On American Health Care and Financial Services Competitiveness

A MEMORIAL DAY OPINION – EDITORIAL

[Innovation – Not Nationalization – Can Again Lead]

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; FACFAS, MBA, CPHQ, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]

By Hope Rachel Hetico; RN, MHA, CPHQ, CMP™

[Managing Editor]

Ann Miller; RN, MHA

[Executive-Director]

American Flag

On this 2010 Memorial Day weekend, please allow us to directly reflect for a moment on the decline of the healthcare, banking and financial services industry in America. And; then somewhat indirectly comment on the hopeful emergence of the web 2.0 phenomena of which we all are a part. The competitive applicability to these sectors should be appreciated by the insightful ME-P reader.

Collapse of Command and Control Monopolies and Oligarchies   

Old monopolies everywhere are crumbling because of tougher new competitors and the transparency wrought by electronic connectedness. For example, our old newspaper has to compete with the internet, your electric utility company battles low-cost local start-ups, telephone companies must begin installing fiber optic lines to fend off cable companies; and RIAs and fiduciary focused financial advisors [FAs] will supplant BDs and stock brokers in the financial services sector.

www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

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The airline industry collapsed a few years ago, the banking industry has just collapsed, and the auto industry is recovering as we pen this post. [We have a particular affinity for the auto sector however, as the son of a UAW member and step-daughter of Michiganders]. Regardless, the rush to more intense competition cannot be stopped. As a doctor, FA or other business competitor; you either keep pace or get crushed by quasi-oligarchic organizations like the American Medical Association [AMA], American Podiatric Medical Association [FPMA], American Dental Association [ADA], American Osteopathic Medical Association AOMA], Financial Planning Association [FPA], Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards [CFP BoS], College for Financial Planning [CFP] or the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors [NAPFA], etc. What have they, and Wall Street, done for you … lately? Scandal, taint, doubt, lost-credibility, a business-as-usual ennui, lethargy and ruin! Enter www.Sermo.com

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2009/04/19/calling-for-cfp%c2%ae-fiduciary-status-real-education-and-higher-duty/#comment-4136

Health Insurance Companies

In the last-generation of health insurance companies and related fraternal medical organizations, patients exercised great control over physician selection, had quicker access to specialists and encountered fewer restrictions on care. The reverse was true with financial services. But, because of advancing technology, aging demographics, intense R&D, global manufacturing, and escalating domestic HR costs – competitive market forces against traditional and structured staff model managed care companies – many industry analysts [like us] predicted growth would decline [Yes, greed was also involved as healthcare was presumed a recession-proof sector; and didn’t we all own behemoth big-pharma and HMO stocks in our 401-K, and 403-B plans]? But now, many former stock-brokers and FAs are going rogue; er – independent!

“Although inefficiencies in any business often open up in the short term, and can be greatly exploited by creative and visionary entrepreneurs – as in most business structures – market forces will prevail in the long run”.

Leo F. Mullin, MBA

[Former CEO – Delta Airlines]Shadows

Next-Gen with “Fly”

Fortunately, a new generation of enlightened physician and FA entrepreneurs is coming “out-of-the-shadows” as new-wave web 2.0 corporations and RIAs are becoming more flexible, competitive and market responsive. Simultaneously, monolithic and collectivist political ideas keep trying to regulate the medical and financial services workplace with rules, regulations and contracts to control entire populations. Yet, in the new healthcare economy, this new generation of doctors and FAs with “fly,” is headed toward more competition; not less – with more collaboration with patients and clients – regaining self autonomy.

Physician and FA Advocates

Meanwhile, as medical professionals, FAs and patient advocates, we must all choose between staying flexible to ride out tough times – or – adopting a hard, brittle line that will crack under the pressure of competition. We know where we stand at the ME-P, do you?

Flexibility and Virtual Reality

In recent years, many large corporations and top-down business models were not market responsive and change was not inherent in their DNA. These traditional organizations represented a rigid or “used-to-be” mentality, not a flexible or “wanna-be” mindset; according to business columnist Alan Webber. Some financial advisory corporations, and today’s emerging health 2.0 initiatives, may possess the market nimbleness that cannot be recreated in a controlled or collectivist [nationalistic] environment. And so, going forward, it is not difficult to imagine the following new rules for the new financial and virtual medical ecosystem.

[A] Rule No. 1

Forget about “SEC suitability and FINRA rules”, large office suites, surgery centers, fancy equipment, larger hospitals and the bricks and mortar that comprised traditional medical practices or financial product delivery systems. One doctor or niche focused FA with a great idea, good bedside manners or competitive advantage, can outfox a slew of public servants, the AMA, SEC, ADA or FINRA “faux copy-cat examiners”, while still serving the public – and patients – and making money. It’s now a unit-of-one economy where “Me Inc.”, is the standard. Physicians and FAs must maneuver for advantages that boost their standing and credibility among patients, peers, payers, customers and clients. Examples include patient satisfaction surveys; outcomes research analysis, evidence-based-medicine, physician economics credentialing and true integrated fiduciary-focused financial planning.

However, we should also realize the power of networking, vertical integration and the establishment of virtual RIAs or medical practices, which come together to treat a patient, or help a client, and then disband when a successful outcome is achieved. Job security is earned with more successful outcomes; not necessarily a degree, automatic AUMs, certifications or onsite presence. In fact, some competition experts, like Shirley Svorny PhD, a professor of economics and chair of the Department of Economics at California State University, wonder if a medical degree is a barrier – rather than enabler – of affordable healthcare.

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2009/01/08/medical-licensing-obstacle-to-affordable-quality-care

Others even presume the establishment of virtual medical schools and hospitals, where students and doctors learn and practice their art on cyber-entities that look and feel like real patients, but are generated electronically through the wonders of virtual reality units. The same can be said for the financial services industry, although much farther down-line given its current slow rate of real education and quasi-professional acceptance.

[B] Rule No. 2

Challenge conventional wisdom, think outside the traditional box, recapture your dreams and ambitions, disregard conventional gurus and work harder than you have ever worked before. Remember the old saying, “if everyone is thinking alike, then nobody is thinking”. Do collective-nistas and nationalized healthcare advocates react rationally; or irrationally? [THINK: Wall Street, medical unions]

[C] Rule No 3

Differentiate yourself among your healthcare and financial advisory peers. Do or learn something new and unknown by your competitors. Market your accomplishments and let the world know. Be a non-conformist. Conformity is an operational standard and a straitjacket on creativity. Doctors and FAs should create and innovate, not blindly follow organization or political “union” leaders [shop stewards, BDs, etc] into oblivion.

[D] Rule No 4

Realize that the present situation is not necessarily the future. Attempt to see the future and discern your place in it. Master the art of the quick change with 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 are of this ilk – and adhere to any of the above rules? Or, just become an employed [government, BD] doctor or FA shill. Just remember that the political party, or monopoly that can give you a job, can also take it away [THINK: LB, ML, Wachovia, national healthcare, etc].

CP 1

Memorial Day Considerations

Finally, on this Memorial Day weekend, consider that life and career is a journey, and that in this country we have the choice to ponder or pursue any, and all of the above options, and more. We have the ability to think, cogitate and ruminate, as we have done here today. So – please – thank those who have helped turn this idealistic philosophy, into pragmatic daily reality.

For us personally, we thank Bonze Star Medal Winner Captain Cecelia T. Perez, RN. Now – ponder and consider – who do you thank? If no one has impacted you up-close on this Memorial Day weekend and national holiday, please visit our military channel to reflect, comment and opine.

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/category/military-medicine

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

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

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Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Healthcare Organizations: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Health Administration Terms: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

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Evaluating a Sample Physician Financial Plan I

Stress Testing Our Results a Decade Later

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; CPHQ, MBA, CMP™

By Hope Rachel Hetico; RN, MHA, CPHQ, CMP™dave-and-hope4

We are often asked by physicians and colleagues; medical, nursing and graduate students, and/or prospective clients to see an actual “comprehensive” financial plan. This is a reasonable request. And, although most doctors who are regular readers of this Medical Executive-Post have a general idea of what’s included, many have never seen a professionally crafted financial plan. This not only includes the outcomes, but the actual input data and economic assumptions, as well.

The ME-P Difference

And so, in a departure from our pithy and typically brief journalistic style, we thought it novel to present such a plan for hindsight review. But; we present same in a very unusual manner befitting our iconoclastic and skeptical next-generation Health 2.0 philosophy. And, we challenge all financial advisors to do same and compare results with us.

How so?

By using a real life plan constructed a decade ago and letting ME-P reader’s review, evaluate and critique same.

  • Part I is for a married drug-rep, then medical school student [51 pages] with no children.
  • Part II is for the same, now mid-career practicing physician [28 pages] with 2 children.
  • Part III is for the same experienced practitioner at his professional zenith [56 pages].

Link: Sample Financial Plan I

Fiduciary Advisors?fp-book2

As reformed financial advisors and former licensed insurance agents; and a former certified financial planner – it is now  our professional duty to act as health economists and fiduciaries for our clients and colleagues. In other words; to put client interests above our own. This culture was incumbent in our participatory online educational program in health economics and medical practice management: http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

Assessment

And so, as Edward I. Koch famously asked as Mayor of New York City from 1978-1989: “how am I doing”; we sought to ask and answer same. What did we do right or wrong; and how were our assumptions correct or erroneous?  As Certified Professionals in Healthcare Quality this is the question we continually seek to answer in medicine. And, as health economists, this is the financial advisory equivalent of Evidence Based Medicine [EBM] or Evidence Based Dentistry [EBD] etc. It is a query that all curious FAs should ask.

Note: Sample plans II and III to follow; so keep visiting the ME-P.

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. As a financial advisor, accountant, financial planner, etc., we challenge you to lay bare your results as we have done. And, be sure to “rant and rave” – and – “teach and preach” about this post in the style of Socrates, with Candor, Intelligence and Goodwill, to all.

Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, be sure to subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

Link: http://feeds.feedburner.com/HealthcareFinancialsthePostForcxos

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

Subscribe Now: Did you like this Medical Executive-Post, or find it helpful, interesting and informative? Want to get the latest ME-Ps delivered to your email box each morning? Just subscribe using the link below. You can unsubscribe at any time. Security is assured.

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Sponsors Welcomed

And, credible sponsors and like-minded advertisers are always welcomed.

Link: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2007/11/11/advertise

ASSUMPTIONS

Sample Mega Plan for a New Physician

Joe Good, a 30-year-old pharmaceutical sales representative, and his pregnant wife Susie Good, a 30-year-old accountant, sought the services of a Certified Medical Planner because of a $150,000 inheritance from Joe’s grandfather. The insecurity about what to do with the funds was complicated by their insecurity over future employment prospects, along with Joe’s frustrated boyhood dream of becoming a physician, along with only a fuzzy concept of their financial future.

After several information-gathering meetings with the CMP, concrete goals and objectives were clarified, and a plan was instituted that would assist in financing Joe’s medical education without sacrificing his entire inheritance and current lifestyle. They desired at least one more child, so insurance and other supportive needs would increase and were considered, as well. Their prioritized concerns included the following:

1. What is the proper investment management and asset allocation of the $150,000?

2. Is there enough to pay for medical school and support their lifestyle?

3. Can they indemnify insurance concerns through this transitional phase of life,  including the survivorship concerns of premature death or disability?

4. Can they afford for Susie to be the primary bread winner through Joe’s medical school,   internship, and residency years?

5. Can they afford another child?

Current income was not high, and current assets were below the unified estate tax-credit. Therefore, income and estate-planning concerns were not significant at that time.

After thoroughly discussing the gathered financial data, and determining their risk profile, the CMP™ made the following suggestions:

1. Reallocate the inheritance based on their risk tolerance, from conservative to long-term growth.

2. Maximize group health, life, and disability insurance benefits.

3. Supplement small quantities of whole life insurance with larger amounts of term insurance.

4. Create simple wills, for now.

Sample Mega Plan for a Mid-Life Physician

A second plan was drawn up 10 years later, when Joe Good was 40 years old and a practicing internist. Susan, age 40, had been working as a consultant for the same company for the past decade. She was allowed to telecommunicate between home and office. Daughter Cee is nine years old, and her brother Douglas is seven years old.

The preceding suggestions had been implemented. The family maintained their modest lifestyle, and their investment portfolio grew to $392,220, despite the withdrawal of $10,000 per year for medical school tuition. The financial planning aspects of the family’s life went unaddressed. Educational funding needs for Cee and Douglas prompted another frank dialogue with their CMP. Their prioritized concerns at this point were as follows:

1. Reallocation of the investment portfolio

2. Educational funding for both children

3. Tax reduction strategies

4. Medical partnership buy-in concerns

5. Maximization of their investment portfolio

6. Review of risk management needs and long-term care insurance

7. Retirement considerations

The following suggestions were made:

1. Grow the $392,220 nest egg indefinitely.

2. Project future educational needs with current investment vehicles.

3. Maximize qualified retirement plans with tax efficient investments.

4. Update wills to include bypass marital trust creation, and complete proper testamentary planning, including guardians for Cee and Douglas.

5. Retain a professional medical practice valuation firm for the practice buy-in.

Sample Mega Plan for a Mature Physician

At age 55, Dr. Joseph B. Good was a board-certified and practicing internist and partner of his group. Susan, age 55, was the office manager for Dr. Good’s practice, allowing her to provide professional accounting services to her husband’s office and thereby maximizing benefits to the couple from the practice. Daughter Cee was 24 years old, and her brother Douglas was 22 years old. The preceding suggestions had been implemented.  They upgraded their home and modest lifestyle within the confines of their current earnings. They did not invade their grandfather’s original inheritance, which grew to $1,834,045. Reallocation was needed. The other financial planning aspects of their lives had gone unaddressed. Retirement and estate planning issues prompted another revisit with their original CMP’s junior partner.

Their prioritized concerns at this point were as follows:

1. Long-term care issues

2. Retirement implementation

3. Estate planning

4. Business continuity concerns

The following suggestions were made:

1. Analyze the cost and benefits of long-term case insurance, funded with current income until retirement.

2. Reallocate portfolio assets and  plan for estate tax reduction, with offspring and charitable planning consideration..

3. Retain a professional practice management firm for practice sale, with proceeds to maintain current lifestyle until age 70.

If you want the opportunity to reach a personalized weekly audience of health care industry insiders, innovators and watchers, the Medical Executive-Post and its educational forums may be right for you?

Advertise with us:

https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2007/11/11/advertise/

Ann Miller; RN, MHA

[Executive Director]

Medical Executive-Post

Upcoming Health Economics Interview with Dr. David Marcinko

Coming Soon from Medical Business News, Inc

By Ann Miller; RN, MHA

ME-P Executive-Directordr-david-marcinko22

Medical Business News, Inc., the publisher of Medical News of Arkansas, is a leading source for healthcare industry news that is truly useful. With a professional readership comprised of physicians and key industry decision makers, Medical News publications are devoted entirely to healthcare issues that impact both clinical and administrative best practices. Written and edited specifically for healthcare professionals, MBN writers work with experts at the local, regional and national level to keep stakeholders informed about the ever-evolving healthcare system.

Out Reach

It is no wonder then, why local market MNA editor Jennifer Boulden recently contacted us to arrange an interview with Dr. David Edward Marcinko, our Publisher-in-Chief, who is also a former insurance agent, registered investment advisor, health economist and Certified Financial Planner™

Link: www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com  

Interview Topics

The wide open topic in this environment of medically specific lethargy and macro economic insecurity – personal and business planning for physicians. Of course, since this is a broad field, we will use the rating and ranking system of this blog to help Jennifer and her staff, winnow down categories to top-of-mind concerns of our ME-P subscribers and her MNA readers.

Link: www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Assessment

But, we also ask you to send in any particular issues that you may have in order to make the interview helpful and exciting for all concerned.

Link: www.HealthDictionarySeries.com

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated.

Link: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com

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

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Financial Product Sales, Communication and Management

Techniques-of-Art for Financial Advisors

By Robert Ayrer and ME-P Staff Writers

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Before any piece of work that requires communication can be understood, the context must be established.  Without context, words have very little reality; and without reality, there can be no communication. Communication is the “transfer of meaning.”

Introduction

The lack of a definitive role of the marketing function (and the sales function, and the difference between the two) for financial advisors [FAs], has contributed to the lack of clarity required for the achievement of sales targets. The fuzzy line between “targets” and “goals” has left most financial product salesmen, OSJs [Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction] and sales managers without the “tools to manage.” In this context, we will define the financial sales person’s role as the “person responsible for the execution of the corporate, or personal, sales plan, which includes the short term marketing of the company.”

Marketing versus Sales

Long term strategic marketing is a very sophisticated process, requiring highly trained people that are not involved with the mundane, day-to-day activities of the enterprise.  Unfortunately, this type of “marketing” is done by too few businesses, RIAs, BDs, and FAs.

The “marketing plan”, as defined by Malcolm H. B. McDonald, Director of the Cranfield Marketing Planning Centre, of the Cranfield School of Management, is a comprehensive business plan, incorporating and integrating all of the elements of business; the four “P’s” — Product, Price, Place and Promotion. More often than not, financial sales organizations and RIAs are run by people with “Director of Sales & Marketing” titles.  This use of the “marketing” title often confuses the difference between marketing and sales. For our purposes, we will include the very short term marketing function in the sales department’s role.

Dirty Ear Marketing

This “very short term marketing” required of the FA or sales person is what is called “The dirty ear” marketing.  The “dirty ear” comes from “keeping an ear to the ground” to detect changes in the market that would affect the assumptions that support the marketing plan and the company sales plan.

It has been said that the American plains Indians could drive a stick into the ground, put the end of the stick to their ear and tell if the buffalo herd was within twenty miles — and, by bending the stick, tell in which direction.  The more sophisticated tracker could tell whether the herd was approaching or going away.

It is this short term, close in, change in direction of the market (herd) upon which the assumptions of the marketing and sales plan are based, that should be the concern of the sales department or financial advisor and business owners. 

Of Bull and Bear Markets

For example, during times of economic expansion, and bull markets, the purchasing authority for many items is transferred down the reporting chain to the lowest possible responsible level of management. At this level a sales person or FA may only require one or two calls to complete the selling process with a buying authority. This authority level would dictate the activity of sales people in achieving their personal sales plan and achieving their targets and goals. 

During a recession however, as is occurring now, authority to buy may be withdrawn from the customary buying level, designating someone at a higher level as the “buyer.” The financial sales person still must go through the traditional contact at the lower level. These contacts can now only say “no”. They cannot say “yes.” By adding another level of decision making to the buying process, additional activity will be required to make the average sale. You cannot double the activity required to make a sale and make the same number of sales!  Don’t make the mistake of thinking that working harder is the answer, as there is only a finite amount of time available to get to your prospects. Your options are; change the plan; adjust the sales budget; add more sales representatives.

The Sales Cycle

Continuing a sales plan based upon the assumption of a two-call sales cycle when the market requires a three or four call cycle will take your sales plan out of reality.  The key to both a good marketing plan and a good sales plan is “reality.”  It is the FA or sales manager’s prime function to see that the sales organization is working in “reality” by constantly testing the basic assumptions of the sales plan.

The challenge to every financial services business owner, sales manager and every FA sales person is to stay focused on the prime objective of a sales person – processing the sale.  To maintain focus on the sales objective, the activities of a sales person should be looked at in two categories; “tasks” and “selling objectives.”  The tasks are those activities that all sales people are required to do to service clients – handle back-charges, warranty claims, stocking services, point of sale maintenance, etc.  The selling objectives are defined by the sales progression used in the sales strategy.

Processing the Sale

To give better understanding to this concept, consider the following.  If you find a local bank that offers a certificate of deposit that is paying a good return, and you put $10,000 on deposit, you have made an “investment.”  It is an “investment” because you expect your money back with a profit.  To find this investment opportunity you must be focused externally (not within your own business).  And, investments are a source of new capital.

If, on the other hand you take the $10,000 and purchase a car for your business, your focus is internal to your business, solving a problem of transportation, and you will only realize gain by reducing an existing or potential expense. You will not realize any new capital from this expenditure.  This use of the $10,000 is an “expense.”

Internal and External Focus

To generalize, if your focus is external and you are seeking to generate new capital by exploiting new opportunities, this is an investment.  If your focus is internal, and you are solving problems (the activities that come after the sale), the time and money spent is an expense.

Tasks and Objectives

Sales people sometimes lose sight of the difference between the “tasks” (internally focused after sales activities that are expenses to the company) and the sales “objectives” (opportunity seeking activity that will result in generating new capital through sales). Although we must service the task items, we can avoid “buying” the customer’s problem (forgetting that the customer’s problem is our opportunity).  The way we make sure we maintain focus on the opportunity rather than the problem – is to link every task with a sales objective. 

Management Reporting

Historically, we have asked sales people and FAs to report to management through an activity report that usually records the “task” items but ignores the opportunity items. To use the reporting system as a training and management tool, stop requiring the typical activity and expense reports.

Instead, ask your sales people fill out an “Opportunity” report and an “Investment” report.  It is true; “What gets measured gets improved!”  If you want your sales people to be externally focused and seek opportunities, investing in accounts rather than “solving problems” and spending money (“expense” items), measure and report on the opportunities and investments.  It is more positive to run an investment department for your business rather than a cost center.

Managing For Results

Peter Drucker observes that “… there are no profit centers in a business; there are only cost centers.”  The profits centers are external.  Again, quoting Drucker; “Results are obtained by exploiting opportunities, not by solving problems!”

Assessment

The above offering is intended to help financial advisors and sales people “manage” themselves, and for the sales people who have assumed the mantle of OSJ or “manager”, etc

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated.

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 

Our Other Print Books and Related Information Sources:

Practice Management: http://www.springerpub.com/prod.aspx?prod_id=23759

Physician Financial Planning: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/0763745790

Medical Risk Management: http://www.jbpub.com/catalog/9780763733421

Physician Advisors: www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

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A Due-Diligence ‘Condom’ for Physician Investors

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Using Financial Advisors with Increased Safety

[By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™]dr-david-marcinko8

Following the Bernie Madoff investment scheme, and related financial industry scandals, here are seven “red-flags” that should have alerted physician-investors to proceed with extreme caution. Always consider them before making an investment with any financial advisor [FA], registered representative [RR] or financial advisory firm, regardless of reputation, size, referral recommendation or so-called industry certifications and designations. In other words, according to Robert James Cimasi; MHA, AVA, and a Certified Medical Planner™ from Health Capital Consultants LLC, of St. Louis, MO;” trust no one and paddle your own canoe.”

Red Flags of Cautious Investing

As a former insurance agent, financial advisor, registered representative, investment advisor and Certified Financial Planner™ for more than a decade, the existence of any one of the following items may be a “red-flag” of caution to any investor:

  • Acting as its’ own custodian, clearance firm or broker-dealer, etc.
  • Lack of a well-known accounting firm review with regular reporting.
  • Unreliable or sporadic written performance reports.
  • Rates-of-return that don’t seem to track industry benchmarks.
  • Seeming avoidance of regulatory oversight, transparency or review.
  • Lack of recognized written fiduciary accountability in favor of lower brokerage “sales suitability” standards.
  • No Investment Policy Statement [IPS]. 

Assessment

Let a word to the wise be sufficient going forward. But, in hindsight, a healthy dose of skepticism might have prevented this situation in the first place. As is the usual case, fear and greed often seem to rule the day. Just as there is no such thing as safe sex – just safer sex – there is no thing as safe intermediary investing. But, exercising some common sense will surely make investing with any financial advisor much safer. It’s like a condom for your money. 

For more information on the topic of fiduciary standards – which we have championed for the last ten years in our books, texts, white-papers, journal and online educational Certified Medical Planner™ program for FAs – watch out for our exclusive Medical Executive-Post interview with Bennett Aikin AIF®, Communications Coordinator of www.fi360.com coming in March. Ben, an Accredited Investment Fiduciary® did a great job with the tough questions submitted by our own Ann Miller; RN, MHA and Hope Hetico; RN, MHA, CMP™. Don’t miss it!

Disclaimer

I am the Managing Partner for http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org and I agree with this message.

Conclusion

Your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. Feel free to review our top-left column, and top-right sidebar materials, links, URLs and related websites, too. Then, subscribe to the ME-P. It is fast, free and secure.

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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