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Dentists need to invest in their health to make it through the long haul.

My Two Cents: How dentists can create wealth in 2024

Feb. 22, 2024
The best investment dentists can make is in themselves, starting with their health. The money will follow, and here's how to build on that wealth.

The financial world is awash with the latest ways to accumulate more wealth, especially now that it’s 2024, a year that promises swift and abundant change. While most analysts are talking about dividend stocks ripe for the plucking, opportunities in real estate, or the power of side hustles, I encourage people to start from a more nuanced premise. Instead of focusing on how to grow one’s bank account, I encourage people to focus inward, to consider themselves as their primary investment.           

Let me be clear: I don’t eschew traditional wealth building, and I’ll include some examples here. Money is foundational to what we do, but it’s second to the most important component of your business—people. So, if you’re in a position where you don’t yet have your own fortune, if you’re still figuring out how wealth works, my message is for you. 

You might also be interested in: How to create wealth by owning your office location and other real estate

Some good investments 

It’s tempting to focus your energy on chasing dollars, but that’s going about it the hard way. You can read a hundred different stories about how everyday people went from zero to hero, and attempt to imitate their success, but it won’t necessarily work for you just because it worked for someone else. Your path to success is unique to you and your circumstances. 

Thankfully, there’s a common thread among everyone who achieves lasting prosperity. It involves mindset. Confidence is key. But if you don’t have much confidence, what should you do? Simple. Start small.  

Understand that the single best investment you can make is in yourself. If you have $20 to invest every month, you might put it in a high yield savings account where it could earn as much as 5% with no risk, one of the few benefits of an economy marked by sky-high interest rates. After one year, you’d have about $250 saved. Impressed? Me neither.  

Keep wellness top of mind

Let's keep the $20 parameter but shift the focus from money to well-being. If you have the fortitude, a gym membership is an investment that would yield you infinitely more value than a mere $250. Optimal health is priceless. Obviously, if you can’t find it in you to exercise regularly at the gym, then don’t go this route. Save your money. 

What about an activity that doesn’t cost much money, only the cost of a pair of good athletic shoes? You could have almost zero money to invest and still become “wealthier” as a result of walking each day. Such a simple habit does many things, among them, clears your thoughts and allows you to focus, all while improving your cardiovascular system and state of mind.

The bigger story revolves around those who try to build wealth before they have good health. That’s backward. You don’t have to become a triathlete before you invest in the stock market or real estate, but you should have a solid foothold on your wellness before making any big money moves. So many people think they’ll get healthy once they get money, but that’s putting the cart before the horse.           

Prosperity comes as a result of supreme clarity. Clarity stems from ample energy and a joyous frame of mind. When it’s time to make deals and collaborate with others in the big leagues, you need sufficient stamina of body and mind. Wealth-building isn’t a spectator sport. If you own a house, then you already have a sense of the endurance required. The work of homeownership doesn't stop after you close the deal. You also must maintain this huge asset.

When it comes to devoting time and energy, career growth may be the most underrated investment. If you’re a curmudgeon who frequently complains about fatigue or back aches or is drowsy at work, then there’s no advancement for you. If you consider yourself a go-getter, but you still aren’t making career strides, you might be barking up the wrong tree. 

One secret to moving forward may involve taking on a role nobody else wants. The competition is steep, but oftentimes, you can step immediately into an area that nobody else is vying for because it looks like hard work. That’s when your stamina comes into play. When you’re physically and emotionally fit, then hard work won’t deter you. As a result, you become indispensable in the eyes of your patients.

Technology and real estate are both viable 

For those destined to be their own boss, AI is becoming more accessible. The caveat? You must learn the technology that will allow you to scale your business. Whether it’s enrolling in a CE course or watching videos online, you’ll need to invest time and energy into honing new skills. Programs such as ChatGPT are robust tools that are expected to become even more powerful, but they’re useless to those who don’t know what to do with them. 

If technology intimidates you, there’s still promise in good old-fashioned real estate. In fact, there might not ever be a better time to buy a home, specifically in some large metropolitan areas that haven’t reached unattainable price points. Cincinnati is one that comes to mind, but there are many others. While a temporary dip in prices across the board isn’t out of the question, don’t expect a replay of 2008. If you’re waiting on the sidelines for a complete collapse before you become a homeowner, it’s not likely to happen. 

Interest rates are forecasted to drop later this year, and that could signal a rush back into the market. If you’re mentally and financially prepared to become a homeowner now, don’t wait. If your current city or town feels just out of reach, don’t get discouraged. Look for sellers who need a quick sale and are offering a significant discount. Those deals go quickly, so it’s all about timing and agility. Alternatively, if you’re willing to move to another state, you may find a perfect town that’s much more affordable. 

Generating a list of new and improved ways to grow rich makes for great conversation. It might even provide valuable insights if you’re ready to put some skin in the game. However, the tried-and-true method of first focusing your time, energy, and resources on yourself will never go out of style. Arguably, the single best investment anyone can make is to maintain their good mood. Nobody wants to visit a grumpy dentist. When everyone around you comes to trust you as an uplifter and a perpetuator of well-being, you gain access to tremendous resources that many others would deem unimaginable.

Editor's note: This article appeared in the February 2024 print edition of Dental Economics magazine. Dentists in North America are eligible for a complimentary print subscription. Sign up here.

Mark B. Murphy, CEO of Northeast Private Client Group, is an accomplished author, speaker, and motivator who's revolutionizing the financial planning and wealth management industry. He helps entrepreneurs achieve multigenerational wealth through personalized strategies, leveraging his strategic planning and financial engineering expertise. Forbes has ranked him as the number one financial security professional in New Jersey and number 15 nationwide. Additionally, his book, The Ultimate Investment, is a number one bestseller and new release on Amazon.

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