You’re already an expert in your field; you’re not expected to be an expert in mine.

I have compiled some frequently asked questions for your convenience

I am part of a physician family. When my wife was in residency she would pass along information that she was receiving from “financial advisors” who were trying to sell her products, and it was alarming how vulnerable she was to bad advice and bad investments. The reality is, most doctors aren’t married to a financial planner, and they end up getting taken advantage of or making catastrophic financial mistakes.

I realize you’ve put in years of training and long hours to take the best possible care of your patients, but you haven’t done the same with your finances. Getting rich was not your motivation for going into medicine. You’ve spent 20-30 years in school, and yet you haven’t been taught how to succeed in personal finance. This lack of financial education leaves you very vulnerable to insurance agents, stock brokers, realtors and lenders that are not true fiduciaries. I am a fee-only financial planner, and strive for full transparency in my business. I am always a fiduciary to my clients, and I truly have their best interest in mind.

I know your free time is precious, so I’ve set up my practice to work around your demanding schedule. I’m not like other financial planners who are available 9-5. My hours of business are extended to hours that are suitable for you – at 8pm after you put kids to bed, while you’re grabbing a quick lunch, or between patients. Short of the overnight shift, consider me on-call.

The financial planning process consists of four initial 90 minute meetings followed by quarterly or annual check ins. Throughout the year however, I am available to provide guidance and answer questions, but also to address anything that might cause the plan to shift or change course. Thinking about having kids? Let’s discuss and alter the plan to see how starting a family will affect your financial plan and retirement. Want to buy a house but not sure how much you can afford? We will run various scenarios to not only see how much you can afford, but what your budget and spending will look like after the purchase. I also have an extensive background in real estate so I will be able to give you very detailed and accurate analysis over your potential home purchase. Contemplating moonlighting for extra income or want to run different scenarios on your student debt? We can cover those too and many more!

For a detailed description about our financial planning process, click here.

After our initial meetings, I will provide you with a 5-page financial plan based on your current financial situation and future goals. Although every financial plan is custom tailored to your specific goals, here are common areas that make up the comprehensive financial planning process: budgeting and cash flow, investments, debt management, insurance, estate planning, college savings, employee benefits and retirement planning. Financial planning not only provides a custom roadmap, but more importantly, accountability and guidance along the way.

Yes! We have created a white paper on this very topic. You can download it here.

Most residents and young physicians don’t understand the importance of savings. Physicians have a delayed start into the workforce compared to their college peers who started working and contributing to their retirement and savings around 22 years old. Most physicians finish residency in their early 30’s with little to no savings (which is understandable) and a mountain of student loans. On average, physicians start saving 10 years later than those who didn’t go into medicine. Physicians are compensated with higher than normal salaries, but if they don’t learn how to budget and save appropriately, they will have significant trouble achieving financial freedom and their goals.

 

You’re likely in a lot of student debt. On average, medical students graduate with around $180,000 in student debt. I provide student loan analysis to help medical students and residents choose the best course of action in paying off their student debt. This service consists of organizing and analyzing all private and federal student loans, as well as creating a customized repayment strategy considering your situation, complexity and the options available.

 

You’ve spent decades in school, but did not receive a financial education. That’s where I come in. Think of our relationship as a financial residency without the long hours and sleepless nights! As part of our work together, I will guide you through a financial education resulting in confidence and clarity in this critical aspect of your life. You’ll understand how you make money, how you spend money, how your hard-earned money is going to work for you, and how to protect yourself and your family. I have witnessed residents and fellows bombarded by life and disability insurance salesmen and other “investment” pitches that are not in their best interest. You didn’t receive any formal financial knowledge in your decades of education and training, so how are you supposed to know? I’ve seen physician friends and clients, that when offered to contribute to their employer sponsored 403b, thought it was a scam and didn’t want to contribute anything. Six years later they had zero savings for retirement when that whole time they could have been deferring income and paying less taxes. The deferral of income would have also allowed them to pay less on their loans.

It’s ok to not know the difference between a ROTH IRA and a 403b, or which 529 plan is best. I will simplify highly complex concepts and translate industry jargon into plain English. My value as a financial planner comes from not just making complicated financial matter simple, but also helping train physicians to take action and make smarter, more informed financial decisions.

You’re already an expert in your field, you’re not expected to be an expert in mine. My financial background consists of a BA in Accounting, an MA in Financial Management, and an MA in Business Administration (MBA). I have worked in the finance field for over a decade and have not only helped small and medium sized businesses grow, but have also helped countless individuals grow their net worth as well. My prior training was helping high net worth individuals (net worth over $1m) manage their financial lives and investments, but I realized that my passion is working with young physicians that were just starting their careers and could really benefit from truly unbiased, quality financial advice.

It means that my only compensation comes from my clients, not from products or services that I would recommend. I do not sell any financial products, nor do I receive any commissions from insurance brokers, mutual funds, attorneys or CPA’s. Being a fee-only financial planner eliminates nearly every conflict of interest that exists in the financial industry, aligns your goals and financial well-being with my firm, and allows me to be the true fiduciary the you need.

First, we take a risk profile assessment where we ask you a series of questions to find out how much risk you are willing to take with your investments. Think of this as finding your “sleeping point”. How much risk can you tolerate and still sleep at night? Once we do this, we create the right portfolio allocation for you. Everyone is different, but generally fall into one of four main categories (conservative, moderate, aggressive, ultra-aggressive). Once we establish your risk tolerance, we will design a portfolio specifically for you. When it comes to investing for my clients, I practice what I preach. The investments that I recommend to my clients are the very same investments that my family makes, the only difference is allocations based on risk tolerance.

Comprehensive Financial Planning: Our fee structure is set up to be simple and transparent. I want to help every medical student, resident and young physician I can, regardless of net worth. NO minimum required. Imagine if you told patients that you won’t help them unless their BMI was under 25. Sounds ridiculous, right? I think so too.

Think of me as your Primary Care Physician for your finances. Your patients trust you with their health, my clients trust me with their financial lives. As part of your primary financial care, there are two check-up options – annual and quarterly. Think of it as long-term care rather than a one-time visit. Both options produce a custom financial plan and include access to me whenever you need it.

My standard planning fee is a $999 for the initial, intensive planning process which consist of 4 meetings together, and the development of a custom tailored financial plan. Then my fee is between $200-500 per month, depending on whether you opt for annual or quarterly care, as well as the level of complexity of your finances. For more details about the two check-up options, click here.

Life throws everyone curveballs, which is why I don’t charge a one-time fee for creating a plan and then hourly for every time you need guidance. My current fee structure aligns our goals and compensation with what is truly best for you – it allows me to be accessible, and the plan to be fluid. I don’t charge extra for phone calls or emails or running updated scenarios in the financial planning software. I don’t want you to hesitate to reach out and we don’t expect you to wait until an emergency arises to call us. If you are contemplating a life change, I want to help you work through it!

Have a financial question and only 11 minutes between rounding and your next patient? I’ll be accessible when you are – in the evenings after you get your kids to bed, during your commute home, or in between patients. Short of the overnight shift, consider me on-call.

 

Investment Management

There are NO investment minimums to work with me. Investment management fees only vary by service level, not by how much money you have to invest. If you are not a financial planning client but wish to have my firm manage your IRA’s, 401k/403b or other investment accounts, I charge a flat 1%. No minimum, no hidden fees. If you are a financial planning client and wish to have the firm manage your money, my fee is 0.75%.

There are a number of factors to consider as every situation is different. More often than not, it’s about following a sound financial plan and taking good care of the money you bring home, rather than making more money and spending more money. As part of the financial planning process, we will address these questions, and find what the right answer is for you.

In order to successfully manage your own investments, you would need ample time, interest, expertise and resources. Even if you have all those things, successful investing requires the ability to successfully control your emotions. I believe that investment decisions shouldn’t be based on speculation or emotions, as these behaviors usually lead to investors becoming their own worst enemy – buying at all time market highs and selling at or near the bottom of a stock market downturn. You are extremely educated, but that doesn’t translate to making good investments. Hiring an investment manager will prevent you from making mistakes that could prove catastrophic to securing your retirement.

My clients are in residency, fellowship, or less than 10 years into their medical practice. They have the desire to increase their financial literacy and want to be active in their financial decisions. For more information, click here.

Absolutely! I sign a fiduciary oath for my clients and will always act in this manner. Just as you want the best possible care for your patients, I strive to take care of you in the best possible way.

Yes. The only difference between my personal investment allocation and my clients’ allocations is based on risk level.

No, I have not had any client sue me or have had any legal action taken against me.

Yes! I’m located in Las Vegas, NV but work almost entirely with clients on a remote basis. My services have been designed so that all the information you need regarding your finances can be found via a custom, online portal, at any time. With this accessibility, we can easily have substantive conversations about your finances, by video chat or phone, without forcing you to break from your busy day or disrupt your routine.

Have any other questions? Send me an email, or schedule a call and I would be happy to talk with you.

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