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Beware IPO Stock and Other Financial News to Use


The new cost of raising a child for 17 years, the truth about buying IPO stocks and why it's important for both spouses to be involved in financial planning.

Hey, this stuff keeps piling up, and I have to use it. It's too interesting and useful to pass over, but not enough is involved in each item to generate individual columns. For instance...

— If you are mad at certain companies for poor service, high prices, etc., but are forced to use them, such as airlines and oil companies, here is a novel way to improve the quality of your life: invest in them, even if a small amount. You will at least feel that you are getting some indirect benefit from your frustrated usage.

— Do you want to build your practice? Well, the single best, proven way is simply to ask your patients to refer their friends to you. Word of mouth is a powerful tool. And consider using a commercial service to disseminate positive opinions on the ’net, such as on Yelp. At one time, I considered re-naming my practice organization "The Word of Mouth Neighborhood Family Practice Group" after I saw some very persuasive studies on the subject. Cooler heads prevailed, but I still wonder…

— “Best Advice to Child on Their First Job," Finalist

"Show up, don't stop moving and sweep the floor even if they don't ask you to." If a job for your offspring is not on your radar, consider this; the United States Department of Agriculture, which watches such things, says that over the next 17 years, it will take about $300,000 to raise your little darling, inflation included, but NOT college.

— On that subject, the NCAA just released some interesting info. Unless your student athlete is a real star, the statistical chance of an athletic scholarship in football and basketball is remote. Even for soccer, the ratio for boys is one scholarship for every 286 applicants, for girls it is one for every 118. The best opportunity appears to be in rowing, where the male ratio is 1:6 and for females it is a doable 1:2. There is hope.

— Calling all workaholic MDs (and you know who you are).

"The space of free time is where the physical and emotional damage of work is repaired … where unmet needs are achieved in the struggle to become more fully human." - Sandy Carter

— Average medical graduate debt last year was $158,000. I know a psychiatry resident who told me that hers was $250,000! Don't think this inadequately addressed development isn't affecting decisions regarding what to practice, where to practice and how to practice.

Remember what I wrote two weeks ago about potential conflicts of interest pressuring our objective treatment of patients?

— The 21st century version of "Buy low and sell high" is "If you can get IPO stock, don't buy it. Only buy IPO stock that you can't get."

— “A lot of money doesn't make anyone more often right, it just makes him harder to correct." - Malcolm Forbes

— 70% of widows change their financial advisors within one year and it’s not because these widows were happy with their advisors and making money. This statistic goes to show why all spouses should be involved in financial planning and understanding from the beginning.

— Excessive fees in pension plan management represent a 25% reduction in your potential gain in savings over your working life, according to the Government Accounting Office. This is especially true in a low interest rate environment such as our current era. That 1% and 2% can add up and compound to an unintended, substantial decrease in retirement and college options for you and your family.

— Every five years the amount of medical information doubles. For instance, the Library of Congress averages 1,500 new medical articles per day. That's about 10,000 per week. Please do not keep that in mind the next time that you go on vacation and are worried about the stack of unread medical journals that you left behind.

— Corporate insiders may sell shares for all sorts of reasons, personal and otherwise. But there is only one reason why they will buy their own shares; they have reason to believe that the shares will soon rise. In fact, 30 years of research has confirmed that stocks with "significant" insider purchases tend to outperform the market for the next 12 months. Notice I said “tend,” not “are guaranteed.” If that kind of information interests you, there are mutual funds, newsletters and the like to tap into who closely follow these activities.

See, I told you there is some useful stuff here. Watch for my next edition of "More Useful Financial Stuff."

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