Take the next step: plan for the future
We have all heard in treatment planning that failing to plan is planning to fail
. The same goes for our future as accumulators of wealth. It is no secret that those who don the white coat tend to have a competitive six-figure salary for a majority of our practicing lives. However, in school we tend to get bogged down by, well, school. However, as intelligent humans who seek more and more knowledge, remember that the amount of information at our disposal is immense.
Do you want to be an associate dentist forever? Then books on practice management will not be useful to you. Do you want to own your own practice and self-direct your own investments until you turn 65, because your type A personality won’t let someone else help? First of all, you’re brave. But it can be done. Literature on trading and picking the right investment account may be more suitable for you.
There are countless
articles and books on a number of topics that pertain to you, no matter what your future goals may be. Find where you are weakest and exploit that weakness, soaking up information to turn your weakness into a strength.
Examples of topics for reading for the typical student may be:
- Savings (knowing how to have a rainy day fund and the importance of having available cash)
- Managing debt (repaying and living with massive amounts of debt for homeowners, practice owners or those with student loan debt)
- Using debt as a tool (using debt at advantageous interest rates to create wealth)
- Credit management (understanding how borrowing money will affect your credit score, which influences ability to borrow in the future)
- Investing (find a beginner’s guide to what it means to own a piece, or share, of a company or a mutual fund with pieces of multiple funds and how that can provide you wealth)
ASDA has put together a list of member-suggested books on financial and practice management
It is critical to understand the benefits of your career, but we must monitor our own financial health. Just as every treatment plan is different for every patient, so is every financial plan for every dentist. Tailor your reading in school toward what pertains to you. Now is the time to begin developing good habits, soaking in information that will provide long-term rewards and fostering relationships with financially successful professionals and non-professionals.
This content was developed in cooperation with Jeffrey Kerst, Louisiana ’19, 2017-18 district 5 trustee. Experience includes nearly a decade of work at Community First Trust, Co., a provider of trust, finance, legal, insurance and accounting expertise with more than $350 million in assets under management/custody. Written in collaboration with William L. Kerst, Jr., president & CEO of Community First Trust, Co.