I was driving up to Northern Michigan recently for a nice vacation with family, and like any long road trip, before I left, I turned on my GPS on my iPhone to see how many hours it would take to get there. There’s an initial excitement to get on the road, looking forward to how enjoyable your upcoming vacation will be. However, once you hit the highway, road trips can become long, ...

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Vanguard, Fidelity, and Schwab have been engaging in a fierce competition to claim the mantle as the leading provider of low-cost index funds. As a result, each has aggressively lowered their fees for their index fund offerings over the past few years and advertised their low-cost offerings to investors. After the latest round of fee reductions in mid-2017, I wrote a post speculating whether it was inevitable that Vanguard, Fidelity, ...

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Many residents and fellows will contribute to a 401(k) or 403(b) over the course of their medical training. They should be commended for saving for retirement on just a resident’s income. Often, newly-minted attendings wonder what to do with these 401(k)s or 403(b)s from their training hospitals. In particular, they wonder whether they should convert their 401(k) to a Roth IRA. 4 options: some better than others In general, there are four things ...

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It is no secret that medical school is getting very expensive. Over the past 20 years, the cost of medical school has greatly outpaced the rate of inflation, and medical school debt is rapidly rising. The average medical student now graduates with over $192,000 in student loans, but with the cost of attendance for the most expensive private medical schools approaching $100,000, there are some physicians who ...

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No one can predict the future, but when making projections for things like retirement planning, what investment return should you expect? What do we mean by “investment return?” Before we get into the numbers, we need to go through a few definitions. Nominal returns vs. real returns These are just fancy words for before-inflation and after-inflation returns. Real returns (after-inflation) returns are equal to the nominal returns (before-inflation) minus the inflation rate. Real returns ...

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I strongly believe that clinical physicians do not have an edge on the rest of the market. Therefore, they should heed Warren Buffett’s advice — avoid picking individual stocks and invest in index funds. Nevertheless, some doctors do believe that they have an edge when it comes to investing in health care stocks. They think that just because they are a doctor, they are better trained to ...

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There are a lot of what-ifs in life. If only I had made that putt on 14, I could have shot my best score ever. If only I had taken a different job or performed better at the interview, I would be so much happier at my job. For decisions large and small, there are ample opportunities to second-guess yourself. I’m sure you have your own what-ifs when it comes to investing. If only I ...

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When I became interested in the financial markets many years ago, I spent many hours and days trying to devise ways to make money in the stock market. There are many ways that investors try to make money in the stock market, including:

  • Trying to find the next hot stock.
  • Finding a new trading strategy, based on charts or other strategies.
  • Picking the next hot fund manager.
  • Looking for an ...

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Doctors order a lot of tests. Let’s be clear, most of these tests are quite good and help with diagnosis and management. They can help hone down a wide differential diagnosis to a single diagnosis. Once a diagnosis is made, additional tests can help guide physicians on the best treatment. But there are some tests which are not necessary to order. In some scenarios, the next step in management (whether it be ...

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The savings rate in America is abysmal. As a result, many Americans rely on Social Security and pensions to fund their retirement. However, physicians would not be able to maintain their lifestyle on Social Security payments alone. And few physicians receive pensions from their employers. Therefore, they have to fund the majority of their retirement through savings. But how do you define savings rate? Let me count the ways. Do you use gross ...

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