You Have to Be a Team Player to Win

Physician's Money Digest, December 2006, Volume 13, Issue 12

We doctors comfortably discussmany intimate subjectsas part of our daily work.But when it comes to discussing ourown finances, we get a little squeamish.So when we are advised to confideall our personal monetary details tosomeone else, even an expert in thefinancial field trained to help us, ittends to creep us out.

And to make the hypocrisy worse,we, without hesitation, refer and deferto other specialists who know morethan we do about a given area ofknowledge. But still it is just basichuman nature that we are uncomfortablewith the idea of exposing ourselvesfinancially.

We rationalize: "I'm smart, so I cando money management, tax planning,and investing myself." Never mindthat we don't have any training tospeak of in these areas or won't admitthat we have inadequate objectivityabout ourselves to make the best possiblefinancial decisions. Every studythat I've seen shows that very few of ushave the preparation, objectivity, anddiscipline to do it well without help.

We know how hard it is to find theright doctor for ourselves, even withobjective reassurances like licensure andboard certification and our inside experiencewith the lay of the land. So when itactually comes to finding a team withsay, a CPA, a lawyer, and a financial advisor,we're out of our element. And that'snot a comfortable feeling. Maybe thatserves us right, our patients might say.

Physician's Money

Digest

So how do you find a knowledgeable,proven, and compatible person ineach of these fields to help you helpyourself? Based on my personal experienceit isn't easy, but can help. Just take a look at thismonth's featured article.

Worth

The traditional route is to ask aroundand then engage in trial and error. Thepitfall with this approach is that it ispotentially very expensive—in time,fees, and possible investment losses.Personally, not one of the folks I havemet through doctor referrals has pannedout for me. I've had my best results fromdoing my homework to get the rightquestions ready, consulting wealthy non-MD friends, checking the recommendedadvisor list in magazine and othersources, and interviewing, interviewing,and interviewing. Look at your notesand listen to your gut.

Be of good cheer. In the end, if youhave kept your wits about you, you'lllearn a lot, meet some interesting people,and feel that you have made somegood choices. And you will find somecomfort in knowing that you havedone the wise thing for you and yourfamily. It may also pleasantly surpriseyou when you have found the rightpeople for your team how it is just a biteasier than you expected to actuallyshare your personal financial secrets.So read on and happy hunting.