Essential reads for doctors who want to be wealthy

By Richard Chachowski
Published December 16, 2021

Key Takeaways

If you’re like most physicians, medical school didn’t leave much time for a financial education. The good news is you don’t need to be your own professor. Countless financial experts have gone before you, and you have the benefit of their successes and missteps.

If you are struggling to figure out your personal finances, here are five accessible books that can teach you some valuable lessons about money, from investing to debt management.

The One-Page Financial Plan by Carl Richards

We’re more likely to achieve success if we break our goals into smaller, incremental ones. We can apply the same logic to personal finance, and that’s precisely what New York Times columnist Carl Richards does in The One-Page Financial Plan. 

By setting incremental financial goals, Richards argues that you improve your odds of success. 

Richards’ perspective espouses that good financial planning isn’t built exclusively around extensive saving or investing. It’s about recognizing the object of your plan in the first place, why that plan is important to you, and the steps you can take to work your way toward fulfilling it. 

Whether that means setting aside enough for your dream house or retiring early, Richards advocates for laying out a plan tailored to your specific goals.

Broke Millennial by Erin Lowry

No one wants to play the financial game from behind. But, unfortunately, many physicians begin their careers saddled with massive student loan debt, with the average cost of medical education coming in at just under $55,000 per year.

Fortunately, Erin Lowry’s Broke Millennial can help you get ahead. Lowry discusses some of the more delicate economic situations you may find yourself in, such as overwhelming student debt or monetary problems with your significant other.

Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez 

The key to financial success begins with understanding your personal and financial situation, namely by asking yourself the tough questions: Are you happy with what you’re earning? Do you have time at the end of day for yourself and your family? Are you satisfied with your work?

This is the framework behind Your Money or Your Life by Vicki Robin and Joe Dominguez. Critically praised upon release, this best-selling book will help you recognize what’s important in life, and how you can begin using financial planning to live more meaningfully, which may include spending more time with family and friends, or maximizing the enjoyment you get out of work and your hobbies. Included are financial tips about developing savings, getting out of debt, and investing, as well as interesting discussions about the joys of decluttering your life and being able to live more beneficially on less.

Like Carl Richards’ One Page Financial Plan, Your Money or Your Life will help you identify ways to go about ensuring your financial security so that you can spend less time worrying about money and more time actually enjoying life.

I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi

The title may sound like a typical get-rich-quick scheme, but Ramit Sethi’s book remains a modern classic among personal finance books, offering a tried-and-true 6-week program that millions of readers have used to gain financial independence.

Whereas most finance books advocate for frugality and strict budgeting, Sethi instead emphasizes the importance of choosing the right bank accounts, finding the hidden benefits of your credit cards, and making smart investing decisions, such as using index funds.

The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing by Taylor Larimore, Mel Lindauer and Michael LeBoeuf

Investing is essential for wealth-creation. But, what’s a doctor supposed to do beyond funding a 401(k) or 403(b)? 

Aimed at those who have virtually no knowledge of the stock market, The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing is a comprehensive guide on how to invest your money in a way that minimizes risk. It answers common questions, such as:

  • How much money should I invest?

  • Where should I invest?

  • When should I sell my stock?

The main point Larimore, Lindauer, and LeBoeuf make relates to a philosophy built on smart investments, rather than timing the market right or taking riskier stock options. Instead, the authors advocate for building a strong strategy that relies on a more gradual, steady approach to investing.

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