On Bill Gates, Doctors and Divorce – Oh My!

OF COMMON CAUSE WITH TOO MANY PHYSICIANS?

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Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP®

SPONSORED: http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

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Bill Gates has been a business hero for me for the past 35 years. I even met him, once briefly back in the day. So, the marital union of the Microsoft Founder and Melinda French seemed perfect, and their marriage stood the test of time as it neared the three-decade mark, a rare feat in the world of A-list couples.

Sadly, when they announced their split on Twitter this week, many were shocked, even heartbroken. People reflected on their own marriages and wondered how they could make it work if the Gates’ could not.

And collectively, we found we cared about the split — a lot. 

But, what about physician colleagues and divorce?

Do we doctors have some common cause with Bill and Melinda?

Divorce for Physicians What You Should Know - bidti.org

MEDIATION: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2016/02/11/a-step-wise-approach-to-the-divorce-mediation-process-for-mds/

QDRO: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2008/05/19/what-is-a-qdro/

SETTLEMENTS: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2008/05/28/doctors-and-divorce-settlements/

PRACTICE VALUE: https://healthcarefinancials.files.wordpress.com/2011/12/medical-practice-valuation-blunders1.pdf

BUY-SELL: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2008/07/03/marital-dissolution-buy-sell-agreements-and-practice-value/

GREY DIVORCE: https://medicalexecutivepost.com/2019/10/21/older-divorcing-medical-professionals/

ASSESSMENT: Your thoughts are appreciated

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Thinking Differently about DYSLEXIA

Take the “Made By Dyslexia” Pledge!

Courtesy: http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.org

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By Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA

[ME-P Publisher-in-Chief]

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I’ve been a big fan of Bill Gates and the Microsoft Corporation since it first went public. Maybe not so much for Steve Ballmer. And, of course, very saddened by the recent death of co-founder Paul Allen https://www.paulallen.com/

But, as a physician and board certified surgeon; stock-broker, insurance agent, Registered Investment Advisor [RIA], reformed Certified Financial Planner® and Certified Medical Planner®; as well as appointed professor of economics and finance, medical educator and human being, I have never been more proud of MSFT, and CEO Satya Narayana, after learning of this new didactic initiative. Here is why?

“Microsoft + Made by Dyslexia”

Did you know that the “Microsoft + Made by Dyslexia” is helping dyslexic students thrive with technology? https://educationblog.microsoft.com/2018/10/microsoft-made-by-dyslexia-help-dyslexic-students-thrive/#oXg7GGHaHdS7wvep.99

Definition:

Dyslexia, also known as reading disorder, is characterized by trouble with reading despite normal intelligence. Different people are affected to varying degrees. Problems may include difficulties in spelling words, reading quickly, writing words, “sounding out” words in the head, pronouncing words when reading aloud and understanding what one reads. Often these difficulties are first noticed at school. When someone who previously could read loses their ability, it is known as alexia. The difficulties are involuntary and people with this disorder have a normal desire to learn.

Therefore, the ”Made By Dyslexia” pledge is for companies, teachers, professors, educators and governments to pledge to value dyslexic thinking, and to begin taking positive steps towards supporting it.

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Assessment

Rest assured,  I am ashamed to say I know little about dyslexia. I am not a communication disorders or special education expert; so Mea Culpa!

Nevertheless, I urge you to  take the pledge! I have.

For more information, please email: info@madebydyslexia.org.

More: http://madebydyslexia.org/ 

Conclusion

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Risk Management, Liability Insurance, and Asset Protection Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™8Comprehensive Financial Planning Strategies for Doctors and Advisors: Best Practices from Leading Consultants and Certified Medical Planners™

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Conclusion

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Arnold Spielberg and the Birth of Personal Computing

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It’s BASIC*

[By staff reporters]

From Thomas Edison to former President Ronald Reagan and novelist Kurt Vonnegut, GE has employed a number of luminaries over the course of its 123-year history.

But, one famous last name that’s been missing from this list is Spielberg.

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Insurance Company Tower

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Enter Arnold Spielberg

In the late 1950s, Arnold Spielberg, the father of Hollywood director Steven Spielberg, helped revolutionize computing when he designed the GE-225 mainframe computer. The machine allowed a team of Dartmouth University students and researchers to develop the BASIC programing language, an easy-to-use coding tool that quickly spread and ushered in the era of personal computers.

(Young Bill Gates, Paul Allen, Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs all used the language when they started building their digital empires.)

LINK: http://www.gereports.com/post/117791167040/its-basic-arnold-spielberg-and-the-birth-of

More:

More on BASIC*

BASIC (an acronym for Beginner’s All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code) is a family of general-purpose, high-level programming languages whose design philosophy emphasizes ease of use.

In 1964, John G. Kemeny and Thomas E. Kurtz designed the original BASIC language at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire. They wanted to enable students in fields other than science and mathematics to use computers. At the time, nearly all use of computers required writing custom software, which was something only scientists and mathematicians tended to learn.

Versions of BASIC became widespread on microcomputers in the mid-1970s and 1980s. Microcomputers usually shipped with BASIC, often in the machine’s firmware. Having an easy-to-learn language on these early personal computers allowed small business owners, professionals, hobbyists, and consultants to develop custom software on computers they could afford.

BASIC remains popular in many dialects and in new languages influenced by BASIC, such as Microsoft’s Visual Basic. In 2006, 59% of developers for the .NET Framework used Visual Basic .NET as their only programming language.

Conclusion

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Good Night H. Ed Roberts MD

Medical Inventor, Bio-Engineering Pioneer and Colleague

[September 13, 1941 – April 1, 2010]

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA

[Publisher-in-Chief]

According to Wikipedia, Henry Edward “Ed” Roberts MD was an American engineer, entrepreneur and medical doctor who designed the first commercially successful personal computer in 1975. He is most often known as the “father of the PC.” He founded Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems [MITS]) in 1970 to sell electronics kits to model rocketry hobbyists, but the first successful product was an electronic calculator kit that was featured on the cover of the November 1971 issue of Popular Electronics magazine. The calculators were very successful and sales topped one million dollars in 1973. But, a brutal calculator price war left the company deeply in debt by 1974. Roberts then developed the Altair 8800 personal computer that used the new Intel 8080 microprocessor. This was featured on the cover of the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics, and hobbyists flooded MITS with orders for this $397 computer kit. Bill Gates and Paul Allen joined MITS to develop software and Altair BASIC was Microsoft’s first product. Roberts sold MITS in 1977 and retired to Georgia where he farmed, studied medicine and eventually became a small-town doctor after commencing medical school at age 39.

Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ed_Roberts_(computer_engineer)

My Connection to Ed

Almost 20 years ago, I co-founded a small medical education software company, for a tiny niche market. My partner was a computer “whiz kid”. I was the chief executive, brain-child and enfant terrible. We are still in business today.

Nevertheless, I decided to contact Ed because I had just received my first PC [Intel® 286 microprocessor] from a publishing company who had contracted with me to write a medical textbook; remember DOS and WordPerfect? I was also very familiar with Microsoft lore, especially relative to business thought and competitive analysis. Regular readers of the ME-P may even recall my mention of attending lectures by Michael Porter PhD [father of competitive analysis] while dating a girl who was attending Wharton Business School while I was a medical student in Philadelphia, back-in-the-day.

Anyway, I took it upon myself to write Ed for some advice. Remember, this was before the commercial internet was widely available. I used medicine as a mutual point of interest. Anyway; after no response, the incident was quickly forgotten because of a busy lifestyle, new medical practice, book-project, etc. I follow-upped about a year later and this time received an encouraging written reply from Ed. I treasure the letter to this day, almost as much as the ones I have from Louis Rukeyser [TV fame-died in 2006] and his uber-investor guest, Sir John Marks Templeton [son is a surgeon] who died in 2008. In 2005, Templeton wrote a brief memorandum predicting that within five years there would be financial chaos in the world. It was eventually made public in 2010.

Assessment

Ed practiced as an internist until his death, in Cochran – a city near Macon, GA. The population was 4,455 at the 2000 census. It is a very poor county in South Georgia, and many, if not most of Ed’s patients were on Medicaid and/or Medicare. He loved them dearly, and they loved him, too!

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this Medical Executive-Post are appreciated. Although perhaps not as famous as Gates and Allen; we say with all due respect and admiration – good night Dr. Roberts – and thank you for the personal computer … your love of medicine and mankind … and for reaching out to me so very long ago!

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I Jealously “Shake my Fist” at Somnath Basu PhD

On CFP® Mis [Trust] – One Doctor’s Painful Personal Experience

[“So Sorry to Say it … but I Told You So”]

By: Dr David Edward Marcinko; FACFAS, MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]dem21

According to Somnath Basu, writing on April 6, 2009 in Financial Advisor a trade magazine, the painful truth is that many financial practitioners are merely sales people masquerading, as financial planners [FPs] and/or financial advisors [FAs] in an industry whose ethical practices have a shameful track record. Well, I agree, and completely. This includes some who hold the Certified Financial Planner® designation, as well as the more than 98 other lesser related organizations, logo marks and credentialing agencies [none of which demand ERISA-like fiduciary responsibility]. For more on this topic, the ME-P went right to the source last month, in an exclusive interview with Ben Aiken; AIF® of Fi360.com  

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The CFP® Credential – What Credential?

Basu further writes that stockbrokers and insurance agents who earn commissions from buying and selling stocks, insurance and other financial products realize that a Certified Financial Planner® credential will help grow the volume of their business or branch them into other related and lucrative products and services. After all, there are more than 55,000 of these “credentialed” folks. And, this marketing designation seems to have won the cultural wars in the hearts and minds of an unsuspecting – i.e., duped public; probably because of sheer numbers. Didn’t a CFP Board CEO state that its’ primary goal was growth, a few years ago? Can you say “masses of asses”, as the oft quoted Bill Gates of Microsoft used to say when only 2,000 micro-softies defeated 400,000 IBMers during the PC operating system wars of the early 1980’s. Quantity, and marketing money, can trump quality in the public-relations business; ya’ know … if you repeat the lie often enough … yada … yada … yada! Yet, as the so-called leading industry designation, the CFP® entry-barrier standard is woefully low. Moreover, the SEC’s [FINRA] Series #7 general securities licensure sales examination is not worth much more than a weekend’s study attention, even to the uninitiated.

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Easy In – Worth Less Out

In our experience, we agree with Basu and others who suggest that scores of lightly educated, and sometimes wholly in-articulate and impatient individuals are zipping through the CFP® Board of Standards approved curriculum in three to six months of online, on-ground, or “self-study”. But, that some can do so without a bachelor’s degree when they join wire-houses and financial institutions, which cannot be trusted to adequately train them, is an abomination. And, even more sadly, some of these CFP™ mark-holders, and other folks, believe they have actually received an “education” from same. Of course, their writing skills are often non-existent and I have cringed when told that, in their opinion, advertiser-driven trade magazines constitute “peer-reviewed” and academic publications. Incidentally, have you noticed how thin these trade-rags are getting lately? Much like the print newspaper industry, are they becoming dinosaurs? One agent even told me, point-blank, that his CLU designation was the equivalent of an “academic PhD in insurance.” This was at an industry seminar, where he thought I was a lay insurance prospect.

THINK: No critical thinking skills.

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Education

There is another sentiment that may be applied in many of these cases; “hubris.” I mean, these CFP® people … just don’t know – how much they don’t know.”  The very real difference between training versus education is unknown to many wire-houses and FAs, isn’t it? And, please don’t get me started on the differences in pedagogy, heutagogy and androgogy. Moreover, it’s sad when we see truly educated youngsters become goaded by wire-houses into thinking that these practices are de-rigor for the industry. One such applicant to our Certified Medical Planner™ program, for example, had both an undergraduate degree in finance and a graduate degree in economics from the prestigious Johns Hopkins University – in my home town of Baltimore, MD [name available upon request]. He was told, in his Smith Barney wire-house training program, to eschew CMP™ accountability and RIA fiduciary responsibility, when working with potential physician and lay clients; but to get his CFP® designation to gather more clients. To mimic my now 12 year-old daughter; it seems that: SEC Suitability Rules – and – Fiduciary Accountability Drools. And, to quote Hollywood’s “Mr. T”; I pity the fools, er-a, I mean clients. But, T was an actor, and this is serious business.

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Of CEU Credits and Ethics

Beside trade-marks and logos, we are all aware that continuing education, and a code of ethics, is another important marketing and advertising component of state insurance agents and CFP licensees. It’s that old “be” – or “pretend to be” – a trusted advisor clap-trap. Well, I say horse-feathers for two reasons. First, both my insurance and CFP® Continuing Educational Unit [CEU] requirements were completed by my daughter [while age 7-10], by filling in the sequentially identical and bubble-coded, multiple-choice, answer-blanks each year. Second, this included the mandatory “ethics” portions of each test. When I complained to my CEU vendor, and state insurance department, I was told to “enjoy-the-break.”  My daughter even got fatigued after the third of fourth time she took the “home-based tests” for me.  After I opened my big mouth, the exact order of questions was changed to increase acuity, but remained essentially the same, nevertheless. My daughter got bored, and quit taking the tests for me, shortly thereafter. She always “passed.”dhimc-book3

Thus, like Basu, I also find that far too many financial advisors are unwilling to devote the time necessary to achieve a sound education that will help attain their goals, and would rather sell variable or whole life products than simple term life, even when the suitability argument overwhelmingly suggests so, for a higher payday. We not only have met sale folks without undergraduate degrees, but also too many of those with only a HS diploma, or GED. Perhaps this is why a popular business truism suggests that the quickest way for the uneducated/under educated class to make big bucks, is in sales. Just note the many classified ads for financial advisors placed in the newspaper job-section, under the heading “sales.” Or, in more youthful cultural terms, “fake it – until you make it.”

Of the iMBA, Inc Experience

According to Executive Director Ann Miller RN MHA, and my experience at the Institute of Medical Business Advisors, Inc:

“Far too many financial advisors who contact us about matriculation in our online Certified Medical Planner™ program – in health economics and management for medical professionals – don’t even know what a Curriculum Vitae [CV] is? Instead, they send in Million Dollar Roundtable awards, Million Dollar Producer awards, or similar sales accomplishments as resume’ boosters. It is also not unusual for them to list some sort of college participation on their resumes, and websites, but no school affiliation or dates of graduation, etc. And, they become furious to learn that we require a college degree for our fiduciary focused CMP™ program, and not from an online institution, either. The onslaught of follow-up nasty phone-calls; faxes and emails are laughable [frightening] too.”  

www.MedicalBusinessAdvisors.com

Assessment

More often than not, it is the financial institutions that FAs and CFP™ certificants’ work for that reward sales behavior with higher commissions, rather than salaries; which encourage such behavior and create the vicious cycles that are now the norm.

THINK: ML, AIG, Citi, WAMU, Wachovia, Hartford, Prudential, etc.

Note: Original author of Restoring Trust in the CFP Mark, Somnath Basu PhD, is program director of the California Institute of Finance in the School of Business at California Lutheran University where he’s also a professor of finance. He can be reached at (805) 493 3980 or basu@callutheran.edu. We have asked him to respond further.

My Story: I am a retired surgeon and former Certified Financial Planner® who resigned my “marketing trademark” over the long-standing fiduciary flap. I watched this chicanery for more than a decade after protesting to magazines like Investment Advisor, Financial Advisor, Registered Rep, Financial Planner, the FPA, etc; up to, and even including the CFP® Board of Standards; to no avail. Feel free to contact me for a copy of a 43 page fax, and other supportive documentation from the CFP® Board of Standards – and their outsourced intellectual property attorneys – over a Federal trademark infringement lawsuit they tried to institute against me for innocent website errors placed by a visually impaired intern. Obviously, they disliked the launch of our CMP™ program. As a health economist and devotee of Ken Arrow PhD, I polity resigned my license, as holding no utility for me, to the shocked CFP Board. They later offered to consider re-instatement for a mere $600 fee with letter of explanation, to which I politely declined. Of course, my first thought after living in the streets of South Philadelphia while in medical school, during the pre-Rocky era, was to say f*** off – but I didn’t. Nevertheless, I still seem to be on their mailing list, years later. No doubt, the list is sold, and re-sold, to various advertisers for much geld. And, why shouldn’t they; an extra bachelor, master and medical degree holder on their PR roster looks pretty good. I distrust the CFP® Board almost as much as I distrust the AMA, and its parsed and disastrous big-pharma funding policies. Right is right – wrong is wrong – and you can’t fool all of the people, all of the time, especially in this age of internet transparency.

Shaking my Fist at Somnath … in Envy

And so, why do I shake my fist at Somnath Basu? It’s admittedly with congratulations, and a bit of schadenfreude, because he wrote an article more eloquently than I ever could, and will likely receive much more publicity [good or slings-arrows] for doing so. You know, it’s very true that one is never a prophet in his own tribe. Oh well, Mazel Tov anyway for stating the obvious, Somnath. The financial services industry – and more specifically – the CFP® emperor have no clothes! Duh!

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Good Guys and White Hats

Now that Basu’s article has appeared in Financial Advisor News e-magazine, the other industry trade magazines are sure to follow the CFP® certification denigration reportage, in copy-cat fashion. And, the fiduciary flap is just getting started. This is indeed unfortunate, because I do know many fine CFP® certificants, and non-CFP® certified financial advisors, who are well-educated, honest and work very diligently on behalf of their clients. It’s just a shame the public has no way of knowing about them – there is no white hat imprimatur or designation for same – most of whom are Registered Investment Advisors [RIAs] or RIA reps. For example, we know great folks like Douglas B. Sherlock MBA, CFA; Robert James Cimasi MHA, AVA, CMP™; J. Wayne Firebaugh, Jr CPA, CFP®, CMP™; Lawrence E. Howes MBA, CFP®; Pati Trites PhD; Gary A. Cook MSFS, CFP®, CLU; Tom Muldowney MSFS, CLU, CFP®, CMP™;  Jeffrey S. Coons PhD, CFP®; Alex Kimura MBA, CFP®; Ken Shubin-Stein MD, CFA; and Hope Hetico RN, MHA, CMP™; etc. And, to use a medical term, there are TNTC [too many, to count] more … thankfully!

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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