Course Description

This course was created in 2015/2016. The content has NOT been updated, but much of it remains relevant. If you prefer to see a person speak on camera, you may find this of interest.

Alternatively, if you want the most up-to-date information, please take a look at our e-books and Audiobook.

The video course content includes over 50 videos averaging 5 minutes each. It is divided into several modules/chapters and includes links, articles, and pdfs. Updated links, spreadsheets and calculators may be found under the Pillars of Wealth website's Resources tab.

2015/2016 Course Description

Most doctors complete their residency or fellowship with insufficient knowledge of personal finance. This educational deficiency often leads them to make sub-optimal decisions. It also leaves them vulnerable to unqualified or unscrupulous salespeople pitching a variety of financial products.

The objective of this video course is to equip you with the basic, unbiased knowledge needed to make better financial decisions for yourself and your family. Its content spans the major areas of personal finance.

I'm an educator. I'm not a financial advisor. I don't sell financial products. My only objective is to empower you to learn.

The course is comprised of a series of modules. Each Module includes videos, as well as other supporting materials such as documents, exercises, or links to additional resources. The course is designed to allow you to progress at your own pace. For best effect, I recommend proceeding sequentially through the course material.

2020 update: My apologies in advance for any broken links. Instead of spending a lot of time on this (older) course, I made a decision to prioritize completion of the content on the Pillars of Wealth website. There is now a massive amount of content in e-books and audiobook format. There are lots of updated links and other information under the Resources tab. 

Finance Professor and Founder of Pillars of Wealth Initiative

Dr. Yuval Bar-Or

Course curriculum

  • 1


    • Introduction to Personal Finance Essentials for Medical Professionals

    • Course Road Map v8

  • 2

    The Core Pillars of Wealth

    • Introduction to The Pillars

    • Are Pillars the same as Asset Classes

    • Stocks & Bonds Pillar

    • Cash Pillar

    • Real Estate Pillar

    • Real Estate Closing Costs

    • Link to Real Estate Closing Costs (

    • Link to Renting vs. Buying a Home (

    • Real Estate as an Investment

    • Direct Business Ownership Pillar

    • Link to Choosing Your Business Structure (

    • 529 College Savings Plan Pillar

    • Link to

    • Link to 'Who Can Open a 529 Plan?'

  • 3

    More Pillars of Wealth

    • Collectibles Pillar

    • Insurance Cash Value Pillar

    • Annuities Pillar

    • Anticipated Inheritance Pillar

    • SEC Guide to Variable Annuities

    • Precarious Pillars

    • Link to Retirement Estimator (

  • 4

    Creating and Monitoring Pillars

    • Human Capital

    • Pillar of Strength (Your Spouse/Partner)

    • Tracking Your Assets

    • Sample Multiyear Personal Balance Sheet

    • Mapping Pillars to Balance Sheet Assets

    • Sample Personal Balance Sheet

    • Personal Balance Sheet Template

  • 5

    Guiding Axioms & Time Value of Money

    • Axioms & The Time Value of Money

    • Future Value

    • Present Value

    • Net Present Value

    • Figure 1 Time Value of Money

    • Time Value of Money Examples

  • 6

    Investing, Risk & Return

    • Investing Accounts

    • Calculator for Estimating Required Minimum Distributions

    • Understanding Risk and Return

    • Understanding Risk Tolerance

    • Calculating Realized Return

    • Calculating Expected Return

    • Measuring Risk

    • Risk Anticipation and Mitigation

    • Link to IRS Contribution Limits

    • Psychological Barriers

    • Link to Business Insider Article on Wall Street's Relationship to Society


    • Some questions

  • 7


    • Budgeting

    • Professional Development Timeline

    • Medical/Dental Student Budget

    • Intern/Resident/Fellow Budget Template

    • First Real Job Budget Template

    • Manager/Owner Budget Template

    • Detailed Budget Template

    • Link to Wall Street Journal Article on Cost to Raise a Child

  • 8

    Managing Debt

    • Debt Management

    • Student Loans

    • Living Within Your Means Example

    • Your Credit Score

    • Link to Medscape Physician Debt and Net Worth Report (

    • Link to AAMC Debt Fact Card 2016

    • Link to Bankrate's Buy vs. Lease Car Calculator (

    • Link to Consumer Reports Article on Buying vs. Leasing a Car (

    • Link to Association of American Medical Colleges - Financial Aid Resources

    • Links to and

    • What Happens to Student Loans When You Die?

  • 9

    Negotiating Employment Contracts

    • Employment Contract Overview

    • Employment Contract Part I Compensation and Benefits

    • Employment Contract Part II Legal Clauses

    • Employment Contract Part III Path to Ownership Stake

    • Employment Contract Part IV Medical Malpractice Insurance

    • Dentaltown Tips For Signing Associate Agreement

    • Stark Law and Physician Compensation Bonuses

    • Link to MedMal101 basics provided by Diederich Healthcare (This is not an endorsement of Diederich Healthcare products)

  • 10

    Estate Planning

    • Basic Estate Planning Part 1

    • Basic Estate Planning Part 2

    • Tax Planning

    • Asset Protection Planning

  • 11

    Evaluating Needs & Selecting Insurance

    • Evaluating Needs and Selecting Insurance - Introduction

    • Insurance Introduction

    • Types of Insurance to Consider

    • Disability Insurance

    • Life Insurance

    • Term versus Permanent Life Insurance

    • Property and Casualty Insurance

    • Insurance Terminology

    • Insurance Types Checklist

    • The Insurance Application Process

    • Identifying Good Insurance Companies

    • What Happens if My Insurer Fails

    • How Much Life Insurance Coverage Do I Need

    • Permanent Life Insurance Types

    • Long Term Care Insurance

    • Disability Coverage for Student Loans and Retirement Contributions

    • Life Insurance and Genetic Testing

    • Insurance Agents

  • 12

    Dealing with Financial Advisors

    • Introduction to Working with Financial Advisors

    • Accepting Advice from Peers

    • Advisor Alignment

    • Advisor Fees

    • Advisor Expertise

    • Finding Advisors

    • Interviewing Prospective Advisors

    • The Advisor's Perspective

    • Advisor Dos and Donts

    • Interviewing Advisors

    • The Basic Functions of Financial Advisors

    • Working with an Advisor - Your Responsibilities

    • Link to Adviser Info (

    • Link to Evaluating Financial Advisor Qualifications (

    • Link to FINRA's BrokerCheck (

    • Link to Financial Advisor Qualification Exams (


5 star rating

overall very informative and accurate information

Afshin Safa

I enjoyed the frank presentation and honest review of the financial industry. I like the format and the cartoons especially. I have been taking the course ov...

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I enjoyed the frank presentation and honest review of the financial industry. I like the format and the cartoons especially. I have been taking the course over the past year during my down time and I think it was definitely worth the time. I have passed on these information to my colleagues at my hospital and my residents. I appreciate all the hard work that was put in to develop these courses. Thank you.

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