White Coat Investors Financial Bootcamp: Review

White Coat Investors Financial Bootcamp: Review
The White Coat Investor’s Financial Boot Camp: A 12-Step High-Yield Guide to Bring Your Finances Up to Speed: Dahle, James M: 9780991433117: Amazon.com: Books
The White Coat Investor’s Financial Boot Camp: A 12-Step High-Yield Guide to Bring Your Finances Up to Speed [Dahle, James M] on Amazon.com. *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. The White Coat Investor’s Financial Boot Camp: A 12-Step High-Yield Guide to Bring Your Finances Up to Speed

"Live like a resident". This quote is now a mantra for me every time I am tempted to deviate from my goals to buy the Tesla cyber truck (as if I'd be high enough on the waiting list to get one in this lifetime) and a luxurious lakefront property. It's a simple yet profound principle to achieving financial independence. Many physicians succumb to what is known as lifestyle inflation or lifestyle creep, a phenomenon where individuals expenses rise along with their income, preventing them from paying down debt, investing more, leading them to continuing the folly of living paycheck to paycheck.

This is not a book filled with empty motivational platitudes on how to 10X your net worth overnight, but rather a twelve step guide to put physicians on the right track to building a strong financial foundation before the big bucks come in.


Briefly, this book serves as a no nonsense resource for physicians looking to both become self directed investors or are looking for a basic working knowledge of personal finance and investing before interfacing with a financial advisor. There are twelve steps outlined in the book for the reader to follow to achieve financial security and eventually financial independence. These steps are:

  1. Get disability insurance
  2. Purchase life insurance

3.   Create a spending plan

  • Emergency fund
  • Credit card debt
  • Pay off auto loans within one year or sell the car
  • Develop a written spending plan
  • Commit to pay cash for everything in your life except your home

4.   Create a student loan plan

  • Enroll in repay
  • Refinance to lower rate
  • Certify for PSLF if applicable
  • Pay off in two to five years

5.   Live like a resident

  • Boost your income
  • Have contracts reviewed
  • Maximize active income
  • Consider passive income streams

6.   Develop a housing plan

  • Refinance to a lower rate if available
  • Create a written home purchasing plan

7.   Develop a retirement plan

  • Obtain and read 401k
  • Fund an HSA
  • Back door roth ira
  • Calculate tax rate

8.   Write an investing plan

  • Write down investing plan
  • Determine how much you are paying for financial advice if applicable

9.   Correct any past mistakes

  • Consider dropping whole life policy
  • Stop investing inside annuities
  • Fire financial advisor that gives bad or overpriced advice
  • Consider functioning as your own advisor or hire a reputable reasonably priced advisor
  • Contact new custodian to transfer or exchange
  • Evaluate portfolio to make any adjustments to legacy investments
  • Commit now to maxing our retirement accounts

10. Save for (children) college

  • Check out state 529 plan
  • Determine your goal for college savings
  • Share college funding plan with children

11. Estate planning

  • Get a will
  • Check the beneficiaries of insurance investing retirement and bank accounts
  • Look up state inheritance tax laws
  • Meet with estate planning attorney if single parent, age over 50 or net worth above 1million

12. Asset protection

  • Get an Umbrella policy
  • Review your malpractice policy and keep a copy on file
  • Make sure your home is titled tenants by the entirety
  • Look up asset protection laws
  • Max out retirement accounts before investing in non qualified accounts

The book is structured in a way that allows the reader to use it as a checklist along ones journey. Financial education can be seen as a dull topic for many. However Dr. Dahle manages to successfully keep the readers attention by injecting his sense of humor and unique writing style into every page. He also did a great job of explaining  concepts in a way that was easy to understand no matter the level of financial literacy. Lastly, he added depth to each chapter by highlighting why each step is important as well as real life testimonials and anecdotes of physicians reaping the benefits of completing the step at hand.

One memoir I found to be impactful was that of Dr. Disha Spath. She discussed how she fell victim to lifestyle inflation as an attending, leaving her and her family with "large bills, a large life and no flexibility." She decided to downsize her lifestyle by "living like a resident" which granted her the opportunity to pay down her student loans in 18 months putting her in a much more favorable financial position.

WCI's Financial Bootcamp is an easy and fun read that can shed light on one's path to financial freedom providing a fresh perspective every time it is picked up. If you're looking for the charlatans guide to massive wealth or how to pick individual stocks to beat the market, this is not the book for you. This book provides a rational voice for those looking to establish a rock solid foundation for their family to grow and thrive over the long run and I can't recommend this book enough to med students, residents and attendings alike.

About the author

James Dahle is an ER physician that has been ten years in the game of providing financial education to physicians and other high income earners. He grew up in Alaska as the third of six children to a homemaker and engineer. His humble roots  taught him early on the importance of living below his means, although he still experienced financial challenges early in his medical career.

Dr Dahle mentioned that he was ripped off twice by shady financial professionals. The first occurrence was upon refinancing of his first home when his lender attempted to slip in a pre-payment penalty and the second was when he was sold an inappropriate whole life policy by "Birthtestern Too Cruel." These experiences left a bitter taste in his mouth. However they whetted his appetite for learning personal finance and investing. After scouring books and online blogs, he soon realized he was doing a lot more teaching than learning and once he saw there was little to no resources directed toward physicians or other high income earners, he decided to be the financial change he wanted to see in the medical community. Hence, the White Coat Investor blog was born.

With over ten years of financial blogging, three books, a podcast, scholarships and other awards under his belt, Dr. James Dahle has done his due diligence to fulfill his mission to give physicians a "Fair Shake on Wallstreet." Check out his blog here