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    Dr. Marcinko is originally from Loyola University MD, Temple University in Philadelphia and the Milton S. Hershey Medical Center in PA; as well as Oglethorpe University and Emory University in Georgia, the Atlanta Hospital & Medical Center; Kellogg-Keller Graduate School of Business and Management in Chicago, and the Aachen City University Hospital, Koln-Germany. He became one of the most innovative global thought leaders in medical business entrepreneurship today by leveraging and adding value with strategies to grow revenues and EBITDA while reducing non-essential expenditures and improving dated operational in-efficiencies.

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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.

    Dr. David E. Marcinko’s professional memberships included: ASHE, AHIMA, ACHE, ACME, ACPE, MGMA, FMMA, FPA and HIMSS. He was a MSFT Beta tester, Google Scholar, “H” Index favorite and one of LinkedIn’s “Top Cited Voices”.

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Tell us About the Issues Affecting your Physician Focused Financial Advisory Practice

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By staff reporters

Tell us about the issues affecting your physician-focused financial advisory or financial planning practice in 2018.

We are conducting a brief survey to learn more about the key issues affecting your practice, and how they impact your outlook for the coming year.

 

Conclusion

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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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***

On Financial Product Sales Commissions

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Rick Kahler MS CFPBy Rick Kahler MS CFP®

What’s wrong with earning a commission from the sale of a financial product?

Nothing. It isn’t any more inappropriate than a car salesperson earning a commission when you buy a vehicle.

Yet there’s one important difference. When you buy a car the roles are clear. You know going in that the salesperson is there to sell you their product. You understand it’s your responsibility to do your homework and know what you need and can afford.

Role Confusion

That clarity of roles is purposely clouded in the financial services industry. The “salespeople” are rarely referred to as such. Instead they call themselves creatively contrived variations like “financial advisor,” “financial planner,” “financial consultant,” or “financial representative.” The only advice a financial salesperson gives is in conjunction with the sales pitch to buy their product, where the incentive for them is receiving a commission.

This pretense that salespeople are working for the customer rather than the financial firm that employs them creates an inherent conflict of interest. The salesperson’s financial rewards come from pushing products versus giving client-oriented, comprehensive financial advice.

Conflict of interest

The conflict of interest resulted in many brokerage and insurance firms in the 1980’s providing incentives for their salespeople to push high commission products while hiding the high fees.

Examples:

  • Just one of many examples was described in a 1993 article in the Los Angeles Times. Prudential allowed salespeople to cheat customers out of $3 billion of losses invested into 700 Prudential limited partnerships that were high-risk and “rife with misconduct” while telling investors they were “safe, high-yield investments comparable to bank certificates of deposit.” The company finally agreed to a fine of $371 million, representing about 12% of what investors lost.

You might think that, 24 years later, things have changed and large financial firms selling products have changed. They haven’t.

  • One recent example was the $185 million fine paid by Wells Fargo over charging their customers fees for financial products they didn’t authorize.
  • Also, two years ago JPMorgan was fined $307 million for product pushing. Last year they were fined $264 million for their part in a vast foreign bribery scheme.
  • In 2015, one of the top JPMorgan representatives, Johnny Burris, who has been in the business for more than 25 years, refused to steer clients into proprietary JPMorgan funds that he felt had become rife with high fees. As reported in Financial Planning magazine, he was let go by the company.

But wait, that’s not all.

  • If you think Wells Fargo and JPMorgan’s fines were notable, think again. According to the Columbus Dispatch, Bank of America has paid $76.6 billion in 31 settlements from 2009 to 2016. During the same period, Chase Bank paid $38 billion in 22 settlements and Citigroup paid $15.8 billion in 15 settlement cases.

With a track record like this, you might think that consumers would be demanding wholesale changes in the way we regulate financial advice. They probably would be if they were personally aware of how hidden costs and fees cost the average investor thousands of dollars a year. No wonder that big financial firms can afford to pay billions in fines as a cost of doing business.

***

aamzlyk

***

Assessment

Other countries, including Australia, Canada, and the UK, have required a distinct separation of financial advice from financial sales. Hopefully the US won’t let another 24 years go by with no changes in the way we regulate companies that sell financial products. For those changes to be driven by consumer demand, more investors need to learn about the costs they pay and to realize that sellers of financial products are not that different from sellers of cars.

Conclusion

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***

Is the cost of a college education really worth it?

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Rick Kahler MS CFP[By Rick Kahler MSFS CFP®]

How do you know when the cost of a college education is really worth it? A lot of factors—both financial and emotional—go into making that decision. Weighing the pros and cons can be daunting.

Example:

Let’s consider a couple of examples that will help conceptualize the process of determining if a college education makes financial sense.

First, here are some numbers for traditional students. The cost of an average four-year education at Yale is around $240,000, and the average starting salary for its graduates is $55,000. The monthly payment on a student loan for that amount would be $2,420, or $29,159 a year. That equals 53% of the starting salary. There are a lot of other variables to consider, like potential scholarships that would lower the tuition, or lowering the loan payment by stretching out the amortization period (which actually increases the overall cost). But given these facts the answer to whether this education makes financial sense is a no-brainer. No; find another school.

At the South Dakota School of Mines, by contrast, the cost of an average four-year education is around $65,000 and the average starting salary is $68,000. The monthly payment on a student loan for that amount would be $648, or $7,897 a year. That equals 12% of the starting salary. The cost of this education makes complete sense.

For traditional students, my personal rule of thumb is this: don’t pay more than one and a half times the average starting salary of a job for the education to obtain it.

For non-traditional students who are looking to switch careers, the calculation is a little more involved. You must weigh the salary you earn in your current career with the cost and net increase in the career you are considering.

Example:

Recently a reader emailed me this question: “I have a bachelor’s degree in my chosen career and am unable to find a full-time, benefitted, permanent job. When is it no longer a good financial decision to not go back to college? I can pick up a degree in a different field for $8,000. If I am 12-13 years from retirement, is it worth it?”

The average salary for a job in her career field is $20 an hour, or $42,000 a year. The problem is that she has not been able to find employment in her career field. She has only been able to find temporary jobs with earnings of $9.77 to $12.75 per hour.

So far her four-year degree has netted her around $12,500 a year. Her research shows that if she went back to school for two years she could switch to a career field more in demand in her area and earn $45,000 a year. That’s $32,500 more per year. If she invests two years and $8,000 in education, then works in her new career for 10 years, she can earn an additional $325,000 before retirement.

If she were to borrow the funds needed for her education and repay the loan at 4% for 10 years, her monthly payment would be $81, or $972 a year. That equals about 2% of her salary. Given these facts, going back to school makes clear financial sense.

Hopkins Medical School

Assessment

Of course, financial factors are not the only ones to consider in deciding whether to invest in education. Looking at the numbers is essential, but it’s equally important to find a career field that suits your talents and interests. It makes no sense to spend time and money preparing for a career you don’t want. The most rewarding college investment is one that provides worthwhile returns in emotional satisfaction as well as financial success. 

Conclusion

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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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***

I’m a 47 year old MD – Can you help me?

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A Real-Life Case Model

By Ann Miller RN MHA

http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

As a generic financial advisor, how would you answer this client prospect’s inquiry?

QUESTION: I’m a 47 year old MD – Can you help me?

TRADITIONAL ANSWER: I am a stock-broker [aka financial advisor] or insurance agent, and I sell financial products and insurance policies on a commission basis.

What do you want to buy?

CURRENT ANSWER: I am a financial planner, and I charge a percentage amount on the assets I “manage” for you. But, I have a minimum portfolio amount.

So how much money do you have to invest?

DEEP NICHE ANSWER: Yes! I am a fully CERTIFIED MEDICAL PLANNER™ practitioner.  I understand holistic financial planning for medical professionals and current health industry tumult. And, as an informed fiduciary – with transparent fees – I can help with your medical practice, business and/or personal financial planning matters.

When can we meet to discuss your needs?

***

Financial Planning MDs 2015

Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

***

ENTER THE CMPs

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Are FAs a Wise Investment?

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Ask-the-Advisor

Dear Dr. David Edward Marcinko,

Dr. MarcinkoAre financial advisors a wise investment? Mine charges me 1% each year for all my assets under their management. Is it worth it?

—Allen

It is hard to know for sure. But the fact that many financial advisers have different hidden fees suggests to me that they themselves don’t think that people would pay if they charged for their services in a clear and upfront way.

Re-Frame

To help you think about this question in your own life, let’s contrast two cases: In case one, you are charged 1% of your assets under management, and this amount is taken directly from your brokerage account once a month. In case two, you pay the same overall amount, but you send a monthly check to your financial adviser.

Consider

The second case more directly and clearly depicts the cost of your financial adviser, providing a better frame for your question. So, put yourself in the mindset of the second case, and ask yourself if you would pay directly for these services.

I think the best answer, according to colleague and economist Dan Ariely PhD, can be expressed in this manner.

If the answer is yes, keep your financial adviser; if the answer is no, you have your first action plan for the New Year.

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Will Healthcare Reform Impact a Spine Surgeon’s Retirement Plan?

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Q&A With Dr. Brian Knabe of Savant Capital Management

Brian J. Knabe MDBy Ann Miller RN MHA

Brian Knabe MD CFP® CMP® is a former medical physician turned financial advisor at Savant Capital Management, a fee-only wealth management firm.

Here, he discusses the smartest moves for spine surgeons at various stages in their careers to ensure an enjoyable retirement.

###

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LINK: Will Healthcare Reform Impact a Spine Surgeon’s Retirement Plan? Q&A With Dr. Brian Knabe of Savant Capital Management

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Should Olympic Medal Winners Pay Tax?

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A Taxing Question

By Children’s Home Society of Florida Foundation

At press time this evening, the United States was embarked on a successful 2012 Olympics. The U.S. had received 90 medals — 39 gold, 25 silver and 26 bronze. Our Olympic team was on a path to receive well over 100 medals.

While each medal has very high personal value, there also is value to the tangible materials. The gold medals contain approximately $675 in materials, the silver $385 and the bronze medal value is $5. However, the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) also provides a cash gift for medal winners. The gift values are $25,000 for a gold medal, $15,000 for a silver medal and $10,000 for a bronze medal.

Should the Olympic winners pay tax?

The general income tax rule is that all prizes are taxable unless specifically excluded. Several Senators and Representatives have proposed that the value of the medal and USOC cash award should be excluded from taxable income.

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the Olympic Tax Elimination Act. It would exempt medal winners from paying tax. Rubio stated, “Athletes representing our nation overseas in the Olympics shouldn’t have to worry about an extra tax bill waiting for them back home.”

Similar bills were introduced in the House by Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-TX), Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-CA) and Rep. Aaron Schock (R-IL).

 Expenses to Offset Income

All of the bills would exempt the medal and cash award from taxation. CPAs who have commented on the proposal note that the athletes would need to report the cash awards as income, but also could offset this income with “ordinary and necessary” expenses related to the awards. For example, the five women gymnasts who won the gold medal could take deductions for their classes, costs of coaches and their travel expenses.

Assessment

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-MI) joined the group that favors excluding the Olympic medals from taxation. He stated, “These athletes deserve every bit of our support and appreciation for representing the United States on the world stage. Allowing our Olympians to receive and enjoy their medals and awards without having to worry about whether they can pay the taxes on their accomplishment is just one small way we can show that support.”

Conclusion

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