Financial Lessons For Doctors At The Gas Station

The other day I was at the local gas station filling up my car. It was the most useful gas pumping session I've ever had. I actually learned some pretty high octane financial lessons. Let me share them with you.

As I'm standing there waiting for the pump handle to snap back and stop so I can get out of there, a couple random financial thoughts went through my mind and how they apply to physicians:

1. Doctors waste a lot of time on miniscule financial tasks

I usually fill my car's tank about once per week. It takes about 3 minutes on average I think. So that's 3 minutes per week which is 156 minutes per year, or over 6,200 minutes over the next 40 years (assuming I live that long) just standing and pumping gas. And inhaling the toxic fumes.

Hmmm...that's over 100 hours of my life gone.

Now think about how many minutes, hours, days, and weeks you waste over your lifetime with financial tasks such as researching the stocks and funds that you think will beat the market, watching financial porn on CNBC, the Motley Fool, and other junk investment sites.

How much is that time worth to you? How much has this cost you?

And more importantly have you been successful doing it yourself versus outsourcing the financial and investment part of your life to someone else so you can free up your time to do other things--assuming of course that you find a financial planner who actually acts in your best interest and knows what he's doing?

2. Doctors fail to look at TOTAL cost of investing

So I whip out my phone and there's an app that tells me gas prices around my area. I find that had I just gone to the gas station 20 miles away, I'd save a whopping 10 cents per gallon.

So why didn't I floor my car and get gas at the other station? I mean why was I standing there pumping more expensive gas?

Well, here's the problem.

To get to the other station would have cost me about $4 since my car had to use up a gallon of gas just to get to the other station. And then it would have cost another $3.90 since I would've burned another gallon of gas to get back home. So I had to spend $7.90 just to get there and back.

My tank has about 20 gallons so I would have saved about $2 by getting the gas at the other station.

But my TOTAL cost was actually negative. Yes, I could've "saved" $2, but I spent $7.90 to do it, so my net cost was -$5.90.

Had I not considered my TOTAL cost--both direct and indirect--I would've foolishly thought I was saving money.

And then there's the time involved. Getting to the other station would cost me 3,600 seconds of my life (that's 1 hour if you're not mathematically inclined) that I can't get back.

What does this have to do with your finances?

Well, if you're managing your investment portfolio by yourself, you may think that you're not paying any fees.


What mistakes are you making? What are those mistakes costing you? What if you paid a financial planner--assuming a competent one who acts in your best interest--a reasonable fee that saved you more than cost of making big mistakes?

Here's one common example. You bailed out of the stock market in 2008 or 2009 only to miss out on the subsequent returns that should have put you in a position to sip margaritas on the beach for the rest of your life.

Those returns you missed out on are a fee that you paid plain and simple. But since no one sent you a bill for that fee (just like no one would've sent me a bill for driving to the cheaper gas station), you mistakenly think that you paid nothing.

Well if that's the case, then why are you still working?

I can give you MANY more examples, but that one's a good start.

(Speaking of big mistakes--rather, colossal mistakes--you really need to read my report "7 Colossal Financial Mistakes Doctors Make and How To Correct Them So You Can Stop Making Work Mandatory and Start Making Work Optional!". Just enter you name and email in the big red box on the right side of this page and I'll send it to you immediately)

Or if you already have an advisor, is he competent? Is he giving you objective advice? Do you have an investment plan or philosophy that makes any sense to you?

If you answered no, then your total cost of investing is probably very high. You see, it's the mistakes you don't know you're making that can cost you a bundle.

3. Doctors are suckers for money

Before I even touched the damn gas pump, I had to whip out my credit card to pay. No money = no gas.

But in medicine you have completely lost control of your pay, the fees you charge, and you have signed contracts with entities which require you to first provide services and then MAYBE get paid what you billed.

And those entities control what you can bill out in the first place!

Why on earth did we ever do this to ourselves?

Why do you CONTINUE to do this to yourself?

Every day you continue to do this, you simply become someone else's whipping boy (or girl).

Me? I decided that my services as a physician are FAR more valuable than what those entities paid me.

After all doesn't everyone want quality health care? How exactly are doctors supposed to provide excellent health care for cheap fees?

Well, doctors aren't part of the problem. In my opinion we do an exceptionally fantastic job given the circumstances.

What we don't do well at all is conveying our value and standing up and saying "No".

If you're ready to say "No" then set up your second opinion finanical consultation with me right now by clicking here:

Second opinion financial consultation

We'll figure out how to get you closer to your own financial independence.

For the rest of you who want to continue saying "Yes" you shouldn't bother.

Didn't think gas stations could provide such sound financial advice did you?