The White Coat Investor: A Doctor's Guide to Personal Finance and Investing

The White Coat Investor: A Doctor's Guide to Personal Finance and Investing

Posted by jack_miller | Published a year ago

With 1150 ratings

By: James M. Dahle MD, Troy W. Hudson, et al.

Purchased At: $24.99

Written by a practicing emergency physician, The White Coat Investor is a high-yield manual that specifically deals with the financial issues facing medical students, residents, physicians, dentists, and similar high-income professionals. Doctors are highly-educated and extensively trained at making difficult diagnoses and performing life-saving procedures. However, they receive little to no training in business, personal finance, investing, insurance, taxes, estate planning, and asset protection.

This book fills in the gaps and will teach you to use your high income to escape from your student loans, provide for your family, build wealth, and stop getting ripped off by unscrupulous financial professionals. Straight talk and clear explanations allow the book to be easily digested by a novice to the subject matter yet the book also contains advanced concepts specific to physicians you won't find in other financial books.

This book will teach you how to:

  • Graduate from medical school with as little debt as possible
  • Escape from student loans within two to five years of residency graduation
  • Purchase the right types and amounts of insurance
  • Decide when to buy a house and how much to spend on it
  • Learn to invest in a sensible, low-cost and effective manner with or without the assistance of an advisor
  • Avoid investments which are designed to be sold, not bought
  • Select advisors who give great service and advice at a fair price
  • Become a millionaire within five to 10 years of residency graduation
  • Protect your hard-won assets from professional and personal lawsuits
  • Avoid estate taxes, avoid probate, and ensure your children and your money go where you want when you die
  • Minimize your tax burden, keeping more of your hard-earned money
  • Decide between an employee job and an independent contractor job
  • And so much more

This book is great and a must-read for every physician or physician-to-be. If we have to learn the Krebs cycle, I cannot fathom why we do not have to learn the content in this book.

I am currently a 4th year medical student and have recently completed my MBA as well; I think this book is equally (if not more) useful than my MBA in terms of managing my money as a physician. I would consider this a "First Aid for the Personal Finances of a Physician". The book is high-yield and concise yet provides "recommended additional reading" at the end of nearly every chapter. By the time you have finished this book, you will be able to speak intelligently about many common financial topics such as investing, retirement accounts, taxes, loan repayment options, etc.

If you do not know ANYTHING at all about how to invest, what 401(k) and IRAs are, or what tax bracket you are going to fall into- this book will probably save you hundreds of thousands of dollars. I am not a salesman or advertisement-type-person, I sincerely believe this book can save people hundreds of thousands of dollars over their entire career.

In conclusion, every physician/future-physician should spend $17 on this short book and rest assured that they will competent in most personal finance topics.

- arian_green

So most parents don't educate their children about money and schools definitely do not. I heard the worst financial and career advice imaginable from college professors. This is more about personal finance than investing. Buy it before you apply to med school. The author repeatedly points out that most physicians don't earn that much anymore but are tempted to live as if they do. Much of the book offers common sense suggestions such as spend far less than you earn and save the rest. Perhaps the highlight of the book is that the author suggests that if you know enough to determine if a financial advisor is knowledgeable and isn't going to rape you with fees, then you know enough that you don't need a financial advisor. In my experience, that is largely true, a bit like choosing your physician.

You don't know what you don't know so either you can read a lot of Suze Orman or you can hire a smart CFA. However, be aware that a CFA is not an accountant and not a real estate, estate planing, or tax attorney. The portion on investing is perhaps too superficial. The author does cover personal finance such as disability insurance, excess liability, student loans and so on. I take issue with his advice on taxes. He suggests pushing the boundaries when paying taxes. Yes, there are some grey areas, and yes you might save a few dollars pushing those until you trip an IRS flag and are audited. Then you will pay your accountant for the audit and if you fight it, you will hire a tax attorney at $400 per hour. Assuming that you are right and that you win (and the first does not in any way guarantee the second) your expenses will be substantial, and if they are larger than your tax savings, too bad. In addition, you will likely be audited several more times. Congress writes tax laws, the IRS writes the tax code, and then there is case law; there is no one person on the planet who understands it all.

- jonah_diaz

This book was recommended to me by an ER doc I work with in San Diego, Ca. In am an ER nurse, and I wasn't really sure why I should read it or how reading the book would benefit me. It is common knowledge that registered nurses make a fraction of pay per year as physicians,. My ability to purchase extra rental property as an investment and purchase a home in San Diego as determined and recommended by the author is not tangible on a nurse's income.
However, the advice regarding how to budget, how to live comfortably within, or below your means, how to put all the luxuries you feel you deserve now on hold for a few years was very helpful.
In addition, the information regarding selecting a "financial advisor" and learning to do your own taxes instead of paying someone to do them just makes sense and will help me to retire sooner and happier.

- matteo_gray

I'm 12 years into private practice and found this book very helpful. I've seen enough 70+ yr old physicians dragging themselves to work every day, still carrying a mortgage on their million dollar home and leasing their BMW, to know that I don't want to go that route. Modest living and aggressive saving are key in the current environment of medicine and this book outlines how. It should be mandatory reading for every new physician but even established docs will learn key pearls. Let me summarize the whole book in a sentence: save 20% of your gross yearly for retirement before your discretionary spending, don't worry about looking like a rich doctor for your neighbors, don't get divorced, and focus your investing on Vanguard indexed funds in 401(k)s and IRAs. Done. Everything else is optional. Do this from residency, and with just about any physician income, you'll be set for retirement.

- gavin_myers

At first I thought this was going to be a book that had the basic financial information - saving in mutual funds, stock market basics, retirement, Etc. I have been in solo practice for about 4 years, so I am a relatively new doctor, and relatively modest debt, compared to my classmates. I am in a metropolitan area, where Private Practice is quickly becoming a thing of the past. When my friend referred this book to me, he is much younger than me, and I was thinking I wasn't going to learn much. But, I read the book in its entirety. This book addresses private practice, separate tax entities, other Investments outside of Medicine, so it is definitely my cup of tea. I really appreciate the hyperlinks at the end of each chapter, that go into more detail. Thank you, Dr Dahle, for providing a forum specifically for doctors and addressing today's financial anxieties.

- silas_martin

Short version of basic finance rule: spend less than you earn. Retirement and incorporation advices are for USA. You will finish that book in 2 hours so total waste of money

- anna_evans

Even though I reside outside the United States, the advice in this book is just as relevant!! A must read for every doctor aspiring for financial freedom. The earlier one reads it the better...right from med school.

- alden_scott

Very useful. Few more examples focusing on a residents finances would be great. Best for a doctor coming towards the end of residency.

- terrence_baker

Useful, more suited to the US doctors. There are some general ideas which are good.

- alyssa_allen

Nothing in here was astoundingly insightful and a lot of the content is most relevant and applicable to physicians in the USA. Better to just read books on finance and investing.

- anya_clark

Insightful and covers a lot of material; although I’m not a doctor, the materials covered can be applied to a lot of people

- donovan_lee

I was thinking of providing some financial advice to my doctor friends and bought this to learn the American perspective. To summarise, all you need to know is the time value of money to understand how much to save and where. This book is very specific in practical advice to doctors from the United States.

- jaylah_moore

Read this book every 2-3 years. Each time you will get something more out of it. Even if you manage some things and avoid most mistakes you will do good.

- lailah_patel

I am a doctor who is seeking to optimise my financial position and I found the advice in this book very helpful. I particularly liked that it was NOT a 'get rich quick' advice book and suggested realistic methods of financial advancement.

- zuri_cook

A good book to start you on your track to financial freedom and investing. All high income earners such as physicians and dentists should read it.

- edgar_evans

Great little overview of physician finance. Focused on US laws and vehicles but still useful to an international audience. A Canadian edition might be an option in the future.

- giovanni_adams

Every doctor or medical student should read this. i think it is great advice and great resume of many important point of our practice and financial situations.

- william_williams

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