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.

1 comment:

  1. I had only thumbed through the book when I read your post on the 20th. So I’m cycling back now having finished it cover to cover last night.

    The impetus for purchasing the book was the insurance section, which is mercifully brief and appropriately to the point. This succinctness is the hallmark of his writing. I particularly align with Mr. Dahle’s spend less, save more, and maybe you won’t need to work longer financial credo.

    I note the omission of how doctors might manage their own health care costs upon early retirement and his dismissal of a living will and healthcare power of attorney left me short. I appreciate his front line experience with life and death decisions. Mr. Dahle laments that the patient and family have rarely discussed what the patient would want done if incapable of making their own health care decisions. Upon dismissing paying an attorney to create formal documents or using an inexpensive online/software solution, he then remarks that there is too often no formal document! Is it naive to think that the interactive nature the online/software solution might just result in the family discussion and formal document that a medical professional would find useful?