Letter to the Editor
Thanks to Dr. Thomas Cook for his piece, “Why Are Doctors Financial Idiots?” (EMN 2013;35:28; http://bit.ly/17OLdK1.) It correctly identifies my financial incompetence. For those of us who did not have the good fortune of participating in your program's career planning curriculum, any recommendations on where to obtain financial advice?
David Zodda, MD
Dr. Cook responds: Thanks for your interest. I would recommend finding a certified financial planner. This can be intimidating if you have not approached anyone about this before, but I would ask around in your practice group regarding who they work with and seek out an interview with those planners. Keep in mind that these folks want your business. Doctors are good clients. Be sure to talk to several of them, not just one person. Many are associated with insurance companies or other investment firms. I am wary of these because they will really push their financial products and do not provide relatively unbiased information that you can get from a planner who is more independent. Also consider that some have a flat fee or fees based on the amount of work they do for you while others will charge an annual percentage of your portfolio. I prefer the latter because it serves as an incentive for them to make money for you. The more your portfolio is worth, the more money they make.
Also it's a good idea to learn Quicken (or a similar program). Understanding how your cash moves in your life is critical to planning for your expenses going forward. There is a learning curve, but once you get in the habit, it will provide a lifetime of benefits on how to plan for the future. Best of luck. Feel free to contact me if you have additional questions.