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New member wanting to learn - suggest resources
Old 05-10-2012, 08:58 AM   #1
Confused about dryer sheets
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New member wanting to learn - suggest resources

Hi Folks,

I am 35,physician, but have only been working at a real job for the last 2. Me and wife who is also in the same profession, different speciality are blissfully ignorant about finances, investing and planning for retirement.
As a result inspite of our relatively high incomes, we have nothing to show for assets other than a modest suburban home (with very little equity in it yet), 401K plans, modest life insurance- whole and term and some cash sitting in the bank earning 0.01% interest!

For the last 2-3 years just based on logic and need to decrease our debts, we have aggressively paid off our loans, CC debts etc. I thought it was the right thing to do and we both feel good about it.

Both of us live within our means. We drive a Toyota and a Nissan. I have some expensive hobbies - HiFi Audio, Woodworking, Ink pens to name a few. She has no time or penchant for such things. She likes to spend on vacations and occasional dining out. We have a 2 yr old and and another on the way.

We both need to get a good accountant. The guy who does our taxes (since residency days is not upto the game). I have a few referrals and am working on it.

I really want to learn more about building wealth/assests. I have been through 30+ years of excellent education but am illiterate when it comes to Money. As a result I am afraid of making stupid fiscal decisions/commitments.

Please direct me to credible resources - websites/books/rags/ and courses that will help me learn. I am thinking of joining one of Dave Ramsey's online courses, but am concerned that its too general and too focused on paying off debt.

Any other tips/advice and thoughts will also be appreciated.

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Old 05-10-2012, 09:47 AM   #2
Recycles dryer sheets
Join Date: Jun 2011
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Welcome nocrapman and my compliments on using "crap" in your name, a word that is underutilized IMHO. My wife and I are both in medicine as well, but I'm 13 years your senior. I can identify with your situation and we paid off all loans early, drove inexpensive cars till they died, and found every possible way to shelter money (403bs, IRA, 401ks, etc) due to relatively high income. My advice is to read, read, and read some more from books recommended on this site and Bogleheads site. Get some cheap term life insurance since you have kids (avoid most insurance products like the plague), keep driving inexpensive cars till the die, fund 529's for kids (b/c they WILL NOT receive anything buy merit based aid for college), and try your best to avoid using a "financial advisor". You care so much more about your money than anyone else, never lose site of this fact. Avoid the doctor lifestyle "creep", this will cut you down at the knees (read: I will grow old having to work forever, competing with younger, more agile docs and I will hate life). I did my own taxes for a long time, up until started getting multiple K-1s. Taxes are not that difficult and unfortunately a good CPA will not be able to save you much if any. Make sure they do not charge you too much. I pay around 1500/year and they even reduced the bill when they thought I might leave. In the end, my accountant just fills in the blanks with all the info I so anally keep track of. I read tax info for fun, b/c I'm kind of a weirdo (just ask my wife). Good luck.

This is no social crisis, just another tricky day for you...
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Old 05-10-2012, 11:31 AM   #3
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You asked about credible resources. At the top of the page, click on Links. There you will find links to web sites, books, calculators.

Others here will also recommend the Bogleheads website, which is a forum similar to this. The forum is excellant, but overwhelming in the amount of detail. What you want access to, though, is the wiki which has a treasure of information.

Start here, go there, then post your questions!

-- Rita
Only got A dimple, would have preferred 2!
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:25 PM   #4
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If anyone gives you better leads I'll be surprised.

My personal favorite complete "big picture" book on investing is still The Four Pillars of Investing by Dr William Bernstein, but there's no "crap" on this list Investment Books

And for online references on even more aspects of managing your money, there's not a single page of "crap" in this investing wiki Bogleheads
If I'd started with these resources, I would have gotten on track even earlier, most (not all) members here fall somewhere near the Bogleheads approach.
LBYM!!! Sounds like you're on board if you don't know the acronym. No matter how much income anyone has, the more LBYM, the sooner FI.

IMO Dave Ramsey is good on saving and budgeting, but not so much on investing. Frankly his audience is lower (than you) income families who have gotten themselves into financial trouble and/or have little or no financial training. He provides a real service helping his primary audience, not what you need maybe.

And last you mention getting an accountant. That covers a lot of ground. If you mean anything like a financial advisor, they can be invaluable but the bad FAs outnumber the good ones substantially. Some of the biggest name firms with the highest (ad) visibility can be the worst of all. Doctors are among their favorite victims clients, lots of money, no time to manage it and not much money sense. My Dad was an orthopedic surgeon, I didn't learn anything about investing from him. Lastly on financial advisors 'by the time you know enough to pick a great financial advisor, you won't need one (because you'll know enough to do it successfully yourself).'

Welcome to the forum...
No one agrees with other people's opinions; they merely agree with their own opinions -- expressed by somebody else. Sydney Tremayne
Retired Jun 2011 at age 57

Target AA: 60% equity funds / 35% bond funds / 5% cash
Target WR: Approx 2.5% Approx 20% SI (secure income, SS only)
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Old 05-10-2012, 12:37 PM   #5
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Welcome to the forum! You will find a wealth of knowledge and support here. I am also an MD and it seems that we have had quite a few new physicians join lately. Doctoring is not the gravy train it is made out to be and we are wising up to the need to look after our finances as well as our patients! Unlike some, I would not rule out the value of a good accountant. I have a medical corporation and other complicating factors, and my accountant's advice saves me thousands of dollars each year. My only other comment is that I am glad that you and DW are tackling debt and are ready to begin the journey to financial independence relatively early. Get informed and take control of your financial future!
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Old 05-10-2012, 01:29 PM   #6
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A good accountant is a start. Also, look into individual disability policies for you and your wife. They are portable and that's a big plus. Make sure you have adequate life insurance also.

Consult with your own advisor or representative. My thoughts should not be construed as investment advice. Past performance is no guarantee of future results (love that one).......:)

This Thread is USELESS without pics.........:)
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