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  • Avatar Dusn 
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    Joined: 01/02/2018
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    Why would they tell you …

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    Why wouldn’t they?  Once you’ve bought a stock, the more people who buy it, the more you make.   That being said, I’ve heard VTSAX is what you need to buy!  Or just buy anything.. I guess that means I own them all.

     

    in reply to: Individual stock tip #217128 Reply
    Avatar Dusn 
    Participant
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    Who said anything about investing?  It’s a wager.  It has huge upside gains for a relatively small bet. It’s certainly not going anywhere, been 10 yrs now, and only gaining traction.

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    Sure, but if you make a small bet, your upside is also relatively small. Say you take $50k and wager it. Say it goes back up to $20k/bitcoin (now it’s about $8k/bitcoin). Congrats, you’ve made $75k pre-tax.

     

    That doesn’t buy you the private island. I’ll take the money, don’t get me wrong, but it doesn’t drastically change my life. If you want a little play money, that’s fine, but the upside is not huge unless you bet huge.

    There is a small <5% chance that bitcoin will be digital gold.  If you believe some of the arguments on the internet (written by some really smart people who know it’s a long shot), then we’re talking >100k a coin or much more.

    Remember there’s only a finite supply.  It’s estimated only about 1 mil coins are in circulation and others are held long term by relatively few people or lost.   This equilibrium may also take many years, but there has been some progress like institutional dollars flowing in and a lot of interest in creation of ETFs,  gray scale bitcoin trust, and many millennials preferring it over gold.  Agree though that it’s more likely to go no where but worth a wager in my opinion given the potential.

     

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    I think the supply of digital coins is potentially unlimited.

    Hence I think the long term expected return will be very low.

    I would rather buy a lotto ticket.

     

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    How about gold?  An intrinsically worthless metal with few practical applications.  More keeps getting uncovered.  There is an abundant supply of metals, but people assign more value to gold over others.  Somehow people have been valuing gold for centuries?   The bubble of gold never burst.

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    Yeah, but gold is shiny and sparkly.  Nations have been invaded and cultures have been destroyed; millions have been tortured and killed in the hopes of getting it.  I just don’t think Bitcoin is shiny enough to have the same effect.

    in reply to: Bought Bitcoin and can't stop !!! #217078 Reply
    Avatar Dusn 
    Participant
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    The student loan programs have been going on for a very long time, starting with the idea that higher education would help us in the Cold War, and as far as I can tell both political parties have been involved in their creation.

    in reply to: student loan crisis #216620 Reply
    Avatar Dusn 
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    I do think specialty income differences should be an important consideration for medstudents.  But I would be more concerned about the medstudents considering pediatrics, not the ones considering urology.

    in reply to: Urology salary? Actively declining? #216412 Reply
    Avatar Dusn 
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    I agree in general, Anne.   But I do think it’s a little more complicated.   I think your calculations assume that at the age of 65 he withdraws ALL of that 4.4% + 6% growth that he’s saved on his own.  But he won’t be withdrawing it all at the age of 65.  Let’s pretend he’s able to withdraw a lot of it at the age of 75 because he’s got other money saved up that he used first.   Now it comes out to $537K and it still may favor the pension but it’s a little closer.

    Now let’s say he only ends up working at the VA for 5 years and leaves at the age of 35.   That $17600 (3520 x 5) at 6% would be $181000 at age 75.   Meanwhile his pension from 5 years of work would only be $4150 per year.    I think taking the money he’s contributed out and investing it himself makes more and more sense the younger he is.

    Also we have no idea how the pension may change over time (but probably not for the better).   On the other hand, there are other variables: we also have no idea how investments are going to do over time or at what age we’re going to die…. but there are some benefits to having that money in your hand rather than as a long term promise from the federal gov’t.

    in reply to: VA Hospital or Independent Contractor? #215762 Reply
    Liked by Tim
    Avatar Dusn 
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    Surprised very few votes for ophtho. Total banking hours, sit down for surgeries, fast cases, cool tech, light call, happy patients for the most part. Tougher to make bank as compared to hospital based specialities, but with the right mindset and surgery center, sky is the limit. Demand should also sky rocket as baby boomer ophthalmologists retire.

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    I don’t know if ophtho spends as much time in the OR as the OP wants.  I think 1 day a week in the OR is pretty typical for most ophthalmologists.   The incentive to go to the OR is even lower because with cataract surgery reimbursement cuts they can often make more in the clinic than the OR;  I think medical retina is one of the highest earning subspecialties, with in office injections and laser procedures.

    Mohs Surgery is the clear winner, IMO, if you can get into it.  IR might be something to look into as well — it’s tough in private practice but not as bad in academics where you have fellows taking call for you.

    in reply to: Best surgical lifestyle? #215678 Reply
    Liked by Zaphod
    Avatar Dusn 
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    Tomw, federal gov’t workers pay into the pension.   It’s 4.4% of your salary that gets taken out of your paycheck  (for the people who started years ago it’s 0.8% but they raised it for new hires several years ago) and most people can’t get the pension until you reach retirement age (I think that’s 65?).   For someone who’s 60 it makes a lot of sense because that money has no time to grow anyhow.  But if you’re 30 years old I’m not sure it’s really such a good deal because if you invested that 4.4% it would be worth a lot more in 35 years.

    There is also no absolute guarantee, even with the federal gov’t.  This past year the white house was pushing to seriously decrease the pension benefits.

    Everyone thinks the federal gov’t pension is such a great deal but for younger workers I’m not sure if it is.  I can’t find anyone else making that argument online to back me up though so I’m not sure if I’m missing anything here.

    The gov’t does offer 5% matching, however, and the TSP is really good.   And I think you can choose to get that 4.4% back and forgo the pension when you leave the fed gov’t.

    in reply to: VA Hospital or Independent Contractor? #215664 Reply
    Avatar Dusn 
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    What happens if she delivers early, does the program have backup to cover for that?

    To the OP– it sounds like your wife and/or you may have initially not realized the difficulty of the last few weeks of pregnancy. Which is understandable, this is your first baby.   But post-pregnancy is generally way harder, especially if your wife has any goals of breastfeeding.  I would try to get as much time off (for both of you) as possible and as much help as possible.

    As a philosophical aside, doesn’t the gov’t/medicare provide the salaries for residents and fellows and then pay the hospitals extra on top of that?   I think the goal from the government’s prospective is to educate future doctors, not provide academic hospitals with free labor so that they can cut back on hiring fully trained physicians.  If a hospital doesn’t hire enough attending physicians to take care of its patients, whose fault is that?

     

    in reply to: Reasonable Work Accommodations During Pregnancy #214321 Reply
    Avatar Dusn 
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    The best food in NYC is the pizza. Followed by the bagels. $1-3 dollars for a meal. So delicious.

    Chicago deep dish on the other hand… definitely not worth paying those taxes for.

    in reply to: Today Illinois, Tomorrow Everywhere #211876 Reply
    Avatar Dusn 
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    It’s a mystery to me why anyone would live in IL, or NJ, or CT, or NY state. I could somehow comprehend CA or maybe NYC. But those places are just not that special…I know….family. Then I’d relocate to a neighboring state. IN, IA, WI, NH, PA, are all better choices. Just my humble opinion.

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    I presume you are talking about physicians.  There are plenty of people making enormous amounts of money in NYC, SF, DC, etc that they could not make anywhere else.  If you work in a hedge fund, a FANG tech company, as a top executive in almost any major company, or a big law firm, where else are you going to live? This is where the vast majority of major companies are headquartered.  My friends who went into finance in NYC and SF make way more than almost any physician, had well into the 8 figures in wealth and income by age 30, and don’t find living in NYC or SF to be a hardship — in fact they wouldn’t dream of living anywhere else.

    In terms of physician who are being paid by insurance or medicare, yeah I agree.   Although many of the ones I know who live in these cities are married to someone with a high salary who needs to live there.

    in reply to: Today Illinois, Tomorrow Everywhere #211827 Reply
    Liked by Zaphod, Dreamgiver
    Avatar Dusn 
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    “Our daughter can not sleep lying flat.  We have no idea why.”

    Reflux?   My medical textbooks have found a new use as we put them under the front legs of the bassinet to elevate the head of the bassinet slightly (don’t elevate too much or the infant can slowly slide down the bassinet overnight).  A good swaddle helps a lot too and putting them to sleep just before they’re showing obvious signs of getting overtired.   Simethicone drops and probiotic drops seemed to help too, or maybe was just a good parent placebo.  Congrats! Good luck! and try to rest when the baby’s sleeping!

     

    To the OP – I forgot to add that Amazon is a great place to do a baby registry.  If you create a baby registry with them they give you 15% off on up to two orders of $2000.00 US Dollars combined value ($300.00 discount with Prime Membership) for up to 60 days after your expected arrival date.

    And luckily our baby could care less if the milk is warm (thank goodness!) so some things, like the bottle warmer mentioned above, I’d wait to see if you really need it.

    in reply to: Preparing for first baby financial tips #211128 Reply
    Liked by Doc Spouse
    Avatar Dusn 
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    Take a vacation during the second trimester.

    Get your FMLA paperwork in hand.  For both of you.  A lot of people seem to forget how hard those first few months were.  Or they had stay at home spouses, lots of family help, no medical issues, or had kids in their early 20’s when biologically it’ll probably be a lot easier physically.   Take as much time off during the first year, and especially during the first few months as you can get.  And be prepared with a strategy to have to take more time off as a backup, just in case…  or have a parent available to come.   You need surprisingly little stuff during the first few months; what you need is time and sleep.   It gets much easier each month but it’s still very difficult to hand over the baby to a stranger to take care of early on.  They’re tiny and very cute.

    I would go to some lactation classes pre-baby and schedule some appointments with a lactation consultant for after the baby comes out.   Breastfeeding is hopefully easy but can be surprisingly very difficult and sometimes not work out exactly as planned.

    Just figure out what state you’re doing the 529 with and look at their website.  NY was pretty easy.

    If you don’t have life insurance – get it.  For your wife, hopefully she got it before getting pregnant, but she could still try.

    Third trimester – get a car seat and install the base in your cars.

    Store pre-prepared food in your freezer.

    Read about the 5 S’s for helping the baby sleep.  For some babys the Snoo (an expensive automated bassinet) can help wonders.

    The baby will grow out of all clothes very quickly, and people will buy you so many baby clothes.  For clothing we just used hand-me-downs and gifts. You don’t need much space for a newborn (unless you have family staying in your home to help) and you don’t need a lot off the stuff they try to sell you.  Basically we needed a car seat, stroller, diapers, wipes, bassinet, changing pad, and rented a hospital-grade breast pump from the hospital.

     

     

    in reply to: Preparing for first baby financial tips #211102 Reply
    Avatar Dusn 
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    People live in Manhattan, Tokyo, SF, Paris, London and other urban centers. These are some of the most expensive RE in the solar system and everyone lives on a busy street. Granted, I like telling my kids to get out of the house to go bike around.

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    I’ve lived in Manhattan and other cities and the buildings seemed far quieter than the places I’ve lived in in more rural areas.  It may be due to materials they’re using to soundproof the buildings.  So I think the only way to really judge noise level is by actually sitting inside the home for awhile.     But you’re right that plenty of kids seem to be fine without a backyard.

    in reply to: New home on busy street? #210846 Reply
    Avatar Dusn 
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    I have about $500,000 available that I took out of a commercial investment that I had with some partners.

     

    I am trying to figure out the best way to invest this money right now. Here are the options I can think of. Please provide your suggestions.

     

    1. Stock market (4 fund portfolio) – but stock market has gone up 16% this year already!

    Sure, this year’s been good but you could also just look at it as making up for the drops in 2018.

    in reply to: Need recommendations on investing 500K #210549 Reply
    Liked by hatton1
    Avatar Dusn 
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    I’ve heard the I Fund in the TSP is only developed markets and does not include emerging markets.   Personally I’d prefer vanguard total international or something else for my international allocation because of this.  And I’d utilize the TSP account more for my bond allocation in the G fund.

    in reply to: help with simplifying my international portfolio #210415 Reply
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