Keep a Corporate Veil Between Physician Assets and Claimants

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Although there is no “silver bullet” that can provide physicians total protection from the claims of malpractice attorneys, there are several low or no cost strategies that can provide significant asset protection for physicians, or enhance the asset protection physicians may already have.

First, don’t make it easy for a malpractice attorney to “pierce the corporate veil.” You already know that practicing through a professional corporation can keep your assets safe from malpractice claims against your partners and employees. But are ...

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Credit Cards in a Medical Practice

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If you are starting a medical practice, you obviously will NEED to accept credit cards.  Many consumers put their entire lives on credit cards, and will be slightly more willing to accept a co-pay if it is “on the card”.

Fees and expenses for accepting credit cards in a medical practices are hard to compare – sometimes the lowest percentage fees are combined with other fees that make the processor more expensive.

I can’t do the research for you, but I can ...

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Cumulative Wealth Records were Broken in 2012

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It took nearly 4½ years, but the cumulative wealth of an S&P 500 strategy with dividends reinvested finally reached an all-time record (measured on a month-end basis) in March 2012, and finished the year 3.3% above the previous high-water mark set in October 2007. Results were slightly better for a small-company Russell 2000 strategy: As of December 2012, cumulative wealth was 8.5% higher than the previous peak in May 2007.

The table below shows how many years were required to achieve ...

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2012 Review: Economy & Markets

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Throughout 2012, nervous investors did not have to look hard for reasons to avoid the financial markets. The daily headlines provided abundant gloom to feed their doubts, but investors who acted on impulse could have missed a potential opportunity to participate in strong returns across the global financial markets.

The year opened with lingering concern about the weak US recovery, the debt crisis in Europe, and political uncertainty around the world. Many financial pundits had predicted another lackluster year for stocks ...

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2012: The Year It Didn’t Happen

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Judging by the headlines in the financial press, investors spent much of the past year anxiously awaiting one calamity after another that failed to occur. The plunge off the so-called fiscal cliff was averted. The euro zone did not fall apart. China’s economy and stock market did not crash. The bond market did not implode. The re-election of President Barack Obama did not derail the US market. The “flash glitch” in early August did not lead to further trading disruptions. ...

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Physician investments shouldn’t be based on current events

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The holiday season encourages media retrospectives about financial markets. It’s fun to match these up with what people were saying a year before.

In December 2011, Barron’s told investors to “buckle up.” The consensus prediction of its panel of ten stock market strategists and investment managers was for the S&P 500 to end 2012 some 11.5% higher, at about 1,360.1

“That sounds like a big gain, but a lot of things have to go right for the market to make such impressive ...

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Balancing Physician Fixed Income Decisions

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Fixed income can play an important role in a portfolio. But its role may vary according to a physician investor’s financial needs and concerns. For example, many physician investors look to fixed income for safety, income, and more stability in their portfolios. They must weigh these priorities against their concerns over future interest rates, inflation, government debt, and other factors that might affect fixed income returns.

Striking this balance can be a challenge in any market environment, but especially now, as ...

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The Top Ten Physician Money Excuses

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Physicians, like all human beings, have an astounding facility for self-deception when it comes to their own money.

We tend to rationalize our own fears. So instead of just recognizing how we feel and reflecting on the thoughts that creates, we cut out the middle man and construct the facade of a logical-sounding argument over a vague feeling.

These arguments are often elaborate, short-term excuses that we use to justify behavior that runs counter to our own long-term interests.

Here are ten of ...

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Another Wall of Worry

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Stock prices rallied sharply around the world in the third quarter, with 42 out of 45 countries tracked by MSCI showing positive returns in US dollar terms. Total return exceeded 10% in 19 different markets, while Ireland, Japan, and Morocco registered minor losses.

For the twelve-month period ending September 30, 2012, 40 markets had positive returns, with six countries—including the US—delivering a total return in excess of 30%, according to MSCI.

Physician investors have been confronted with a steady drumbeat of discouraging ...

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Physician Investment Quiz

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Question:

The twenty-two prominent firms listed below share a common characteristic. What is it?

  • AT&T Inc.
  • Abbott Laboratories
  • Allstate Corp.
  • Altria Group
  • Amgen Inc.
  • Berkshire Hathaway ‘A’
  • Bristol-Myers Squibb
  • Coca-Cola Co.
  • Colgate-Palmolive
  • Costco Wholesale
  • Hershey Co.
  • Hormel Foods
  • Johnson & Johnson
  • Kimberly-Clark
  • Eli Lilly & Co.
  • Merck & Co.
  • Monsanto Co.
  • PepsiCo Inc.
  • Union Pacific
  • Verizon Communications
  • Wal-Mart Stores
  • Weyerhaeuser Co.

Answer:

If you guessed each firm is a constituent of the S&P 500 Index, you would have been close—but wrong. (Weyerhaeuser is not included.) If you guessed that each firm pays a dividend, you were close again—but still wrong. (Berkshire Hathaway has not paid ...

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