Saturday Morning Rounds November 16, 2019 - Personal finance

Posted by BossB, MD on November 16, 2019
BossB, MD

Saturday Morning Rounds
A weekly round-up of everything that captured our attention over the last 7 days

What we're reading

The Ten Commandments of the White Coat Investor

We've been getting quite a few questions in our strategy sessions this week about personal finance and side-hustles. And while we have many thoughts on the topic, we're not financial advisors. Our role is to help you get what you want out of work and life in general, and maximize your outcomes at the negotiation table specifically - not to help you decide between a 401k, an IRA, and an HSA (for the record, they're not mutually exclusive).

Though we sometimes dabble in helping clients to create a secondary source of income, we steer very very clear of giving anything that even loosely resembles financial advice because (a) we're not world-class experts in it and (b) it's already been done way better than we could do it, by a number of different people. And when it comes to world-class experts who've already done it, you can't get much better than The White Coat Investor and his prolific catalog of content. 

Just because we steer clear of it, though, doesn't mean you should. A few data points:

Women lag behind men on financial literacy, for reasons that are likely far more "nurture" than "nature"

Women lead financial decision making in only 16% of households and have nearly zero input in 40% of households

So even if you don't want to take over financial decision-making in your household, it behooves all of us to have a solid grasp of the basics - which is just what that 10 commandments article aims to provide. And there's solid evidence that making sure you're a part of the conversation when decisions are being made will drive a better outcome.

If you're already making the financial decisions in your household, or if your household consists of just you (and maybe some fur/scale/feather babies), it still makes a lot of sense to ensure that your financial decisions are based upon data, evidence, and best practices - not the folk wisdom, convenience, and "I'll get to it one day" beliefs with which so many of us first enter the working world.

Start with the 10 commandments article and then feel free to dive down the rabbit holes of personal finance to the extent that you're interested, but just know that if you actually follow those 10 rules diligently you'll put yourself in a great position to thrive.

Who we're following

Dr. Carrie Reynolds, MD (@HipHustlePod) is, in her own words, a "Peds GI doc by day and podcaster and side-hustler by night." She runs a podcast called The Hippocratic Hustle that focuses on personal finances for women specifically, and she's got a pretty incredible all-start lineup of guests that have been on. Follow her on Twitter and check out the podcast to stay on top of the latest best practices and get some inspiration for your own potential side hustle(s)!

BBMD tip of the week

Saving, investing, side hustles - they're all different routes to the same place: financial freedom. And one of the best methods to accelerate your progress toward that goal is to maximize the wages you earn from your primary source of income.

Sadly, many of the women physicians that come to us with a letter of intent or contract in their inbox, ready to learn how to negotiate, have already lost their opportunity to maximize the monetary portion of their contract because their counterpart asked them early in the interview process something along the lines of "what are you hoping to make?" 

Most of us are completely unprepared to answer this question at the beginning of an interview, and that's why it's such an effective questions for institutions to ask. The shock of it often drives respondents to blurt out a "reasonable" (ie low) number in the hopes of seeming like an appealing candidate. RESIST. THAT. URGE. Instead, here are a few responses that you can try:

  • "I'm not sure I have a 'magic number.' Most of the jobs I've considered in this process have predefined salary ranges - what's yours?"
Doesn't completely ignore their question, but side-steps it and allows you to flip it back on them in a productive way - also signals that you know your stuff and are playing the field
  • "I'd prefer to focus on whether we're a good fit before jumping into that topic."
Creates a boundary early on, establishes that you're assertive but still respectful - not our favorite because it could have a neutral or even negative effect on the emotional resonance between you and your counterpart, but still a viable option, especially if they push you on the topic after you've already used one of the other responses
  • "I view all of the roles I'm looking at holistically, and compensation is only one of a number of levers that we can pull on together to figure out something that works for everyone. As far as I can tell, the main levers in this role are <INSERT 3-5 HERE - base, variable, call time/pay, shift schedule, research dollars, signing bonus, moving stipend, staff support, etc etc>. What did I miss?"
  • "Thanks for clarifying! That makes sense. So of those, where do you have the most flexibility?"
This answer feels like it's giving your counterpart a lot of information, but really you're just probing to see what all is negotiable - it's important to ask "what did I miss" like that at the end because assuming that you missed something and avoiding a yes/no question will force them to tell you what else is on the table, and then the "flexibility" follow-up walks them right into giving you the best offer possible!

Quote we're contemplating 

"I'm not a businessman, I'm a business, man"
- Shawn Carter (Jay-Z)

As always, please let us know your requests and suggestions on Twitter. Which section above is your favorite? What do you want more or less of? Just send a tweet to @BossB_MD and put #SaturdayMorningRounds in there so we can find it.

Have a wonderful weekend, y'all!