Get Started - The Basics

Get Started—Basics for Beginners

This site contains hundreds of pages of personal finance educational material, including several e-books, a 50+ episode audiobook, links, calculators, spreadsheet templates, an academically rigorous online course, and much more. Because there is so much information on this site, it can be overwhelming. If you’re a beginner, and you don’t know where to start, you’ve arrived at the right page. We aim to provide scientifically grounded, unbiased, factual content—We don’t sell financial products. Our focus is exclusively on education. 


Using the accompanying tabs (see menu on left), you may access the basic knowledge a typical young physician needs to make solid financial decisions. To keep my comments brief, I ignore some nuance in covering these basics. This is okay when you’re beginning your financial literacy journey. But I hope you understand that nuance is important, and that you’ll follow the links provided to more detailed explanations (in the e-books) that grapple with subtleties that may be relevant to your household.

The Resources tab, accessible from the top menu, conveniently offers you access in one centralized location to many links, spreadhseets, and calculators. These same resources are also dispersed throughout the e-books. 

If you already feel comfortable with financial decision making, feel free to explore this site on your own. Most of the content is embedded directly in the e-books and audiobook. If you seek answers, you may post an anonymous question or comment under any e-book article. The objective is to create a rich body of knowledge benefitting all readers. Feel free to share your thoughts (with a focus on education please).

This beginners' section is organized in tabs. Use the tabs on the left side to quickly navigate through typical financial priorities for medical students, trainees, and full-time employed doctors. There are also tabs providing more basic information on fundamental topics such as debt management, insurance, retirement planning, investing, dealing with financial advisors, etc. 

Once you’ve read through the relevant content in this section, you may wish to read e-Book 1: Personal Finance Essentials for Doctors, in its entirety. This e-Book represents 10-12 hours of teaching, and encompasses all the major personal finance topics. I consider this book's content (which matches the curriculum I teach) to be the definitive comprehensive course in personal finance for doctors. Once you get your arms around this content, you’re ready to face the world. Alternatively, take on the academically rigorous online course (12-15 hours) with readings, videos, exercises, and quizzes.

If you’d like a brief introduction to private practice ownership, please visit e-Book 2: Finance and Business Essentials for Medical Practices (at this time I am still converting the (2014) print version of this book to e-Book format).

If you seek more detailed content specifically on investing, please go to e-Book 3: Investing Basics for Doctors.

For an overview of typical mistakes physicians make, please visit e-Book 4: Top Mistakes Physicians Make.

Note: As a medical student, trainee, and early in your full-time career, your budget likely won't allow you to pursue every financial need or want. This means you must accept tradeoffs. I strongly believe that providing you with a comprehensive personal finance education helps you make those tradeoffs most efficiently. The alternative is fumbling around with ad hoc (random) decisions that are not grounded in an overall financial strategy.