A Service For Doctors To Assume Control Over Their Finances

crispydoc Uncategorized 22 Comments

Teach Me To Fish

I want you to own your financial life, because I used to be you.

I always had an excuse why now was not the right time to learn about money.

Maybe you accumulated debt from your education, a home, a car, or credit cards.

On a doctor’s high income, you’ll always have enough.

Maybe your career in medicine is too time-consuming.

Too busy saving lives to learn about money.

Maybe you’re smitten, married, or have a kid?

Too busy being goofy in love, or taking the little guy to the park.

Maybe you’ve got a financial advisor – your friend’s husband from med school.

Too confused by specialist jargon your advisor uses in meetings! If your investments tank, at least it won’t be your fault.

Burnout prompted me to ask out how much money I needed to exit medicine.

I learned how to answer key money questions:

  • What are my annual expenses and savings?
  • What is my net worth?
  • What target net worth would be enough to sustain my lifestyle?
  • How many years will it take to reach this goal?

The hard part of investing is avoiding mistakes.

One of those mistakes was paying our advisor too much to do a job that I could do myself.

I learned the steps to build a simple portfolio:

  • Assess risk tolerance.
  • Create an appropriate asset allocation (ratio of stocks to bonds).
  • Rebalance periodically to maintain the ratio.
  • Minimize cost using passively managed index funds.

Do-It-Yourself investing can be simple, elegant and inexpensive.

You can reduce complexity and build a portfolio that gets you where you want to go.

It’s scary to manage your own money. Until it isn’t.

It was scary the first time I placed a chest tube, performed a spinal tap, or intubated a patient. Until it wasn’t.

If I give you a fish, you’ll eat for one day.

If I teach you to fish, you’ll eat for life.

Some people take their financial journey solo.

Others prefer a guide.

If you’d prefer help in assuming control of your financial life, please check out my Services page.

Thank you.

Comments 22

  1. Great start to 2019 CD.

    Every physician has proven that they have intelligence to master the complexities of medicine. Learning finance is a walk in the park compared to that but many people all of a sudden just seem to not take the extra step to set themselves up financially.

    Even if you do find someone to give great financial advice, it still is important to brush up on your own financial knowledge just to confirm that what is being done is in your best interest and uses a philosophy that is suitable to you.

    Hoping 2019 brings a lot of fish to both of us. 🙂

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      I’d agree that anyone who can manage diabetic ketoacidosis, perform an appendectomy or remember what exactly MUDPILES stands for has already demonstrated the requisite smarts to manage a simple portfolio that will allow them to reach their financial objectives.

      Considering that you frequent every bait store on the web, my friend, I have no doubt you’ll be in a prime fisherman’s position.



  2. Good luck with the new service. I cannot think of a better Financial Coach for physicians. I have done this informally, for a few young docs I know, and it is quite gratifying.


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      Appreciate your trust, Vagabond. This evolved from the idea of retiring to something – I’ve enjoyed informal coffees with new members of my group in this precise way. When I try to envision an activity that offers the opportunity to make an impact, mentor the young, and continue it as a location-independent venture that can allow me to learn new skills in online entrepreneurship, this seemed to check all the boxes.

      On a separate note, excited to learn more about your potential new part-time job in the summer…the teaser on hatton1’s blog comments has me on the edge of my seat.

  3. Good luck in your endeavor. A very exciting prospect. As I work through the actuality of being retired and not just the prospect of retirement, I look back to retirement decisions both good and bad, and the time frame, and the actual path I took comes into sharper focus, and non optimized decisions made 20 years ago manifest in problems which don’t fit “set and forget”. Things not considered are tax consequence and the progressive nature of the tax code and the fact in any tax deferred account the government owns part of that money and they have and will use the power to get it on their terms. As one works through that legal relationship, how the money industry including the FIRE crowd “markets itself” becomes evident. Marketing is not equivalent to truth.

    A start is better than no start that’s for sure, but a start barely scratches the surface of the necessities needed to get to the end. Retirement ends with your properly funded death and your spouses, not with a method of accumulation. If you do nothing more than frame the problem correctly you will go a long way in serving your fellow physician.

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      Appreciate your supportive words.
      You are completely correct that each new bit of knowledge comes with the profound realization that about ten new things were unaddressed and require a deep dive to sort out. Many of your posts regarding planned Roth conversions, retirement buckets, the benefits of using an advisor (even for a sophisticated investor) and how to conceptualize separate pools of money directly reflect those tweaks that even the advanced placement student of investing might not have adequately predicted.

      I hope to be an early sounding board for a nascent process (not a simple solution for a complex problem).

      And if you’d ever like to guest post on course corrections that you’ve not written about elsewhere, I’d be honored to host your thoughts – standing offer should you find the time or inclination.



      1. I just wrote a response to Wealthy Doc about this in my usual 2000 word style on my blog. So might be the ticket! Glad my experience is of some use to you.

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          I’d fallen a few posts behind, so I’ll check it out.

          Without a doubt, your experience is always a memorable teacher, almost as much as the voice that expresses it so picturesquely. I learned statistics from a brilliant professor with a Caribbean lilt – it was music and science and I loved it. If Henry Rollins taught finance, he’d write like you – compelling, uncompromisingly memorable prose. Look forward to reading it!

  4. Wow. I was waiting for this announcement. Congrats on starting your coaching service. I know you’ll be great and provide a valuable service to many.

    Best of luck with everything 🙂

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  5. Keep teaching, Fisherman Crispy.

    There is a lot of work still to do.
    I just gave another personal finance talk to MDs. They are craving more help and boy do they need it! I can see the desperation in their eyes.

    The path to financial freedom is simple, but not at all easy for most of us.

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      Thanks for the encouraging words, Jedi Master Wealthy Doc.

      I’m hoping that, as each doc who reads physician finance blogs identifies a blogger who best represents their spirit animal on the path to financial literacy, those that jive with my story and are interested in that extra bit of personalized help might give me an opportunity to take them one step further on the path.

      Still trying to figure out if I’m the rat, rooster or dragon…

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      You are very kind, SHS.

      I regard this as a practicum in entrepreneurship that I can learn from (like LLSA only in a subject of my choosing); an encore business I can gradually ramp up and to retire to to let the nest egg compound a little longer; and a venture that would be compatible with a balanced future lifestyle (location independence assuming decent wifi).

      Maybe all those posts of yours are finally starting to rub off? I am but a young grasshopper, but I’m willing to paint the fence, Mr. Miyagi, if only you’ll help me score a three film deal despite a strong Long Island accent.



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  6. “It’s scary to manage your own money. Until it isn’t.”

    Lot of wisdom there. So much so, it gave me a tremendous CMLT. Best of luck in 2019, my friend. Cheers.

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      Thanks Dr. MB!

      I imagine I’ll learn more than I’ll earn (at least at the outset) but when I think of what I enjoy doing that I could continue after my romance with medicine fades, this endeavor is high on the list.

      Appreciate the kind words,


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