Ask anyone who’s ever operated with me about my musical tastes.
Rap and hip hop are my go-to. Like index fund and active real estate investing. I like a lot of musical genres and don’t discriminate, but that’s where my tastes lie.
Growing up in suburban Buffalo, this is not intuitive. But, since I was little, I’ve always loved the flow, creativity, and grit that the genre encourages. I also have always had a bit of a chip on my shoulder and can relate to this as a thematic element in the rap and hip hop genre.
I can remember that first time I heard Young M.A.
It was late summer 2016, probably 11 at night and I had just finished operating for the day. I was walking home from Bellevue Hospital on 28th and 1st Avenue in New York City to my apartment a few blocks away. A car parked across the street had the windows open, playing “Ooouuu” by Young M.A., her debut single.
Amazing song. Still love it. She’s one of my favorite rappers still. Obviously from NYC.
What does any of this have to do with the Prudent Plastic Surgeon or investing or anything?
Flash forward four years and another Young M.A. song popped up on my Spotify driving home…“Trap or Cap.”
“Flip a check soon as you get a check, make that money stretch
Spend a check, just to get a …, man that’s a dummy flex.
– Young M.A.
If I wasn’t already in love with the song by this line in the second verse, I was now. She was espousing TPPS principles through my favorite medium!
Compare this message with that of most other rappers. How many bars are filled with rappers bragging about their extravagance.
Nope, Young M.A. isn’t spending her check when she gets a check. She’s flipping it to make her money stretch. Yessssssss!
The parallel between this and the situation of physicians or any other high income professionals is so transparent that I almost don’t even want to spell it out
But just to make sure we are all on the same page…it’s amazing that the majority of plastic surgeons, physicians, and others are so transfixed with shiny objects that they just run to spend their money unwisely and without a plan.
I mean I had to listen to co-residents bragging about the new expensive suit they just bought. Their salary was the same as mine. I also knew what my suit cost (much less!) and that I had always been properly dressed for any conference, meeting, or other event that required it.
The traditional perception or philosophy or whatever you want to call it of most doctors (plastic surgeons may be the worst offenders though) leads to buying flash over substance. And that does not make you wealthy.
Flash fizzles out. It’s a dummy flex.
Substance builds a foundation of wealth that in renewable, often passively. Combine this with intentional spending based on gained happiness along with purpose and passion and you have the recipe for personal well-being in my opinion.
To change this flashy and spend first mindset and perception in medicine would completely alter the financial landscape of the field for the better
More than learning to invest wisely in index funds.
More than learning to harness leverage in cash flowing rental real estate investments.
More than even increasing the average salary of a plastic surgeon by $100,000. This money quickly disintegrates after taxes and more unwise spending without investments being made.
The mindset however lasts forever and permeates all of your life. Teach a doctor to fish and you’ll never need to feed her hospital cafeteria food again.
Let’s get back to the principle at hand:
“Flip a check soon as you get a check, make that money stretch”
This ties into one of the main lessons in Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki. In his book, Robert very clearly defines assets and liabilities.
An asset is something that puts money in your pocket. A liability is something that takes money out of your pocket.
Robert’s advice? Buy assets and minimize liabilities! No rationalization. No qualifiers.
If you maximize things that put money in your pocket and minimize things that take money out of your pocket, you will build wealth. It just makes sense.
With every financial decision, think to yourself: is this an asset or a liability?
If it’s an asset, can I make it put even more money in my pocket? If it’s a liability, can I minimize the amount of money it takes out of my pocket?
Robert talks about how his wife wanted to buy a luxury car. They had enough money to buy the car. But instead they bought enough rental properties that cash flowed enough money to buy the car in 3 years. So, in 3 years, his wife bought the car and they still owned those rental properties putting money in their pocket…every month…for the rest of their lives.
That’s powerful. That’s flipping a check and making money stretch. That’s listening to Young M.A.
Another important point is this: while saving money alone is good, investing is better.
When I first started thinking about my finances, I thought that investing was so complicated and risky that I would just save my money at a very high rate.
I would lose money to inflation because, at an average of 3%, inflation would rise at a rate greater than my money would in a savings account. But my money would be safe.
That’s a bit like never going outside because you want to stay safe from satellites falling out of orbit and crushing you. Yeah, it’s safe, but what are you losing by not exposing yourself to some risk.
All of life is about balancing risk and reward. No one is saying that you should take your savings, go to the casino and put it all on red.
But I am saying that you should take your savings and wisely invest them. My choices for wise investing are broadly diversified, low cost index funds and cash-flowing rental real estate investing. It’s in my written financial plan.
Wise investing takes up front work. I’ve said so many times on this blog that managing your own finances is something that everyone is capable of. However, even if you want to have someone manage your money, you better know enough to tell if they’re giving you good advice and doing a good job or giving you bad advice and doing a worse job.
If you don’t flip the check, you’re missing half of the equation and you’re not building wealth.
I’ll quote Young M.A. one last time…
“Either you trappin’ or you cappin’
Man, pick a side”
It’s one thing to say that you are going to follow this philosophy. It’s another to actually pick a side and take action.
Figure out how much you will need to retire. Learn how to minimize risk and invest in the stock market. Let me show you why real estate is a wealth building accelerant. Learn how to write your financial plan using mine as a guide.
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What do you think? What’s your philosophy when it comes to your finances? Are you flipping checks and stretching money or just spending what you make? What’s your OR or clinic or home music or choice? Let me know in the comments below!