9 Money-Making Tips

You should not take any area of your business for granted. Conditions change, options change, and not doing a periodic review could easily cost you 6 figures over your career.


• The going rate for online trades is $7-$10. But if you have, or bring, assets above some company-set level, you can get your trades for free. Or just ask, suggesting nicely that it’s a competitive business and other brokerages would be happy to accept your funds offering free trades.

• Spending mileage bonus points on airfare, especially on international flights, will give you a better deal than exchanging them for cash or merchandise. Even as it gets tougher to actually book those “free” flights. The last upgraded international flight that I took required hours of phone calls and almost $1,000 in “fees.” Increasingly, the key advantages of elite status with airlines is the ability to check in via the fast line, get through a shorter security line, and get on board the plane first. Not bad, actually.

• When you rent a car, be sure to photograph it on your phone from all sides both before and after the rental. This may save you unexpected grief when you later get surprised by being “dinged for a ding” that was not your doing, or on your watch.

• If you have mailed a letter that you want to retrieve, it can actually be done. Just go to the post office and file a “Sender’s Application for Recall of Mail.” The service is free but you obviously have to do it quickly.

• In spite of all the verbiage and noise to the contrary, just remember this about investing; the overwhelming body of research shows that long-term investment returns depend upon just 2 things. These are: asset allocation, how you spread your money between different classes like stocks and bonds; and the value of those investments when you buy. You know, the old Warren Buffett line, “buy when the market is at its lowest and then sit on it.”

• Apps for bargain hunters: RedLaser and ShopSaver allow shoppers to scan an item’s barcode and it will immediately tell you how much that item is being sold for at other local stores. Coupon Sherpa lists coupons from retailers and restaurants. RetailMeNot and PriceJump offer similar services. The latter includes local, Amazon, and other online retailers.

• For you financial rascals, and you know who you are, for tax purposes and otherwise, there are countries that will allow you legally to get citizenship and a second passport. The Dominican Republic is one such and you can find info on line about options and details. Be very careful about the legal tightrope that you may be setting out upon however and get experienced professional advice first.

• There are 3 main areas of financial planning that you should focus upon, especially at year’s end: tax, retirement, and estate planning.

• While you are re-assessing, look at your practice. Ask for a new quote from all insurers, including life, disability, malpractice, business, etc. And examine the way that you do all purchasing; consider asking a consultant familiar with this area to suggest alternatives. Some practices have saved thousands just by this change alone.

You should not take any area of your business for granted. Conditions change, options change, and not doing a periodic review could easily cost you 6 figures over your career. Look at your budget, your overhead, your fees. Re-think your coding, marketing, and work flow. Years ago when I first brought in a consultant to knowledgeably go through the process with me, my income doubled and the quality of our service jumped demonstrably.

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Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice
Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice
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