Physicians face a unique set of financial challenges and opportunities. And a financial advisor with a specialized understanding of these factors can help doctors navigate these unusual circumstances.
Just as you won’t go to an orthopedic surgeon to help you with an earache, experts say, you shouldn’t work with a financial adviser who doesn’t know the intricacies of a doctor’s lifestyle.
“A financial advisor should be a guide, someone who understands your unique situation and can help you plan for your future,” says Julia Bartak, financial advisor for Edward Jones in the Kansas City area. “That means they need to understand the nuances of working in the medical field, like running a medical practice, insurance, retirement options and more.”
How to Find a Financial Advisor for Physicians
Word of mouth is one way to find a financial advisor who specializes in helping doctors. Ask other doctors in your area for recommendations and their thoughts on their relationship with the advisor.
“If you belong to a hospital group, you can check with your (human resources) department if they would be able to recommend someone,” says Hagen Pruemm, investment adviser and president of SIS Financial Group at Hoffman Estates. , Ill.
And there’s always Google: a simple Internet search for “financial advisor for doctors near me” can yield a multitude of results. Then check the advisor’s website to see if it is specifically for doctors.
You can also refer to websites that provide educational financial content for doctors, such as The White Coat Investor and Physician on Fire, which refers to the acronym for “financial independence, early retirement.” Just be sure to do your due diligence before choosing any advisor highlighted on such a website.
Check advisor credentials at BrokerCheck.finra.org or AdviserInfo.sec.gov, two free tools where you can review an advisor’s background, experience, and disciplinary actions.
If you know you want to work with a specific type of advisor, such as a Certified Financial Planner, you can also check the credential provider’s website for a list of local licensed advisors.
What to Look for in a Financial Advisor for Physicians
“Physicians can certainly benefit from the help of a financial advisor who understands their individual or specific situation,” says Pruemm. “Most doctors will eventually end up among the highest earners, but years of medical school and residency can lead them to start out with much more debt than most Americans.”
A financial advisor who has experience working with medical professionals will be better equipped to help you develop a plan that addresses these unique concerns, he says.
“Often doctors work well into their 60s or 60s, so one of the biggest financial threats would be premature death or disability resulting in years, if not decades, of lost income,” Pruemm says. “With what seem like endless life and disability insurance options, having a financial advisor who also specializes in this area would be very helpful.”
Bartak says an advisor can partner with an insurance specialist to help you choose the right insurance coverage. Likewise, the advisor can also work with your tax accountant to ensure that you are maximizing tax-advantaged income.
Some financial planning companies have insurance and tax specialists under one roof, while others may partner with outside companies.
If you own a practice, a financial advisor can help you establish an appropriate and thoughtful succession plan, Bartak says.
“As a doctor, you know the importance of regular check-ups and listening to your patients,” says Bartak. You should expect the same from your financial advisor.
“Your financial advisor should ask you about your goals, hopes, dreams, and fears, and help you put together a financial strategy to achieve what matters most to you,” she says. The advisor will contact you regularly to ensure that you are still on track to achieve your goals.
“Above all, a financial advisor should serve you in a human-centered way — much like how a doctor treats a patient,” Bartak says.
Financial Advisors for Physicians
Here are some financial advisors who specialize in helping doctors.
Remember: It’s important to vet a financial advisor, review their credentials, and ask the right questions before engaging in an advisory relationship.
- Aptus Financial: A fixed-fee financial planning and investment company focused on early- and mid-career physicians.
- Wrenne Financial Planning: A comprehensive fee-based financial planning company for physicians.
- Panoramic Financial Advice: A comprehensive financial planning practice with advisors who work specifically with young physicians.
- Financial Rounds: A site dedicated to helping physicians make financial decisions with ongoing financial planning and investment management.
- CMG Financial Consulting: A fee-based financial planning company that works primarily with doctors and healthcare professionals.
- Physician Family Financial Advisors: A fee-based financial planning company for physicians and their families.
- Pulse Financial Planning: a fiduciary financial planning company specializing in helping healthcare professionals.
- WealthCare LLC: A fee-only financial planning and investment management trust company specializing in physicians and other healthcare professionals.