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Income: December 2017

Income December 2017

I am starting to include my dividend income in my monthly income posts. I don’t expect to actually spend any of it but it’s helpful to keep track of them.

Just Answer Income

I continue to earn income through JustAnswer at around $2,000-$3,000/month in return for 20 hours of work for the month.

It’s a hard gig to beat in terms of ease of earning money in medicine. I don’t have to do superfluous physical exams, I get to provide my professional medical advice without having to worry about pushing medications, and I can do it all from my laptop at a cafe.

The income is paid to me as an independent contractor monthly through PayPal. 

Each question pays on ~$15. However, when you accept a question it doesn’t mean that you will be paid. In order for you to get paid for the question the customer has to:

  • give you at least a 3-star review
  • not opt out of the question
  • reply to your answer

For these and other reasons, not every question you take on will pay out. After it’s all said and done, with the number of unpaid questions that you’ll have, you’ll probably make $10 per question.

Because the learning curve is steep the attrition rate of healthcare professionals is high. I would give it a frustration factor of 4/5.

Doctors On Demand

I am impressed with DOD – much more so than American Well. I sang the praises of AmWell back in the day when I first started working with them. But after just a few months it was clear that as a company they lacked organizational skills.

Before I talk about DOD, another company that I am credentialed with is Teladoc, though I am still waiting to get my first shift with them.

DOD is all about human-to-human interactions. I have the associate medical director’s cell phone and email and I can contact him regarding any issues even though DOD is a sizable organization.

The schedulers, the support staff, and the credentialing process have all been impressive. I have consistently received replies to my emails to support within the hour.

The EMR that DOD uses is their own proprietary software, designed from the ground up. It’s really intuitive and rarely has any glitches. The only tech issues I have experienced are regarding the internet speeds on the customer’s end.

Dividend Income

I invest conservatively in passive index funds. This allows me an annual dividend income of somewhere around 2% which is paid out every quarter.

Some of my holdings are in IRA’s, others in Roth IRA’s, and the rest in my private brokerage account.

With my investment portfolio on the lower end at $600k, it wouldn’t make much sense to try to live off of my portfolio earnings when I can earn a sufficient income with a few hours of work a month.

Letting this portfolio grow will make it a much more powerful profit generating investment. Therefore I’ll continue feeding the dividends back into the portfolio for now.

 

Future Income

I am not sure if I have an ideal form of earnings in mind. I expect that in the future most of my earnings will come from profits rather than income.

For now I enjoy working so I will continue to focus on covering my ongoing expenses with income and keep building the potential energy of my investment portfolio so that I can enjoy healthy profits in the future.

I am focusing on teaching, writing, and consulting as my main forms of income.

As for my investment earnings, I will focus on optimizing securities investments, minimize taxes, minimize risk, and pursue new investing opportunities.

I spend a few hours a week filling out applications for various gigs and interviewing for interesting positions. I talked about my regional medical director role in a previous post which is still evolving.

Next week I will interview for a consulting position with a local company and also interview for an interesting position with a larger medical group in town.

 

Taxes

Moving forward my main focus will be:

  1. increase investment profits
  2. minimize taxes

Taxes are the highest expense that healthcare professionals have and I don’t know a single high-earning physician who has a tax attorney in their corner.

Most CPA’s can do a decent job of tax planning but few are tax optimization experts.

Earning most of my money from consulting will allow me to have a 1:1 tax write-off and if I choose to establish a pass-through entity, then I might enjoy further tax savings.

 

Net Worth

I’ve had a higher need for income to pay for legal fees and even though my income isn’t enough to invest any excess, my net worth is still increasing due to dividend additions and investment appreciation.

 

The student loans were paid off by end of December 2015. My total net worth has steadily climbed to somewhere above $800,000.

Included in that sum is my taxable private brokerage investments. The reason I keep track of these is that it’s an easier account to access since I am not even 40 yet.

 

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