I have an embarrassing confession to make. Despite my otherwise frugal instincts, I’m a sucker for a well-designed Apple product. My brother-in-law, a conscientious consumer, reminds me that the equivalent PC or Android product offers far more flexibility and bang for my buck, but I see a sleek aluminum case and my rational mind turns to mush. The prospect of a less buggy, more integrated ecosystem of products (supported anecdotally by my wife’s frequent expletives while using her Android phone or PC computer) are usually sufficient for me to feel vindicated despite the additional expense.
Heading into a recent Monday overnight shift, I was greeted by a six rig salute (six ambulances parked fender to fender in the ED drop-off lot). As is my custom, I bounded down the staircase from the physician parking lot taking two steps at a time.
A recent debate held simultaneously on the WCI forum and PoF blog touched on whether physicians owe a long career in practice as part of a greater debt to society. As a doc pursuing FI/RE, here’s my contribution to the discussion:
One of the challenges for a new investor is determining your risk tolerance, which is how aggressively to invest your savings. There are several considerations to factor into determining how much volatility you can handle - in this case volatility means what percent of stocks (vs. bonds) you feel comfortable owning in your asset allocation. 80/20 would be considered aggressive or high risk, while 20/80 would be considered conservative or very low risk. Like running a disaster preparedness drill at your hospital, determining your risk tolerance is at best an approximation of what you think you can handle in a crisis.
One of my favorite attendings in residency used to quip: "Don't just do something, stand there!" This was said in the Emergency Department at UCLA, not exactly known as a place of passive observation in the face of chaos, but the underlying Hippocratic rationale was solid: unless your intervention is likely to help the patient, first do no harm.
Strangely, may physician-investors who take an oath not to harm their patients feel no such compulsion to avoid harming their portfolio.