The Monthly Checkout: May 2019

By Jimmy Turner, MD
The Physician Philosopher

Every month, I like to highlight some noteworthy posts that I’ve read.  I pass them along to you so that you can enjoy them, too. The posts will involve topics that are often covered on this blog including personal financeinvestingphysician burnout, and paying down debt.

We then end with an update on the happenings on the blog. If you haven’t subscribed to the blog, you can subscribe here.

Welcome to The Monthly Checkout for May 2019!

Wealthy Mom MD

Ms. Bonnie MD no longer goes by that name.  Instead, you’ll find the new and improved Wealthy Mom MD.  Don’t worry, though.  You can still find the same great material on the site, and it is still written by Dr. Bonnie Koo, a dermatologist who writes about personal finance specifically for women physicians.

What’s not to love about that?  It’s a great perspective.

Speaking of perspective, the perspective you take to money impacts your path towards financial independence.  Do you have a poor mindset, or a wealthy mindset?  Dr. Koo argues you should have the latter in her post Creating a Wealthy Mindset.

Stealth Wealth with Physician on FIRE

A wealthy mindset is key to finding financial success.  But what kind of wealth are we talking about here?  Flashy wealth?  In-your-face wealth?

Not if you are following Physician on FIRE’s advice.  He wants you to practice stealth wealth and teaches you how to do the same as he was recently interviewed about stealth wealth.

Cognitive Biases

Readers of this site know that I have a great respect for the philosophy and psychology of money.  You can look no further than the behavioral finance series on this site!

For today’s talk on mental mistakes and the psychology of money, I want to take you over to Miked Up Blog where Jerry from Peerless Money Mentor wrote a great guest post.  If you don’t know what the sunk cost fallacy is or if you are suffering from recency bias, check out this post on how to avoid letting cognitive biases impact your finances.

A Perspective Worth Reading

I think that personal finance and burnout are intrinsically linked.  While there are over 80 physician finance bloggers, there are likely less blogging about physician burnout.

So, you might understand why when I find a blogger that writes well on the topic of physician burnout, it gets me really excited.  The irony, of course, is that my favorite physician burnout blogger writes to stave off burnout, and not to cause it.   She has written 7 posts in the last three months, but every single one of them is pure gold.

For that reason, you should check out both of the posts from Reflections of a Millennial Doctor that were written this month. The first is a raw and honest story about the inequality that exists in workplace expectations.

The second post is what every single physician has wanted to say to patients who refuse to take responsibility for their own health.  It is one of the causes of moral injury in medicine.  While many of us think it, “M” can write it for us as she blogs anonymously.

Fees Matter

One of the best ways to maximize your investments is to minimize your fees.  It is a lesson that we honestly cannot hear often enough.

Fortunately, White Coat Investor wrote a great post on 5 ways to limit fees when investing.  So, if you want to boost your returns, learn how to minimize your investment fees.

Is Early Retirement Controversial?

Fred over at Money with a Purpose is one of my kindred spirits.  He says exactly what is on his mind, and never leaves you guessing what he is thinking.

In this epic post on the controversy of early retirement, Fred leaves no one out.  He includes low income earners, high income earners, boomers, and millennials.  Pretty sure a lot of readers on this blog can relate to any one of those categories.

New Sponsors on the Site

One of the big goals of this site from the very beginning was to find reputable people that I could recommend to my readers.  Given my disability insurance debacle and the rough start I had with the financial industry, I didn’t want any of my readers to have the same experience.

So, I’ve spent a lot of time considering offers to sponsor this site, rejecting many, and what is left is what I can recommend to you.

I still hold to the same ideology about personal finance for doctors, though.  I want as many of you to become DIY investors as possible.  However, I also recognize that many of are going to be in one of the two groups of doctors who need some financial help.

If you find yourself in that situation, please check out the recommended financial advisor page.  The list is never going to be very long (I’ll likely always limit it to 10 or less), but that means what you find is high quality.

For those that need disability or TERM life insurance, please get quotes from a few of the insurance agents you can find on the recommended insurance agent page.  Then, buy the best product at the best price for your needs.  And, if you need contract reviews for your upcoming job, we have a recommendation for contract reviews, too!

Update on the Site

The site continues to grow!  Thanks to all of you who are spreading the message by word of mouth.  That’s really the biggest way that this site experiences sustained growth.

I love to hear from readers.  So, if you ever need a thing from me, or you have a suggestion/criticism – send it my way!

Now, do me a solid and go check out the posts above!  The authors spent a lot of time writing the posts featured in The Monthly Checkout.  The least we can do is check them out and click around their site a bit.  You are sure to find a lot of great content everywhere you look.



  1. Physician on FIRE

    Thanks for sharing my stealth wealth post and for spreading the word on other great physician bloggers, too. It’s all I can do to try to keep up, and a couple of these posts slipped past my radar.


  2. Jerry @ Peerless Money Mentor

    Thanks for sharing my guest post! I didn’t know you had a behavioral finance series. I’ll have to check that out. That’s one of my favorite subjects.

  3. Physicians Capital Management LLC

    One of my favorite book is “Misbehaving” by Richard Thaler. It would be right up your alley if you have not already read it.

    • ThePhysicianPhilosopher

      I need to check that one out! Thaler is considered the father of behavioral finance as far as I understand it.

  4. Jerry @ Peerless Money Mentor

    I love that book. Don’t remember if I finished it or not but I read a good bit of it.
    My main job is working at a library, so I get to read /study a lot during my downtime.

  5. PICU MD

    As someone who is in more of an FI mindset (or at least financial security mindset) than a FIRE mindset, these are the things that I see as problematic.

    I think the FIRE mentality goes a little against the grain of Americana. The American dream is about working hard to get a better life. Not working hard to live minimally to not work any more. I’m reminded of this TV ad from a few years ago: https://www.ispot.tv/ad/7BkA/2014-cadillac-elr-poolside
    It’s not just stuff though. When I look at my own consumption I feel like a bulk of my money goes to my kids: dance lessons, piano lessons, tennis lessons, sports camps, summer camps, etc etc. Is it really better for me to work a few years less and not allow my kids to have all these activities?

    I feel specifically for doctors, it’s an interesting message that the FIRE community is preaching. basically after you’ve spent 11+ years after high school to learn your craft you work for 10 and then quit. While I don’t look down on doctors who do this, It makes me wonder if they made the right choice to begin with.

    • ThePhysicianPhilosopher

      A couple of thoughts:

      First, I actually don’t preach FIRE to anyone, really. I do preach financial independence to people because I think financial security is supremely important. That said, I won’t likely retire really early. I’d like to cut back to part-time at some point so that I don’t miss all those kids’ activities you mentioned above. Working so that they can have it and me not being there to support them makes very little sense to me. I’d rather FIRE than have that happen.

      Second, humans are meant to be productive. Most of these people who are FIRE’ing are still being productive in other ways. For example, when I have more time I intend to do more mission work. While I won’t get paid for it, it will certainly still use my skill set that I took years to hone.

      I think there is a happy middle ground here where people continue to work, but do it on their own time so that they can do what they want, still provide for their kids, and not feel enslaved to the system. FIRE may not be the answer, but neither is working until you are 70 to get financially independent and to miss all of that time you could be spending with the people you love, doing what you love.



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