At last, I've been able to check an item off my to-do list. And what a valuable exercise that was. Many months ago, I was sent a draft release of a book written by Dave Denniston CFA, titled "Freedom Formula For Physicians: A Prescription for First-Class Financial Health for Doctors"(A).
People send me books all the time for review and I have the best intentions of doing so… I really do! And when they reach out to me personally, and politely and persistently request my opinion, my sense of obligation shoots up. This inevitably means a new item on my to-do list, and a nagging sense of something incomplete until I can check it off. I do try to follow through on my promises!
I'm happy (and relieved) to be able now share what I learned from Denniston's book with its prescription for financial health for physicians.
Unless you have some big fancy economics or MBA degrees behind your name, I believe even those of you physicians or readers who consider yourselves financially literate will benefit from the primer's many insights.
Enlivened with personal stories and anecdotes, the book's journey starts by challenging the reader to know where you are, and know where you want to go, by reflecting upon and developing a 10-, then a 3- and finally a 1-year vision, both for life and for business.
The next challenge Denniston insists we consider is implementation! How to achieve the vision ... This is where disciplined planning become critical. Just as having the right mindset is essential. The author addresses both of those in some detail.
Subsequent chapters focus on helping the reader become educated and financially literate. There are chapters about debt (how to get out of it, or at least get it under control), understanding and minimizing taxes and capital gains, and developing investing strategies.
And since this book was published in February 2015, the content appears to be updated and timely. Instead of pontificating and engaging in political rants, Denniston calmly discusses the implications of updated laws and regulations and how we in the medical community should adapt our financial strategies and tactics.
The book offers tools, tables, examples, detailed chapter summaries (for those who like to cut to the chase - although you'd be gnawing on bone instead of enjoying something meatier!) and lists of online and offline resources.
The final chapters point out 7 mistakes that physicians are prone to making (based I imagine on the author's experience working with physicians) and 8 actions readers can take to gain greater financial freedom.
For those of you who can set aside 30 minutes a day to devote to a chapter at a time and work the exercises, and who are committed to gaining control over your financial destiny, this book, especially being tailored to the peculiarities of what we need to own is "our physician lifestyle", is a worthwhile investment.