Tips for Accumulating Wealth Over the Span of Your Career
Welcome to the fifth conversation in this series with David Chong Yen and Eugene Chu, Chartered Accountants from DCY Professional Corporation in Toronto. David and Eugene have kindly agreed to record a series of videos that offer advice to new graduates and practicing dentists on the most common accounting and tax questions they are likely to face early in their career.
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Until next time!
I know many new grads are probably focused more on their student debts than accumulating assets, but what tips can you provide for accumulating wealth.
Here are some of my top tips for accumulating wealth:
1. Your best investment is likely what you have spent the most time learning; invest in what you know best.
In other words, if you want to be a business owner, invest in yourself. Don’t invest in your friend’s restaurant, invest in your dental practice. Stick with what you know best.
2. Visualize the end result and work backwards. A step forward is better than no movement.
Everything has a prerequisite, to get into dental school, you needed to know biochemistry. To pass biochemistry, you needed to know the kreb cycle. The same applies to owning a business, identify what the destination looks like (i.e. do you own the building, what type of clinic is it? High-end implant clinic or neighbourhood dentist?) The answer to these questions will drive your decision making.
3. Small Steady and consistent returns, outpace large sporadic returns in the long run.
It’s better to hit a single every time than a home run once every few years. Many people will invest in crazy new businesses or speculative stocks. This is essentially gambling, yes you may hit it big, but you could also lose big.
4. When you are in the basement, you cannot fall any further. Compare options with your current situation.
When you graduate, you are essentially at the bottom of the totem pole. You need to make decisions which improve your situation. Being at the bottom generally means any decision you make should improve your situation, it may not be ideal (i.e. doesn’t get you to your destination right away), but you have to ask yourself what do you have to lose.
If you are looking to buy a practice, ask yourself does this practice purchase put me in a better or worse situation than where I am now. For example,
- Option1 : Earn 150,000 per year as an associate
- Option 2: Buy a practice, overpay by $200,000 and make $150,000 per year and pay off the practice in 10 years.
In 10 years, with option 1, you will have nothing to show for it, except maybe a sore back. With option 2, you have a practice fully paid off and each year while owning the practice, you made as much as you would from associating.
5. You will make a good choice better; don’t indefinitely search for the perfect choice/option.
If you wait for all available information before making a decision, the opportunity has likely passed.
Dentists are very detail oriented. Sometimes, this works against them. If you focus too much on the individual trees, you miss the forest. For example, many dentists will walk away from a good practice because its not street level, building needs to be renovated or the statim autoclave doesn’t work.
6. An investment which services many purposes reduces risk.
The first practice you purchase is more than an investment, its your job. You are essentially purchasing employment for yourself. You don’t need to worry about job security because you wouldn’t fire yourself. Hence, the investment serves multiple purposes.
This is the same reason why we believe in purchasing the dental building you work in. By doing so, the building is not just an investment in real estate, but it allows you to be your own landlord and avoid being kicked out. Owning the dental building serves as securing your lease and premises as well as an investment in real estate.
7. Timing the market is a fool’s game.
Investment decisions should be made with a long-term horizon. If you don’t think or believe the investment will appreciate in the long run, then look elsewhere. Trying to guess the high and lows of an investment is a crap shoot/gambling.
Full Interview (16.49″)