The Monthly Checkout: October 2018

By Jimmy Turner, MD
The Physician Philosopher

So, my wife and I decided to buy a house.  We pushed back our look for a house after looking at our finances a little more about three months ago.  This was the first month we were going to look, and naturally we found a house pretty quickly.  But this does feel like the right time and still allows us to achieve all of the goals we set a year ago.

What we have learned through the process is that life is about balance. That said, we had to set expectations, because if our expectations are different or reality doesn’t match  – that is a recipe for disaster.

With that said, he is The Monthly Checkout for this month.

Investor Policy Statement – Got one?

Dr. McFrugal spends a lot of time talking about balancing wants with being a master of frugality.  That said, he also spends some time talking about investing.

One of the most important things that anyone can do is to write down their goals and create a guide for each step, which DMF talks about at length in Make a Statement – An Investor Policy Statement.

A Rant On Ignoring The Basics

ESI Money is known for going on a rant or two, but usually for good cause.

In this post, he takes dead aim on people who make excuses for not obtaining wealth and for saying that those with a high-income don’t have to work hard for their wealth.  I love this post, because it drives at the heart of the problem – people like to make excuses for why they are not achieving their financial goals.

Do you ever think about how to Ignore the Basics of Personal Finance and Still Become Rich?

What’s Your Cash Burn Rate?

Do you know what a cash burn rate is?  I didn’t either til I read this post by Wealthy Doc.  A lot of people hate budgeting. So, this is yet another way to figure out expenses and make a plan while avoiding the dreaded “B” word.

Check it out as Wealthy Doc discusses Financial Freedom Without Budgeting.

Fantasy Football and Finances

Over at The Rich Miser, I ran into a bit of nostalgia. See, this year is the first year (since college) that I am not participating in fantasy football of any kind.

While I’ve found more time for other passions after ending this endeavor, I can’t help but relate to the lessons that can be learned from playing the game.  In a guest post by Mike (from Miked Up Blog), follow along as he answers How Fantasy Football Teaches You to Be Better at Personal Finance.

Are you a Financial Independent Fake?

My favorite posts are always the ones that keep it real.  Raw and expressed emotion is freeing.  It helps the rest of us know that we are normal, and helps validate our thoughts.

Doc G over at DiverseFI did this when he shared an open and honest post about his feelings going into a big career change.  He has been financially independent for some time now, but he still feels like a Financial Independence Fake.

How to Hack an ER Bill

Sometimes talking fundamentals and philosophy is what we need. Other times, we need the how to guide to solve a problem.

Millionaire Doc shared an awesome hack the other day as he and his family experienced a trip to the emergency room that resulted in a massive bill.  Out of curiosity in how others deal with the same bill when it arrives in their mailbox, MD made a phone call.

Check it out as he discusses Hacking an ER Medical Bill: How I Nearly Saved $400 in Ten Minutes.

Is Your Job Killing You?

My favorite writing style is the sort that involves raw honest, yet is easy to read.  This seems to be right in the wheelhouse of M at Reflections of a Millennial Doctor.

In this particular post, M reads the riot act to one of her patients about how his job is killing him.  If you read it from the perspective of the patient, and not from M – many of us might realize our job is doing its part to kill us, too, if we don’t prevent it.

Join along as M points out that Your Job is Killing You, Right?

The Recent Correction

The recent market correction – defined as a drop of 10% or more from the previous high – has ruffled a bunch of feathers.

Some fear a true market downturn and a resulting bear market (a 20% decline in stock values).

Regardless, this is the perfect time to stick to the “set it and forget it” method of investing that is so important to financial success.  Honestly, if it weren’t for the quarterly net worth updates that I do, I wouldn’t have even known about the correction.

I almost never look at the market and simply trust the process.  Then, once a year in June, I rebalance my portfolio to make sure that my asset allocation remains where we want it.

This is all done according to the Pareto Principle I preach on this site.

Part of the 20% you need to know certainly includes remembering that (1) when the market goes down, you have the opportunity to buy stocks “on sale” and (2) that time in the market is the most important aspect of investing.

The only responsible things to do in a down market are to look for tax-loss harvesting opportunities and to stick to the plan.

What have you done since the recent market correction?  Did you even notice?
Were any changes made?  Check out this month’s posts!  And leave a comment below.



  1. Xrayvsn

    I used to be involved in fantasy football during residency and it was a great experience. Actually continued it for a few years with the same group after I moved out of state but it eventually died down and we stopped doing it (plus the one we took part in by ESPN was shut down for something else which never caught on with us).

    It definitely made watching football more exciting and forced you to keep track of all the teams not just your hometown favorite. Took a lot of time too so probably a good thing I haven’t done it in years.

    • ThePhysicianPhilosopher

      Yeah, it’s definitely been a good thing for me not doing it this year. Given the amount of time I put into the blog, my wife actually asked me not to play this year.

      I complied. ?

    • ThePhysicianPhilosopher

      Thanks! It seems like the right timing. And we will still be able to accomplish our goals.

      The to do list has gotten massive, though.

  2. Doc G

    Congrats on the big purchase! Thanks for including me!

  3. Millionaire Doc

    Congrats on the house! Thanks for including me in the monthly checkout.

  4. M

    Congratulations on your new house! That’s so exciting! Thanks for including me in this list 🙂

  5. Dr. McFrugal

    Thanks for the mention and congrats on the house!!!


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