This is a review of the course, “Fire Your Financial Advisor” from Jim Dahle at The White Coat Investor. The first half was originally the story of how I broke up with my own financial advisor. I’ve separated them into their own posts as they are separate topics that deserved their own posts. Read the story of my breakup here.
Fire Your Financial Advisor — A Course Review
I’ve actually fired my advisor, or perhaps been fired by one, depending on your perspective. I give small and large group talks/lectures regularly, including teaching teaching personal finance to medical students and residents/fellows. I’ve published a research study on personal finance knowledge. A couple quiz questions from the course were even used in my study (The White Coat Investor helped me refine the questionnaire before use and is in the article acknowledgment).
So I believe I’m in a unique position to review this course.
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I also have a financial advisor as a sponsor on this site. I do not find this hypocritical. I firmly believe many people can do this on their own. My approach does not work for everyone, and this course will not work for everyone. Some people do need a single person/place to go for concrete advice on a regular basis, someone to hold their hand on occasion, and someone to direct them what to do when the person isn’t able to figure it out on their own.
- The course costs $499 but has a no questions asked, 7-day return policy. You can watch 100% of the videos and still receive a refund in the first 7 days.
- If you ultimately decide to use this course, and use my referral link, this site receives a small commission, 10% of which goes straight to charity.
- The cost to YOU is the same if you buy it from me or direct from the main site or anyone else providing a link.
- The financial advisor I used several years ago charged FAR more than the cost this course, and that was with a discount for still being in training.
I was given the opportunity to access it for free to provide a review. At the end I’ll give you my verdict.
How is it set up?
- It’s primarily videos of Jim Dahle speaking. Sometimes just him, sometimes him speaking over powerpoint slides
- He’s a decent looking guy so it won’t hurt your eyeballs to look at him. A bowtie would class things up though — maybe a different one for each section next time?
- You can access the videos/slides using mobile or desktop via the Teachable website/app.
- He has a pre-test and post-test for the overall course, and several sections, each with its own mini quiz.
- Each section is broken down into multiple videos. Most are 3-5 minutes and quickly digestible, some are 10-15 minutes.
- It also includes some worksheets and example documents to use which are helpful and which can be downloaded
Course Objectives — from their website
- You have all the insurance you need at the best possible price and none of the insurance you don’t need
- You are managing your student loans the right way, maximizing the benefits of government programs, minimizing interest paid, and getting out of debt as soon as possible
- You are either capable of managing your investments yourself, or you are paying a competent advisor a fair price to do it for you
- You are saving enough money to reach your goals and can spend the rest on whatever you like without feeling guilty
- You aren’t paying any more taxes than you need to
- Your children and your assets will be taken care of if something should happen to you
- Your assets are protected from lawsuits as much as possible with a simple, straightforward, and inexpensive plan
- You have a written plan to follow that will guarantee your financial success
Who is it for?
- While created by a physician who has made his expertise in given financial advice to physicians, the material is not specific to physicians
- The advertised focus is more for any “high income” individual, regardless of whether you are in healthcare.
- Much of the material is applicable to anyone regardless of income.
- While individual sections may be less applicable (student loans for example), and he is physician-focused in his delivery, the material it covers is relevant to individuals from every socioeconomic level
I did NOT go through the every lecture in the course — I sampled several portions of it and reviewed almost all the quizzes.
- The written plan is the crux and main output — it’s intimidating when you know nothing about them. I’ll freely admit we don’t have one. If you use this course to make one, you’ve received significant value.
- A lot of the videos are just him talking — the content and pace are good, but some people will have a hard time focusing during the longer lectures.
- Some of the videos of his PC showing documents and website can be hard to read, but that’s a minority of the course
- A discussion of how to work with a spouse/significant other who is NOT watching all these videos with you would be helpful (unless I missed it)
- He nailed it on the discussion regarding financial advisors and identifying what you should be getting and when you don’t need one. He states many of the things I tell people when I speak on the topic. He was a bit harsh in discussing how to break up with them, but still reasonable.
- The insurance section is quite long and is more dry, but it’s all straightforward content. You’ll have to take your time going through this one unless you love insurance. More exciting visuals and a change of pace would help.
- The housing section is a good review for anyone who has not bought a home; it leans a little more doctor-oriented, but many principles are applicable to anyone
- I didn’t spend much time on the insurance portion — this information is easily accessible on his website, but is nicely condensed in the course
- The investing plan is the longest and probably most intimidating. All the content is good quality
- Investing should NOT be complicated for most beginners, who are the target of this course
- “The Simple Approach” module should be at the beginning of the investing section, because that’s what most people in this course need — purchasing real estate for passive income is not introductory level material.
- The videos can be intimidating because of the order things are arranged and some of the length, but the content breaks it down enough that it should not be complicated to apply
- I didn’t take them with a goal of getting a high score. I went through to evaluate construct and content
- I love quizzes — I prefer trying to answer a question and then learning why my answers were right or wrong. It’s my preferred method to study for every exam, but it’s only as good as the questions and explanations.
- Most of the questions are straight forward and reasonably well-constructed, and the explanations are good, though some could stand to be longer/more elaborate depending on the section.
- Some questions use sub-optimal construction that are often avoided in standardized tests, such as asking “which one is false” is generally avoided on standardized tests
- There are some asking to pick multiple right answers out of 7-10 choices, also not generally the preferred way to make a multiple choice question, but it makes you think hard.
- The main issue is since this isn’t for a job certification and many people will be listening casually, some people won’t think hard.
- I disagree occasionally with some of his answer choices, but not in any of the major content — nothing that would impact a major decision
- I did get a few wrong because I was doing math in my head and not reading closely. Just like my medical certification tests!
- I did learn a few things — bonus!
- If you do not have a grasp of many personal finance concepts and want to apply them on our own, this course will pay for itself many times over, and potentially quite quickly.
- If you want to do this in bits and pieces over time, with a long-term goal of having a lot more money later on, this will benefit you significantly.
- Applying some portions (written plans, housing plans, etc) will take some time, even if the videos do not.
- If you are a definite “financial advisor” personality who has abdicated all responsibility, you need to learn the basics regardless. You can still benefit by learning what your advisor SHOULD be doing for you in many of these areas, though you can also do that via his blog and other places for free
- This course is not meant for people like me, who read blogs, and books, and websites.
- All the information in this course is found elsewhere on his website and The InterWebs for free (but you have to go find it)
- If you hate learning from videos, this is not for you
Final answer — if you don’t know much and will put in a couple hours every so often for specific topics, and this mode of learning works for you, this course will save you far more than it costs you. If that’s you, click here to go buy it. I do receive a small commission, but again, 10% goes to charity, and it is not costing you extra to use my link.