The Optometrist’s Guide to Investing 101

An Introduction to Investing

By: Dr. Dat Bui  (Last updated: December 13, 2023) 

Investing is a very daunting process, but is very rewarding and a necessary step to ensure financial well-being.  Understanding how investing works and what investment vehicles do are vital first steps on your path to financial freedom.

It’s a common misconception; many students believe investing is this complex maze reserved for finance wizards. However, in reality, it’s a crucial step for long-term financial stability and is more accessible than most think.

Forget the hectic Wall Street scenes you’ve pictured with brokers screaming “BUY!” or “SELL!” Everyday investing is more like a peaceful garden—it’s all about patience and letting things grow at their own pace.

Investing can be as intricate or as straightforward as you desire. If you’ve navigated the rigorous path of optometry school, then trust me, you can easily get the hang of investing!

Today’s investment landscape is transforming. With digital platforms like Vanguard or Fidelity offering passive low-cost index funds, and the rise of robo-advisers such as Betterment and Wealthfront, the era of high-fee managed funds and expensive financial advisors is over. Most of us, especially in the medical field, are perfectly capable of managing our own investments without hefty fees.

Of course, if you wish to delve deeper or explore various investing strategies later on, there’s a plethora of resources available, including books and online courses. In our discussions, we’ll frequently refer to Vanguard index funds due to their cost-effectiveness. Still, there are other reputable platforms like Fidelity, Charles Schwab, or E-Trade to consider.

In a nutshell, don’t let the initial fear of the unknown deter you from the world of investing. Just like in optometry, with a bit of knowledge and the right tools, you can excel.

Acquiring financial literacy early on is crucial for your future success as a doctor. With that in mind, in six concise sections, we will cover the following:

  • ✅ The Basics: Essentials of Investing and Investing Terms
  • ✅ Building the Perfect Portfolio: A Mix of Stocks and Bonds
  • ✅ Strategies for Rebalancing Asset Allocation & Exploring Other Asset Classes
  • ✅ A Quick Guide to Assessing Mutual or Index Funds
  • ✅ The Era of Target Date Retirement Funds and Robo-Advisers: Choosing the Right Brokerage
  • ✅Tracking Investment Performance and Other Wealth-Building Insights

"Average, everyday investing is nothing like that. Investing is actually quite boring and mundane, like watching grass grow"

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