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    As a state licensed life, P&C and health insurance agent; and dual SEC registered investment advisor and representative, Marcinko was Founding Dean of the fiduciary and niche focused CERTIFIED MEDICAL PLANNER® chartered professional designation education program; as well as Chief Editor of the three print format HEALTH DICTIONARY SERIES® and online Wiki Project.

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Is Physician “Consumerism” Akin to Lay Consumerism?

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Revising Economic Principles for the “New-Normal”

[By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP™]

[By Hope Rachel Hetico RN MHA CMP™]

David and HopeIn 1972, Nobel Laureate Kenneth J. Arrow, PhD shocked academe’ by identifying health economics as a separate and distinct field.

Yet, the seemingly disparate insurance, tax, risk management and financial planning principles that he also studied are just now becoming transparent to some medical professionals and their financial advisors.

Despite the fact that a basic, but hardly promoted premise of this new wave financial planning era, is imprecision.

http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

Nevertheless, to informed cognoscenti like Certified Medical Planners™, the principles served as predecessors to the modern physician-focused financial advisory niche sector. In 2004, Arrow was selected as one of eight recipients of the National Medal of Science for his innovative views.

The “New-Normal”

And now, as a three decade long bull market in bonds and equities is over, and if the current “new-normal” prevails – meaning a 4.5% real annualized rate of return on equities and a 1.5% real rate on bonds – wealth accumulation for all may be reduced.

An Imprecise Science

There is a major variable, dominant in any marketplace that pushes an economy in a forward direction. It is called consumerism. This became apparent while waiting in a doctor’s office one recent afternoon.

Scenario:

The front office receptionist, who appeared to be about 21 years old, was breaking for lunch and her replacement, and appeared not much older, came over to assist.

Realizing the propensity for a long wait, one was taken by the size of waiting room and the number of patients coming in and out of the office. [Americans consume healthcare and a lot of it]. There was another notable peculiarity. The sample prescription bags being carried out the door were no match for the bags under everyone’s eyes, including the doctor’s. The office staff was probably working overtime, if not two jobs, and the doctor was working harder and faster in a managed care system.

Why?

So they [we] all could afford to buy and voraciously consume for their [our] children and [our] themselves. Americans indeed work longer hours than any other industrialized nation.

This continues to occur just as the stock markets reached an all time high recently, even as money is spent at a feverish pace as the Federal Reserve [FOMC] pumps out even more money in inflammatory fashion.

Medical Niche Space Spending

In the medical space, a noted study by the Kaiser Permanente Foundation in California, reported that doctor’s there chose to work four hours longer each week rather than take a ten percent pay cut.

Consumerism is what keeps economies alive and well. What a perfect way to describe medical and health care professionals, sans most basic economic fundamentals of modern financial planning.

Assessment

“Physicians have a significantly low propensity to accumulate substantial wealth.”

Thomas Stanley

[Author “The Millionaire Next Door”]

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2 Responses

  1. Remember the PoT

    Dr. Marcinko and Ms. Hetico – The paradox of thrift (or paradox of saving) is a paradox of economics, popularized by John Maynard Keynes, though it had been stated as early as 1714 in The Fable of the Bees, and similar sentiments date to antiquity.

    The paradox states that if everyone tries to save more money during times of economic recession, then aggregate demand will fall and will in turn lower total savings in the population because of the decrease in consumption and economic growth. The paradox is, narrowly speaking, that total savings may fall even when individual savings attempt to rise, and, broadly speaking, that increase in savings may be harmful to an economy.

    Both the narrow and broad claims are paradoxical within the assumption underlying the fallacy of composition, namely that what is true of the parts must be true of the whole. The narrow claim transparently contradicts this assumption, and the broad one does so by implication, because while individual thrift is generally averred to be good for the economy, the paradox of thrift holds that collective thrift may be bad for the economy.

    The paradox of thrift is a central component of Keynesian economics, and has formed part of mainstream economics since the late 1940s, though it is criticized on a number of grounds.

    [From Wikipedia]

    So, viva consumerism!

    Clayton

    Like

  2. Consumer…ism

    You pay a contractor to fix a drainage problem in your yard, only to discover with the next rain that you have a swimming pool in your basement. You keep getting phone calls from a collection agency about a debt you paid off three years ago. Your landlord isn’t doing anything about the tenants in the next apartment who just got a pit bull in spite of the “no pets” clause in the lease.

    To resolve problems like this, you can take advantage of a resource you may not know you have. It’s readily available. You already help pay for it with your tax dollars. It can help you find out what your rights are, educate yourself about scams, and resolve complaints with companies that don’t listen or seem to care.

    That resource is your state’s consumer protection agency, which may be affiliated with the state attorney general’s office or department of justice. In South Dakota, for example, the Division of Consumer Protection is a department within the office of the state attorney general.

    As I discovered for myself recently, filing a consumer complaint can be an effective way to get a company’s attention.

    I had transferred a property to a land trust. Because of the change, the mortgagee rejected my next two payments, sending the mortgage to default. I began receiving harassing phone calls from the company’s collections department, up to two a day. Meanwhile, I was talking with the mortgagee’s legal department. After two months of passing documents back and forth, the legal department agreed that if I put the property into a living trust all would be well.

    However, neither of these departments communicated with each other. Not only that, the collections department maintained that putting the property into a living trust was not permissible and I must pay off the mortgage. I couldn’t get anyone in the legal department to talk to the collections department, so the harassing phone calls continued.

    Finally I filed a complaint with the Division of Consumer Protection. The process was simple and straightforward. I completed a form online, attached electronic copies of my correspondence with the company, and submitted the complaint. I could also have printed the form and mailed it along with paper copies, or I could have called the office and requested that a form be sent to me.

    Within a short time, an investigator from the Consumer Protection office had looked into the complaint, and a letter was sent from the Attorney General’s office to the mortgage company. The phone calls stopped almost immediately. A week after receiving the letter, the mortgage company had removed the payment stop and restored the account to its active status. They even apologized “for any frustration that Mr. Kahler experienced.”

    In the course of browsing for the consumer complaint form, I realized that the Division of Consumer Protection is a useful resource for more than just resolving customer service problems. One of its functions is to warn the public about scams or dubious enterprises like questionable charities. It provides information about privacy rights and how to protect yourself against identity theft. The office also is a source for state residents to educate themselves about their rights and responsibilities as consumers, tenants, landlords, or borrowers.

    When you run into problems with a business, the first course of action is always to work with the company directly. Most of the time, this will resolve the issue. If you are not heard, however, or you believe you have been defrauded, filing a consumer complaint may be the next step. Sometimes the government really is here to help you.

    Rick Kahler MS CFP®
    http://www.amazon.com/Business-Medical-Practice-Transformational-Doctors/dp/0826105750/ref=sr_1_9?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1287563112&sr=1-9

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