Almost three years ago I self-published The White Coat Investor: A Doctor's Guide to Personal Finance and Investing. I knew it was the best book in its niche (physician-specific financial information) when I wrote it because I had read all the other ones and stole all the good stuff. But it got even better after I got you, my loyal readers, involved. The initial draft, read by perhaps twenty of you, was 30% shorter, less polished, and not nearly as good as the final version that eventually came out after incorporating your feedback. In many ways, it is a crowdsourced book written by the early readers of this blog.
Since its publication, it has remained in the top five in its categories and in fact is currently one of the top 5,000 books ever sold by Amazon. It has nearly 550 reviews on Amazon and still sells about 1,000 copies per month. To say its success exceeded my expectations and is far beyond my wildest dreams is a dramatic understatement. Much of that success, I owe to you, the readers, and your sharing of its core message with your peers, colleagues, and loved ones. Dozens of you have bought it in bulk for your residency and even entire classes of medical students. (Bulk rate is $15.99 a book, including shipping and handling, for at least 25 copies. Email [email protected] to order.)
You have asked me to put it in the iBooks store, and I have done so. You have also asked me to make it available as an audiobook, and after a few months of work, the audio version is now available on Audible. In fact, due to the odd way Audible prices books, it is actually cheaper to get the audioversion than the print version ($14.95 vs ~ $20.) In fact, if you read the Amazon listing carefully, you can get the audible version for $2 if you buy the Kindle version for $10. So for those of you who listen to books on your commute, on road trips, or while exercising, here is your chance to finally get to the best-selling The White Coat Investor: A Doctor's Guide to Personal Finance and Investing.
No, I didn't narrate it myself. The narration is by Troy Hudson, who was picked by WCI staff from dozens of producers. I did the first and last section myself, which will help you to understand why I had Troy do the rest!
In celebration of this event, I thought it would be fun to do a couple of things. First, we're going to give away five free audiobook copies over the next 48 hours. In order to enter the drawing, simply add a comment to this post with your correct email address (if you read by email, don't reply to the email, you need to actually click on the title of this email in the post and come to the website.) In a couple of days we'll hold a random drawing and send the winners their download code. However, there are two rules you have to follow if you win- the first is you actually have to listen to the book and the second is that you have to leave a review on Audible. It doesn't have to be a good review, although I would obviously appreciate it if you left a nice five star one, but leave us something. [Update 11/11/16- The drawing is now over. If you didn't win, you can always buy on Audible!”]
Second, I thought it would be fun to pull some of the “best of” from the 545 reviews of the book on Amazon. Let's begin with some of the bad reviews, although there aren't very many to pick from. Only 1% are 1 star reviews and only 4% are 3 star or worse.
The Poor Reviews
My favorite poor reviews are the ones that say, “The book is pretty good, but the blog is way better.” Can't beat that. But here are a few others:
This book is a ripoff of the Bogleheads and claiming that financial advice is something special/different because it is for doctors. What a schtick. I suggest you read the Bogleheads forum and the Bogleheads Guide to Investing unless you want your financial advice from a charlatan doctor that claims to be a financial guru. His writing style comes off as patronizing typical of the know it all type of doctor.
Darn know it all doctors.
Awful. Written for morons and nothing to add to basic financial planning advice. I would return it if I could. And that is one reason to not buy Kindle again…
I particularly enjoyed the fact that this reviewer apparently was not aware of how easy it is to return Kindle books.
Amazingly awful financial planning advice from someone who has stated that they have little formal financial training. His return from his portfolio would get him fired from any investment bank and sued by his clients for malpractice.
I have a feeling this reviewer sells either loaded mutual funds or whole life insurance.
Hats down to Dr. Dahle for saving so much money. The book was written actually to improve his wealth by educating himself and making money on sale. There is actually nothing magical or even anything new presented in a new way.
I guess on my next book I'll put a banner on the front that says, “No Magic Inside!”
The Good Reviews
It was really tough to pick from these as there were so many kind ones.
From Alexi Zemsky:
In between emergency room shifts, and pumping out blog posts, Dahle has written a concise and readable treatise on financial planning for the physician. The results are an original, and well-documented blueprint for how to achieve wealth as a doctor. But very little of this information is specific to doctors. His advice is perfect for other high-income earners, like lawyers, engineers, etc. but it is also very useful to lower income earners. For at it's core sound financial advice is all the same: spend less, save more, invest wisely (ie passively,) avoid taxes, and insure against disaster. Here then are five concepts from the book that taught me something cool….
From Paul Butts:
In short, if you were an investment banker prior to getting into medicine and already have hundreds of thousands in investments, this book really isn't for you. If you're like most of the docs I know, though, and clueless about what to do once you finally start earning an attending's salary, this book is for you. It covers the basics solidly and has plenty of references at the end of each chapter for further information on the topics covered. I cannot recommend it enough.
I'm a personal finance junkie and recently discovered the White Coat Investor online. I don't impress easily, and count myself a devotee of Warren Buffet and John Bogle. Now add Dr. Dahle to the list. This book is one of the best personal finance books you can read anywhere. You don't have to be a health professional despite the title, although you'll get more out of it if you're a non-MD who makes 6-figures or has a high net worth. He's easy to read, follow and understand. He pulls no punches. I really enjoy his approach to life, finances and family. Count me a huge fan. A must add to any personal finance collection. Bravo.
From Joseph Craft:
This is a fantastic book. While some of the information I have learned before, I have never seen it presented so succinctly and memorably. Probably more important, Dr. Dahle simply gets it. As a mission-driven professional, he knows intuitively all the unique financial challenges, concerns and opportunities that come with the life of a doctor. I will need pointers from it again, and it is well organized to facilitate topical reference. This is the best financial advice book I have ever read. I highly recommend it.
A more recent one from Sheflys3:
my own review of the book, or better yet, the first two pages, entitled, “Why You Should Read This Book.”
I now feel that I can make good decisions with my money for the future–I felt completely lost about everything prior to reading this book. I had been aware of the website and even gone to it a few times since I'm finally starting my career after finishing training, but this helped make much more sense of all of the concepts. Retirement doesn't seem like such a black box anymore, and I now have an idea of how to prioritize my financial commitments. Just wish I had read it in Med School to have planned even better.
Then enter the drawing by leaving a comment below. If you don't win, or if you're reading this after the initial contest is over, you can still buy it for the low, low price of $14.95. Not bad for what may turn out to be worth hundreds of thousand to you. [Update 11/11/16- The drawing is now over. If you didn't win, you can always buy on Audible!”]