Physicians are notorious for being bad with money. Today we’re going to assign some blame for that phenomenon. Physician finances have three enemies, and we’re going to expose them today. 1. Financial professionals Enemy number one consists of many members of the financial industry. These “helpers” are often part of the problem. One of the biggest problems is commissioned salesmen masquerading as financial advisors. Although some of the these “advisors” ...

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I’m always intrigued by those who earn millions of dollars per year or even per month. Some manage to blow all that money and then some. Others, like a select few NFL players, choose to spend wisely and save prodigiously. Today’s Saturday Selection highlights the habits of one athlete who was among the highest paid NBA stars for many years. The headlines sadly feature athletes with similar ...

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Once every couple of years I have medical students from the local medical school over for dinner. At some point, the conversation usually turns to finance, and I commiserate with them about their loan burdens. I typically toss them a few pearls of wisdom, wish them good luck, and we move on to something else. They always think it’s funny when I say, “If you can’t live on $200K, you ...

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A frequent topic seen on this site and many other sites, blogs, and forums are the merits of using very low-interest financing for various things. The attraction is obvious. Not only do you not have to have the cash up front, but even if you do, surely you can do better investing than 0%, and if you borrow at 0% and earn at anything better than 0%, then you come ...

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I love movies. Not the artsy types that win awards; I most enjoy the big, expensive popcorn blockbusters that take you away to a different time and place. However, as our income and wealth has grown, we’ve maintained a few of our “cheapskate” habits from when we were poor. One of these is we see almost all of our movies at the “dollar theater,” a second-run theater where the entire ...

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Q. International stocks are doing really well, so I’m thinking about investing more money into them. What do you think? A. I grew up playing ice hockey and continued to play in high school, college, and even now. Coaches often gave us the same advice that hockey legend Wayne Gretzky’s dad gave to him: “Skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” Ice hockey is ...

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Long-term readers know that in late 2014, 8 years out of residency, my wife and I decided to loosen the purse strings a bit. We had lived like a resident for four years, then purchased our dream home six months after we moved to our “big boy” job. But even then it was only a minor increase in our lifestyle. By 2014, I had been a partner in my ...

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Q. Where do I start? I have a huge student loan debt and don’t think I’ll ever be able to pay it off. I am a physician assistant, and my partner is a physical therapist. We’re about two years out of school. I have only recently started to try and figure out how to be smart with my money. I owe $167K in student loans, and my partner owes $200K. Our combined ...

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Once upon a time I wrote an article about private real estate investment trusts (REITs). These are some of the favorite tools of salesmen masquerading as financial advisors (there’s a reason they’re called “brokers”). They would sell these investments with a promise of high income. 8% yields were not uncommon. The value of these REITs were not marked to market. For years. So although you knew you were getting ...

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My email box is an endless source of material for the blog and podcast. As always, details are changed to protect the innocent. Assume genders are swapped about half the time, specialties are changed, and identifying details are obscured. Today’s Q&A provides a great discussion of some things to think about as you approach retirement. The situation discussed is very common among docs and is hardly the only time I’ve ...

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