For DoctorS OnlY
A large part of our business is physician-focused. It wasn’t until the beginning of 2016, however, that we began to realize that our service model (Fee-Only, CPA, and CFP(R) services under one roof) was a really nice fit for medical professionals’ personal finance and wealth management needs. Almost every physician we met had a personal horror story about paying good money for bad advice and expensive products. As “real” financial planners it’s frustrating to be lumped with unethical advisors, but we also saw an opportunity.
At that point, we put a lot of effort into honing our skills and education to better understand and appeal to the specific needs of medical professionals. Here is what we learned:
- It takes a lot of heart, brains and a superhuman work ethic to become a physician. Accumulating hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt to go to medical school with no guarantee of a match, then training more years as a low-paid resident, often fellow, is riskier than most non-physicians realize.
- Physicians often graduate insolvent, with loans they couldn’t discharge in bankruptcy even if they wanted to. Those who don't plan to go the PSLF route face decades of high loan payments.
- Physicians rarely get meaningful financial education in their 8 – 10+ years of training. To add insult to injury, medical schools often invite salespeople disguised as advisors in to “teach” students, but they rarely, if ever, give any useful advice.
- Physicians shift immediately from living on very tight budgets to earning six-figure incomes.
- This combination leaves them prey to financial professionals who are excellent at selling expensive products such as whole life insurance, annuities, and high-cost investments.
- Most physicians are very nice people who make great clients once the trust factor is overcome. Like all of us, physicians want to be heard, respected, and know they are getting good value.
- Physicians typically have strong personalities and enjoy the best relationships with advisors with equally strong personalities who are not intimidated by being questioned and tested by intelligent people.
- Doctors need financial planning that incorporates appropriate financial products. Insurance and other products will be used to support the goals of the plan, but are not the foundation of the plan.
That’s where we come in. My business partner, Michelle Neiswender, and I are strictly fee-only Certified Financial Planner (CFP®) Professionals. I'm a CPA of almost 40 years, partner in a separate CPA firm, and one of the moderators of the White Coat Investor forum, while Michelle has her MBA. We are both fully committed to FIDUCIARY fee-only planning and investing for our clients, 95% of whom are remote.
Together, we are working as true fiduciaries to change the stereotype of financial advisors who prey on the so-called “rich doctor”. If you are looking for experienced, trustworthy fee-only advisors who can simplify your financial life and help you protect your assets, we invite you to schedule a free initial appointment to find out more.