Remember, it is important to have a basic and fundamental knowledge of personal finance first. Then you get your CME (Continuing medical education) by keeping up with physician finance blogs and forums written on the subject!
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The Physician Philosopher’s Guide to Personal Finance
I spent 9 months writing a personal finance book for doctors. The purpose was two-fold. First, there was a need for financial literacy among doctors. Second, doctors have limited time to learn about personal finance while in training/practice.
So, I created a concise book. The subtitle says it all, “The 20% of Personal Finance Doctors Need to Know to Get 80% of the Results”.
The e-book was downloaded over 1,000 times in the first three days it was available, and the book maintains a five star review on Amazon. So, it can’t be too bad of a read!
It is a short primer (less than a 4 to 5 hour read for most people). It contains what I wish people had taught me while I was in training.
This book is where it all started for me. I learned about all the wasted years that I didn’t save money. It also taught me about compounding interest, introduced me to Vanguard and index fund investing. This book completely changed my perspective. It’ll change yours, too, if you haven’t read it. Phenomenal book and first one I recommend to anyone medical or not.
If you want the comprehensive argument on why passively managed low-cost index funds are the best way to invest, this is the book for you. It is a big book, but is thorough. It lays down the major arguments against speculation, technical analysis, fundamental analysis, factor-based investing, and much more. If you aren’t convinced that low-cost passively managed index funds is the right thing for you, then you should read this book. It’ll be a good, but random walk down wall street.
If you want to learn the basics behind how to set yourself up for success, then this book on how to create the “set it and forget it” kind of method to financial success is for you. It explains a lot of the social behavior behind personal finance and how to get your worst enemy (you) out of the way. Well worth the read.
An interesting book that serves partly as a book of definitions (want to know what the difference between a treasury bond and a junk bond is?) and also as a guide towards how to make frugal (buying in bulk) and investment choices. If I am being honest, I’d recommend the other books in this section ahead of this one, but it is still good enough to make the list.
Personal Finance Books for Doctors, Written By Doctors:
The following books are either written for physicians as a target audience and/or are written by physicians.
I read this in my last year of residency. Cannot remember if it was recommended to me or not, but I highly recommend it to you. It is physician specific, but can be applied to any high-income earner who came out of an advanced degree (or college) with significant debt.
This was the second volume written by Dr. Dahle, the White Coat Investor. It spawned from his popular email series, which served as the bones for the book. After filling in those bones with some meat, the book became a pretty solid way to catch up to speed on your personal finances. You can read my review of this book here.
This book was written by Ryan Inman (a fee-only financail planner & my co-host on the Money Meets Medicine podcast) and his wife Dr. Taylor Inman (a practicing pediatric pulmonologist). If you are into check-lists and “how-to” this book is for you. It helps you go through the step by step process of setting up a financial plan. Lots of checklists and high-level overview stuff to make sure you aren’t leaving anything important out. Check it out!
This book was written by William J. Bernstein – a retired neurologist turned financial advisor. While I don’t love his advice on annuities and TIPS, the rest of this book is pure gold. It really helps solidify investing and why it doesn’t need to be complicated. It also introduces the ideas of who you can trust in the financial industry from an inside source (hint: you can’t trust most). Certainly worth the read.
Cory S. Fawcett, a retired surgeon, has written a three book series for physicians. I’ve read the first two books in the series, which I found to be very helpful. I’ve even written a review on one of them (The Doctor’s Guide to Eliminating Debt) and found the second book to be quite helpful, which is called The Doctor’s Guide to Starting Your Practice Right. Both books are quick reads, and worth your time.
Philosophical/Perspective Books on Money
This may be my second favorite financial book I’ve read because this site spends so much time talking about intentional spending as a way to a moderately frugal life. I’ve reviewed this book here. Simply put, it’ll change your perspective on what makes you happy, how good you are at determining what makes you happy, and how money may (or may not) be connected to that happiness. Simply put, this book is a game changer for perspective on your money. Read it.
If you want to know the behaviors and characteristics that describe most millionaires this book is for you. It’ll help you figure out what got them there and how you can do it, too, regardless of the level of your income. Super helpful in sorting it all out. The updated version is written by the original author’s daughter.
More Books to Come…
As I read more quality books, I’ll add them here to the appropriate section. If I read a book that’s no good (there are a lot of books that aren’t that helpful), I’ll keep it to myself.