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The Coming Bear Market: Part II How to Prepare
Issue #492, October 16, 2017

Some Observations on Cemeteries
Issue #Interim Bulletin #491A, October 12, 2017

The Coming Bear Market: Part I: The Myth of Buy and Hold Forever
Issue #491, October 09, 2017

The Market makes New Highs
Issue #490, October 02, 2017

The Importance of a New High
Issue #489, September 25, 2017

A Little Insurance: Wealth, War and Wisdom
Issue #488, September 18, 2017

Some Observations
Issue #487, September 11, 2017

How to be Successful in Your Career
Issue #486A, September 07, 2017

How NOT to Buy a Home
Issue #486, September 04, 2017

This Week in the Market
Issue #485, August 28, 2017

Is the “Trump Bump” Running Out of Gas?
Issue #484, August 21, 2017

Gold is on the Move
Issue #483, August 14, 2017

The Importance of Estimation
Issue #482, August 07, 2017

Buying Art and Collecting: Part II of II
Issue #481, July 31, 2017

Buying Art and Collecting in General, Part I of II
Issue #480, July 24, 2017

Physicians need to be More Forceful: Follow-up
Issue #479, July 17, 2017

Physicians need to be More Forceful
Issue #478, July 10, 2017

Your First “Real” Investment
Issue #477, July 03, 2017

Leasing a Watch: Don’t
Issue #476, June 26, 2017

The Importance of Your Children having a Job
Issue #475, June 16, 2017

The Problem with Medical Student Debt is—the Med Schools
Issue #474, June 12, 2017

Critters and Varmints in your Home and Yard
Issue #473A, June 07, 2017

Leveraged ETFs
Issue #472, May 29, 2017

Leasing a Vehicle: Don’t!
Issue #471, May 22, 2017

Issue #470, May 15, 2017

More on Buying Jewelry
Issue #469, May 08, 2017

Buying Jewelry: Gold, Diamonds and Pearls
Issue #468, April 30, 2017

Thomas Sowell: Part III of III
Issue #467, April 24, 2017

Thomas Sowell: Pat II of III
Issue #466, April 17, 2017

Live Close to Where You Work
Issue #465, April 10, 2017

Medtronic in Hospital Management
Issue #Interim Bulletin #464A, April 07, 2017

Thomas Sowell: Part I of II
Issue #464, April 03, 2017

A Political Contribution a an Investment: Part II of II
Issue #463, March 27, 2017

A Political Contribution as an Investment: Part I of II
Issue #462, March 20, 2017

Buffett Selling Vacation Home
Issue #461, March 13, 2017

Advanced Placement (AP) ourses
Issue #460, March 06, 2017

The Importance of a Credit History
Issue #459A, March 02, 2017

A Credit Card Scam
Issue #459, February 27, 2017

The Electronic Health Reord
Issue #458, February 20, 2017

Issue #457, February 13, 2017

Platinum and Palladium
Issue #456, February 06, 2017

Economic Outlook for 2017: Part II of II
Issue #455A, February 02, 2017

Economic Outlook for 2017: Part I of II
Issue #455, January 30, 2017

A Story From Vegas
Issue #454A, January 25, 2017

Land Donation Deals and the IRS
Issue #454, January 23, 2017

The Theory of Gambler’s Ruin
Issue #453, January 16, 2017

Student Loans: But Wait, There’s More!
Issue #452, January 13, 2017

A Second Home
Issue #Interim Bulletin #451A, January 04, 2017

The Consumer Confidence Index
Issue #451, January 02, 2017

Social Security
Issue #450, December 26, 2016

My Outlook for 2017: Part II of II
Issue #449, December 19, 2016

My Outlook for 2017: The Market
Issue #448, December 12, 2016

Medicine in 20 Years
Issue #447, December 05, 2016

Higher Interest Rates
Issue #446, November 28, 2016

Trump and the Markets: The Bad and Ugly
Issue #445A, November 23, 2016

Trump and the Markets: The Good
Issue #445, November 21, 2016

Negative Trends: The Suits aren’t Makin’ Steel
Issue #444, November 16, 2016

The New DOJ Fiduciary Rule
Issue #443, November 07, 2016

Barron’s Conference, Part IV of IV
Issue #442, October 31, 2016

Barron’s Conference, Part III of IV
Issue #Interim Bulletin #441A, October 26, 2016

Barron’s Conference, Part II of IV
Issue #441, October 24, 2016

Barron’s Conference, Part I of IV
Issue #440, October 20, 2016

This Newsletter
Issue #439A, October 12, 2016

Memoirs of US Grant: Vol II
Issue #439, October 10, 2016

More Points on Collecting, Investing and the Economy
Issue #Interim Bulletin #438A, October 05, 2016

Personal Memoirs of US Grant
Issue #438, October 03, 2016

Ideas for a High School Part-Time Job
Issue #Interim Bulletin #437A, September 29, 2016

Collecting, Investing, and the Economy
Issue #437, September 26, 2016

Free College
Issue #436A, September 22, 2016

A Military Commitment to Pay for Med School
Issue #436, September 19, 2016

When a CD isn’t a CD
Issue #435, September 12, 2016

I Made a Mistake
Issue #Interim Bulletin #434A, September 07, 2016

What is Your Spare Time Worth?
Issue #434, September 05, 2016

Credit Cards and Bonus/Loyalty Points
Issue #433, August 29, 2016

The Write-off of Student Loans
Issue #Interim Bulletin #432A, August 25, 2016

412 Retirement Plans
Issue #432, August 22, 2016

Join the Club
Issue #Interim Bulletin #431A, August 18, 2016

The Case for Precious Metals and Hard Assets
Issue #431, August 15, 2016

When the US went off the Silver Standard
Issue #430, August 08, 2016

Why NOT to Open a Restaurant
Issue #429, August 01, 2016

Some Tips on Life Insurance
Issue #428, July 25, 2016

More Observations on Negative Interest Rates
Issue #427, July 18, 2016

Issue #426, July 11, 2016

Is a PhD Worth It? Part II of II
Issue #425, July 04, 2016

Is a PhD Worth It? Part I of II
Issue #424, June 27, 2016

Avoid Part-time real Estate Agents
Issue #423, June 20, 2016

Issue #422, June 13, 2016

The Problem with Auction Reserves
Issue #421, June 06, 2016

Make Full Use of Your Capital Investments
Issue #420, May 30, 2016

The Fed’s Announcement
Issue #419, May 23, 2016

Quit While You’re Ahead: A True Story
Issue #418, May 16, 2016

The Precious Metals
Issue #417, May 09, 2016

Negative Secular Trends: Part Ii of II
Issue #416, May 02, 2016

Negative Secular Trends: Part I of II
Issue #415, April 25, 2016

Not Winning is not the same as not Losing
Issue #414, April 19, 2016

Behavioral Economics: Part II: Weaknesses
Issue #413, April 11, 2016

Behavioral Economics: Part I: Valid Points
Issue #412, April 04, 2016

The Most Important Books I’ve Read
Issue #411, March 28, 2016

Secret to Success: Take Risks and do Things Differently
Issue #410, March 21, 2016

The Over-Priced Food Presentation Hustle
Issue #409, March 14, 2016


By Robert M. Doroghazi, M.D., F.A.C.C.

A Political Contribution a an Investment: Part II of II

Issue #463, March 27, 2017

    To remind you of the main point:
    The people you meet at political fund-raisers, and their families, get sick, and at some time they will need a physician—and you want that physician to be you.
    Here’s how I would look at it. You make a $500 contribution. You pick up one patient, the wife of a local attorney, or the owner of a car dealership, which generates a cardiac cath. You’re already ahead. Furthermore: these are influential people. Their recommendation goes a long way.  They are also good patients: they show up for their appointments, take their meds, are appreciative of your care, and pay their bills. But just showing up once is unlikely to do it. Rather, it’s just like any other networking: the more the exposure, the more face time, the more name recognition for you. 
    Likewise, don’t let this go to your head, you must keep your donation in perspective. A $100,000 contribution or being one of the largest employers in the area gets you real clout with the candidate. All that $500 gets you is access: one minute of face time. Make your point quickly, because they need to spend time with everyone. Also don’t be confrontational, or they will just walk away. Make a general comment: “Senator, I am so worried about student debt”
    One place where a smaller contribution like $100 can have real influence is in local races. If you live somewhere long enough, there will be a zoning, utility, school or some other issue that will have a direct effect on you. The current mayor of Columbia lives in our neighborhood. His first sign was placed in my yard: and he remembers that. 
    There are ancillary benefits of political contributions. If you visit Washington, DC, you can say hi to them in their office. It is much easier getting tickets for tours of the White House or to see the Marine Band, and you may even get personally guided tours of the Smithsonian or National Portrait Gallery. Sometimes your organization, such as the Boy Scouts, needs a speaker for an important event. You are on the politician’s radar, and by definition, politicians like face time in front of large groups.
    All of the above advice, even more so, applies to gala/fundraisers for charity. You have face time with influential people, you are doing a good deed—and its tax deductible (see below).
    Start small, maybe a $100 event. At this level, a fair amount of those attending will be of the political groupie mentality (esp. at a Democratic fundraiser. That sounds like a dig (and it is), but it’s also a valid observation). Want to have all bases covered? Presuming they are honest people, donate to the candidates of both parties. This is what big business does. Whoever wins, they have access.
    I present this discussion with some trepidation lest you think I recommend you turn into a superficial gadfly, throwing your doctor money around to look like a big shot and impress others. That has never been my style. Moreover, these are smart people: that doesn’t impress them. Some also have far more money than you will ever have, like 1 or 2 decimal points more. Rather, my whole point is that if you are a solid physician, by attending such events you will gain exposure to the kind of people you want as your patients. Think of it as a just another way to build your practice.
    There’s one more reason to contribute and attend: a kind of intellectual awakening. You will meet hard-working, intelligent people, just as good a citizen and person as you, who know as much, or more, about an issue as you, and who have a completely different conclusion: there can be a legitimate difference of opinion. It will make you more considerate of others. I still usually don’t agree with them, but it makes me think.         
    Mortgage rates are up about ¾% over the last few months. To afford the home they want, many buyers are taking out the less expensive Adjustable Rates Mortgages.
    RMD comment: What a disaster. All common sense suggests that if rates are going up, you want to take a fixed-rate note. This shows the infatuation of our country with debt, and people’s desire for instant gratification and inability to plan ahead.
    Car loans aren’t far behind. Many people now take 6 year notes to keep the monthly payment down: $500 appears to be the magic level. A car is a depreciating asset. Repeat after me:
You don’t accumulate wealth buying a depreciating asset,
and it’s even worse buying it on credit.
    I encourage you to be generous with your favorite charities, but I must again remind you—do not buy anything at a charity auction. You receive a tax deduction only on the amount paid above the fair market value. You pay $750 for something you would not have purchased otherwise. The fair market value is $1,000.  Sorry, Charlie. You get zero tax deduction. If you want to support the charity, just give money.
    Best political fund-raiser story I’ve heard.
    Princeton All-American, Rhodes Scholar, NBA All-Star and 2-time Knicks world champ Bill Bradley was running for re-election to the US Senate from New Jersey. A sit-down, $2,000 per plate fundraiser at a private home. A female Pediatrician asks very innocently “Senator, what did you do before you entered politics? (RMD comment: earth to dingbat. This would be like someone in Cleveland never heard of LeBron James).
    Pause. Bradley was very gracious: “I played basketball”.
    Dingbat: “For a living!!”
    It was reported that Marlin’s pitcher Jose Fernandez was intoxicated and driving his boat at the max speed of 65 mph at night when he crashed, killing him and 2 passengers.
    RMD comment: it’s tragic when anyone dies violently or before their time. But look at the facts: 50% of traffic deaths and a full 70% of boating deaths are alcohol-related. At max speed, only the back 1/3 of a speed boat is in the water, to a depth of 8 inches.
    To quote friend Diane: “If you don’t want something to happen, don’t put yourself in position for it to happen”.
    A long-standing Rotary buddy died after a rapid downhill course from lung cancer.
    RMD comment:
    1) Visit older friends and relatives whenever you have the chance, because they won’t be around forever.
    2) Treat people nice when they’re alive. As physicians, we’ve all had this experience. Who wales and cries the most, who puts on the biggest scene, who gives you the most heat, when mom or dad are on the way out? The one that spent the least time with them: who didn’t have a good relationship, and who shows up at the last minute at the hospital—because they feel guilty. The ones who loved them the most, and treated them the nicest, cry the least, because they are at peace.
    Hard to believe the Republicans fumbled this chance to reform healthcare. Not a good way to start things off. It shows the resistance of the far right wing for any reasonable compromise, and the downside of Trump having no prior political experience. This would not have happened to Lyndon Johnson, probably the greatest vote counter ever.
    LBJ: “Homer, I really need your vote. We’ll put a naval base in your district”.
    “Mr. President, I’m from Nebraska”.
    LBJ: “You want the naval base or not? Those crazy North Koreans could attack at any time. You don’t want any red commies runnin’ around Omaha, do yuh”? 
    Save your time and money. Don’t read:
    1) Negroland: A Memoir (Jefferson).
    2) The Winchester: The Gun that Built an American Dynasty (Trevelyan).
    3) The Golden Age of Piracy: The Truth Behind Pirate Myths (Little).
    4) The Upside of Inequality: How Good Intentions Undermine the Middle Class.   

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