I recently met with a new bank manager at one of my local banks to fix a screw-up in one of the bank charges on my checking account. In a nutshell, they had previously convinced me to change to a different type of checking account with no fees, free checks, and other benefits that would be fitting given the size of my account, business holdings and other assets of mine.
Lo and behold, a $50 per month fee starts showing up in my checking account statements! As this young lady was calling up my information on her computer, she quickly found the error and corrected it.
She said the usual bank mantra of “let me take a look at your financial info and see if we can save you any more money.” No, I didn’t need or want a car loan. No, I didn’t want or need a home equity loan or a bank credit card.
Then, after a lot of screens and looking back and forth, she assured me that the problem was corrected and that I was well cared for with my current banking relationship. Her last comment as I got up to leave and shook her hand was, “But you don’t look like a millionaire.”
I almost stopped to ask what a millionaire is supposed to look like, but I realized that she, at her age, was probably envisioning lots of sparkling jewelry, flashy clothes, and perhaps at least one fancy car. I smiled as I got into my (fully paid for) 2014 Chevy Equinox and drove off.
In my studies, most of the individual doctors I know who are millionaires don’t live like millionaires. They don’t spend their money the way most people think millionaires do.
They are generally fiscally conservative except for an occasional splurge. They don’t have the fanciest house on the block. In fact, many of the doctors I have known who did have the fanciest houses on the block with the over-the-top renovations ended up losing money when they went to sell, or even eventually filed for bankruptcy.
Most physician millionaires know the true value of their money. They tend to save and, most importantly, invest their money. The docs in private practice who are in this fiscal category can usually tell you how much their equipment cost and how quickly the money spent returned its investment or ROI.
So, rather than be offended, I was proud to not look like a millionaire to this branch manager. If I ever splurge on a car in the future, I will pay in cash and not need a loan any way. That Tesla Model X SUV is a long way off.