Planting A Seed Or Robbing A Dream?

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My daughter, a budding third grade artist, has begun to reflect on what she likes to do and whom she looks up to as a source of career inspiration.  A few weeks ago, without prompting, she announced she was going to become either a teacher or an artist.  This led me to do some soul searching about what kind of …

Dying Traditions And Ruffled Chicken Feathers

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Growing up with immigrant parents, you find that certain “old country” practices your folks learned as second nature don’t always translate so well in the new country. Some concepts that would be perfectly acceptable in the home country were a little off here in the U.S.  When my great-grandmother died while my siblings and I were away at summer camp, …

I’ve Got The Brains. You’ve Got The Looks.  Let’s Save Lots Of Money.

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FOTF really likes his financial advisor.  They have a warm personal relationship.  She took him on as a favor to his parents when he had few assets and she had plenty of bigger clients to occupy her time.  He’s enjoyed their annual financial reviews, although since he and I started the dialogue about whether he might personally assume these responsibilities, …

Once you go iphone, can you go back?

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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 …

Don’t Lose Sight of the Small Victories

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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. I was psyching myself up for what was sure to be a whopper of …

Obituary

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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: When my then girlfriend (now wife) and I moved from the northeast to southern California, we rented an apartment …

Determining Risk Tolerance

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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 …

The Less I Do, The Wealthier I Become

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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, …

Exciting Times For An Underdog Blog!

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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. ABSTRACT: Objective: An elder with credibility …

My Top Money Mistakes As A New Attending

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“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 …