You Might Be a Financial Amateur If?

Physician's Money Digest, October 2005, Volume 12, Issue 14

Therefore, as a public service to physician-investors and in an attempt to add some levity to an ordinarily serious subject, I submit this list of scenarios that will help illuminate whether you are or are not a financial amateur. You might be a financial amateur if?

  • You have ever uttered the phrase "It's free. The government pays for it."
  • You have ever had to take out a 5-year loan to buy that used car you've been eyeing.
  • You have ever had the notion that you're just a doctor, and could never live in the neighborhood where all the corporate CEOs live.
  • You have ever been happy to pay $200 at an upscale restaurant that serves microsize portions because if it's expensive, it must be really good.
  • You have ever bought anything because you noticed that your favorite movie star had one.

insert your name

here

insert the aforementioned

stupid thing

your name

again

Go ahead, see if you can relate to any of these scenarios. Think of the dumbest, most embarrassing thing you've ever bought or invested in, and put your name in the joke: If ( ) has ever ( ), then ( ) might be a financial amateur.

Then have yourself a laugh. It'll be good for you. Yes, it's okay to laugh at yourself. You're only human, after all. You may even tell your funny story to friends and colleagues, giving them a laugh as well, and helping prevent them from making the same mistake.

In addition, realize that you're not perfect, and you're not alone, and give yourself permission to make mistakes. We've all made stupid investments, grossly overpaid for something, or bought an item we didn't need. One day you'll be able to look back fondly at a memory you've been trying to suppress. By remembering your financial mistakes instead of suppressing these memories, you will be less prone to repeat the behavior. The most important thing a physician-investor can do is to learn from their mistakes.

Indeed, if you've never been able to laugh at yourself and your own foibles, then you may be doomed to remain forever a financial amateur.

, a family practice physician

in Saginaw, Mich, is the editor of the

Saginaw County Medical Society Bulletin

and Michigan Family Practice. He welcomes

questions or comments at 3350 Shattuck

Road, Saginaw, MI 48603; 989-792-1899; or louisconstan@hotmail.com.

Louis L. Constan