WCICon18: A Review of The White Coat Investor Financial Literacy and Physician Wellness Conference

When I first visited Dr. Jim Dahle out in Salt Lake City,  he told me about his plans for a WCI conference. A long weekend in a ski resort town with some big names in the personal finance world as presenters. Sounded awesome!

And it could be my coming out (of the shadows) party, he said. What better way to reveal yourself than on a stage in front of a few hundred of your new closest friends? “Sounds pretty… ummm… awesome”, I said, with a little hesitation.

But you don’t say “no” when The White Coat Investor hands you such an extraordinary opportunity, even if you’ve done no public speaking to speak of and tend to notice your heart rate pick up prior to introducing yourself to a room with a few dozen people.

So I did it. And I’m glad I did.

Not only did I speak, but I gave the final talk, following the venerable Dr. William Bernstein. As you might imagine, the author of The Four Pillars of Investing and The Investor’s Manifesto was a tough act to follow. I delivered an honest talk focusing on the messages you read about here, and it seemed to be well received.

If you’d like to see my talk, and the talks of the other more well-known and better-rehearsed speakers, you can now see them online. The course, consisting of 13 hours of audio, video, and integrated slides is being offered for $299.

Compare that to the $650 early registration fee and for most people, at least $1,000 in hotel and travel costs, and it starts to look like a bargain, although I won’t pretend watching the talks on an iPad is just like being there, but it’s the only option you’ve got at this point.

That price includes all the talks from the speakers highlighted below, and a bonus blogger’s panel with a half-dozen physician personal finance bloggers, moderated by me.

 

 

WCICon18

 

#WCICon18: A Review of The White Coat Investor Financial Literacy and Physician Wellness Conference

 

 

The conference was held in beautiful Park City, Utah, about a 45-minute drive from the Salt Lake City Airport. With the ride-sharing pool I helped organize, I was able to tag along with WCI forum members Nachos31 and Wally World en route to The DoubleTree.

The hotel was comfortable, fairly small at only two stories, and located within walking distance of a number of convenient spots, like the Boneyard Saloon for post-talk libations, and the picturesque downtown area, where I enjoyed a tasty meal with my new friends George and Jason at the High West Distillery

The convention center within was equipped with tables and chairs for 300, but unlike many bigger conventions, there weren’t a lot of empty seats. I suppose that reflects the fact that the attendees were truly interested in attending and hearing the speakers’ talks.

A hearty breakfast was served in the morning, and snacks were provided in the afternoon. We were on our own for dinner, giving us the opportunity to explore Park City after the final lectures.

The meeting kicked off with a welcome reception on Thursday evening. It was fun shaking hands and chatting with so many people that I’ve only known by a username or blog title before. There was practically a line of people out the door waiting to get their picture taken with the good Dr. Dahle, who gladly obliged, of course.

Friday and Saturday each consisted of lectures from 7 am to 10 am, and again from 4 pm to 7 am. During that six-hour downtime, the skiers skied, the snowboarders snowboarded, the tired napped, and I practiced giving my talk.

A number of vendors lined the halls, and most of them pitched in to the sweet “swag bag” full of goodies we received when we checked in with “Dahle’s Angels” at the registration table. Four of the speakers’ books were also included in the goodie bag.

There were a few sponsored extracurricular activities, including a luncheon put on by the Foster Group, a Happy Hour with the New Orleans-based FPL Capital Management, and a Ladies of Finance Meet-Up sponsored by Fox & Co. Wealth Management and Miss Bonnie MD.

 

WCICon18 Swag Bag

photo courtesy of future proof md

 

The WCICon18 Speakers and Speeches

 

What a lineup! Dr. Dahle has friends in high places.

 

Dr. Dahle himself gave two talks — the first on the state of financial literacy among physicians and the second on paying for healthcare now and in retirement. He’s an engaging speaker and the topics were highly relevant to the mostly physician audience.

 

Dr. Bill Bernstein talked at length about how we as physicians can be our own worst enemy when it comes to investing. He saved ample time for questions, of which there were many. I particularly enjoyed his response to Hatton1 when he suggested with a low enough withdrawal rate, perhaps she should “keep playing the game” with a high equity allocation.

 

Jonathan Clements, author of How to Think About Money, about a half-dozen other books, and many hundreds of Wall Street Journal columns, gave a lively, humorous stage adaptation of his latest book. I was originally slated to follow him on Saturday evening, which would have been… awesome? Not so much, because his message and mine are quite similar and he’s famous and I’m not.

 

Dr. Nisha Mehta, a radiologist best known for her Physician Side Gigs site and Facebook group, spoke on physician burnout and wellness, and incorporated a discussion of physician suicide into her second talk at the request of conference attendees. These issues are bigger than money, and Dr. Mehta addresses them with a sensible, thoughtful approach.

 

Miss Bonnie MD lectured on a variety of financial topics pertinent to physicians, including pre-nups (to her fiance’s chagrin), saving for college, and balancing work and family life as a female physician.

 

Mike Piper, CPA, the Oblivious Investor and author of a whole slew of books, gave a couple talks on Social Security, tax reduction and best business structures for physicians. I marveled at his depth of knowledge on these subjects.

 

Sarah Catherine Gutierrez, CFP of Aptus Financial gave an excellent talk on very little sleep after some flight delays. Early career financial issues, the order in which to fund various retirement accounts, and how to approach debt while investing were on her agenda. The waterfall of tax-efficient investing slide alone was worth the price of admission for the young physicians in attendance.

 

Lawrence Keller, CFP, of Physician Financial Services spoke on a topic he knows very, very well: insurance. Specifically, he spoke on protecting your physician income and assets by using an appropriate mix of disability, term life, umbrella, and liability insurance. He fielded a number of questions from the audience throughout the talk, and although insurance is not the sexiest topic, it’s one in which he is very knowledgeable, and I’ll bet everyone in attendance learned something new.

 

Last, and certainly least, I gave my talk entitled Financial Independence: Overcoming the Obstacles to Create the Life and Practice You Desire. It wasn’t the performance of a lifetime, but I did manage to get a few laughs, convey the message I intended to share, and did not fall off the stage. Not even once.

 

wcicon18

my view from the stage

 

Some of the talks qualified for CME when attended in person. Physicians who attended those talks received 8 credits of CME and dentists qualified for  6 units of DCE.

 

Here’s a preview featuring many of the conference speakers. To see me on stage, you’ll have to enroll in the course.

 

 

 


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Was WCICon18 Worth the Price of Admission?

 

I had a great time, and I am hoping another WCICon will be organized in the future. Next time, I might offer to speak first and not last so I can get the hard part out of the way and relax and more fully enjoy the rest of the weekend.

I might also not spend three weeks on vacation in Hawaii leading up to the event so that I can be better focused on preparing for my talk. I had good intentions, but I was a bit distracted by the islands’ splendor.

But you shouldn’t ask me if it was worth it. My expenses were reimbursed and I was paid to be there. Dr. Dahle polled those who weren’t paid to be there and the responses were overwhelmingly positive. When asked if they would recommend the conference to their colleagues, 100% of the 110 respondents (at the time WCI tweeted this out) said yes.

 

 

All believed they got their money’s worth, too.

 

 

I think there was great value in the information presented. I also feel that a chance to connect with like-minded physicians in a setting that allows you to speak more freely about financial topics is a welcome change from the usual hush-hush when it comes to money.

I had many great conversations throughout the weekend on all sorts of issues, including charitable giving, locum tenens, craft beer, timeshares, part-time work, parenting, and of course, blogging. I don’t normally talk with many people about the blog, since I’ve been doing it mostly anonymously thus far.

Of course, my anonymity takes a hit with the release of this course, and I’m OK with that. At this point, my colleagues know my days as their coworker are numbered and I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished here with this site which did not even exist two and a half years ago.

 

How to See WCICon18 for Yourself

 

Just like he did with the Fire Your Financial Advisor Course, The White Coat Investor is offering both an introductory offer of a lower price and a money-back guarantee if you decide to bow out within 7 days and haven’t watched more than 25% of the 13 hours of material.

In other words, you can watch my talk, another talk of your choice, and the blogger’s panel and get your money back, no questions asked. The bloggers panel includes:

 

If you don’t want to see me or the blogger’s panel, you’ve got a lot of great content to choose from, and you may want to watch them all. If you pick up just one actionable tidbit, you’ll likely recoup the cost of the course several times over. Given the wealth of information from these experts, I’m almost certain that you will.

 

In the interest of transparency, I will point out that any sales from the links on this page (like this one) will result in a referral fee paid to this site, supporting our charitable mission.

 

 

Did you attend the conference? What was your favorite part? Would you be interested in attending a future conference if we can convince the good doctor to host another one?

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5 comments

  • The price to have access is worth it just to hear the bloggers panel. At least that’s what I heard.

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  • John B. Robertson

    Sorry I missed it. Wish I had known about it. I’m a new subscriber to your blog. Will it be held again next year? Hope to attend and to bring my daughter who’s finishing her first year of medical school.

    • That would make for a great father / daughter outing. I do know that organizing the conference and pulling it off was a big job for Dr. Dahle and his crew, but I also know the conference was universally praised. I don’t know that it will happen as soon as next year, but if I were a betting man, I’d bet we have another one before your daughter graduates.

      Cheers!
      -PoF

  • I had a great time at the conference and I was honored to get my books autographed by Bill Bernstein and ask him an asset allocation question. I hope for a second conference.

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