Money Meets Medicine Podcast

MMM 80: You Are Worth The Investment

People often think about money as the end goal. The reason they work, save, and make decisions in life revolve around this idea that they are striving to meet a money goal. But today we are going to flip the script on this mindset around money. Instead of thinking of money as the goal, we are going to look at money as a tool.  

Larry Keller

Today we are going to dig into why we argue that investing money in non-traditional ways (and when we say non-traditional, we mean spending it) is an important part of your money mindset just like my Money Meets Medicine Podcast co-host, Ryan Inman who spends on his favorite thing, Star Wars toys. Okay, that is a joke, but it is important to spend money on things that are important to you. Why? Well there are a few key reasons. 

Investing In Yourself

When people spend money all they see is money leaving their account. But the truth is far from this. When you spend money to invest in yourself you benefit in life, but in a different way then you are used to. 

We talk about this in the Alpha Coaching Experience a lot. This idea of asking a question about an investment that is not just about the financial numbers, but the value it brings you.  

For example, we recently had a doctor who is looking at going part time in medicine to do public speaking and marketing for his business. When we started to dig into what this would look like he realized that he would be bringing additional people into the clinic he currently works at. What is the value of this? Because value is not as simple as trading time for money.  

Most people look at work as trading their time for money, but that is not true because some people get paid more for the same time. So it is actually all about value.   

So let’s reframe the question entirely.  

You can spend your money in a way that is an investment in your future, not just in a way that seems like money is leaving your bank account. 

Everyday you are making decisions and telling your dollars what you want to do. And even though you might not get the mathematical ROI you are used to looking for, the ROI on your life that you get is just as important. 

You should be able to, and you should want to invest in yourself. Your mental, finance, physical well being, or whatever that looks like for you. For those that budget, maybe you have a line item that says personal care made up of reading, haircuts, or whatever it is that supports your well-being. 

Investing In The Market vs. Investing In Yourself

So this is really the question that we are getting at, isn’t it?  

Where is the balance and is it okay to invest in yourself or value instead of just putting that money directly into the market for a hard ROI in the future? 

This makes me think of one of my favorite examples of investing in value and yourself instead of choosing the market. When I am lecturing and the topic of financial planners comes up, I often have a very different conversation than my students expect.  

It usually starts with me explaining that index funds outperform actively managed funds most of the time. This leads us into a conversation about financial advisors and planners. Should they use one?  

A good financial planner is about $12,000 a year depending on a lot of factors (where you are in life, investments you want to make, etc.).  

Immediately after hearing this number their eyes get wide and they start to do the math. If they put that $12,000 into the market every year and look at their ROI over 30 years it looks like a no brainer. Why hire a financial planner?  

Investment you can measure vs. spending you can measure.  

But, the value you are getting from the money you put into a good financial planner is much more worth it – SMART goals, long-term planning, life insurance, contingency planning, and so many more benefits.  

The value is much greater if you invest your money into a good financial planner than the money you would get if you just flat out invested that money each year.  

If I put this into an investment instead, would it be financially worth it, is not the right question.  


Commit to Investing In Yourself  

When it comes to investing in yourself people struggle with this not just because they might feel that money flat out invested is more important than the value they are getting (which is hard to directly measure), but because of commitment.  

Did you know that 80% of people that buy online courses do not finish them? That is a very high number. If you purchase a course and don’t finish it, did you really get everything you could out of it? Did you really get your value?  

When you don’t commit then it is hard to get the value out of your investments.  

If you bought my book, The Physician Philosopher’s Guide to Personal Finance, or Ryan’s book Financial Residency, for example, and actually read the entire book, did the exercises and templates, you would get a lot more value then $15 or $20 from that purchase.  

Should you expect to get $10,000 or more value from it? No, but the money you are going to invest in yourself (and the time you invest in yourself) are going to have some perceived value from it. Not only the value you perceive but the effort you put into gives you a lot of value.  

So when you are making this investment are you going to get the value out of it? Are you going to do it?

Investing In Your Relationships 

It is so important to invest in yourself, but we don’t want to forget to mention another important part of your life to invest in, your relationships. Investing in important relationships in your life, especially the one with your spouse, should be a high priority for your money.

One way my wife Kristen and I do this is through vacations- without the kids. We spend money on dinners, babysitters, and weekend trips. And this investment is more than worth it.  

And actually, this is one you can almost directly measure because if you get divorced someday, maybe because you were not investing in your marriage, then you are going to lose half of your assets.  

It may be a bit on the negative side to think of it this way, but if you are someone that struggles with investing in yourself or relationships without seeing a financial ROI, this is one way you could think about it. 

This goes for other important relationships in your life such as friendships as well. You have to invest in them.  

Actually, I recently went to visit my college roommate and a really close friend. While I was there I met a pediatrician and we started talking about The Physician Philosopher’s concepts on money and mindset. She was really interested in what that looks like when you bring the two together, not just making investments financially, but also as a physician, making investments herself.  

I explained how I Intentionally build white space into my calendar now for self care to invest in myself in anyway that I need at that time. 

What gets you through medical school, attending, and becoming a Physician is to go, go, go. We are not taught to slow down and enjoy life, but that is one of the reasons we go into medicine in the first place. 

So I really encourage you to invest in yourself, your relationships, and the things in life that you love. 

You work hard for your family, but if you work so much and look at money only as the goal, not as a tool you can use, then you need to ask yourself why? Why do I do this? And then realize you don’t have to.

So from two personal finance gurus, take your time and your money and invest in yourself. The ROI will forever give back to you. 


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