Sing a Song of Your Own Wealth Creation

September 16, 2008
Joel G. Block

,
Barry S. Steinhardt

Physician's Money Digest, March15 2003, Volume 10, Issue 5

The Italian proverb says, "A fool and hismoney are soon parted."Why do somecreate wealth while others don't? Becausethey understand generating capital is morethan just saving money. It's about maximizingopportunities occurring through your businessand personal relationships.

IT'S TOO LATE, BABY

The right reason:

Most of us disregard retirement untilit's too late. Sure, we'll set aside funds inretirement accounts, but then foolishlyborrow it all out to have the cash onhand. If you are socking away moneyjust to save a few income tax dollars,then you are saving for the wrong reason.to have somethingother than debt when you retire.

If your goal is to accumulate wealth,convert your high-income-earner statusinto a high-net-worth situation by followingthese suggestions:

• It's a family affair. Many of ushave spouses or significant others. Theyare more than just family; they are businesspartners. Successful business partnersaim for the same bull's eye—accumulatinga high net worth. They establishcommon goals and take specificsteps to achieve them. This perspectivemakes it easy to say to your business/family partner,"We're taking actions that aren't insync with our goals, and we need to revisit them."This approach is much more productive thanbeing confrontational and starting a family war.

• Living on the edge. We're an ostentatioussociety living at the edge of our means. It's notsexy to have an enormous savings account if yourcolleagues can't see it in the form of fancy carsand houses. Instead of looking for status byspending every penny on the latest, greatestwhatever, move away from the edgeand learn to live within your earnings.

• When I'm 64. The majority ofAmericans are taken care of bysomeone else through retirementplans. Most physicians are self-employedand have to care forthemselves. Your attitude abouthandling your business andmoney must be different.It's dangerous to live at theedge. Eventually, youwill fall off, and noone will be there tocatch you then.

TAKING CARE OF BUSINESS

Physicians go to medical school,not business school. They know howto manage patients, not necessarilytheir medical practices. Here aresome solutions for avoiding commonbusiness pitfalls:

•Lean on me. Many physiciansare afraid to spend money on qualifiedpersonnel to take care of billing and collections.Yet, over the long term, hiring the rightperson saves you money. So, how do you do abetter job at finding the perfect personnel? Talkto high-net-worth associates with successfulpractices (and lives) and interview their officemanagers. Learn from someone else's success.Investigate the possibility of using these officemanagers to interview your prospective candidates.This simple investment in your practicecan yield high returns.

•Money, money, money. When the moneyis flowing, many immediately convertthe increased income into a granderlifestyle. If this sounds like you,try reinvesting the extra cashback into your business or personal-net-worth growth instead.Grow your business when youhave the ability to do so, notwhen you are forced to do so.

•Good vibrations. A physician'spersonal financial affairs areinseparable from business affairs. They are bestmanaged by hiring good advisors with goodvibrations. In other words, hire CPAs, attorneys,and financial planners who can help predictyour future. Usually, by the time you'reaware of a problem, it's too late to do somethingabout it. Good advisors with good vibrationsmean advisors who see the little red flags alongthe way. A skilled advisor has the benefit oflearning from others' mistakes to help you avoidlife's hazardous landmines.

If you're singing one of these songs in yourbusiness and personal dealings, take note of theideas and hum a different tune. Through vigilantpreparation, you too can "take the money andrun" down the path into your golden days.

Joel G. Block is president of Growth-Logic, Inc, in Agoura Hills, Calif, which provides financial planning, insurance, and investment services. He welcomes questions or comments at 818-597-2990, or visit www.growth-logic.com. Barry S. Steinhardt, LUTCF, is a specialist in financial engineering (ie, benefit programs and investment services). He welcomes questions or

comments at 818-597-7866 or bsslutcf@earthlink.net.