Card

70,000 Skymiles after $2,000 spent in first 3 mo. Offer expires 11/10/2021
PoF Summary

First checked bag is free for up to 4 members in your party. Double points on worldwide restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and Delta. $99 annual fee waived in year 1.

Delta Platinum Card

90,000 Skymiles + 10,000 MQMs with $3,000 spent in first 3 mo. Offer expires 11/10
PoF Summary

2x points on worldwide restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and 3x on Delta. TSA Pre✓ credit, domestic main cabin companion certificate awarded upon card renewal annually. Additional 10,000 MQMs with $25,000 charged to the card up to 2x per year. $250 Annual Fee


If you’re more interested in piling up flexible points for future flights, hotels, or cash back, the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve cards remain excellent options with the Preferred card still having an all-time high welcome bonus of 100,000 points after a $4,000 spend in your first three months.


Chase Sapphire Preferred

60,000 Points good for $750 in travel or more with a $4,000 spend in 3 months
PoF Summary

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is an excellent first (or only) rewards card. New 8/2021 is a $50 annual hotel credit for bookings via the Chase UR tavel portal & 5x points for all travel via the portal. 3x points on dining, 2x on other travel. Flexible rewards good for cash, travel, or transfer to travel partners, great travel protection & new Peloton, Lyft & DoorDash perks! $95 Annual Fee

Chase Sapphire Reserve

50,000 Points with a $4,000 spend in 3 months
PoF Summary

The Chase Sapphire Reserve offers great travel perks including Priority Pass lounge access, a credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ and a $300 annual travel credit. When using Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, get 10x points on hotels and car rental & 5x points on air travel. 3x points on other travel & dining. Elevated Peloton, Lyft and DoorDash benefits. $550 Annual Fee


Final Day to Save $300 on WCICON22 Registration

The White Coat Investor Physician Wellness and Financial Literacy Conference, at which I'll be speaking about retirement withdrawal strategies along with several dozen outstanding orators, is taking place in sunny Phoenix, AZ from February 9th to 12th, 2022. Earn up to 17 CME / Dental CE. All in-person attendees must be fully vaccinated against COVID, and there is a comprehensive virtual / online option, as well. Hope to see you at the talks, happy hours, or online at WCICON22!

You won't see this price again after Tuesday, 10/19, so now's the time to utilize that CME fund if you've got one.Click here for all the details.



Have an outstanding week!

-Physician on FIRE


To see rates and fees for featured cards from American Express: Gold Delta Skymiles Business Card (rates and fees), Gold Delta Skymiles Card (rates and fees), and Platinum Delta Skymiles Card (rates and fees).

Physician on FIRE has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Physician on FIRE and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.


3 thoughts on “The Sunday Best (9/19/2021)”

  1. Thanks very much for the feature in your Sunday Best post PoF! It’s a total honor to be included along with such great writers.

    I don’t know if I’m “swinging for the fences” like you mentioned in this post, but I do my level-best to learn how to be a good investor. That includes reading a ton of books like Chris Mayer’s “100 Baggers” book, and understanding why compounding happens in the stock market.

    At any rate, thanks for the mention! 🙂

    • I hear you. I did read the post, and I’ve also learned that readers are less likely to click on what might sound like a book review, so I’ve learned not to advertise posts as such.

      Cheers! And may a 100-bagger be in your future,

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