Working as a doctor comes with a great income, but those who rely on their wage alone will not reach their full wealth potential.

Every doctor should have a wealth strategy designed to make sure all of your hard work, and every dollar you earn, is put towards achieving your retirement and life goals.

Don’t have a wealth strategy? That’s ok, you’re in the right place.

Here are the key initial things to focus on.

Set your goals

Goal setting is crucial because different wealth strategies and investments will produce different outcomes. What do you want in retirement? What do you want for your kids? What legacy do you want to leave?

And putting those goals to a timeline will also help you to get a sense of what’s achievable, and by when. This is why the earlier you start the better – if you begin developing and actioning your wealth strategy at the start of career, you’ll be giving yourself more time for your investments to pay off while also creating more flexibility. If you’re late in the process, don’t worry, the best time to start focusing on your wealth strategy is right now.

Deal with debt first

Getting rid of high-interest debt such as credit cards is a practical step that will help set the foundations for your wealth strategy. For many doctors the cost of servicing debts outweighs investment returns, which is a real problem. When you’re free of debt, you’re in a strong position to invest well with lower levels of risk.

Budget

Budgeting is essential to your wealth strategy process. If you don’t have a budget, you don’t have a handle on what you can realistically afford to invest. And even if you do have some capacity to invest, we can guarantee that you’ll have a lot more to contribute if you have an effective budget!

It’s a misconception that you need to begin your investment journey with bucket loads of cash. It isn’t the amount you start with that matters, it’s being financially prepared to invest even the little you have with an ongoing, systemised process that you can build over time.

It’s also wise to create an emergency fund, where you store roughly six months of pay to support yourself in hard times. Without an emergency fund, an unforeseen financial problem could force you to derail any investment progress that you’ve made.

Risk tolerance

When you partner with an experienced adviser, investment risks are much lower than if you were to go it alone. However, investing always comes with some level of risk and it is important to be aware of that.

Learning what level of risk you’re comfortable with can help guide you towards the types of investments that will suit you best. While lower risk investments won’t change your bank balance overnight, they’ll often deliver consistent returns over time that will set you up in the long term. Higher risk investments might deliver greater instant reward but require much more management with the potential for longer term pain. Only invest what you can afford, and do it with the help of an experienced financial adviser.

Invest in what you know 

As a doctor you’re familiar with the health industry. Investing in health, or another field that you know a lot about, means you understand the opportunities in the industry and have a clearer picture about where the market is heading. You’ll be able to grasp ideas easier than if it were in unfamiliar territory.

However, make sure you invest with diversity in mind. Use your knowledge and strength to your advantage but don’t put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak. 

Get expert advice

Creating a wealth strategy and starting to invest can be intimidating, but with the right advice and support, anyone can do it successfully.

Doctors should work with medical wealth experts who understand the unique financial needs of medical professionals.

Nitschke Nancarrow is among the most sought-after firms in Australia by doctors who want to build wealth and create the lifestyle of their dreams.

Contact us for an initial discussion about your needs.

The information contained on this article is general in nature and does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a financial adviser.

Taxation, legal and other matters referred to on this website are of a general nature only and are based on Nitschke Nancarrow’s interpretation of laws existing at the time and should not be relied upon in place of appropriate professional advice. Those laws may change from time to time.

Nitschke Nancarrow specialises in accounting, tax and financial advice for superannuation. Contact us now for a no obligations discussion about your needs.

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