A different approach to learning

Learning is not done to you, it is something you choose to do.

Seth Godin

You are here because you’re choosing to learn about money and personal finance, and I think that is incredible.  It’s a choice I made years ago and I’m both honored and privileged to share what I have learned with you.

My life story

Like you, I’m a physician.  Also like you, I worked like a dog – but only for thirteen years.  It was at that point that our family hit a financial milestone.  On a backdrop of shifts that were getting more and more exhausting and a sad realization that I was slowly becoming more and more cynical about medicine, our eyes were suddenly opened to something magical: we had achieved financial independence.  And we had choices.

What we did next wouldn’t be right for everyone, but it was right for us.  We pulled our four kids out of school, I resigned from the hospital, we sold most of our stuff, and we boarded a plane.  The next twelve months were spent traveling around the world as a family.  We hiked to geysers in Iceland, ate bugs for dinner in Cambodia, and drove around New Zealand for a month.  We’re not wild and crazy people, but sometimes wild and crazy is the right thing to do.

After that year, we moved back to Canada, this time in a beautiful, and more affordable, small town.  I tried medicine again to see if the spark had returned after my long break . . . not so much.  And that’s okay.  We haven’t always done everything right with our money, but we did enough right that I don’t need to work as a physician.  I can choose to spend my days doing what is important and meaningful: for me that means time with my family, woodworking, and teaching other doctors about money.

My money story

I started learning about personal finance and investing as a medical student and never stopped.  Books, online resources, and mentors have all played enormous roles in my financial education, but the greatest teacher is experience.

I started investing in the dot-com bubble, felt the uncertainty of the “lost decade”, and the panic of the financial crisis.  I made the same mistakes that most amateurs make – overspending, under saving, and trying to outsmart the market – but I made them early and learned my lessons.  The success that I’ve had is not the result of an inheritance, lucky stock picking, or some get-rich-quick scheme, rather a gradual accumulation of small powerful lessons.

But learning and doing were never enough.   I wanted to help others by sharing what I was learning.  So, I started writing about personal finance and DIY investing for Canadian MoneySaver magazine in 2013 and am now a regular contributor.  I’ve also been blogging about DIY investing since 2018.  Lastly, I’ve enjoyed giving finance-related seminars and talks at various conferences over the last few years.

I am a physician too, so I understand where you are coming from, the challenges you face, and the complicated relationship physicians often have with money.  It also means I have nothing to do with the financial industry and the conflicts of interests that plague it.  I am not selling investment products or financial advice; what I have to offer is mentorship.  I won’t think for you, but I can teach you how to think about money better for yourself.

Money is personal, so moneySmartMD is personal.  Unlike most interactions with players in the financial services industry, I am happy to share my thoughts, opinions, failures, and successes.  It’s all fair game because it’s not just about the money, it’s about being human – the best human we can be.

Money is a tool we use to unlock life.  Sounds cheesy.  It’s also true. 

Interests: woodworking, backcountry camping, art, and regret-minimization

DISCLAIMER:  Matt is not affiliated with any financial or investment services entity, nor does he have any formal training or certification in financial or investment planning or advising.  Neither he nor moneySmartMD provide individual financial or investment advice, rather we provide attendees with the tools and skills they need to make their own decisions, based on their own unique circumstances and goals.  MoneySmartMD (MSMD Corp) takes no responsibility for financial losses incurred by attendees before, during or after the course.