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The Physician Financial Fool Quiz


Many physicians are constantly fooled with their finances every day, and the consequences are pretty serious. Take this 5-question quiz to see how you are doing.

April Fool’s Day comes once a year, and maybe your kids or your colleagues at the hospital, the ER, or the clinic pulled some corny pranks on you or told you some cheesy jokes.

While the day came and went in a mostly lighthearted way, I see many physicians constantly being fooled with their finances every day. Unfortunately, it’s not a joke. The consequences are pretty serious.

What about you? Are you being fooled with your finances and investments?

Not sure? No problem.

Take my 5 question quiz to find out your level of financial foolery.

If you’re managing your investments and finances by yourself, ask yourself these questions and give yourself 1 point for every time you answer YES:

1. Do you think you can consistently pick the winning stocks and/or time the stock market?

2. Do you think you are paying no or low fees and costs by managing your own portfolio?

3. Do you lack a comprehensive financial plan that integrates your investments with other aspects of your finances?

4. Do you fail to hold yourself accountable for all of your financial and investment decisions?

5. Do you lack the time, interest, knowledge, and discipline to successfully manage your investments and finances for the rest of your life?

If you’ve hired a financial advisor, then ask yourself these questions and give yourself 1 point every time you answer YES:

1. Does he think he can pick the winning stocks, time the market, or pick the winning mutual fund or money managers?

2. Does he get paid by selling you investment, insurance, and financial products rather than charging you a fee directly?

3. Does he fail to communicate with you regularly?

4. Does he lack large numbers of physician clients?

5. Does he fail to manage ALL of your investment and retirement accounts, including your 401(k), 403(b), 457, IRA, Roth IRA, and taxable accounts for BOTH you and your spouse?

Now tally up your total number of points.

Your results

If you scored 5 points, you should rename yourself Dr. Fool. Every day is Financial Fool’s Day for you. Financial success might be beyond your reach.

If you scored 4 points, you’ve got great company since lots of doctors will get this score but won’t realize how foolish they are with their finances or with the financial advisors they’ve hired.

If you scored 3 points, you might think you’re in the clear. Think again. Take the quiz again and make sure you tallied it up correctly.

If you scored 2 points, you might have a teensy weensy bit of hope, my friend. But realize you’re only 3 points away from changing your name and there are many temptations that will add to your score.

If you scored 1 point, then figure out how you’re going to get to zero.

If you scored zero, then you are among the elite group of physicians—the best of the best. You have either mastered how to manage your finances by yourself, or you’ve hired a financial advisor who is providing good value to you. You are in a very small group of people indeed.

Of course you might actually be fooled and think you’re at 0 when you might be at a 5.

So there you have it. How did you do?

If you had anything above a 1 on this quiz, then what’s your plan to get your score down lower?

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