Practicing Medicine and Financial Management – Times Have Certainly Changed

Charlie McCulloughFrom the Desk of Charlie McCullough

By way of introduction, my name is Charlie McCullough. I am a regularly featured part of the Financial Fiduciaries blogging and newsletter marketing program. The team at Financial Fiduciaries asks me to share my life experiences when it comes to financial planning for a growing family.

When I heard they were starting a newsletter for medical professionals, I thought that I might not have much to add. You see, by profession, I am a manager of a mutual insurance company. However, the other night, I was talking to my wife Lisa (that’s her in the photo with me), who is a family practice physician, about some issues she faces in her role as a doctor. It made me realize that I far more to offer than I first thought.

The wheels started spinning the other evening when Lisa shared her frustrations regarding pharmaceutical advertising. She noted that patients regularly came into her office requesting a certain drug they saw in a television commercial believing that it could be the “cure” to their health care problems. In essence, the advertisements took away the credibility Lisa had as a physician, because the patient was making assumptions based on just a small amouCharile and Lisa McCulloughnt of knowledge with no understanding of side effects, drug interactions or other serious conditions that could occur. While the requested medication might be beneficial for the patient, the advertising from the drug company took the advising role of the doctor out of the equation.

It made me think about the role of my financial advisors. How often do individuals choose investment products based on the small amount of information they might know about the product? It seems as though many investors choose products because they are promised a huge payout, but they fail to understand the big picture on any potential penalties or other pitfalls.

It is important to point out that this misinformation is not always a case of a “hobby investor.” Many consumers have also been burned when receiving misleading advice from a financial planner in whom they placed their trust, and many times a lot of money. In the end, the client end up being sold the products that make the financial planner the most money, but are not necessarily the best investment tools for their portfolio mix.

I have found that the only way to get the best advice whether medical, or financial, is to trust an expert who has my best interests in mind. When it comes to my health, I go to my doctor and they prescribe the best treatment for whatever ailment I might be facing, instead of trusting the advice of a pharmaceutical company who might only be looking to sell me a product that will make them money. And, when it comes to finances, I only trust advice from a fee-only advisor, because I know that they have my best interests in mind as well.

About Objectively Speaking

Tom Batterman, founder of Vigil Trust & Financial Advocacy and Financial Fiduciaries, LLC is in the business of representing the best financial interests of his clients. Having provided objective, fee-only financial management services for over two decades, he specializes in managing the investment and related financial affairs of individuals and mutual insurance companies who do not have the time, interest or expertise to manage such matters on their own. As an objective, unbiased professional who takes on a fiduciary responsibility to his clients, he guides clients to the financial decisions they would make themselves if they had years of training and experience and the time and expertise to fully research and understand all of their options. Founded in 2010 as an outgrowth of Vigil Trust & Financial Advocacy, Financial Fiduciaries, LLC is a financial management solution for individuals and mutual insurance companies who recognize they do not have the time, interest or expertise to properly attend to their financial matters on their own. While there are many financial “advisors”, most of them have investment products to sell and the “advice” they provide is geared toward getting their clients to engage in a purchase. As one of the rare subset of advisors known as “fiduciary advisors”, Financial Fiduciaries does not sell any investment product so its guidance is not compromised by conflicts of interest which plague ordinary advisors. Prior to his employment in the financial industry in financial advocacy and trust positions, he worked at a private law practice in the Wausau area in the areas of estate planning, tax, retirement planning, corporate organizations and real estate. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the UW-Madison Law School and has during his career held Series 7, 24 and 65 securities licenses. A longtime resident of the Wausau, Wisconsin Area, Tom is active in the community. He enjoys golf, curling, skiing, fishing, traveling and spending time with his family.
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