In his life, Jack Bogle distinguished himself as an eminent money manager with an eye for low-cost investment.
As the creator of the first index fund and founder of The Vanguard Group, Bogle's acumen and wisdom changed the lives of many for the better. It should come as no surprise that his recent passing sent shockwaves throughout the financial services industry.
Everyone in the working world — doctors included — would like to someday gain financial independence. And no one epitomized the essence of financial freedom more than Jack Bogle.
As a new doctor with a promising career of ahead of you, ask yourself:
What can measures can you establish now so that you reach financial independence in the shortest time possible?
It's a difficult question, and how you answer it relies heavily on your personal situation. Although you can't replicate Bogle's portfolio (last valued at $4.9 trillion), his valuable life lessons are applicable to any career.
Here is what physicians can learn from the late, great Jack Bogle about leadership, work ethic, and so much more.
You can’t succeed without being purposeful
As you embark on your medical career, you will identify plenty of goals:
- Some may be short-term goals that are perfectly attainable.
- Others may be long-term goals that are bit more imaginative.
But your greatest goal should be achieving financial independence. To reach this point, you must make strategic investments that are both smart and bold.
In his investment career, Bogle made his fair share of mistakes. The most significant was his career failure at Wellington Fund. Nonetheless, he recovered and went on to attain even more success.
Similarly, you may make a decision puts your career and financial future in jeopardy. Rather than dwelling on lost opportunities and mistakes made, prepare yourself to move on and find greater purpose. A mindset like Bogle’s will help you surmount all challenges that come your way.
Never take work for granted
Bogle was always quick warn against the dangers of taking your work for granted.
In reading his story, one characteristic that always shines through is his remarkable work ethic — even in his days as a student. (This is a sentiment time-poor med school students everywhere can definitely relate to.)
Without surprise, the investment guru was a committed workaholic. He always encouraged people to work for the sake of honing their skills, not earning money. Because by honing your skills with passion, you are more likely to find happiness. And then the money will follow.
Be willing to do the hard work
One of Mr. Bogle’s most profound investment ideologies was the willingness to roll up your sleeves.
The only way to secure your financial future is to start planning the moment you enter practice. Just because you are a practicing physician does not mean you are suddenly set for life.
And "rolling up your sleeves" goes beyond your career, too. It is also the willingness to perform any other type of work that you are skilled at or interested in.
Early in his life, Jack Bogle was (appropriately) a jack of all trades. He worked at a post office, as the head of a football ticket office, and as a waiter. During Black Monday (one of the worst financial crises of all time), he didn't hide as a command-and-control CEO. He plunged into the fray.
This is the same mindset that you should cultivate. Do not let being a physician prevent you from taking on new leadership roles, side hustles and hobbies.
Learn to nurture the culture of trust
Sooner or later in your career, the idea to launch your own private practice will cross your mind — if it hasn't already.
If you want your patients to trust you, you need to trust them in the first place. Likewise, employees working at your facility are most likely to be loyal if you are loyal to them.
Building loyalty is much easier when it is instilled on day one. The best way to do so is to hire qualified, responsible individuals for jobs you can trust them to perform.
To say "the rest will take care of itself" is never a safe assumption. But putting resourceful people in a position to succeed is the best way to build trust and loyalty from scratch.
Patience is essential — especially with your patients
To succeed in your career, you need to master the art of patience.
If you decide to take the leap into private practice, you may a need a significant loan for financing. And it could be burdensome.
While you may consider giving up, it's important to understand that there is no shame in a little struggle before you gain your footing. Like you learned in medical school and residency, nothing comes easy.
Patience also applies to your progression in the medical career. You should never be in a hurry to reach those lofty levels that others have attained.
Professional development takes all the time and effort you have to offer. Rather than fixating on where you want to be future, pour all of your energy into perfecting your craft today.
Doing the right thing is a privilege
Perhaps Bogle's most signature piece of advice comes from his perspective on leadership:
Leaders should develop the mindset that doing what’s right is a privilege.
As a licensed, practicing physiciain, you are privileged to heal, serve and care for others. Your career (and the investments you make along the way) are more likely to prosper if you prioritize the greater good in your work.
Investor. Businessman. Philanthropist. In his lifetime, Jack Bogle just about did it all. And in doing so, he has offered a tremendous amount of wisdom that's applicable to anyone in the working world.
Namely, he emphasized:
- The sense of purpose that must accompany your work ethic.
- Instilling a culture of patience and trust that serves everyone.
- The level of self-awareness required to be an effective leader.
Needless to say, his legacy will leave a lasting impact on not only the financial services industry, but also society as whole for years to come.