Formulate a Financial Plan

Know Your Net Worth

Manage & Minimize Debt

Accumulate Assets

Budget to Live Within Your Means

Understand Investing Basics

Plan for Retirement

Insure People & Property

Deal with Financial Advisors

Review Your Employment Contract

Make Plans for Your Estate

Make Good Decisions


As a doctor, you’ve probably had to convince your patients not to take advice from amateur bloggers, podcasters, or fussy in-laws. Instead, you encourage patients to obtain and follow advice from legitimate experts.

The irony, of course, is that doctors often ignore similar advice. Sanford Fisher, CPA, laments that “most physicians don’t want to go to professionals. They think they can do it themselves.” His partner, Jeffrey Ring, CPA, adds, “we can tell them [doctors] something over and over and over again but unless and until another physician tells them that same thing, they usually won’t pay any attention.” This reflects a well-known fact: doctors value the opinions of their peers.

Asking peers for advice seems reasonable for several reasons:

  • Doctors are intelligent people
  • You trust and respect them
  • You avoid the anxiety associated with interviewing a financial advisor
  • You save time
  • You avoid paying for advice

But despite the best intentions, doctors are generally not trained to be tax accountants, attorneys, or financial advisors. The risks of accepting advice from peers include:

  • It’s unlikely your peer has very broad or very deep knowledge of the matter at hand. She may be a brilliant doctor. But unless she spends every waking moment staying current on all the latest financial planning rules and best practices, she’s not a financial expert
  • It’s unlikely your peer fully understands your circumstances, either because you aren’t comfortable revealing all your personal financial details or because you don’t have time to share them all. Advice you receive based on partial information may not be appropriate to your specific situation
  • Your peer’s advice will likely reflect his negative personal experiences and traumas. Just because a product or service didn’t work well for him, doesn’t automatically mean it’s wrong for you and your family

It’s very tempting to accept advice from peers: You respect, admire, and trust them. They provide the advice sincerely because they’re your friends. But as already noted, accepting their advice opens you up to risks. Regardless of how well-intentioned they are, be very careful in accepting such advice.

Ultimately, your most reliable ally is you! The more educated you are, the more you can help yourself, either in making your own decisions, or in finding an expert who can help you.