Becoming a Do It Yourself Investor is possible. If I became one, you can too. In this post I want to offer you some resources that helped me. I will break this down into five categories. The first category will be books. This is the best way to learn for me. The next four categories that are also helpful for me that I will include in this list are Online Courses, Blogs, Forums, and Podcasts. There are obviously many more categories and many more items in each category that I could list. However, I want to make the list somewhat concise and make sure they are things I have used and can highly recommend. That way hopefully I save you time on finding the best resources.
1) The White Coat Investor: A Doctor’s Guide to personal Finance: The first book I recommend any dentist or physician (actually good for any high income professional) read if you haven’t already is “The White Coat Investor: A Doctor’s Guide to personal Finance.” This book means a lot to me as it helped start me on the path to becoming debt free and financially literate. I even posted a review about it. Read the review in this post. Buy the book here.
2) The Bogleheads’ guide to Investing: I think a lot of us in the FIRE community (or even just the financially literate community) are Bogleheads. That’s why reading “The Bogleheads’ Guide to Investing” is a must. Most of us get our investing style from Jack Bogle, the Bogleheads, or their disciples. Simple, low cost investing is the best path to financial independence. Reading this book will help you get on this path. You can buy it here.
3) How to think about money: by Jonathan Clements is a classic in my view. I have listened to a few lectures and podcasts with Jonathan Clements and he really knows his stuff. This book has a message that will change your view about money for the better. This should be on everyone’s read list. The sooner you read it, the better. Buy it here.
4) The Simple Path to Wealth: by JL Collins is a fantastic read. I put this book in the same category as “How to think about Money”. An absolute classic. If you think that in order to become wealthy you need a bunch of fancy or complicated investments, you’re wrong. This book discusses why a simple portfolio of a few stock and bond index funds is all you need to reach your financial goals. It should be a part of anyone’s financial education. Buy it here.
5) The Four Pillars of Investing: William J. Bernstein is a physician turned financial advisor who has written several financial books. You won’t be able to use him to manage your investments because he is not taking on any more clients. The good news is you can read his books that will help you become so financially literate that you can probably manage them yourself, or at least know enough to hire a good financial advisor. “The Four Pillars of Investing” is my favorite of his. Buy it here.
6) Financial Boot Camp: This is the second book by Jim Dahle MD, a.k.a. The White Coat Investor. It doesn’t disappoint. This book takes you through a twelve step financial boot camp that will help you get your finances where you want them to be. Like his first book, it is a classic and a must read. There is a lot more to finances than just investing. This book hits on investing and all of those other important topics. Buy it here and add it to your library.
7) The Millionaire Next Door: Every dentist, physician, high income professional, or anyone really should read “The Millionaire Next Door”. It made me realize that most people really can become millionaires and become financially independent through hard work, frugality, and being smart with your money. We as high income professionals even have it easier to do this because of our income. Sadly, there are far too many dentists and other professionals that make a lot of money but also spend a lot. They build a collection of stuff, but not wealth. This book also helped give me ideas on how to teach my kids about money. It is a great read that will help you have a good mind set about what to do with your money. I highly recommend it. Buy it here.
8) How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street: An absolute classic right here. This isn’t just a catchy headline. Having a portfolio that will beat a Wall Street stock picker’s portfolio is very simple to do (especially after expenses and over the long term). in this book Allan Roth talks about conversations he had with his second grader son. These financial and investing concepts seemed so simple to his young son, yet we adults sometimes don’t get it. Read this book and learn how simple it is to get a portfolio that beats Wall Street. Buy it here.
9) The Little Book of Common Sense investing: John C. Bogle is the Godfather of investing in my eyes. He has inspired many who have in turn inspired me on the best way to invest. That is, through low cost index mutual funds. Even though “Common Sense” is in the title, I don’t know if this way of investing is actually common sense. Although thanks to him it is becoming more so. This book is essential in any initial or continuing financial education regimen. Buy it here.
10) Fire Your Financial Advisor: As far as financial courses go, to me this is the course of all courses. This is the White Coat Investor’s course. It is a step by step guide of how to write a complete financial plan with video and screen casts. Read my review of this course here. You will actually have a personal written full financial plan when you complete the course (as opposed to getting done with the course and then having the tools to go do it on your own). He holds your hand through the whole process. Even if you still want to have a financial advisor, this course will help you tremendously to work with a financial advisor to implement the best financial plan for you. I cannot recommend this course enough. Purchase it here.
11) Real Estate Investing Courses from Coach Carson: If you are looking to add physical real estate investing properties to your portfolio, Coach Chad Carson’s website and courses are wonderful. I have taken three of his courses. The first one is free called “How to Get Started with Real Estate Investing”. The second and third are paid courses but well worth the price of admission. One is called “Real Estate Deal Finder”, and the other is “Recession Proof Real Estate”. You can find them at CoachCarson.com.
12) Debt Free DDS: (I had to do it:))
13) The White Coat Investor: This is the blog that got it all started for me. On that site you will be able find articles that will take you from novice, to beginner, to intermediate, to advanced investor. There is a lot of content and it may take a while to get through it all. That’s why he has books and a course to help streamline it a bit.
14) Physician of Fire: There are a lot of blogs about FIRE, but this is my favorite. The PoF became financially independent relatively quickly. He writes about how he did it and how you can too. He also opted for the RE part of the acronym. As of now he is retired at 43 and enjoying life.
15) The Physician Philosopher: TPP is a younger medical professional blogger like myself and is not yet Financially Independent. However his site has great info for finances and burnout alike. Two very important topics for dentists, physicians, and other high income professionals.
16) Passive Income MD: If you are looking for ways to add Real Estate to your portfolio beyond just physical properties (although he talks about that too) then this is a fantastic blog. He also talks about many different side hustles you can do to create money on the side of your primary job.
What is a forum? Basically an online hangout where people discuss certain topics. There are forums for just about anything you can think of. Finance is one of them. Below are my two favorite.
17) WCI Forum: This is a very vibrant community of many physicians, dentists, and other high income professionals discussing all aspects of investing, financial planning, and many other financial topics. If you have any question at all you can post it there and you are likely to get many well thought out answers. I have been helped a lot by this forum and have had many questions answered. I still ask questions, but now I try to pay it forward and answer as many questions as I can.
18) Bogleheads Forum: I think many of us who are financial bloggers have been influenced by John Bogle and also the Bogleheads. The forum is a wonderful resource for learning all sorts of financial topics and getting many questions answered.
19) The White Coat Investor: As you can see the White Coat Investor is coming up a lot in this post. He has just about every avenue possible for providing amazing financial content. Between his blog, books, online course, and podcast you can almost learn how to be a DYI just from him. However, I still recommend you use all of these other resources as well for additional information and maybe a different spin on things. His podcast is a great way to become financially literate on the way to and from work.
20) Money Meets Medicine: This is a fairly new podcast. And it is a little more for physicians, however it is still very applicable to dentists. Learning all aspects of finance as well as aspects of our job is very informative. It’s a great podcast.
You can become a DIYer
It may be true that only 1-20% can manage their own finances. However, it’s not because you don’t have the ability. Any Dentist or Doctor can do this. You just need to put in the time. It does make it easier if you enjoy it like I do.
There is nothing wrong if you don’t want to do it yourself. Hiring a good, honest financial advisor that gives good advice and doesn’t over charge you for it is perfectly acceptable. However, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to get a financial education. Going through all of these resources even if you have or want a financial advisor is still a must. They will educate you and help you know if the advice you are getting aligns with what you have learned. These resources will also give you a leg to stand on when meeting with your advisor, and they will help you not feel lost. You will gain the confidence to know if your money is in good hands with your advisor.
So start today. Order some of these books and start a library. Get on these websites and forums and start asking questions. Listen to a financial podcasts to and from work. Invest in your investment knowledge by taking some online courses. Your future self (and Bank account) will thank you for it.
You don’t have to be a slave to debt. Together we can become debt free, financially literate, and financially independent.
-Debt Free DDS
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