How Advisors Can Diagnose Doctors As Clients

It takes a great deal of dedication, patience and effort to become a physician. It is an occupation where formal education takes a long time, and is effectively endless as new treatments are developed.

From a financial standpoint, being a physician is ultimately rewarding, but so much personal financial strife occurs prior to the rewarding part of a career that physicians are influenced to be unique investors. Spectrem conducts research with thousands of investors annually and many of them are doctors. It is revealing to see how those physicians compare to other investors in terms of how they handle their portfolios. Such knowledge can lead to a complete understanding of these very valuable clients. All investors surveyed by Spectrem have at least $100,000 in net worth, not including the value of their primary residence. The doctors surveyed are often well above the average in terms of net worth, which will also color many of their responses regarding their investments. To begin, doctors have a unique attitude toward the practice of investing. According to the Spectrem study Evolving Attitudes and Behaviors, 56 percent of doctors enjoy investing and want to continue to invest their available assets. That is notably higher than the average investor, of whom 46 percent say they enjoy investing. Investing Attitudes Occupation However, many fewer doctors report enjoying the day-to-day management of their investments. Only 44 percent of doctors agree they enjoy active involvement in the management of their accounts, compared to 51 percent of all investors. This may be a response to the time management issues doctors face, but, more importantly, suggests that their relationships with a financial advisor are key to maintain their interest in investing while they are busy caring for the physical well-being of others. Doctors have an obvious value to society, and their lengthy educational period is the price they pay in order to be able to serve the community in their chosen field. But their eventual financial reward is a payback for all the years of study they put in, and that financial reward makes them more comfortable in their personal economic status than most investors. Evolving Attitudes and Behaviors asked investors to list their personal financial concerns, and doctors don’t seem to have many of those. While 28 percent of investors worry about financing the education of their children, only 6 percent of doctors report that concern. Similarly, while 24 percent of investors worry about losing their job (or their spouse losing their job), only 6 percent of doctors worry about employment issues. Only 16 percent of doctors worry about being able to retire when they want to, compared to 37 percent of all investors. Notably, only 8 percent of doctors worry about getting the professional assistance they need to reach their financial goals, compared to 27 percent of all investors. Apparently, doctors are financially stable enough to engage the professional advisors they need in order to maintain a focused financial plan. Related: Understanding The Asian Investor