Thoughts, ideas, suggestions and education from financial adviser Jim Ludwick, Founder of MainStreet Financial Planning, Inc. of Odenton, MD; Washington, DC; New York City, and Santa Barbara, CA

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Personal Finance Book For Dr's Tops Best Seller List

“The White Coat Investor – A Doctor’s Guide to Finance and Investing” by Jim Dahle, MD, should make many wirehouse brokers and life insurance agents shake in their boots.   You can quote me on that.

If there was ever a book that needed to be provided to every physician, dentist, veterinarian and other highly paid professional right out of expensive postgraduate school, this is the one.   The author, an Emergency Room physician, can be faulted for quoting some fly by night financial advisor, “This is the book I’d like to force feed physicians and other ‘white coats’” by that would be me so I will refrain from dissing the endorsements that are made on the inside flyleaf or back cover, but they are impressive, in my humble opinion.

The foreword is by William Bernstein, MD, author of “The Four Pillars of Investing” -the book I have most recommended to clients for over ten years.  This book by Jim Dahle ignites my enthusiasm to recommend it any potential high-income professional to read at the beginning of their career just as much as I have done with Bernstein’s book.  And then the author goes on to thank Rick Ferri, my favorite financial author, for providing him advice and approval.  I knew it was a must read even before I started.

If you’re not a medical student or physician in your residency, you can lightly pass over a couple of the 16 chapters, but don’t be too blasé about the topics of student loans, getting into medical school or budgeting.  These topics are close enough for many would-be professionals who have to borrow for their education that it makes these chapters worth reading.  The chapters are short, so a 4-hour read for the whole book is a possibility.

Why do you think this physician spent the time and money to write this book?  It’s self-published after all, so you know he put his own money on the line. I’ll tell you why, in my opinion.  Doctor Dahle observed the racket that likes to separate the hard earned money from the postgraduate school trained investor/saver by appealing to their ego and fear or greed.

Most purveyors of financial products and many money managers use techniques honed after decades of trial and error to capture their prey.  They know about human behavior and use it to their advantage, and the author lays that out in clear detail. Now, don’t get me wrong. This ER doc doesn’t lambast all of these so called financial advisors, only the most outrageous.  His examples, and stories from other doctors, detail experiences and how to live the good life without falling victim to high priced products and services that make more money for the sellers than the buyers.

Spoiler alert.  Early in the book Dahle tells his readers to “live beneath your means”.  He goes on to outline how graduate level living and paying off debt and saving early for significant goals are the keys to success.  I couldn’t have said it better or clearer.  The charts and graphs that are included do a good job of reinforcing the understanding of key concepts.

This book not only covers investing but taxes, loans, getting into medical school, estate planning and asset protection.  I will be buying copies of this book in bulk, not only to save money, but also to save my clients money and you can quote me on that, too.

It’s a short read as personal finance books go and contains notes and links to his blog and works by others on germane topics at the end of each chapter.  I’m going to highlight several well-written blogs of his when I pass out this book.

Thank you, Doctor Dahle.

Thursday, February 6, 2014


Dear Clients, Friends and Colleagues:

For several years, you’ve probably known that Anna Sergunina was my exit strategy.  In 2008, we developed a plan to transition to the next generation slowly or, worst case scenario, immediately in a crisis.  Well, the crisis has not happened (thank you very much), but phase two is being implemented slowly, but not too slowly.

On January 1st Anna purchased all the remaining 95% of the shares in our corporation that she did not own and is now the owner of the business.  I’m the only employee.

We outsourced some of our detail work to registered paraplanner Kathy Watkins in Chicago and some of the administration, including initial client contact, appointment setting and follow-up to The Intelligent Office (IO) in Washington, DC.  Karen and Kyna are the two most common contacts you are dealing with at IO.

Anna is actively searching for CFP® planners to join us both here on the east and west coasts.  I will be the trainer.

My plans are to work full time for the next few years, but at some point I will stop taking on new clients and just help the new planners with their new clients.  I will continue to service existing clients as long as they have confidence in my skills and I’m able to provide answers to their questions and help them make good financial decisions.

I will continue my blog and my radio show and my tweets. Thank you for a wonderful 12 years as the founder and owner of MainStreet Financial Planning. I couldn’t have done it without Anna, and now she can’t do it without me (or at least that’s what I’m telling myself).

Sincerely, Jim Ludwick                               

Watch Anna's video announcement:

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