Momentum Series Interview – Doc G From DiverseFI: Personal Finance With A Twist
This marks feature #15 in the Momentum Series – an interview series to share the stories of bloggers from across the personal finance community.
The goal is to showcase their story, the wins, the losses and the actionable advice that others can take value from and insights about their blogging journey. Whether that be conquering debt, maximizing career earnings, the road to financial independence or other strategies for financial and blogging success.
This week’s Momentum Series Interview is with Doc G from DiverseFI.
Doc is a primary care physician with a passion for personal finance, financial independence and side hustling. He’s also a great financial blogger that turns out thought-provoking and engaging content every day of the week.
If you want to connect with Doc:
With that said, let’s get started. Ladies and gentlemen please welcome Doc! Here is the Momentum Series Interview – Doc G From DiverseFI: Personal Finance With A Twist.
I’m a 45 year old primary care physician who discovered financial independence quite by accident. Jim Dahle of The White Coat Investor asked me to review his book in 2014 because I had a moderately successful medical blog at the time.
DiverseFi.com. Personal finance with a twist.
Finished college from a Major midwestern University in 1995. Medical school in 1999. Internal medicine residency in 2002.
I am a primary care physician who mostly sees patients in nursing homes, and am a medical director for a hospice company. I also manage four rental condos and make some money writing.
How were you first introduced to the financial independence movement/mindset? What were your expectations with money and retirement and its role in your life before that?
In 2014, Jim Dahle of The White Coat Investor asked me to review his book for my medical blog. After reading his wonderful book, I became engrossed with his blog.
Before that, my financial advisor and my accountant told me I would need about ten million to retire. Jim’s blog as well as a few others opened my eyes to the actual math.
Can you explain your definition behind fatFIRE Frugal and how that mindset plays a role in the decisions you make with your money?
fatFire Frugal means that you are pretty much non-frugal on the little things but then make the big life decisions economically. Houses, cars, and savings are all done precisely.
But, you don’t think twice about spending premium for small things like eating out occasionally.
Have you made any major financial mistakes? If so, what was the outcome and what did you learn from these mistakes?
My biggest mistake was hiring a financial advisor. No one will look after your money better than you. I thought I didn’t have enough time to understand investing. Boy, was I wrong. I was lucky enough not to suffer major financial consequences. But I could have done a bit better.
Very early in my career, i bought a small whole life policy from my brother (who was trying to make a go at that profession). I liquidated it fairly quickly.
Is there an area or area(s) of your own personal finances that you’re still looking to better master and improve?
I am no investing wizard. I have been putting off my back door roth conversions forever. My real estate investments are not as tight and profitable as I would like.
But overall, I do OK.
What are some of the most influential resources that have shaped your money mindset or financial situation?
- The Only Investment Guide You’ll Ever Need by Andrew Tobias
- The Millionaire Next Door by Thomas Stanley
- Any of the Bogleheads books
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What initially influenced you to pursue the field of medicine? How has that journey gone in terms of the type of working you’ve done through your career?
My father was a doctor. He died when I was eight and I wanted to be just like him. It is the only thing I ever considered doing.
As I have gotten older, I also realize that I have an interest in business and building wealth. This all came later.
My career has been both good and bad. It has provided for me financially and allowed me to do something for a living that has meaning. But it also has been frustrating, overrun with paperwork, and difficult at times.
What are some of the most common mistakes you see fellow members of the medical community making with their finances?
They don’t save enough. They don’t understand investing and let someone else do it for them.
They don’t maximize income by working for themselves or exploring side hustles. Medical side hustles are extremely lucrative.
You wrote a post about every doctor should have a plan B. What is the plan B and what are the reasons doctors should have one?
The practice of medicine is unstable. Insurance companies and the government are coming down on doctors and making practice miserable. The amount of compliance and paperwork is staggering.
And technology may someday take our place.
For me, financial independence is plan B. When medicine becomes to tiresome, I will stop.
For others, developing skills outside or allied to medicine will help. The number of medical administrators muliplies by the second. If you can’t beat them and need a paycheck, why not join them. Or find another way to make money like real estate.
If you had to write a memo to all the medical students in North America about taking control of their money and mastering their finances but it could only be 3 sentences long, what would it say?
Earn as much as you can. Save as much as you can. Learn how to invest.
When did you get started with side hustles and what are some of the side hustle examples you’ve put into action – in the past or currently?
My first side hustle was selling baseball cards as a young teen. I convinced a distributor to sell me sets of cards cheaply and then sold by mail order.
In residency, I learned a way to get fine artwork cheaply over the internet and bought and sold artwork for a few years. Not amazingly profitable but quite fun.
Nowadays. I do lazy side hustles. Side hustles which use my hard earned skill as a physician. Mostly medical directorships and medical expert work.
What is the main motivation behind your side hustling endeavors – passion vs. financial? A combination of both? Or something else entirely?
They started as financial. Now they are more passion. I already have enough money.
Would you recommend that every doctor should have a side hustle?
Yes. I think it boosts your earnings, adds passion to your life, and creates a suitable plan B.
When did you first start blogging? Was there a specific launching off point or what influenced you to go down that path?
I first started blogging about art as a companion to my website selling artwork in 2005. After that, I quickly transitioned to a medical blog which I still write for now.
I started DiverseFI in December of 2017.
Is there a mission statement or underlying purpose to what you intend to accomplish with DiverseFI?
There are a few. I call the site DiverseFI because I am not your average financial independence person. I am second generation FI. I am not writing on frugality, and push the income lever more than the saving lever.
My mission is mostly to entertain, and somewhat to inform. If you walk away from my posts thinking deeply…I have accomplished my purpose.
What keeps you motivated to continue writing? And how are you so prolific with your posting schedule?
I actually love the act of writing. I love creating. It’s part of my daily routine.
Do you have any specific goals with your blog(s) over the next 12-18 months? What tactics are you planning to leverage to accomplish these?
I had goals in the beginning like making money and building audience. I am backing off now. Writing makes me happy. Those other things, not so much.
If you could recommend 3 of your blog posts for Making Momentum readers to check out, what would those be?
- Three Roads For Three Brothers
- The Safe Withdrawal Rate: Why We Are Kidding Ourselves
- Is The Financial Independence Community Close Minded?
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