Podcast Episode 08 – “Anyone Can Be a DIY Investor Using the Tax-Efficient Waterfall” with Sarah-Catherine Gutierrez

DIY investor

Episode 08 – Have you ever wanted to be a DIY investor but you just didn’t know where to start?  It’s not that hard.  All you need is a plan!

The tax-efficient waterfall investing strategy is a great roadmap that can turn any financial novice into a DIY investor in 8 easy steps.  This is a super-simple but incredibly powerful investing strategy.  Any would-be DIY investor should have no trouble getting great returns using these few very simple steps.

Sarah-Catherine Gutierrez is an author, blogger, and owner of Aptus Financial.  She has a great head for strategy and a heart for service.  If you think becoming a DIY investor is beyond your reach, think again!!  Let Sarah-Catherine show you how it’s done!!


“Humility is the most important element to have in a financial plan.”

 – Sarah-Catherine Gutierrez, author, blogger, and owner of Aptus Financial


Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts

Click to download for free!

Free Resource: Setting Reachable Financial Goals

Connect with Sarah-Catherine


Blog: www.ladysplainingmoney.com

Financial planning company: Aptus Financial

Buy the book!!: But First, Save 10: The One Simple Money Move that Will Change Your Life



Featured online community: Physician Mom Crafters

  • Physician Mom Crafters is a great Facebook group for physician moms who have any kind of hobby that they want to share.  The group has over 5,000 members and growing!  Gardeners, seamstresses, artists, designers, writers and more are represented here.  Learn from people who are already experts at a craft you’re trying to master or share your work with others.  Join today!

Join the Business and Personal Finance for Physicians and Dentists Facebook Group!

Most physicians and dentists come out of training programs with a huge amount of personal debt and little to no idea of how to actually run a clinical practice.  This Facebook community is for anyone who wants to learn more about how to manage their business more successfully and master their personal finances.

Announcing the winner of the #YellowTuxChallenge!!

In episode 4, we issued the #YellowTuxChallenge to get people to come up with ideas for how to turn their patients into raving fans. We encouraged everyone to think outside the box and do things that no one else does.

Congratulations to the winner, Dr. Paul Thomas of Plum Health Direct Primary Care in Detroit, MI!!


9 Easy Steps to Building a Great Investing Strategy Using the Tax-Efficient Waterfall: click here.

investing strategy








Zero to Freedom Online Course: Register Now!

The COVID-19 quarantine has wrecked a lot of people’s financial plans.  There has never been a more important time to make smart investment decisions.

Are you playing it smart? Do you have an investing strategy?  Does your plan include investing in real estate? If not, why not?

– Not enough time?
– Not enough money?
– Not enough expertise?

My friends Leti Alto and Kenji Asakura are physicians who blog at Semi Retired MD. Their new course, “Zero to Freedom” will walk you step-by-step through investing in real estate and actually buy your first property with confidence and a get a good return!

The course qualifies for CME, so you can even use your CME budget to pay for it! That’s a no-brainer!

If you sign up by May 31st, you also get $300 off!

Signups are available June 1-14 only, so register now!

If you sign up using this link, you’ll get a free 60 minute personal financial coaching session with me ($200 value).


Back to Busy Summit (use the code “SCOPE” to get 20% off!!)

Are you ready to grow your business as we climb out of the quarantine?  What’s your plan?  Do you have your team ready?  If you’re feeling stressed and don’t know exactly how to begin, you’re not alone!

I know a lot of you have asked about marketing your practice….especially those in private practice.  I wanted to let you know that my friend & fellow physician content creator is putting on a summit for private practice physicians (or those interested in it!) called the Back to Busy Summit

It’s an online, 3 day summit designed to give physicians the tools they need to succeed & thrive in the changed healthcare landscape.  Coding, time management, local practice marketing best practices, patient scheduling, personal and practice financial considerations, practice management strategies, mindset issues – and so much more.  

I’ll be speaking about leadership and casting vision for your company.

It’s $89 (online venues are pricey for this size audience!) but you can get a 20% discount by using this link (or you can get the discount by entering SCOPE at checkout!)

This is a conference you don’t want to miss (especially because you can tune in with your glass of wine, bowl of popcorn, and stay in your PJs!)


Show times

  • 00:00 – Introduction to the episode.
  • 03:42 – Introduction to Sarah Catherine Gutierrez.
  • 05:23 – Who needs a financial advisor, and how do you pick a good one?
  • 07:08 – Beware of financial advisors.  Know what their conflicts of interest are before you sign up with them.
  • 09:20 – Physicians should use fee-only or fixed-fee advisors.  Don’t use an advisor that uses an AUM or commission model.
  • 12:59 – If you get advice, you need to make sure it’s as free of bias as possible.
  • 14:23 – A certification like a CFP or CFA isn’t necessarily required for an advisor to be able to give good advice.
  • 15:45 – How much should a physician expect to pay for advice from a financial advisor?
  • 18:26 – Financial advisors are worth the investment!  Don’t be afraid to pay for the advice of a good professional advisor
  • 20:36 – Introducing the concept of the tax-efficient waterfall investing strategy.
  • 21:55 – Overview of the 8 steps of the tax-efficient waterfall.
  • 24:17 – You’re not going to necessarily hit every step in the waterfall.  Don’t be discouraged!!
  • 25:28 – The most important number you need to know is your rate of savings.  How much are you saving each year?
  • 26:18 – Most physicians at least know enough to take advantage of their company’s match, but many get trapped by early mistakes like a whole life insurance plan.
  • 27:08 – It’s ok to make debt elimination a high priority.
  • 28:46 – Reminder: commissioned advisors are not incentivized to advise you to pay off debt.
  • 30:34 – Why does the HSA go ahead of the 401(k) in the waterfall system?
  • 35:08 – You’ve got to think hard about the tax implications of all of your investing choices.
  • 36:31 – After you maximize all of the tax-advantaged options, it’s ok to start using a taxable account for investing.
  • 37:48 – There’s nothing wrong with just buying a low cost mutual fund as an investment vehicle.
  • 39:53 – What is your savings rate?  Have you calculated it?
  • 42:11 – Real estate may not be the right investment for you.  Make sure that it really fits well in your overall financial plan.
  • 44:45 – Where does an emergency fund fit into the tax-efficient waterfall system?
  • 48:45 – Dr. Lacey shares his personal experience with a short-term cash savings account system.
  • 51:24 – A review of the 8 steps of the tax-efficient waterfall system.
  • 52:31 – Sarah Catherine’s last piece of investing advice to physicians 
  • 54:32 – Dr. Lacey wraps up the show and talks about the free resources being given away in this episode.
  • 55:52 – The winner of the #YellowTuxChallenge was Dr. Paul Thomas, owner of Plum Health DPC in Detroit, Michigan!
  • 56:56 – This week’s featured online community is Physician Mom Crafters.
  • 61:14 – Check out the Back to Busy Summit!


Full Disclosure: Some of the links to the resources listed above may be affiliate links, which means that I will receive a small commission if you click through and make a purchase. But it doesn’t cost you anything extra—it’s just a way to show you appreciate what we do here. Thanks for this.

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