When I speak with doctors and students about financial literacy, I often relate it to my medical practice as an internist. One of my responsibilities as an internist is to ensure that my patients receive appropriate care from specialist experts who consult to provide recommendations and care. This means I have to be knowledgeable in these specialties to recognize when a care plan does not pass the eye test, leading to further discussion with the consultant or a second opinion.
The same is true when it comes to personal finance: we should know enough about various areas of expertise to know when to get a second opinion or choose another path.
Physicians are often targeted by financial industry advertising for a number of reasons. Not only do we have high incomes, but we also often have reliable cash flow via employment contracts, low crime/fraud risk, debt receptivity, and many of us have historically trusted d others to manage our financial affairs because we are concerned about patient care. .
This trust becomes problematic when targeting becomes predatory. So a small cottage industry has developed to provide doctor-to-doctor insight – after all, we trust our own financial adviser more than a random financial adviser, don’t we?
This cottage industry is ever-expanding, so I wanted to use this column to share a few websites that I’ve found helpful in expanding my own financial knowledge. Some sites leverage doctor-doctor trust, and others are more traditional.
Please note that this is not a sponsored post and I (and the AOA) have no financial incentive to mention the companies below in this post.
This is probably the best-known financial guidance platform for doctors over the past decade. The popular White Coat Investor book has spawned podcasts, talks, follow-up books and other products/resources. WCI teaches a fairly conservative approach to personal finance and is thorough and straightforward in its explanation of concepts.
If you’re looking for a reputable place to dive into the personal finance topics of the “by doctors, for doctors” mentality, this is a good place to start. Notably, there is now a growing network of sites similar to and in some cases affiliated with White Coat Investor, including Physician on Fire, Passive Income MD and Physician Philosopher – they all have a slightly different take on personal finance, but are cut in the same fabric “by doctors, for doctors”.
Notably, many of these sites rely heavily on advertising and affiliate partnerships to generate revenue, so be careful about “recommendations” and understand any potential financial conflicts.
This website is not designed by doctors, but is dedicated to the financial health of doctors. I like it because it offers a comprehensive overview of everything from doctor compensation and contract reviews to insurance and investment products. An important distinction here is that this site is not ad-supported.
This company provides information for free and offers paid services of in-house professionals to earn money. While it’s certainly not the only company of its kind, I find myself choosing this site as a first-line resource when I’m curious about physician compensation and the business of medicine.
Everyone sells something, even you. Perhaps the biggest blow to Robert Kiyosaki and the Rich Dad business is that there is bad advice in his most popular work. For doctors, his constant message that higher education is a waste of money can be off-putting. But, frankly, doctors could use a little contrary flavor that forces us to look in the mirror and re-examine our reality.
The Rich Dad platform is not designed for doctors; it is designed to sell products and services to the masses. For me, it’s a healthy exercise to learn from a generalized platform that forces me to make connections about how the concept applies (or doesn’t) to me. Again, this site is not directly ad-supported, but rather this company has made millions of dollars selling books, courses, coaching, and other services.
In summary, there are many free resources that physicians can access in the area of compensation and personal finance. The AOA website offers good information on the business of medicine and a basic overview of personal finance for physicians. You can also view the DO’s Money Matters column archive here.
Like everything else in life, individual preferences will influence your comfort with the platform.
My best advice is to always understand how people giving advice get paid – are they really working for you or are they just trying to sell you products/services? Again, everyone is selling something, and there’s no shame in that; but understanding the flow of money will put this conflict at the forefront of your analysis of information and allow you to take what you need, leave the sales pitch at the door and make informed decisions about the purchase of expert advice or products.
Editor’s note: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the DO or the AOA.
Work for assets, not money
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