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Strange Things in the Precious Metals
Issue #531, July 17, 2018

Buying Years of Retirement
Issue #530, July 09, 2018

Rent-A-Kid for Retirement
Issue #529, July 02, 2018

The Dark Side of Student Loans
Issue #528, June 25, 2018

The Cost of Out-sourcing Convenience
Issue #527, June 18, 2018

Social Security: 66 or 70?
Issue #526, June 11, 2018

Student Loans: There’s (Unfortunately) a Lot More!
Issue #525, June 04, 2018

Co-signing a Note
Issue #524A, May 31, 2018

The Knight Frank Luxury Index and Collectables
Issue #524, May 28, 2018

The Importance of Diversification: The Myth of Diversification
Issue #523, May 21, 2018

How to Save Thousands on Your Food Bill
Issue #522, May 14, 2018

MoviePass and Other Things
Issue #521A, May 10, 2018

Degree Inflation, Long Training Periods, and “Certification”  Part III
Issue #521, May 07, 2018

Degree Inflation, Long Training Periods, and Certification” Part II of III
Issue #520, April 30, 2018

Follow-up on Several Things
Issue #519A, April 25, 2018

Degree Inflation, Long Training Periods, and “Certification”: Part I of II
Issue #519, April 23, 2018

The Kids Birthday Party Hustle
Issue #518A, April 18, 2018

A Pension Question: Part II of II
Issue #518, April 16, 2018

A Physician is an Executive
Issue #517A, April 11, 2018

A Pension Question: Part I of II
Issue #517, April 09, 2018

Is the Correction Over?
Issue #516A, April 05, 2018

Used Car Dealers, Student Loans, the Chinese, and Uncle George’s Rule
Issue #516, April 02, 2018

Starter Homes
Issue #515, March 26, 2018

Redecorating: Beware!
Issue #514, March 19, 2018

NASDAQ Closes at Record High
Issue #513, March 12, 2018

A 40% Chance
Issue #512, March 05, 2018

Several Things
Issue #511, February 27, 2018

Human Capital, Education and Wealth
Issue #510, February 19, 2018

Another Stock Market Update
Issue #509A, February 18, 2018

Some Thoughts on Savings
Issue #509, February 12, 2018

A Stock Market Upfate
Issue #508S, February 10, 2018

Who Can You Trust? Part II of II
Issue #508, February 05, 2018

The Christmas Decoration Pre-worn Jeans Hustle
Issue #Interim Bulletin #507A, February 03, 2018

2018 Outlook for Financial Markets
Issue #507, January 29, 2018

Who Can You Trust? Part I of II
Issue #506, January 22, 2018

Life Insurance Settlements
Issue #505, January 15, 2018

Commodities and Buying the Breakout
Issue #504, January 08, 2018

Buffett Wins His Bet
Issue #503A, January 04, 2018

Practice Real Estate and Free Agency
Issue #503, January 01, 2018

Outlook for 2018: Part III: Stocks and Bonds
Issue #502, December 25, 2017

My Outlook for 2018: Part Ii: Precious Metals
Issue #501A, December 21, 2017

Outlook for 2018: Hard Assets: Part I of III
Issue #501, December 18, 2017

More Thoughts on Bitcoin
Issue #500A, December 14, 2017

Fees and Good Relations with Bankers
Issue #500, December 11, 2017

Salvator Mundi
Issue #499A, December 07, 2017

Should You Rent or Own a Home?
Issue #499, December 04, 2017

A Gift Subscription
Issue #Interim Bulletin #498A, December 02, 2017

Stocks vs Real Estate: Asset Allocation: Part II of II
Issue #498, November 27, 2017

When Good Enough is Fine
Issue #497A, November 22, 2017

Stocks vs Real Estate: Asset Allocation. Part I of II
Issue #497, November 20, 2017

The Saudi Arrests and the Perils of Foreign Investing
Issue #496, November 13, 2017

Gambling and Las Vegas
Issue #495, November 06, 2017

Some Tips on Auto Insurance
Issue #494, October 31, 2017

Bitcoin and the Digital (Crypto) Currencies
Issue #493, October 23, 2017

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


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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