A common question from readers is what to do about an account that contains a bunch of high expense ratio mutual funds or individual stocks. The reason for having such an account varies from person to person. Maybe it was the only funds available to them in their 401(k) portfolios. Perhaps they collected a bunch of individual stocks and actively-managed mutual funds over the years based on tips from magazines or ...

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Learning to budget is scary.  After all, it means you have to say NO to unnecessary purchases and keep your eye on long-term goals at the expense of short-term pleasure.  There are a variety of ways to budget, ranging from the restrictive and somewhat impractical “envelope system” to the more vague and potentially ineffective “wing it” system.  I’d like to present a balanced approach to budgeting that ...

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Every mama bear fiber in my being was screaming at me that I shouldn't be there. The patient's lips were moving, but the words were basically “wah wah wah” as if Charlie Brown's teacher were speaking. All I could hear over and over in my head was the phone call from my youngest about his brother's accident at camp. “Mom, Cole's hurt. He's in the ambulance.” My eyes were seeing ...

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With a society living on credit, a government deep in debt, eight years of desensitization during training (something unique to doctors), rising tuition, and falling pay -- it’s no wonder doctors are having a major problem with debt. Where will it end? Debt has become the norm. Will Rogers summed up this pattern of high consumption on borrowed money nicely: "Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy ...

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Pop quiz: Fill out the chart above. If this was too easy for you, move along, this isn’t the post you’re looking for.  If you’re slightly unsure, either follow along or skip to the end. I’m going in order. Retirement accounts There are so many to “choose” from it seems slightly overwhelming at first.  You really don’t get that many choices: If you’re self-employed, you ...

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I first heard the term “accredited investor” over coffee with a friend who happened to be a financial advisor. He was excited about a real estate deal he was involved in. My interest piqued, I asked him how he finds access to these deals. He said he’d be happy to introduce me to the operators, but I needed to be an accredited investor first. I had no idea what that meant, ...

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“Can I look at that book?” said the man next to me in an accent I would soon learn to be Pakistani. I had placed the book face down on the park bench intentionally. In a busy, public place, I didn’t want to broadcast that I was reading The Doctors Guide to Smart Career Alternatives and Retirement. The back cover contained enough information to pique the polite man’s interest. “Sure,” I said. ...

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Many of us take for granted that we should be paying next to nothing for our index funds. VanguardFidelity, and Schwab offer great index funds with very low expense ratios. But there are many other providers of index funds. And unfortunately, they do not charge the low expense ratios we have come to expect from Vanguard, Fidelity, and Schwab. Interactive Brokers and no transaction fee index ...

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Being in a high income, high-risk field I often think of asset protection. The lawsuit may not come from medical work, but from an auto accident or someone slipping on my front step. All of these can lead to suits, and as a high-income earner, we all have a target on our back. The last thing I want to do is work hard to save money to then have it ...

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Being 100 percent, authentically you is extremely freeing. It is awesome, brave, and takes courage and strength. It is also completely exhausting at times. Like, I-think-I-have-Influenza tired. The more I age, the more I advance. The more I advance, the more I realize how living my life in the constraints of other’s opinions or wants or desires for me is not an option. This leads me to be lonely at times, and on ...

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