1. very busy schedule and we work

1.     For most of us, our
private practice is our biggest investment, so we have to know to nurture,
grow, save & ring fence the same.

2.     We all have a very busy
schedule and we work manyatimes post our fixed hours as well to attend to
various emergencies. On top of that, we have our family, health and social
engagements etc. also to look forward to. A healthy life wise fitness schedule
is a must for each one of us. We have to eat just the right and ado a regular exercise
to remain in a good physical shape. We have to be associated with some passion
which can be a game, a brain challenging activity which makes us switch off
from our work for some time and pursue the same so that we continually get a
kick in our life to stay mentally fit as well and this is important for our sound
financial health also.

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3.     We have to understand
that once settled we are not going to face major recessions in our industry
(ignoring the smaller ones), hence we can afford to take higher risks in our
investment assortment portfolio, but being unaware of this or being misguided
by non-experts, we tend to over invest in low risk low return products.

4.     Our financial plan has to
be firm and proper after a thorough and proper research with primary and
secondary financial goals listed and it should be deftly executed to achieve
those goals. If there is no time to research and make a plan, outsource the
same by hiring the services of a good financial planner who should have a proper
investment plan investing in a variety of assets including equity, mutual funds and debt so that the investment
portfolio is diversified and the returns are optimum and are appreciated long-term
capital wise. It’s high time that we understand the importance of such
financial professionals. The loans and debts should not go beyond our ways and means. 

5.     We should pay off our education
loans first and only then go for home loan or loans for buying property to set
up our own clinic. We should ensure that we understand the investments and
performance of the investments rather than blindly following the advice of the
financial planner. We should revisit our financial plan regularly and tweak it
as per changes in our life situations and macro and micro economic conditions.

6.     We also have to invest in
ourselves by upgrading our skills, learning about new research and
developments, newer products, materials via conferences, convocations,
seminars, etc. and that too requires some investment and some savings and that
too regularly.

7.     We lead busy lives but it
is important for us to focus on our finances so that we can grow our wealth,
manage our taxes and lead a healthy and secure financial life. Mental security
is very important for us to have a long career in our professional field as
well. 

Financial Literacy and the
Impromptu need of a Financial Consultant/Advisor

Ideally, doctors/dentists being crème-de-la-crème of brains of society should
be crackerjack investors, but we surely are not that adept in financial matters.
Financial illiteracy lies in our education system because we have never been
taught personal finance and financial planning in our curriculum since
childhood so after one starts earning, he commits mistakes and then learns from
them at the cost of money and time. The health professionals like us viz. the
dentists and the doctors though start earning handsomely much late, but in my
purview should be vigilant about financial planning from 30 years of age itself.
When the income starts ramping up fast, we try to make up for the inevitable
lost decade compared to our friends when our savings otherwise could have been
compounding. Second, given the skyrocketing cost of dental/medical education, dentists/
doctors now come to the starting line with saddlebags of student debt at a sometimes
a higher rate of interest. Overconfidence and gullibility make us easy targets for
sales guys, whom we usually mistakenly assume to be seriously credentialed
professionals like us and not boiler–room bunco artists. A medical/dental field
professional contact information can be readily harvested since our
associations only leak our data (Data which is by the way; Goldmine these days);
our habits and preferences carefully analyzed and then guided for plans which
usually transfuse the assets into the broker’s pockets as we people are too
busy to cross check or verify any information and just want to throw our hard
earned money to places where we can feel mentally secure that yes, we are
saving. On top of that, we think, we are too smart for our own good, as our
assumption is that our high IQ will lead us on the old Olympus Towering top
of the investment hit parade, which usually doesn’t happen and we then keep on
switching one investment advisor to another in pursuit of greener pastures
(read better guidance).  Unfortunately, our head bone isn’t connected to the
wallet bone.  The returns on money invested in financial markets are
variable and uncertain, but this loan interest is inexorable and certain,
making a strong argument for discharging the loans as soon as possible.  There
is no shortage of anecdotal evidence that dentists/doctors are susceptible to
goofball investment schemes like growing money from plants (I, myself have been
swindled by that in early start of my career), extracting gold from sea water
etc. Anything that promises sizzling returns with no taxes seems to loom large
in their thinking.  In addition, there is rising unemployment in our field,
the only viable options is own practice which demands huge investment, little
margins left because of ever rising prices of materials or stooping to low
quality ever since Chinese materials’ infiltration happened in Dental industry. 

x

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