Monday, October 29, 2012


I want to talk to you about a patient that came in the other day. He is a successful nurseryman and has been a patient here for about 15 years. We live in a medium-sized town that was built on the business of indoor foliage. What? People around here grow plants. There are one-acre facilities and 50-acre facilities, all greenhouses. And when he was making money hand over fist, he invested in a bank (I know because he was telling me about it).

To me, bank people were always a different kind of investor. But when he was here, he asked me if I wanted to invest in a small hometown bank. Remember back in '06 when there were tons of small banks starting? They all had the notion that if they get enough accounts, one of the big banks would them. I opened account with Southern Community Bank because I knew the owner. Then it became Florida First Bank, then it became 5th 3rd. Everyone who owned a bank was rolling in it.

He wanted to talk to me about investing in a bank, and this always perplexes me. I really think most of my patients think that I go home and roll around in the cash that I made that day. What part of the fact that I am driving in an 11-year-old car don't you understand? I told him he was asking the wrong guy because I don’t have any money.

Don't get me wrong: I know I make a great living. But saving? I max out my 401k and, uh, that is about it for savings. All the money I make gets put into educating my children or debt reduction. I just bought the second half of a practice when I still owe on the first half.

Looking at the numbers for the week, they seem okay. I look at the numbers for the month and I take a deep breath because I have a little money in the bank. But I am only six months past the last time I had to dip in to my equity line so I could pay my staff. I look ahead and see that Christmas is right around the corner and I know I am going to be taking 10 days off and then there’s the Christmas party. And now I start to sweat again.

What business do I have investing in a bank?!? Right now I am investing in myself and, quite frankly, I don't know if that is such a smart investment. But I am all I’ve got.

Do I see where one day I might be out of this huge hole I have put myself into? Yes, in 7-10, years I am going to be in great shape. But you also know what happens in 7 years? I will have two kids in college and one kid in the 10th grade. Okay, not so great shape?

I told this guy to hit me back in 15 years when I will only have one kid in college and three kids out of the house, have no debt on the office, and will own my house. FIFTEEN YEARS!!!! I will be on easy street then. OH YEAH!!! Oh my gosh. I will be 58 years old. Holy crap.

You know what? In 15 years, I hope the economy is back because then I will be ready to invest in a bank and maybe I might be ready to buy a new car. My poor truck will be 26 years old, but at least I will have one of those cool "antique" license plates. Have a great day!



Andrew Huang said...

Thank you for this wonderful blog. We are all in the same boat! Keep it up and be optimistic!

Cynthia Becker DDS MAGD said...

Hang in there! I turned 54 this year and said all that you have said until this year. All of a sudden, the debt reduction has paid off and the cash flow is better and I started a real savings account with auto withdrawals! Granted, it is about 10 years later than I thought it would be, but hopefully, if we made it through the last 5 years, we can maintain until I need to bring in a buyer. I laugh when people talk about investing, too. My 401k is also maxed but I thing the real way people can invest large amounts is inheritance. My friend, a schoolteacher, lived in a 900 sq ft house until this year when she received an inheritance from her mom. Now she is a real estate tycoon. All in 6 months. I am happy with what I have built and am just glad to pay the bills without having stress every month. Enjoy your holidays, and dont stress till next year. That is the time you need to make less money anyway thanks to our government reps! :-} Cynthia Becker DDS MAGD


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