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Margin Accounts for Physicians

What They Are – How They Work

By William H. Mears; CPA, JD

Margin is defined as the capacity to purchase securities with a loan against an existing position.

A Method of Leverage

Using margin, a physician-investor can increase exposure to potential gains and increase returns.

Conversely, by leveraging current investments, a physician investor can increase exposure to market risk.

Where an investor can reinvest margin proceeds and earn a return in excess of the borrowing cost, the investor has increased total return.


However, if a physician investor borrows against a position to invest in securities that decline in value, that investor’s loss is in effect doubled (if the investor had margin up to the legal 50% limit).


Dr. Prince Price, a dentist who has a $1 million portfolio of low-cost basis securities, would like to invest in a new initial public offering (IPO). He feels certain that the stock of this new initial public offering company will skyrocket.

Prince asks his wife if he can take a home equity line of credit against their house to purchase the stock, but his wife, a financial planner, advises against this strategy. She recommends that Prince take a margin loan against his stock portfolio if he really must invest in the IPO. The margin limit on his account is $500,000, or 50% of the current market value of the portfolio.

Prince decides to invest $500,000 in the new IPO. He purchases 50,000 shares of the $10 stock on the offering.

The new stock closes the first day at $20. In 90 days, the stock is worth $50 a share. Prince sells his stock for $50 a share, taking a short-term capital gain of $40 a share. His financing cost on the margin loan, the 7% for 90 days on a loan principal of $500,000, is his opportunity cost and reduces his net economic gain.


At the end of the transaction, Prince calculated his net profit as follows:

Gross proceeds:  $2,500,000

Cost basis:            $500,000

Cost of capital:          $8,749

Net profit:            $1,991,251


What has been your personal experience using, or recommending, margin accounts; please comment?


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Physician Income Maximization

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Next-Gen Rules for Success

Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA, CMP™


Money, received by medical professionals as salary in the present, can earn money over a period of time (making the amount ultimately larger than if the same initial sum were received later). And, both the amount of investment return and the length of time it takes to receive that return affect the rate of return (i.e., the value of the return).

This principle, known as the time-value of money (TVM), is a vital compensation issue regarding ultimate wealth accumulation.

Retirement Corpus Estimates

For example, as noted by our firm and according to the March 31, 2005 issue of Physician’s Money Digest, a 47-year-old doctor with $184,000 in annual income would need about $5.5 million dollars for retirement at age 65.

This should serve as a wake-up call that physicians may need to cut personal consumption and professional expenses, and to save more aggressively to harvest the TVM to finance the retirement they’re working toward. Remember, compensation is not the sole arbiter of success. To run your own numbers: http://www3.troweprice.com/ric/RIC/

Therefore, according to Eugene Schmuckler, PhD of the Institute of Medical Business Advisors, Atlanta, GA www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com it is not too difficult to imagine the following rules for those innovative doctors wishing to maximize compensation.

Practice Strategies and Wealth Building Rules for Doctors

Rule No. 1: A great idea or competitive advantage can earn generous compensation while still serving the public. It’s a unit-of-one healthcare economy where “Me Inc.” is the standard and physicians must maneuver for advantages that boost credibility among patients and payers.  You must also realize the power of networking, vertical integration and the establishment of prn “medical practices,” which physically or virtually come together to treat a patient or cohort, and then disband when a successful outcome is achieved. 

Rule No. 2:Differentiate yourself among your medical peers. Do or learn something new and unknown by your competitors. Market your accomplishments and let the world know. Be a non-conformist. Doctors should create and innovate; do not blindly follow leaders into oblivion.

Rule No. 3:Challenge conventional wisdom, think outside the box, recapture your dreams and ambitions, and work harder than you have ever worked before. Remember the old saying, “if everyone is thinking alike, then nobody is thinking.” 

Rule No 4:Realize that the present is not necessarily the future. Attempt to see the future and discern your place in it. Master the art of the quick change, and fast but informed decision making. Do what you love, disregard what you don’t, and let the fates have their way with you. Then, decide for yourself if you should be an employer or employee, or adhere to the traditional compensation models.


Stay tuned for more on this topic!

We will post some examples of next-generation physicians who are making it under these new rules for success in the modern era.

Speaker: If you need a moderator or speaker for an upcoming event, Dr. David E. Marcinko; MBA – Publisher-in-Chief of the Medical Executive-Post – is available for seminar or speaking engagements. Contact: MarcinkoAdvisors@msn.com


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