As a physician, you've devoted a lot of time to educating yourself, building a career, and providing top notch care that enriches your patients' lives, and in the midst of all that, it can be easy to overlook your finances. To ensure you're optimizing your financial situation and making your hard work pay off in the long term, you may want to consult with a financial professional.
When choosing a financial professional, keep in mind that understanding the numbers and the markets isn't enough. You need a financial professional who understands the medical industry in general and your profession in particular.
Avoiding Common Mistakes
You don't necessarily need a financial professional who specializes in working with physicians or other medical professionals. You simply need someone with experience guiding people in similar situations. Ask prospective professionals if they've worked with physicians.
Also, ask questions that reflect your situation. For instance, if you run your own clinic, you want someone who is accustomed to working with business owners and who understands those financial nuances. You shouldn't have to educate your financial professional. They should be experienced. Previous exposure to people in the medical industry helps to avoid common mistakes or and unnecessary misunderstandings.
Understanding of Industry Risks
Physicians face unique financial risks. Although your income may be well above the median income for most wage earners, you have to deal with incredibly high student loans, all the expenses associated with running your business, and medical liability issues. A professional who understands your industry can help you prepare for those risks by guiding you toward the right investment strategies or helping you decide how to allocate resources to essential safety nets such as medical liability and disability insurance.
Guiding Personal and Professional Goals
When you're a doctor, your work can easily become your life. You aren't just selling meaningless products or performing unessential tasks. When you go to work, you are often saving lives, and as a result, you may tend to focus exclusively on your career.
A quality financial professional understands this phenomenon of being a physician, and they help you step back and assess both your personal and professional goals. Do you want to start your own clinic? Launch a health-tech business? Expand your career in other ways? Do you want to send your kids to college? Retire early? Travel the world? Explore other personal goals? A professional may help you pin down your goals and create a path to work towards them.
Providing Trustworthy Services
Doctors take a vow to do no harm. Trust lies at the heart of your profession, and often, when physicians work with other professionals, they expect that trust as a matter of course. Unfortunately, however, not every professional has trust at the cornerstone of their practice.
When you select your financial professional, look for someone you can trust. In that vein, you may want to look at their fee structures and talk with them about the type of guidance they give to their clients.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual. To determine which investment(s) may be appropriate for you, consult your financial advisor prior to investing. All performance referenced is historical and is no guarantee of future results. All indices are unmanaged and cannot be invested into directly.
The information provided is not intended to be a substitute for specific individualized tax planning or legal advice. We suggest that you consult with a qualified tax or legal advisor.
LPL Financial Representatives offer access to Trust Services through The Private Trust Company N.A., an affiliate of LPL Financial.
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