As another new year gets underway, I would like to take a look back at 2017 to see how far this website and I have come. It is also a good time to look forward for some changes to the website and new posts to follow. It’s been a while since my last post, and below I’ll explain why.
2017 was the best year I’ve ever had. There have been a lot of exciting changes in this young attendings life. Most were good ones but some were less than ideal. As you will read below, this ranged from me buying a new house, starting up a new business, and losing a family member.
Fiancée Graduated With Her PhD
I have to mention this first since she has been the most supportive and wonderful person in my life. She graduated with her PhD and has started working at a job that she loves. I’m so excited that our household is done with training and now both of us are fully practicing with our degrees as of December 2017. It was a long road and I’ve seen how hard writing a dissertation can be. I’m happy for this to be behind us and I’m proud of her for finishing on time! Enjoying the DINK lifestyle while we can!
Buying A New Home
It’s finally happened! After 11 months of searching, I’m a home owner. It’s not a huge house. I think most would say it’s a modest first house for an attending physician. Since this blog is focused on personal finance, I will say that the purchase price of the house is about 1X my yearly salary. For us, it’s the perfect three bed two bathroom house located in central Austin. It’s about 1500 square feet with a nice sized back yard. At this stage in my life, I really can’t see myself needing much more.
I’ve already started on some home projects. I’ve replaced some plumbing, faucets. This next week, my friend and I will start the process of removing a load bearing beam. He’s a structural engineer (PhD) who removed several of his walls in his house so I definitely trust his work! I’ll be sure to document the process and transformation as it comes along. Now I just need to get all my boxes unpacked so I can be settled in.
Positive Net Worth
My net worth has skyrocketed from negative to positive in 2017. Although I don’t like to track net worth at this stage in my life, It’s nice feeling to go from negative to positive. With the run up in the stock market below, my net worth has ballooned to over a quarter million dollars. Not bad being recently out of training.
The reason I don’t like to track net worth at this stage in my career is because I view investments such as starting up a business as something hard to quantify what its current worth is. Being pre-revenue can be hard to determine the exact worth of those ideas until they start making money. Once those investments start paying off, then maybe I’ll become more concerned about net worth.
Right now, I tend to focus more on debt to income ratio, leverage, minimizing taxes, and enjoying life. I’m only relaying my personal finance views, yours may vary wildly and that’s okay. Some of my friends stress over net worth and calculate theirs monthly. Personal finance is after all, personal.
Starting Up A New Business
This has arguably taking up the majority of my time and the reason I’ve cut back on posts for a bit. I’ve started with a dream/idea, and have morphed that into a 25 page business plan full of various financial projections. I’ve even taken on at least one partner in this endeavor who is willing to move across the country to Austin to join me. Talking with lawyers, and getting everything set up has taken a lot more time than I anticipated. It’s not easy to just say I’m open to see patients!
Doors tentatively scheduled to open August 1, 2018. There will be many more posts to come.
In an effort to pay off my student loans and cash flow the new business endeavor, I’ve continued my locum tenens work. To date, I’ve paid off about $40,000 dollars in student loans in 2017 and stashing away much more cash using locum tenens.
I’ve been using leverage investing money in the stock market instead of paying down my student loans. So far this has worked out extremely well in my favor. However, I’ve grown tired of staring at the balance on my student loans each month. This next month, I plan on writing a check to pay off the remainder of my student loans. One less thing to worry about.
Becoming Medical Director
I’ve become medical director of a facility, which has been a lot of hard work and more administrative work that I imagined. The pay is good, the experience has been worth its weight in gold. I’ve to some degree learned more from this job about legal issues in health care than my primary job and locum work. This job has honestly been on of the best decisions I’ve made since graduation. I would highly recommend this to those who don’t mind the bureaucratic side of medicine.
Stock Market Is On Fire In 2017
This past year was a good year to be investing in the stock market. My year to date (Jan-Jan) gains from all investments (excluding cryptocurrency) Is 34%. I’m excluding crypto from this discussion for two reasons. First, I don’t have a lot of money in crypto. The second reason is that I view crypto currency as gambling and not investing. Even if these things go to zero, I lost as much money as I was willing to bet if I went to Vegas. I’m glad they are doing well now, but who knows what will happen. I will say its been a bit fun having some “skin in the game” and watching it go higher and higher.
The largest boost to my portfolio has been my decision to put 15% of my post tax investment account into pot stocks mid 2017. If you’ve been following these stocks lately, then you have also seen the massive rise. At the time of me writing this posting, one of my pot stocks is up over 200% while another up 78% since I bought it in 2017. My best “bet” to date.
My index fun, where the majority of my money is stored, is up 21% year over year. Not bad at all.
The Website Numbers
I have added some spam blockers in 2017 to google analytics so that it removes traffic from bots, crawlers, and spam. You would be surprised how many visits come from spam without this filter. So with the filters for the entire year, here are the numbers below.
- 68.1k Page views
- 30.9k Unique users
- 49 Unique publications, averaging only 4 publications per month
- 183 Comments on posts
Passing Of My Grandfather
I could, and I am still debating if I should, write an entire post about this. Despite the best planning, MPOA in place, advanced directives, and him telling us his wishes before he fell and broke his hip, things got ugly between his kids (My mother, Aunt, and Uncles).
He fell out of bed one day in the middle of the night, breaking his hip. Once he was found, he went to the hospital where he had his hip repaired. Post surgery, his mental status never improved and his end stage COPD was too much for him to overcome. My mother has MPOA, respected his wishes and initially told the doctors to withdrawal care and requested a hospice referral. Three of the other siblings threatened legal action because in their eyes hospice was murder. They contested that he may have written the legal documents (advanced directives and his will) while on hydrocodone for his chronic pain and it was not a valid document. The withdrawal of care never occurred.
I stepped in after they continued to harass my mother over the subsequent 1-2 weeks about “killing” grandpa and wanting a hospice referral. I told them that it’s over, he wanted to be at peace, and that we should respect his wishes. After over a week on BiPAP he never improved, he continue to worsened ,and was clear he was never going to improve. My mothers siblings refused to accept the truth. They eventually threatened to report me to the board for providing medical advise to “convince” MPOA (my mother) to withdrawal care which was 100% against the three of their wishes.
He abruptly passed on October 30, 2017 in a LTAC still on BiPAP. They since have dropped their threats and to my knowledge this whole ordeal is over. The funeral, Thanksgiving, and Christmas went about as well as you can envision. I’m not sure I’ll ever forgive them for all the calls, the texts, and threats levied.
I not only had to watch my mother cry over losing her father, but her cry that she kept trying to respect his wishes and push for hospice while they were leaving voicemail’s calling her a murder. I asked her why she didn’t just push on despite their threats since she has MPOA. She told me that her dad always wanted the family to stay as close as possible. She felt like if she gave the final order to withdrawal care and had them escorted out, they would never speak to her again. It is kind of tough when you live less than a mile from all your brothers and sisters in a town with a population of 2000.
This whole situation really brings new light onto those cases where I sometimes get frustrated that family is not making a quick decision to withdrawal care in a patient who will clearly have no positive outcome. Life and social circumstances can be difficult. Sometimes we have to treat the family more than the patient.
Future Father In Law Lost His Job
My better half’s father works in tech. Although we can’t prove there is any discrimination, he has found it so far virtually impossible for someone over 60 to get hired in tech after working for the same company for decades. I truly feel bad for him and each day hope that his next interview will pay off for him. He’s literally flying around the country going to all kinds of interviews but they have supposedly continued to hire someone younger.
I’m not sure what the future will hold but there is talk of him coming to live with us in 2018 if he runs out of money. We will see how this goes. He’s a smart guy and I’m sure that something will
The Website Looking Forward
This blog is a personal finance blog, an investing blog, and advise that I wish I would have known when I was a new attending. My goals for 2018 are to move forward by continuing to update the blog on a regular schedule. I’ve bought a new computer that will make it easier to post since my last one was on its last leg of life. I plan on focusing more on my Instagram account where I will focus on lifestyle and personal finance aspects of being a new attending. This will be in addition to my blog posts on here.
I’ve talked to several businesses and partnering with sponsors may be in the future. So far this has been a hobby and I have liked that I have complete control over content without any monetary influence. This may change in 2018 but will be a case by case basis. As always, there will be 100% transparency.
In regards to high yield posts. In 2018 I plan to avoid posts such as “10 reasons to…” or “15 things every new doctor should…”
Personally I find post like this to often be low yield, not very informative since they just scratch the surface, and somewhat “click bait” like. I plan to keep this website more focused on good information and pertinent information for those who are new to being an attending, interested in personal finance, or starting up their own business in health care.
I would like to thank all my readers and followers for a great 2017. You can always contact me if you have any feed back, questions, or concerns. Have a happy new year!