By Dr. James M. Dahle, WCI Founder
I actually view this blog post as the most important one of the year. That's because it introduces the very most important thing that we do here at The White Coat Investor. Think about it.
What do we most want to accomplish?”
“We want all doctors to become financially literate.”
When is the most impactful time for them to become financially literate?
“At the very beginning.”
Now, we know that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make it drink, but what if every single doctor was “led to the water” right at the beginning of their career? Surely many of them would drink, and even if they chose not to, at least they would know where the oasis could be found. That's why we have the WCI Champions Program, which officially kicks off today for 2022-2023.
The WCI Champions Program
This is an idea I came up with in 2020. I'd been thinking about it for a long time, but it wasn't until a couple of years ago that we really had the financial means to carry it out. My idea was to take a WCI book and put it into the hands of every single first-year medical and dental student in the country. For free. Originally it was going to be my first book, The White Coat Investor: A Doctor's Guide to Personal Finance and Investing.
But then we thought, why not write a book aimed squarely at medical and dental students to use for the program? So I did. I literally wrote a book designed to be given away. We still sell it on Amazon, and it sells a few hundred copies every month. But that's nowhere near as many as we give away every year.
The White Coat Investor's Guide for Students is actually my longest, most comprehensive book. It is composed of three parts: a section for students, a section for residents (especially interns), and a huge section on becoming financially literate. If you want a book that teaches you money, that third section is it. It teaches you about investments, it teaches you about retirement accounts and taxes, it teaches you about financial history, and it teaches you the calculations that you need to know how to do. It's a great book to read now; then put it on your shelf and pull it out again as an MS4. And then again as a new graduate or intern. The book has 136 reviews on Amazon, 96% of which were 4 or 5 stars. My favorite review is actually the single 1 star review. You can't make this stuff up:
Yup, that's the theme. Don't spend money you don't have. Welcome to personal finance. While the book doesn't go into a huge amount of detail about how to invest money that students don't actually have (and the largest focus there is on stocks, bonds, and the mutual funds that contain them), it does mention 15 asset classes ranging from CDs to Beanie Babies. Not sure what asset classes this reviewer was hoping would be covered: NFTs and commodity futures, maybe? Dunno.
Giving the Book Away
At any rate, The WCI Champions Program is how we give this book away. We thought about just letting people order it and sending it to them for free. In the end, we decided against this for two reasons.
#1 It would simply cost too much. We can ship the books in bulk for dramatically less than we can ship them individually. An even larger expense would be the staff time required to ship them all out one by one. We're willing to dedicate a lot of money and resources to this program, but we literally cannot afford to run it that way.
#2 Those who would order it one at a time would probably not be those who need it the most. They might be the ones most likely to read it, but they're also not those we most want to help. They're probably going to become financially literate with or without us.
How the WCI Champions Program Works
Instead of ordering the books one by one, we need a volunteer “champion” student from the first-year class at every medical and dental school physically located in the US. Don't worry, your task will not be very difficult. Here's all you have to do:
- Give us your mailing address
- Tell us how many students are in your class
- Pass out the free books we'll ship you to your classmates
If you will do this, you get a few benefits.
- You ensure that YOU get a free WCI Guide for Students
- You get a free WCI T-shirt
- You get to be a hero to your classmates, literally making a difference worth hundreds of millions of dollars over the course of the careers of your classmates
Seems like a pretty good deal. But wait, there's more! If you'll take a picture of your classmates with their copies of the book, we'll send you a WCI Yeti Tumbler too. Now I know Yetis aren't all the rage anymore and everyone has Stanleys now, but we don't have WCI Stanleys . . . yet. Trust me when I say the Yetis do just fine keeping your drink of choice warm. Or cool. Or lukewarm. Or whatever temperature you prefer.
Now, we only need one champion per class (sorry if you don't get selected), but we do need one from every class. This year will be the third year we've been doing this, and so far, our best is about 70% of schools (although the percentage of students is higher because we're more likely to get volunteers at the larger schools). Seventy percent is like a C-. We'd love to get an A this year by distributing this book to 90% or more of the first-year medical and dental students in the country. Please help us by volunteering to be a WCI Champion!
Last year, we had champions from 206 schools. Here are some pics of them with their classmates.
Last year, we shipped about 29,000 books, a value of over $850,000. The most we shipped was 500 to NYITCOM. The least we shipped was 20 to a campus of Temple (Northeastern) and the Wyoming WWAMI students at the U of Washington. Most shipments were between 100–200 books. We want to do even better this year.
No, we're not going to ship them outside the country. No, we're not giving them to second-years or third-years who missed their chance. No, we're not expanding the types of students/schools that get the books for free. While applicable to many types of professional students, it really is aimed directly at medical and dental students. If you really want one, it's still only $9.99 on Kindle and well worth the price.
You also have to volunteer to be a champion before March 17, 2023, or we're not going to have time to get the books printed, shipped, and distributed by the end of the school year. But why delay? The sooner your classmates get their hands on this information, the more it can help them.
Click Here to Volunteer to Get Free Stuff and Provide Millions of Dollars of Value to Your Classmates as a WCI Champion!
What do you think? Any questions about the program? Have you been a WCI champion before? What was it like? Have you read the book? Did you find it useful? Comment below!