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.
Please check out my new article on Student Doctor Network, part one in a series on financial literacy for the newly minted physician!
With apologies to my specialty's journal, Annals of Emergency Medicine, whose format I've adopted, the following is an abstract and editor's capsule summary to whet your appetite for the full article.
“Regrets, I’ve had a few. But then again, too few to mention…” These famous lyrics from Frank Sinatra’s My Way unfortunately remind me that my financial decisions during my first decade earning an attending’s salary were chock full of regrets. I did it my way, and I paid dearly. With the sincere hope that you avoid these same pitfalls, following are some of my costliest mistakes.
Inspired by this post from Mr. Money Mustache, the wife and I sat down to figure out how we could teach our children about money. At ages 7 and 9, we wanted to encourage saving and investing over consumerism and profligate spending. Over a series of sit down discussions with the kids, we were able to cover some basics and develop a starter investment plan for them.
Uber, the ride-sharing colossus, was recently highlighted in a New York Times article that left them looking like a diabolical Bond villain. Whether you regard Uber as a brilliant tech disrupter of the complacent taxi monopoly or an opportunistic lord abusing a new class of serfs, the provocatively titled article, “How Uber Uses Psychological Tricks to Push Its’ Drivers’ Buttons,” was a neat lesson in applied behavioral finance.
I was fortunate to live in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 1990s. As a product of Stanford and UCSF, and later an intern at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, I was a witness to the dot com revolution (and the subsequent dot com bubble) that swept the nation.