Dr. Latifat is a physician, a mother, a financial educator, and a recovering burnt-out professional who’s helping other physicians reach their financial freedom dreams through her website, moneyfitmd.com
In this episode of Finance for Physicians, we’ll talk about Dr. Latifat’s story of financial success and how she did it by following her values and ignoring the path society had in store for her.
– If you feel like you’re living someone else’s life or living in the way most people think you should…
– If you’ve ever felt you’re not acting true to your professional and personal values…
Our interview with Dr. Latifat is for you!
Enjoy, and thank you for listening to the Finance For Physicians Podcast!
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Full Episode Transcript:
Daniel: Welcome Latifat to the podcast. Great to have you.
Dr. Latifat: Thank you for having me here. Finally.
Daniel: I’m so glad we got to get together. We’ve talked a few times and I know I’m really looking forward to this. You have a lot of cool things going on. We were just kind of chatting about it beforehand, but I think one of the things that really struck me when we first met about you is you just are one of those types that really seems to be living in alignment with your values and, you know, are true, kind of like living into your true self, which these days, I feel like is relatively uncommon, unfortunately, like a lot, there’s a lot of like fake in the world, like a lot of people trying really, really hard to kind of, and we all struggle with that at times, you know?
In this expectation of perfection and all that kind of thing. But you are just such a great example I think of living into more of your true self and living in line with those values. And you have a lot going on too, which I think we’ll get into as well. You, you’ve got your practice and you’ve got this money fit brand that you’ve built and all the things that are happening with it.
You’re about to take a sabbatical, so it’s, I think we’re gonna have a great conversation Before we jump into all that, I would love it if you could just kind of give us a little bit more kind of about you and how you’ve gotten where you are today.
Dr. Latifat: Absolutely. Thanks for having me here. I’m really excited about being here.
I’ve been looking forward to, we’ve chatted a couple times and I’ve enjoyed our conversation, so I hope your audience gets to hear a little bit of what some of the conversation’s been about. But for those that I haven’t met, I’m Dr. Latifa. I’m a physician. I’m a gastroenterologist. I live in California.
I’m the mama of three little ladies, and they keep me alert and oriented most times and extremely sleepy many times. But they are truly, and I know it sounds cliche, but they’re truly the reason why I do a lot of the things that I do. They’re the reason why I’m here in a lot of ways, not in like, weird, unhealthy relationship with parenting kind of way, but they’re my motivation to get up and do more of what I do because I truly want this world to be better for them.
They’re girls. The world hasn’t always been friendly towards girls. The money world hasn’t always been that way. So my goal is to help create a world where girls can have a better. Better opportunities when it comes to money. But my journey didn’t start as a mom. I started as a, you know, I grew up in Nigeria.
I moved to the US about 20 something years ago. I knew zero about money. And in fact, the only thing that I knew about money was this educational piece that I got, which was, there was this amazing thing called a credit card. You can use it whenever you want and you don’t even have to pay everything. It’s pretty awesome.
Like, that was all my financial education right there. Right. But, you know, I went through undergrad, I went to ucla, I did two years of a community college in la El Camino College. Shout out to an amazing school. And then I did two years at ucla, graduated with a, with a major in microbiology, immunology, and MO genetics.
After that, I went to U C S F and then eventually internal medicine in Mount Sinai New. Fellowship at uc Davis in Sacramento. And then I stayed here locally in Kaiser to practice gastroenterology with an emphasis on I b D. But you know, the longer the journey you are to your destination, the more broke you are.
So for me, I was literally brokenly broke. I knew zero about money except for that, all of that amazing financial education that I just summarized for you went through med school, had student debt. No one ever talked to us about how we’re gonna pay it off. It was just like I looked around and everybody was acting like it was normal to have all the student debt.
And so I was like, okay, well I’m not gonna complain. So I took the student debt and for me as well, to be honest with you, like my parents spent a lot of time in Nigeria back then, and so my siblings and I lived together in the Bay Area. And out of all of us then I was the one with a guaranteed source of income and my guaranteed source of income was my student loan.
So as much as student debt gets a lot of hate for me, I’m so glad that I had access to it because that’s how we’re able to pay for rent. That’s how we’re able to make sure like the pg and e wasn’t disconnected, like the really practical things. And at that point there were five of us. So my older brother, myself, and three younger sisters, the youngest was in high school.
So literally I’m just glad that we had money to eat and again, my student debt was the reason why we were able to do that. But I had no plans on how I was gonna tackle it or take care of it. And then I went to New Year for residency. My youngest sister went with me, lived with me, so we were here living in Manhattan, two adults on a resident salary.
Honestly, I wish someone had told me about government support, cuz I think we would’ve qualified for it. We were a hecka broke, so I wasn’t like out partying. I was not traveling, but I also didn’t know what to do with the money stuff. I just hoped that I would be in a place in future where I would be able to take care of it.
And then I went through, I had my, I got married in residency, had my first kid in residency, had one in fellowship and one as an attending. And I remember going through fellowship knowing that I was finally was accomplishing my dream, which was to be a physician, a be a GI doctor. And I was like, oh my goodness.
Like finally, right? And then I just had this moment where I looked around and a lot of my attends were burning out. They were burning out. They were sort of like accepting and not resisting any decisions that were being made or so like, well that’s what we’re told to do, so we just gotta do it. And I’m like, I did not suffer all of this journey.
My parents didn’t sacrifice all they did. I went like five years without seeing my mother. Like we did not do all that nonsense so I can be burned out in medicine. And at that point I also knew that I wanted to do. I wanted to have a focus in inflammatory bowel diseases, which is best done in settings like academia or large hospitals like Kaiser.
And so I knew I was gonna be working for someone. And if you look at the data, there’s a lot of burnout in medicine. And if you’re employed, you may be at higher risk of burnout. So here I was looking around, my attendance were burnout, smart attendants, amazing humans, but burned out by the culture of medicine era was a mother that I spent so much time in hospital as a resident and fellow not seeing my kids.
And I knew that the worst thing that could ever happen to me was to lose my voice. The worst thing that could ever happen to me was to leave life. Half Ask is what I called it, with one butt chick. I’m a GI duck, like leaving life with one butt chicken, not both butt cheeks. And that was just the worst thing that could happen.
So that was my motivation to figure out my money crap. And this is literally just seven years ago, so not a. Long time ago. So I went from knowing zero about money to really learning the basics of money, learning how to translate it in a language that made sense for me. And you know, we started investing in real estate, diversifying our income sources.
And over the last couple years, I’m really grateful for what we, I have created personally. And then now I help women physicians by teaching them the fact that it doesn’t have to suck. We don’t have to defer to a spouse. We don’t have to think, we don’t have a choice in how we live our life. Because I truly believe that if you wanna change medicine, we need to figure out how to give physicians their voice, help physicians strengthen the power of their voice.
And for me, money is a vehicle or a tool in that. So hopefully that answers your question.
Daniel: Yeah. I forgot to mention when I was starting to introduce you, one of the other things I love is you have such a great positive mindset. You know, I mean, That’s, I think, important or, you know, a nice I don’t know. I, that’s been a learned skill for me.
But like looking at student loans as a positive thing and you can spend things different ways. Some things are definitively positive, but when there’s, when they’re, when it’s up in the air, being able to kind of view things positively I think is a huge it just improves.
Dr. Latifat: So, you know what’s funny, and I’m totally gonna go on a side, whatever here.
I actually don’t like positive. I don’t like being positive. And the reason why is that whenever we’re like, okay, what’s positive, what’s negative? Our brain starts to scan out and think of socially accepted or defined positive or negative. I like to think about what’s helpful or what’s productive versus not.
Like sometimes I’m pissed off and I wanna be pissed off, and that may not be positive for people to think about. Helpful for me, that’s productive for me to be able to do like the advocacy work I wanna do or the change that I wanna do or stuff like that. So I get, I’m glad that it’s coming up to you as positive, but I’m one of those people that I try to get away or stay away from positive.
And the reason why’s, when I start to think positive, I go back into my people pleasing self, which is a lot of work that I’ve done. So I’m like, I want it to be productive. I wanna be pissed off, I wanna be excited, I wanna be tired, I wanna be pessimistic about the things I deserve to be pessimistic about.
Yeah. But for me though, it has to be productive. That’s a, that’s the main thing. Yeah,
Daniel: I like that. I’m glad you said that. And You know, feeling your feelings and all the things, and not just like faking it till you make it, even though, you know, be positive, even though it’s a challenging situation.
That’s a piece off read, right? It’s some, there’s times when you don’t really necessarily need to be that away. So I’m glad you’ve shared that money, I agree. Money’s a completely a tool to help improve life. And your story is a good example of, you know, you saw this challenging situation you were in with, you know, wanting to go into this world where they were burning out and you’re like, man, I gotta, so you found this motivation to start digging into money.
Was it like a flip of the switch? Like how did like that actually happen? Like did you. Slowly come to that point of like connecting this whole like, money is my solution or one of the solutions to kind of, or was it like a slow progression or, and then also like, how did you start to do that?
Like once you realized, like, money’s the thing, how did you then, like, dig in?
Dr. Latifat: Yeah. Yeah. The way that I, it ha you know, a thought that I have. A lot of change and decision actually doesn’t take time. It takes a second, but it’s warming ourselves to the process that may take some time or chewing the risk and benefit or not deciding, but deciding itself takes a second.
You just decide and you do or not do. And so for me it was it kind of was like gathering data that led to that point. So the data was people are burnt out. The ones that tend to have their money together seems to have a stronger voice or a healthier voice than those that don’t. And then I looked at my kids and I’m like, what is my part in their life?
Like how am I going to. You know, I believe that the work of every generation is to elevate the next generation. That’s part of the work. Of course, you don’t do it in a way that’s like suffering, but I believe that my work is to make sure that my kids have better opportunities that I have had, so they don’t always have to start from scratch.
Right? My parents, right, they tried the best that they could, and I have a. I had a better platform to start with than someone that may not have grown up with parents or someone that grew up maybe with a single family or someone that grew up homeless. So I definitely recognized my own privilege, but for me, I thought that my goal and my work was to help my kids not start from where I started, from, make it a little bit less hard for them.
That was my goal. I don’t want them to have to support their siblings, like if they don’t have to do that, I feel like that’s already a huge. So all of that together was what made me realize that, okay, Latifa, when are you going to start learning your money? Like, when are you gonna even figure out how much you owe?
I didn’t know who I owed. I, you know, my student debt, I signed whatever crap gutted out of my face. Like for Bear de Fair, I don’t care, like Auntie Sally, I don’t care. Just don’t bother me and let me, because I, I don’t even know what I’m signing. Right. So it really was a split moment of deciding that, okay, I’m going to start.
And once I decided that, it was literally starting from the basics, like who do I owe? How much do I owe? What interest rate? How do I know where my money is going? Budgeting, okay, I’m gonna try that Budgeting, think, ooh, I hate budgeting. Right? And then figuring out like ways that were kinder in my opinion.
To me, the other thing that happened was, unfortunately when it comes to money, there’s a lot of sham. And guilting when it comes to money, we already shame ourselves, right? And when you cannot find a community that is supportive, a community that acts like, how don’t you know that like you should, how can you practice medicine when you don’t know what a freaking 401k was like, as if it’s automatic information that should just come to us without someone taking the time or us taking the intentionality to learn it.
So it was. Pretty, it was not fancy. It was literally like Googling, like, what is a budget? Ugh, I hate spreadsheets. No, okay. How do I figure this out? Like what’s a 401k? I literally tried to learn what a 401k was like 5 billion times, and I’m smart. I’m a freaking physician, so it had nothing to do with my level of intelligence.
It was like fear. And pressure that I was put in on myself. And honestly, it wasn’t until I told myself I did not have to memorize anything, that I started to really get the knowledge. I just told myself, all this stuff exists as a reference. I know what I wanna do. I’m gonna reference what a 401k is until I.
It gets implanted in my brain. So it wasn’t a matter of like memorizing it, like I had memorized a lot of things in medicine. It was literally having a better relationship with my learning experience. And that way my, you know, I sort of lowered my defenses and I was able to gather the information a little bit easier and smoother and more productive.
Because again, it doesn’t matter how much you know, if you’re not doing the work, if you’re not taking the action, you know, people say knowledge is power. I disagree. I think knowledge plus action is power, right? So it’s sort of like with the little that I may know, how do I actually implement that, take action on that so that I can create the result that I want to see in my life, which is have money, be financially liberated, create wealth, and not, and be able to leave life really on my terms.
Daniel: Yeah. I’m like taking notes cause this is good stuff. I’m putting you typing. I just had to write it down. So that’s important stuff. I think you were in touch with. It seemed like you were in touch with what was most important to you, which was like, you know, helping your kids to, you know, be for it to not be quite as hard for them and setting them up really well.
And then also there was this thing about like, not getting into this burnout setup and your professional success tying to it, and then also this whole living life on your terms, and then the flexibility provided and you tie it into those things as like the motivation to do the money thing or learn all the money stuff.
And I think a lot of people, it’s takes them a lot a while to get to that place. Like, a lot of us, like me, I had kind of got, I got in a relationship directly with the money for a while. I was like, the money is the thing. Like my goal was the money for many years. You know, like I, I was like, You know, if you looked at my goals, I had these goals that were like you know, get this amount of money.
But really it was just like our relationship was, or my goals were tied to more money. And I think a, a lot of us struggle with that. Was that ever like a thing for you that you had to go through? Or did you just kind of naturally connect straight to these more personal goals?
Dr. Latifat: It was the personal goals for me because my relationship with money wasn’t good.
It was ignore each other. We’re like, not even roommates. We lived in the same house, but we never talked. We took rotations in the kitchen and didn’t like, it was like, you know, that was my relationship with money. So I could not let that be my motivation because it wasn’t going to work. So I had to find out what, literally what gives me a life, and that’s going to be different for different people.
But when I found my thing, which was I truly believe that we’re all here and I, whether you agree with that or not, I truly believe that we’re all here for a purpose, right? I also know that in order for us to be able to do what we are meant to do, which is gonna be different for different seasons, it’s gonna be important for us to be able to speak with confidence.
And if you look around in our culture, The way that life from money people is structured doesn’t help us live a life of purpose, right? Because the way the system is run is paycheck to paycheck living, right? You make money, you pay the bills, and you rely on the next paycheck coming, which is why people don’t have time to do things like sleep, rest, take care of themselves, be present with family, be present with kids.
Think about like, have time to think. And so you literally just have to decide what do I like? What do I want in my life? Do I want the status quo? Which there’s nothing wrong with that if that’s what you want. But if you truly wanna be able to live a life of purpose, and for me in this season, my purpose has been taken care of my patients.
I love what I do. It truly is a gift to do what I do. But in order to be able to do that, I need to be able to say as many, can I say s word? Sure. Shit. All right. Shit. I need to be able to say as many shit as I wanna do, and I cannot say as much shit as I wanna say if I’m worried about my paycheck and the, you know, the, and for me it’s like being able to speak the language of my patients, right?
And so not just even like about life outside of work, but even life within work. Like to be able to tell my people, yeah, this shit sucks. I agree. And just speak in a language. I mean, this is fact, not brag, but I honestly don’t think it’s. It’s a coincidence that I have one of the highest like physician rating in my specialty in our region.
And it’s really because I don’t give a shit and because I don’t, I can really give a shit where it matters, which is where it takes care of my patients. Tell them the truth, like it is, be there with them, cry if I wanna cry with them. Tell them, listen, do you sure you wanna hear what I gotta say? Cuz you ain’t gonna like it.
Right? And not have to worry about the things that are not important. It’s helped me be a better physician. And so it’s not just about like wealth creating outside of work or diversifying income source. It literally is a tool that helps us live on purpose for w you know, the purpose that we’ve been created for.
So, I dunno, hopefully that
Daniel: answers your question. Yeah, no, I think that’s really good stuff. I think people have a hard time. Most people would agree, I think with what you said, or they’re like, that’s aspirational and that sounds great, and I would love to do that. But I think we all struggle with, you know, living into that and people pleasing and you know, so when I described you at the very beginning, I was like, you seem like someone that’s living your true self.
I don’t know how I worded it, but something like that. And that’s, to me kind of the opposite of like fakey people pleasing, like doing so much concern about what others think. And I, you know, I see I’ve felt this in myself and I have seen this, even my kids and like everybody struggles with this is like this whole, you get so wrapped up in like other people and like what they think about you and then what the systems, you know, re requires of you and expectations and perfection and all this other stuff that’s like kind of imposed on you.
And it pulls you, I think, away from what you just described. And it’s hard.
Dr. Latifat: It’s hard and it’s hard for me too. What you see is the result of a lot of work. A lot of work in terms of work. It literally is intentional work. I’ve paid for coaching with crazy people, so I can go away from that. People please himself.
For myself, it’s also a reflection of, for me, my relationship with God. It’s a reflection of that. I literally like, this is not like what you see is the result of intentionality, right? It’s literally me waking up every day and deciding to meditate and pray. And refocus every single day. Refocus myself on like what’s important.
And I still, people please, it’s not, please no perfectionism here. It’s very, very imperfect. I still do, and I have to bring myself back in touch with removing myself from that and really asking myself like, how do I like what is valuable at the end of the day on my death bed, the person who was reading my post on Facebook isn’t really gonna matter.
Right? So just bringing myself back to what is important, but I wanna make sure that everybody hearing this doesn’t think that I was, maybe I was born actually, I think I was born this way, but a lot of times we socialize with life and all that. We’re taught to go away from how we were created. And now I’ve just had to spend a lot of money and go back to have improving my relationship with my faith and with God so that I can get back to where I was designed to be in the first.
Daniel: I completely agree. And I think living into your purpose require, I mean, it’s hard work and there’s other people you can surround yourself, ar you know, even just your friends too, and the people you hang out with and coaches and you’ve invested in yourself, which I think is really important.
You, if you’ve listened to our show for a while, you’ve heard like some of the you know, what I would consider the people that are living their life, you know, the best or the most true form. A lot of them have invested a lot in themselves and coaches and that kind of thing. That’s super important. And I think that’s a really important observation in your story.
And then your faith is important. Everybody has to, I don’t try to like push that agenda. I mean, I believe what I believe and you believe what you believe, and we happen to have similar beliefs. But I think I would challenge everybody to like, ask important questions like, why am I here?
You know, like, that’s a good question. Some people like dodge it. But like everybody has that question. I mean, come on. Like, I’ve asked it like 7 million times to myself, especially in my like twenties, early twenties. I’m like, what is what is the purpose of this life I got here going on? And you know, I think it’s worthwhile to explore that because then you can find like your true purpose and or explore that and deep thinking and, and that sort of,
Dr. Latifat: Absolutely a hundred percent agree and it’s gonna change, right?
I don’t believe it’s one big purpose necessarily only, right? It’s gonna change in seasons, in whatever seasons you are. And you know, you mentioned earlier about my sabbatical, my purpose, or my sabbatical, I mean, the last couple of years have been to serve my patients so the best that I can without sacrificing my own life.
That’s been important. And now during the sabbatical, it’s gonna be a different purpose. So it’s gonna be in seasons, but at the end of the day, we’re gonna look back at our lives and just the wealth and breadth of diversity and the texture, different texture that our life and, and I’m looking forward to that.
I’m looking forward to my 80 year old self. Yeah,
Daniel: me too. I’m, it’s in seasons, it’s so, so much seasons and you know, the winter, you know, the winter happens, everybody’s got the winter and it gets tough, and then it, you got the summertime and spring and the fall and it’s all changing, which, that’s partly why, I mean, it would be kind of boring, like having the same season all day every day and, you know, you would start to like, not have anything to look forward to, but really life is up and down and, and it’s exciting.
And that’s, I think, one of the best parts about it. So you have, you’ve really got a lot going on, but now you threw out the sabbatical and so that’s kind of like a hard stop. I mean, that’s like, I have, I love the idea of a sabbatical, but I’m like, I don’t know how I, I’m very go, go, go and, you know, a million different things going on.
And I’m just curious a about that are, have you ever done it before?
Dr. Latifat: I’ve never done a sabbatical
Daniel: before. Yeah. Well maybe before we go into sabbatical, I really wanted to ask you like money. So money is a tool and you are doing all these things and you’ve been able to accomplish these things. And so money has, you know, for you it sounds like, been you’ve been able to figure out money, you’re obviously teaching it to other women and and using it as a tool.
Can you give us like a few like specific examples, and this leads right into the sabbatical. I assume that’s tied into your financial, position, but I really just wanted to hear it from you and make sure, what’s your question? Where has the money tied into all this, your ability to do these things and live out your value
Dr. Latifat: percent?
A hundred percent. A hundred percent. And I recognize that privilege, and I call it a privilege, but I’m also recognizing the fact. Thankfully by Gods cuz I created that. And that’s just the honest truth. Right. Me, seven years ago would not be able to do this. Right. And I created that by deciding to do my money stuff.
I created that by deciding that money only was not the goal, it was a tool. That had to be in parallel with my life, but it wasn’t gonna be focusing on the money only. And that’s important. I’ve, through coaching and intentionally invested in my brain and in my life and in my communities, I am in spaces where large numbers are talked about.
And it’s not only about the money, it’s not only about the dollars, cuz there are many people that talk about bigger numbers that I have that could not dare to do what I’m doing right now because their mindset is not there. It’s possible for everybody. So again, it’s the money, but it’s also how we think about it.
Our relationship with money, which is where the mindset piece is coming from. But a hundred percent. And then I, you know, y’all people have you, so I know they have a lot of knowledge and information only already, by the way. But I’m gonna add a little bit of my own stuff and how I think about it.
So the core pieces that has helped in terms of like getting to this point is, number one, I don’t care about my budget. I care about my spending plan. Like, what is my money doing? Where is my money going? My money’s like little armies. Are they going into. Places that adds value to my life. If someone looked at how I’m spending my money only and haven’t met me, what picture will they have of the person whose account this is?
And will I be proud of that person? Right? The other question I like to ask myself six months from now, will I be glad I spend the money this way, or will I wish that I had my money back? When you ask that question, it’s without judgment, it’s curiosity only. It really helps you dial down to the things that are important for you.
There are students in my life where I’m like, Ugh, I spend so much in childcare, right? I don’t love spending in childcare, but I’m so grateful that my kids have spaces that they can go to where they’re safed, where they can be loved while I’m in the hospital, right? So even though I don’t necessarily like spending the money, I’m grateful for what I’m getting in return for that money that I’m spending.
So that’s how I think about spending, that’s how I align my spending with my life, not just not necessarily what I like. But what I’m grateful for, what adds value to my life and what is gonna help me be in a position to have money in 10 years from now, in 20 years from now in 30 years from now. And that’s the investment piece, the asset buying piece versus like the liability buying piece.
So that’s the spending part. And then with debt. I’m not one of those people that tells us like, debt is bad. It’s meant by the devil. You’re gonna die, die, die. Now with the d d D debt, no, none of that nonsense. I tell people, you know, the question is, debt is something that a lot of times people don’t use Well, and that’s why it’s a problem.
And what I mean by not using it well is I’m so glad I had my student debt. I wasn’t at that time because I didn’t know a lot about money. Right. But now when I look back, I’m so grateful that I have it because it’s literally given me this MD degree that is now a seed that can grow into whatever freaking tree I wanna plant.
Like it. It is the best investment that I’ve, one of the best investments that I’ve made in my life, right? And I tell people that yes, the student loan company and all that rules need to change. But if we just go back to the business part of things only, and you know you are in the business world, if someone comes and goes, there is this business that I want you to invest 250,000 in.
And every single year, after 10 years or after whatever years, like this investment that you’ve invested, you’re gonna be able to make that return, that amount back every single year. Yeah. I mean, you’re gonna go, what’s the catch? Right? Two. Two, good. So when I spin it, right, when I spin it that way, I still think things need to change.
They need to have like a maximum, they need to have super low interest because I don’t think that student loans and students should be what, you know, like being predated on or whatever that English word is. But the bottom line is how we think about debt matters. Spending, borrowing money to spend on liabilities.
Things that don’t increase your net worth or does not improve your wellness. And the core foundational part of it that I don’t necessarily recommend, not judgment, but more of you gonna pay for it later, right? But when you take debt and leverage it as an asset, so for example, if I’m investing in real estate, I’m not paying all a hundred percent cash.
I made you like 20% down. And you know, this is stuff that I share on my podcast. I share with my women and my money program about just like how I’ve been able to use debt with wisdom without over-leveraging. Cuz that’s also important, right? Not treating debt like it’s made by the devil, but also not treating it like you ain’t gonna pay it back, you will pay it back.
So making sure that if you’re gonna use debt, you’re leveraging it as an asset. So if I’m going to use debt, I’m asking myself what’s the return on that investment. And the return on the investment has to be able to pay for itself and some so that it’s worth it. And I have to make sure that I have my emergency funds so that if something happens, I’m able to make sure that I’m not overleverage.
That’s how I think about money. And then of course the diversifying. And the diversifying doesn’t have to be, you know, it doesn’t have to be fancy. If you are, whether you’re a physician and you listen to those podcasts, you’re a pharmacist, whatever it is that you do, I think of that main source of income as a gift that you cannot use as seeds to plant into different trees.
And whether that’s in the stock market or outside of the stock market, that diversifying is important and making sure that when you’re diversifying, where you’re investing, you are also diversifying so that it’s not. Diversifying, keeping the time in mind, meaning that when you’re working as a pharmacist, when you’re working as a nurse or whatever else you do, you are there exchanging your time for money.
So when you’re diversifying, it’s important to make sure you’re also diversifying into things that makes you money while you’re not exchanging your time with money eventually, right? Every single thing requires investment in learning. So even if it’s passive investment, you still need time to actually learn.
But after that learning phase, then you’d be able to harvest and actually get returns on your investment. So those are the core principles that I truly think. Affected how we are today when it comes to our finances, how we are today in terms of how we are able to say, you know what, I’m gonna stop getting multiple six figures of clinical income and I ain’t gonna die.
Right? So that’s kind of the principle of it, but you have to be, you have to make sure that your relationship with money is a healthy one. You have to make sure that you’re not defining yourself based on how much you. Or not have. So your relationship with money has to be solid or at least decent. And your relationship with yourself also has to be good.
You have to be willing to like yourself no matter what, whether you have debt or not. Do you like yourself? And it’s a work in progress. I haven’t always liked myself. There are moments when I don’t like myself, right? But just know that the goal and the North Star is to improve your relationship with yourself so that regardless of what you have or do not have, you know that you always have your own back.
And the reason why that’s been helpful is it’s actually helped me a lot with investing because it increases your ability to release money to go work for you. Because, you know, having it be multiple seven figures or multiple six figures is not attached to my drawing in any way. So that way I can really let money do what it’s meant to do, which is go, you know, gather its brothers and sisters and cousins and grow, and that’s how your net worth grows.
Daniel: So that’s that. Just sit, sitting there doing nothing is no good. And then also You know, spending on things you don’t truly value those things. I’m sure you’ve seen some of the happiness research out there. That’s really cool because it, I mean, the general consensus, there’s all kinds of research out there, but the general consensus is that like, you know, like saving to some extent and investing and giving your money away to get causes and experiences are some of the best, like happiness, ROI investments you could possibly make.
And then investing in time savings is another one that’s high on the list and you threw out all sorts of things like that. On the bottom of the list is like material possessions, especially things you don’t use are like, you know, kind of a waste and especially when you finance. That’s like kind of the lowest on the totem pole of like your happiness.
And I think that can pull you the other direction. And I love the way that you kind of broke it all down like that. It’s just those are some foundational things. If I’m hearing that, I’m like, well, you know, I’m not sure if my relationship is solid. Like I get the three points you break down.
They’re really good. But like I’m not, I’m concerned about my relationship. How do I know if I have a good relationship with money?
Dr. Latifat: So your relationship with anything is your thoughts about. A lot of times we think that our thoughts are facts. We think they’re like absolutely true, right? And the way that, and a good example of how I know our thoughts are not always accurate is if you’ve ever had a friend that’s dating someone and they have amazing thoughts about that person, so they have like, oh my goodness, this person’s like amazing.
The most amazing. And then you meet the person, the dude, and you’re like, what the hell? Like, right. So it’s not facts, it’s thoughts. He has thoughts about this dude and you have thoughts about them. And the same thing is true for anything, right? It’s the same reason why someone can be ed over heels in love with another person, and then a couple years later they’re like, I hate you.
I think you’re horrible. I think you’re selfish. It’s because those thoughts change. So our thoughts can change. Our thoughts don’t have to be fixed. And that includes our thoughts about money. When I think about my thoughts about money, like is money. There were times when I thought money was truly the root of evil.
There were times when I thought that if I asked for money, I’m greedy. There were times when I thought, like, money, I don’t need money. I don’t want money. Like, I’m happy without it. I don’t. Right. And there’s nothing wrong with those thoughts. And again, going back to the original point I made earlier, it’s not about positive or negative.
It’s about is this helpful for you? Is this getting you towards your goal, the outcome that you’re trying to get to? And if it’s not, I would invite my, you know, your audience and the people that are listening to this to just examine the fact that is it possible that one, I mean, and this, so this is one of the stuff that I actually happened to me, which was the whole thought about money’s the Rudolph evil.
It made zero sense to me, zero sense because I’m like, it doesn’t make sense cuz the way I think about money. I mean, I do like money and I do think I love money, but. What, how would that be a bad thing? Right. And I had to go down and really sit down and break it down and understand that actually money is not, like the love of money is not the root of evil.
It’s obsession with what I valued over everything else in life. And I would hurt you to get it. That’s what is wrong. That’s what is not helpful. So, but those are thoughts that definitely started to evolve my relationship with money. Went now by. Okay. Money is a tool that doesn’t define me. It’s presence or its absence does not define me.
It’s just literally like mascara or, I don’t know, if you don’t use mascara, like, I don’t know, mastered beard mascara for the eyelashes, the mascara. I don’t use mascara like the mustache brush. No. It’s meant to. Right. It. In our hands, but it’s an amplifier of who we are. If you are a suck person, money becomes a suckier thing in your hands.
If you’re a decent person, you get, and I think I’m decent, I think most people are decent, becomes something that we can use to effect and accessories in our hands that we can use to impact and create more changes in this world.
Daniel: Yeah. I think the common thing people say is money is the root of all evil, but they don’t really know where that came from or whatever.
And when you ex keep digging into that, that’s another helpful thing that it sounds like you’ve kind of developed this discipline. It’s like if you can really just. Peel back the layers on your thoughts and say, well, where’s that coming from? Like the love, the money is the root of evil. Well, it’s actually the love of money is the root of evil, but like, what do they mean by love?
So it’s like this worship of money is real. The the whole original place that it was written in the Bible was like about the worship of or making money an idol was kind of the, the wording of it or the purpose of it being written there. And so that’s kind of what I was describing with me early in my professional career is I was kind of going down that path where I was like, money is the thing that I’m after.
And that is a problem. Like that is a bad thing. You don’t want it’s a slippery slip. You don’t want to go down. But when you flip the script on it and redefine money as a tool, then it’s about what are you using money for? You can use tools for positive or negative. So it’s all about like how you use it.
Dr. Latifat: Absolutely. Absolutely. It’s like a knife, right? A knife is amazing when you’re trying to cut. Something amazing, but if it’s in the hands of a kid, it could be dangerous. So that’s the same thing as money. It’s a tool that, it’s more of who is handling it that defines it as opposed to the tool itself.
No that’s good stuff. So you have, I’d love to talk a little bit more about Money Fit. You are helping other women to kind of work through some of this. Are you you have the podcast. So the podcast is Money Fit md, right? Yes, it is. Yeah. So definitely go and check that out. And I know I listened to a few of your shows and you, it’s a lot of this stuff we’ve been talking about.
They’re all great shows and you know, if you wanna dig into that. And then also you have the, do you do coaching one-on-one or is it group coaching?
Dr. Latifat: Do group coaching. It’s called, I have a community that I call Money, you can call it a money coaching school for women physicians, but it’s a 12 month membership where women physic.
Seven years ago, they get the, and the core of the financial education and like I mentioned earlier, knowledge is great, but knowledge is not power. Knowledge plus action is power. So the goal over the next 12 months is to really help them make moves that they wanna make with their money. Not about just having cash.
It’s about education, the community, the coaching. But we also have guests come into the program. So you’ve had things like syndicators come into the program. They had a really fun session last week where we had one of our amazing workshop on vacation, like how to schedule your a vacation in advance.
Yo, we are physicians, we work hard, we gotta rest hard, right? And that same person is gonna be talking about like how to schedule your staycations. And so it’s not all about just numbers in terms of like dashing for the numbers. It’s numbers, building wealth, but building a wealthy life is how I think about it.
Daniel: Yeah, I think that that’s a great place, especially if you’re like, not sure where to start. I’ve heard it a lot from physicians we’ve interacted with. It’s like a lot of times it’s like, I’m not sure where to start. Or like, maybe I don’t have a great relationship or like, I don’t have any sort of foundation you know, of financial literacy or it’s just overwhelming.
And I think those, you know, your resources are fantastic examples of like starting to kind of build that foundation and that’s what it’s about is like building that foundation and what’s great about, what I love about like, Group related things is you get kind of twofold, like you get the financial literacy part, but then you also start to get relationships built and accountability and that drives more of action.
Cuz I agree it’s not just about the education, it’s, you have to take action on it and sometimes that’s the hardest part.
Dr. Latifat: Yeah, absolutely. You know, it’s funny what you described about how you were with money. We have people that come in like that where they already have a lot of knowledge. They’ve done things like have investments already.
They have properties, they have money in their stock market, but they’re like, I don’t feel the way that I thought money was gonna feel. Right? So those people, it’s not about the math that they need help with. It’s not about the knowledge. It’s about now moving to, like, changing our relationship with money.
So essentially it’s if you’re not creating the wealthy life, if you don’t have a good relationship with money, if you don’t see money as a tool that augments, if you’re like having cash, but you’re not investing. If you have investments and you still are not living your wealthy life, then those are the things that will help people within there as well.
Daniel: Yeah. that’s a pretty common thing. I, I would say is that like if I had not changed my direction, I was headed down that path of like, more money does not equal happiness. I mean, it can translate to happiness, but it’s not direct in itself. Like more money in itself does not create happiness.
I think some of us have to learn that through experience and failure, and hopefully though it’s better. I mean, it’s better to learn. Through mistakes of other people and can
Dr. Latifat: I challenge you a little bit? Sure. So I think it’s easy for us to talk about mo money and happiness, but what about money and freedom?
Daniel: Yeah. What is happiness? You know? Yeah. I think, yeah. The question is like, what do we, what is freedom?
Dr. Latifat: Yeah. Right. Because there are different layers when it comes to, you know, I use the term financial liberation quite a bit. There are different layers to it. I think the first step is having the money stuff figured out, the basis of financial free, you know, financial education, the investment tools and all that.
But there’s now also like the freedom. Freedom is really where them, that’s where people need to be in order to be able to live. The life of purpose
Daniel: is to be able to, yeah, freedom from
Dr. Latifat: freedom from what? Freedom from whatever they define. It could be freedom of time, it could be freedom of voice to be like, I can’t tell you how many people cannot say what they think.
Because we’re afraid that something is going to happen. And then all the imaginary stuff. So like as physicians in clinical practice, for example, I truly believe that when physicians are able to put our brain to the table, medicine will change. But I cannot tell you how many physicians are afraid to give their honest opinion in a way that’s not dependent on their outcome, so that we can actually affect change.
That is the level of freedom that I believe is gonna take for us to change things in the world. So money is the first step, but money again, is a tool to create and part the wealthy life is, you’re not gonna feel like you have a wealthy life if you cannot express yourself. Kindness matters, right? Love in others matters.
But I truly believe that in order for us to really live a life of full, like e elevated purpose, that is not just like the grind we’ve been conditioned to, it’s gonna take freedom, which is separate. We’ve been so happy, but nobody’s talking about freedom. I call it liberation. So financial liberation is a goal.
Daniel: Yeah. Is it possible to get freedom without money?
Dr. Latifat: I think so. It’s possible to have freedom without relationship. However, if you wanna create big changes, if you wanna have sits at tables will impact. Unfortunately, in a world where if you don’t have money, if you’re not backed up by money, unfortunately, and I wish this was not the case, it decreases the strength of the ability of people to hear you.
And so I wish it wasn’t. And I think if you have money, that’s part of the work that money can do is for us to help empower and bring, highlight, or highlight other people and things that may not have the resources to back them up yet. Right. That’s leveraging, we’re leveraging our money to use for people that have freedom, but may not have the money so that we can do all that together.
So that’s why I truly think everyone should have money.
Daniel: Yeah. I mean money. And that goes back to. As long as they’re using it as a helpful tool to accomplish that. That’s it’s more is better in, in that sense. It’s just kind of like amplifying it all. Yes, exactly. Exactly. I’m curious about your future plans, cuz I know, you know, you have a lot going on right now, but more like the future.
What are you working towards? Like are you kind of working towards this you know, is it related to your entrepreneurship endeavors or developing that or early retirement? I don’t imagine that’s the case, but what does your ideal future look like? Is it way to tell that I don. Yeah, no, that’s completely weird.
Just kidding. Nobody, that’s what everybody’s, that’s the true
Dr. Latifat: answer. I actually don’t, I don’t know. And part of the sabbatical is to take some time to answer questions for the next season that I’m going into. I love medicine, so I definitely want medicine to be a part of it. I love it and I think I’m actually decent at it.
So I would like to be able to do gi It’s, you know, I’m coming to the negotiation table and the ability to practice, you know, how you’re negotiating with someone. You’re like, okay, this are my non-negotiables. Like for me, being able to practice medicine is someone that I truly, truly wanna do, and now I get to ask myself what that’s gonna look like.
However, I also know that part of my work in the season of my life, You know, is to help other women physicians and other physicians in general just have that liberation that I talked about. And that liberation is gonna require money, but it’s gonna require more than just money. It’s gonna require money, relationship with money, relationship with self, and relationship with others as well.
So this is what I feel like I’m being guided to. It’s literally, and I, I know for sure I don’t know what it’s gonna look like, but I know what the goal is and the goal is to empower women physicians, and I wanna be able to practice medicine as well. But I dunno what that’s gonna look like in a year from now.
Daniel: And the sabbatical, you’re, that’s one of the primary goals of it, is to kind of have some space to. Think through that.
Dr. Latifat: And I think, so I think the goal of a sabbatical is almost like to reset my life. And you know how like sometimes it’s easier to make small changes, but sometimes to make like big changes you just gotta like cut it out.
So I think like the point is like cut it out so I can use a different part of my brain. So I’m gonna be money feed empty is something that I’ve been doing while working there full-time. So now I get to do that for this year by itself. You know, I get to do the book that I told you that I’m working on that actually is gonna be coming out in May.
I get, can you tell us about it actually? Yeah, absolutely. I’m excited about this book and the reason why I’m excited about it is. My life is literally a bunch of things I never thought I would ever do. And literally, and my, and that’s the thing I challenge everybody listening to this episode to create evidence for themselves of the fact that what they thought they could or could not do is complete bs.
Right? So there were times when I thought, I used to think I was a horrible writer because I have so many memories of sitting down in the bathroom crying in college over really difficult papers, right? So I thought I was. Writer, I thought I could not talk on camera. I hit people knowing me. I had a fake name on Facebook for a very, very long time until like literally a year ago, believe it or not.
Right. So I had all those thoughts about myself. I don’t do money, I don’t do business. I have one skill only and it’s been a good physician. That’s the only skill. Like those were all thoughts that I have about myself. So part of the reason why I’m excited about this book is another evidence to myself of the BS thoughts that I had about, so it’s laughable cuz I thought I was battery writing and I had this book that is going to help so many humans.
And I am, I mean, I literally didn’t know I was gonna write a book unto two years ago when the idea was like, you know, all the stuff you’re teaching and talking about, it’s not what is being taught in mainstream financial education. It’s really like the foundational principles of money that no one is talking about, like the.
Math is easy. This is the hard part, like the mindset shift, how we think about it, like the foundation of our money story, our spending plan, knowing that you can be the CEO o of your finances. And even if you have a financial advisor, they could be part of your team. Like no one talks about that. It’s all or nothing in how things are taught.
You either do it yourself only or you have an advice or only like, and there’s so much wealth in doing money in a wealthy way, right? People think you have to have cash to be wealthy. No, you think wealthy and then you create cash. That’s how it works. So that’s what the book is about. And it had a different name before and I think the story is actually pretty good to share the book that it had.
So I’m working with a publishing company. They’ve been so, they’ve been really, really good. It’s kind of like a mixture of like self-publishing and like formal publishing, but they’ve got it called Scribe. I really recommend them if you’re trying to find a place to work on books. But I. They have you know, a coach that works with you, like the naming of the book and all that.
So the coach went through and we came up with a name that sounded good and it was called like Your Wealthy Mind Rx, you know, for women physician. And it’s like, oh, that’s pretty awesome. And then we were done with like, we locked everything up and I just could not shake the thought. I started imagining and visualizing, which is something that I do quite a bit.
And I know cuz I know the book is gonna do great work. I started envisioning myself being introduced as the author of this. And the person that I visualized walking on stage looks nothing like me, acts nothing like me. She doesn’t even say shit, which is not like me. She’s like in a skirt suit, barely walking, like just, and she was going back to that people pleasing that we talked about.
And it was so hard for me, but I had to again, make the decision that I was willing to disappoint those people in the publishing company. And I said, okay, I’m gonna have to change the name of the book cuz I don’t think the name of the book is what the book is meant to be. And they’re like, well, you know, you probably have like coat feed, it’s normal.
And I was like, that’s possible. Let me think about it. And I’m like, you know what? It’s possible. I don’t think that’s what. And again, I had a thought about myself that I’m bad at naming things. Listen, that’s why I don’t know what my future holds cuz I just, I always underestimate what I can do. Right? And so anyways, now the name of the book is, I named the book myself, which I’m super proud of.
And it’s called Don With Broke, A Woman Physician’s Guide To More Money and Less Hustle. Because Done With Broke is something that I believe should literally be a movement because people are like, but I’m not broke. I’m not saying Done being broke, done with broke. Because the reason why we’re like people pleasing at work is because we’re afraid of losing money, right?
We’re afraid of what would happen if our clinical income doesn’t happen. We’re afraid of our kids not having money. We’re worried about the chance that our generations and future can be broke, right? So literally the principles that I share in this book are gonna help you be done with the word broke because I think it’s something that should be out of our vocabulary, like for generations to come.
So that’s a good, so
Daniel: done with Brooke, a women’s physicians. A women’s position’s guide to, what was the rest of it?
Dr. Latifat: More money and less hustle and less awful hustle like, don’t hustle in this
Daniel: game. Hustle. Okay. Yes. Yeah. I love it. That’s awesome. Well, thank you. I love it. That’s a perfect example of what you were talking about earlier.
Like you you didn’t go with the title that you knew. I mean, you made the hard decision to go against the grain and say something that was probably, you know, not popular. You know, there’s pressure to keep it the same and, but you changed it anyway, and that, I mean, that’s what you that’s so much what people have trouble with I think these days.
Dr. Latifat: and I have, I did share with two friends, the title. Yeah. I said two friends, and they both said they didn’t like the. What’s the new one or the old one? The new one. And I was just like, it just felt like what the book was meant to be called. So I submitted it anyway. And guess what, now? Weeks later they’re like, we’re so sorry.
We like the name.
Daniel: Yeah. Somebody told me one time they’re like, be, because I always used to I asked for feedback a lot and I’ve slowed down on it. This one of my friends was like, if you don’t truly want the feedback, why would you ask for it? I’m like, that makes a lot of sense. Like if you really know where you need to go with something, like you shouldn’t ask for feedback.
That’s just gonna pull you the other direction. Well, I know we got, we’re running out of time. I just wanted to ask one last question cuz I’m really curious about, this is on your sabbatical, are you, do you have like a, this. I was gonna say, do you have an agenda or a game plan for it, but like, it feels like an a sabbatical should just go open.
I mean, like what’s the plan for it? Is it just like nothing and just see how it flows? Or like, do you have a game plan or
Dr. Latifat: I don’t have, well, we do have a game plan. Our plan is to travel, so we’re gonna be, so, you know, at the time of this, the whole family. Yeah, the whole family. So I have three kids, so five of us are gonna be traveling starting in two weeks, which should make me really anxious cause I, my house looks like I’m not doing, I’m not moving anywhere.
But we’re gonna make it happen. It’s gonna be imperfect and it’s gonna be stressful, but that what’s gonna happen anyway, regardless of how prepared I am. So we are gonna be traveling where right now I think we have about 10 to 15 countries on our list. So we are gonna be traveling. And part of it is just to have the space to, you know, spend time with our kids, teach them the diverse things we want them to know, including money, including, you know, faith, including book, including play.
It’s also time for me to play as well. I wanna play. So I’m looking forward to that. I’m looking forward to trying new things. I wanna try one thing that is new or weird for me or different awake. That’s the goal for the sabbatical. And you know, of course I’m still gonna have money Fit md I’ll be doing the podcast, I’m doing the money scope, and now I really get to sit down and even think even bigger of how I really wanna impact women physicians.
So the goal for this time is to have some spaces of silence, self-discovery, and really know what I’m supposed to do in the next season. That’s about starting 2024.
Daniel: Nice. That’s awesome. Well, I’m looking forward to hear how, hearing how it comes out on the back end cuz I’m just very curious about the whole concept of it and I’m glad that you’re able to do it and it’s so soon.
So that’s also exciting and I really appreciate you coming on. I know it’s been fun chatting with you and I’m thankful to kind of be around and, and gather some, share some of this knowledge that you have and some of these experiences you have. I think you’re such a great example of an ideal living that ideal life like we’ve talked about.
So I appreciate.
Dr. Latifat: No thank you for what you do. I mean, honestly, I, okay, I’m gonna have to tell on you a little bit to your, oh gosh. But I told Daniel this, so when we, when he reached out and
Daniel: don’t tell him this,
Dr. Latifat: so when he reached out and we had to schedule like a call to get to chat and make sure we both were not crazy people that were gonna like, like the first date be like hatch heads.
And we talked for a long time actually. And I said, okay, Dana, I’m gonna be honest with you. This actually was more fun than I thought it was gonna be. And it truly has been a pleasure, really. It’s been a pleasure being here, but it really has been a pleasure just even talking to you offline and getting to know you a little bit.
I’m glad you do what you do. And I think, you know, financial advisors in general, I get a bad rep and in order for. For the field to progress. We’re gonna need people like you that are really doing what you’re doing and had in like the humanism, the importance of our value and things that actually are important to people so that we can, again, revive the field and improve the field and exploit it forward.
So thanks for being who you are. Thanks for doing all the work that you’ve done to get you to this point. And thanks for having the
Daniel: podcast. Yeah, thanks for what you do too. And I appreciate the kind words.