Episode 19 - Side Hustles and Passive Income for PhysiciansMay 17, 2023
Dr. Dimitre Ranev steps in to host Dr. Jordan Frey, plastic surgeon and writer of The Prudent Plastic Surgeon blog, on the show. Dr. Frey’s blog addresses finances and passive income for physicians which is what he and Dr. Ranev discuss for listeners. What side gigs are available and how are they found?
Jordan started his blog as a passion project and for the first six to nine months did not monetize it to ensure he could maintain quality content. He shares how the audience grew quickly and monetizing it became an easy choice. It now provides him with a solid side income that he appreciates not just financially but because he enjoys writing the blog so much.
In this episode, Dimitre Ranev and Jordan Frey talk about why addressing finances for physicians is not a taboo subject and should be more openly examined. Jordan explains the different sources of side income available to physicians, from blogs and podcasts to medical knowledge surveys, medical chart and insurance claim reviews, and of course real estate. Jordan provides real life insight into what each income stream requires and how to find one to pursue.
About Jordan Frey, MD
Jordan Frey is a plastic surgeon specializing in microsurgery and breast reconstruction. His hope is to spread the principles of personal and financial well-being to other physicians, trainees, and people of all walks of life by sharing his journey on this pathway of fulfillment, purpose, and happiness.
Jordan runs and writes for The Prudent Plastic Surgeon blog and is also co-founder of BeautyTune.me.
Jordan lives in Buffalo, NY with his wife Selenid, a college professor, and three boys, Samuel, Emery, and Camilo.
Resources Discussed in this Episode:
- Save the Date for May 6-7, 2023 in Toronto
- Jordan Frey, MD on LinkedIn
- The Prudent Plastic Surgeon blog
- “Physician Side Gigs to Make You Passive Income” by Jordan Frey, MD, posted on MedPage Today December 16, 2021
Physician Empowerment: website | facebook | linkedin
Dr. Kevin Mailo: [00:00:01] Hi, I'm Dr. Kevin Mailo and you're listening to the Physician Empowerment Podcast. At Physician Empowerment, we're focused on transforming the lives of Canadian physicians through education in finance, practice transformation, wellness and leadership. After you've listened to today's episode, I encourage you to visit us at PhysEmpowerment.ca - that's P H Y S Empowerment dot ca - to learn more about the many resources we have to help you make that change in your own life, practice and personal finances. Now on to today's episode.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:00:35] Welcome back, everyone, to the Physician Empowerment podcast. We have a very special guest today. It's Dr. Jordan Frey. He's a plastic surgeon based in Buffalo, New York. And he also runs a blog called The Prudent Plastic Surgeon, where he shares his financial journey and helps full-time physicians like us achieve financial independence. Tell me a bit about, Jordan, about the blog. You it started how many years ago?
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:01:00] It's been about two and a half years ago now. Yeah, And it started really at the end of the end of my fellowship. And I always joke, it was just, I was in a bedroom in Brooklyn because I did my training in New York City. My wife and kids had already moved to Buffalo, where I am now, as an attending, and we basically stopped renting out our apartment and I was just staying with her aunt in Brooklyn. But basically at the end, to backtrack a little bit from that, you know, towards the end of my training, I realized that I was feeling burnt out, which was a surprise to me. And I'd been feeling these symptoms of burnout for a long time. I didn't know that they were burnout. And I finally sort of came to terms with that, and so then started looking at what was causing it and which was obviously multifactorial. But a huge part was my financial situation, which was really stressing me out. And I realized that my financial well-being was really nonexistent and that was hurting me a lot because I was, you know, I was nearing the end of my training and people were telling me, oh, it's going to be great. You're going to be a plastic surgeon. You're going to be making all this money. And I was just like in my head going, No, you don't understand. It's not great at all. I, you know, I have half $1 million of student debt. I have credit card debt. I have literally no savings, no investments. I have a family, like this is not good. And yes, my salary is going to increase, but I'm just being told like I have to buy a big house, I have to buy a fancy car, I have to buy fancy clothes, like all this stuff, because now I'm going to be a doctor, like an attending physician. And so I felt really stressed about that. And long story short, my wife and I, we made a conscious decision that we were going to learn about personal finance and start getting our finances under control. Over the course of months, we began to do that and then started managing our own finances and we created a financial plan. And the shocking part to me was just having that plan. My financial well-being really shot through the roof and I actually felt my symptoms of burnout improve, even though, you know, my actual money situation hadn't changed. I was still in training. We still lived in New York City.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:03:16] We still had just as much debt and everything like that. But now I had a plan and I just said, okay, if I follow this plan, I can get out of debt, I can reach financial freedom, I can practice on my own terms. And that was just so powerful. And then, you know, there's this taboo in medicine that if we think about money, that's a bad thing, because we didn't become doctors for the money, which is true. But it's also true that it's okay to think about money. And I experienced that once I started thinking about money, I actually became a better doctor. I was more able to focus on what I loved about medicine. So that was really surprising to me. And then I started this blog basically for two-fold reasons: to try and break that taboo and also to show people that you can start in such a bad position like I was starting in and still make steps to improve and to create the ability to reach financial freedom, which I'm not at yet. I'm still very much in the process, but it's fun sharing that. So that was kind of a long-winded answer to your question, but that's where the blog was born out of.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:04:24] So I actually, I went through your blog. It's a great blog. I really suggest our listeners take a look. And I did notice a bit of pushback, actually. Early on, you had some comments saying, oh, you know, you shouldn't worry about money. This, you're not in it for this. I can't paraphrase specifically, but I remember reading some of those comments.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:04:42] Yeah.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:04:43] I'm just wondering, how much pushback did you get? Because you got some on the website, but were you getting more from your colleagues or...?
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:04:51] There definitely was some. Yeah. It's, one of the very first comments that I had was a really negative one. Someone just saying like, this is totally... Just basically saying like, this is BS. Like why are you doing this? Why are you worrying about this? And I was actually like, Man, if I got this kind of an emotional response, I'm on to something.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:05:13] Yeah, yeah.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:05:14] And I think it's just that. It's because it's hardwired in and there is just, it's a taboo, it's something that I fell for where people just say, like, if you're thinking about money, you're not a good doctor. And it's not, I'm not thinking about money in the sense of like, oh, I'm trying to squeeze every penny I can out of my patients or something like that. Like it's the complete opposite. It's just like, Hey, we're blessed to be high-income earners, but doctors are really bad with money because we have a bad money mindset. We spend money poorly. We don't have any financial education. So there's a lot of pushback because people are just stuck in that traditional thinking. And my response is always like, look, patient care is still what's number one. It's just this, our financial well-being, it's an important part of our overall well-being. And if we neglect our overall well-being or any part of it, we're making ourselves worse doctors for our patients. And that's what I experienced firsthand, which is scary to say, because I did realize I was providing, you know, worse patient care because I wasn't totally focused and wasn't totally enjoying medicine. And when we enjoy medicine, that's when we're at our best. So I get that. And then the other form of pushback, I get a lot - kind of publicly and people just talking to me - is they're like, you know, Oh, you're always talking about financial freedom, which is this idea that you can, you don't have to work anymore. You're financially independent and you're only, you know, I'm in my third year of practice out of training. Like, why do you want to retire so early? And the truth is, I don't want to retire at all. I really love what I do. Like, I get really amped up and excited to go to work every day. But I do know that I am happier knowing that I can work because I want to, not because I have to. Which again is not a point, is not where I am currently, but that's where I aspire to be. So, you know, and I think my argument is always, Imagine if there was a world, you know, you're in Canada, I'm in the US, regardless of country or whatever, right, imagine if there was a world of doctors that were financially independent. That could work because we want to, not because we have to. And how we could change medicine for the better. Because right now there's so much bureaucracy and administrative restraints on what we're able to do. And a lot of doctors work at jobs they don't like because they need the paycheck and put up with things from insurance, you know, from whatever, because we kind of have to and if we could take back that control, I just can't even fathom how much of a positive impact that would have on just patient care.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:08:06] Yeah, but it also, if you're financially secure, you can stand up for your patients better as well.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:08:11] Exactly, yes.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:08:12] I mean, people don't realize that. But you can put your foot down and say, fire me if you want to, I don't care. I'm going to do the right thing for the patient.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:08:21] Exactly. Yeah. So that's so powerful.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:08:23] And that's true across the board, whether it's in the US, Canada or anywhere in any other country. And I think what you mentioned, you know, what's the specificity, what's the patient, the skill of a doctor who's thinking about his finances - well, he's he or she's examining you - right? Like they're not paying attention to you because they're worried about making the mortgage payment. So it's so interesting, the pushback, because we got the same amount of pushback when we started Physician Empowerment. This 'you can't talk about money'. You can't. But it's so important.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:08:56] So important.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:08:58] So let's talk about money. And I want to talk about, there's this great article that you published and I'll share as well, hopefully in the podcast, where you talked about side gigs. And I guess, what would you define as a side gig for a physician, Jordan? What's your definition there?
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:09:15] I think, you know, it's pretty broad, sort of anything, anything outside of your main clinical gig or job, if you'd call it. You know, I'm a W-2 employee, which just means I'm an employed physician for a hospital. So sort of anything outside of that, I consider a side gig.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:09:37] And you have some examples and I'll now go through them. I don't want, I want to start with maybe the one that you have the most knowledge with. Well, a lot of knowledge with, I wouldn't say the most, but blogging and just the website process and the podcasting process. So I'm assuming you enjoy that a lot. Like you blog. You enjoy the blog process.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:09:57] For sure.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:09:58] And have you, if you don't mind me asking, have you monetized that? Like, does it bring you any income in any way?
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:10:06] Yeah. No. I don't mind you asking at all. Yes, it does. And it started out, so like I said, it's about two and a half years. The first, like 6 to 9 months of it, I didn't monetize it at all. And I had some opportunities to. But I really kind of just said, you know, I want to take the first while - I initially said a year, but then it kind of took off quicker than I even anticipated or had hoped - but I wanted for the first 6 to 9 months to be purely just focusing on content, making sure that I could provide really good content and hone my skills in terms of writing and providing value and that sort of stuff. And then it started to get to the point of where I was doing that, and people were asking me for resources and advice that I couldn't sort of, I could provide in a general sense but not as specific. So things like, okay, I need to refinance my loans. Can you help me do that? And so I obviously am not a loan refinancer, but I could say here, this is who I used. These are companies that I trust that I've personally vetted, or things like that. Things like I need disability insurance, who should I use? And that I could say, well, this is who I used or this is who I know will get you what you need and be fair about it. So things like that. And it's obviously slow starting out. You know, I always tell people this is not something where, like if you're looking for this to be immediately a source of income, I think there's better ways to do it. And we'll talk about that because there are times people come to me and say, I want side gigs that are going to give me immediate money. This isn't really it, but if you stick with it, it will become a significant source, like so after that initial year, you know, the following calendar year, it made me, you know, somewhere like low five figures. You know, like 15,000, 20,000, something like that. But then in the second year now, it's making me in the six figures. So it's a significant source of income.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:12:32] Right.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:12:33] And it's fun because that ties in with, all of those sources of income from the blog tie in to my why with the blog which is just providing people avenues to reach financial independence. So whether it's things like the course I offer helping people to reach financial independence, whether it was, in the past I've done coaching, I don't do that now. So whether it's that or whether it's through other referrals or sponsors I have that I've used myself in my journey that I can help recommend to other people to accelerate their own journey.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:13:08] So it took a lot of sweat equity, but it paid off. And obviously you do it because you enjoy it. That's the first thing you have to enjoy it.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:13:17] If you break it down as like in a, you know, how many dollars per hour, I don't know how much it is, but it is a lot of work. But if you enjoy it, it's worth it. And that was the worst advice I got when I started doing this, was someone who's very well established in the field and probably was speaking from some point of self-preservation, but basically said like, you should not do this. It is a bad idea to start a blog on physician finance. And I try to tell people the opposite of that. Like, if you love it, if this is really something you're passionate about, you should do it. And I'm always, there's people that I've talked to and helped that have started their own sites or podcasts, you know, around this area. And there's no shortage of need for unique perspectives in this area like what you're doing. So if you are passionate about it, it is really a great thing to do and you can certainly monetize it and make it into a very viable side gig. It's just one that you plant the seeds and you have to water it and kind of let it grow. It's not an immediate one.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:14:23] I'm curious, you have a course and how long did it take you to sort of, to get that done from the beginning, the idea, to the actual recording it, like how many hours do you think you spend or how many months did it take?
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:14:38] It took probably like a full year. And it's gone through a few iterations and improvements. So yeah, because you start out and you say like, I have this idea for a course and so my course is, it's really for anyone, but it's really geared for young physicians who are kind of starting and saying, I'm at the beginning of this process. I don't really know much about personal finance or how to develop the right habits or how to create a financial plan, how to set my course to financial freedom. So sort of starting from there. And so it takes, you know, going through and planning out what topics do I need to hit, what order, developing a script and then recording everything, doing video editing, which I didn't do myself. I outsourced that.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:15:26] It's very time-consuming.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:15:29] Yeah, very time-consuming. And then developing the, you know, different downloads and resources. And then once you actually have the course, guiding students through it, which is a process. I am fortunate in the sense that my wife has a PhD in education and so is really like...
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:15:50] She had pointers.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:15:51] She's like okay, you need, yeah, you need to develop learning objectives for everything. And so could kind of help throughout that. But it's definitely a process.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:15:59] And do you offer your course only through your website or do you offer it through other like teaching websites? Just curious.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:16:06] I offer it only through my website mostly because that's the only way I know how to do it, I guess.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:16:12] Right, Right. No, I am just so curious.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:16:14] It's only through my website. It's evergreen. So like, at any point anyone can sign up for it whenever it's right for them and it's kind of self-guided but with access to me throughout. So, yeah.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:16:28] Okay. So you're there. You're sort of there for Q&A, for first-hand guidance.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:16:33] Yeah, exactly. So I offer like, anyone who is in the course gets personalized coaching with myself, gets access through email and phone calls, you know, as our schedules allow. So I didn't want it to be something where it's just like, you know, okay, you just have the recordings and you're on your own. Like, no, it's... I wanted it to be able to be personalized.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:16:54] Yeah. And as a teacher for both, I think educators really, getting the contact, it's just you get energized from it, from talking to somebody and helping them.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:17:03] Totally. Yeah, exactly.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:17:04] So you need that. That's great. I didn't know you had the interactive component there, but that's amazing. And again, our listeners should check it out. I think it looks like a really interesting course as well. So that's sort of one side. That's more niche, I guess. You have to like writing, you have to like teaching. You have to like helping people.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:17:21] Yeah. Yes.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:17:22] Let's talk about some more, I guess, general ones you can use. Just leverage your medical knowledge. And you mentioned those in the article as well. One of them is medical surveys. I like your approach to that, that you say that you should only do them if - I guess you're saying if you have nothing better to do, maybe, maybe phrase it better than me. But yeah, don't do them if you're supposed to spend time with your family or do something else. But if you have the extra 30 minutes while you're watching your sitcom or Netflix, you can do one. How did you, did you sign up for them, or did they come looking for you? Because in my case, they came looking through LinkedIn, they found me. I use the analytics. But did you look for surveys or how did you enroll in that?
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:18:07] I initially did look for them, you know, and I was starting out, I was basically, you know, a new attending. And yeah, so I looked up, you know, medical survey companies and just signed up for them. And essentially what I would do is just yeah, wait for ones that I thought was a good fit. And they kind of come in a few different flavors, like some of them come and they say, you know, hey, this is a completely online survey and it's 15 minutes and we'll pay you 50 bucks. And that's what I mean, like you shouldn't, I wouldn't carve out other valuable time or other family time or something. These are ones that like, if I happen to be sitting there and just in a moment where I'm in the surgeon's lounge, like doing nothing, like scrolling through ESPN or something like that, and I have 15 minutes, I say, Oh, well, yeah, sure, I'll do this. And those are not ones that are going to, you know, get you to the point where you go, Oh, I'm making significant amount of income from doing these 15 minute surveys. But what it does is the more of those you do, those companies start to recognize and say, okay, this is someone who has a lot to offer, who's willing to contribute. And you start getting these ones that say, okay, this is actually a phone interview for 30 minutes. And we're going to pay you 300 bucks. And then it starts evolving to where those companies, and then you start getting on the radar of other companies where you can even set your own rate. And I set my rate at - which this is a totally arbitrary thing - I just said, I basically within my head and with my wife even, said, okay, how much would it take for me to say, Okay, I'm going to set aside an hour of my time? And we said $500. So I set a rate of $500 for an hour. And that's what I say. And companies can say, Well, that's too much. Or they can say, Oh, that's a fair amount for these opportunities. So they come along and these companies will approach you and say, I have someone who is looking to understand the breast reconstruction landscape or how you utilize breast implants and breast reconstruction, because that's something that I do. That's a focus of my clinical practice. And then I say, okay, yeah, I know a lot about that. I meet the criteria that the company is looking for, that's my rate, $500 an hour. And they say, okay, great, they want to talk to you and we schedule it and then you get that. And those opportunities start coming up more and more. So it starts off slowly and then it can build up and it can really be something significant. Not myself, but I know people who make tens of thousands of dollars each year doing that. So that's one way. And then the other way, of course, is if you, within your field of medicine, if there's certain products, whether it's pharmaceutical or actual devices that you use a lot and you believe in and aligns with your sort of clinical values, you can just approach those companies and be like, Hey, do you want me to do talks for you? Is there anything I can do to help you with your stuff? And a lot of times they'll approach you if you're a real user of their products. And honestly, that's not something that I have done to this point. But that's certainly something I know other physicians have done very successfully.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:21:38] And another way to leverage your knowledge, but yeah I can attest for the surveys. I'm sort of in the same steps as you, now I'm getting to the interview part so it happens. For our listeners, I would say M3 Global seems to have a - I into it - seems to have also a Canadian area and the analytics is the Canadian one. So if you guys are interested, you could take a look and yeah, just like you're sitting in the lounge and you can do one in 15 minutes, it's worth your time. I would again agree with you. Anything more than half an hour, though? I don't know unless it's a phone call.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:22:13] Yeah.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:22:13] But 15 to 30 minutes is, it's the right spot for me.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:22:17] Yeah, 30 to 60 I kind of reserve for phone calls because they tend to, you give more value to the survey company as well and you get compensated better. And I'll say, too, it then evolves into something where you can refer colleagues to these survey companies and you get compensated for those referrals, and sometimes really nicely because they run promotions. So there's a lot of ways that you can kind of leverage that that makes sense as a doctor.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:22:49] 100%. So listeners, look into it if you like pressing buttons and doing surveys.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:22:55] Yeah, exactly.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:22:56] The other thing I want to ask you about, again with the idea of leveraging your knowledge, medical chart reviews, and perhaps insurance claim reviews as well. Have you done both of these or are you still doing any of these things?
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:23:09] I haven't personally done those just because of time commitment and obviously the blog and stuff, that takes a lot of my time and tends to be a focused side gig of mine. But I know a lot of colleagues who do this and it's really beneficial. And I know initially people get, or doctors get this really like kind of bad feeling when they're like insurance reviews, Oh, insurance is the bad guys or, you know, medical chart reviews are like, you know, they're the bad guys or expert witness work lawyers, they're the bad guys. But you have to think - and the more I've learned about this and got on the inside of it - because those were kind of my initial reactions...
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:23:51] Mine too.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:23:51] ... You know, it's really kind of a disservice if you have that reaction because like it or not, again, depending on where you are in the world and stuff, but pretty much everywhere, you know, lawyers, malpractice cases or whatever, insurance claims chart review, these things are just realities of medicine currently. And yes, once we all become financially independent doctors, hopefully we can eliminate that. But there are current realities and there's a need for ethical, responsible, knowledgeable physicians to assist with this. And a lot of times - and this is making a sweeping generalization - but a lot of times the physicians who maybe are doing this aren't as knowledgeable or as plugged in as they could be. And I'll give an example of this. You know, even myself doing, again on the US side, we have private and public insurance, but it's largely private. And so, you know, I'll have these surgeries that I'll need to do. Like sometimes I'll get a surgery that's a combined case. So a patient that has breast cancer is getting a mastectomy. So it's getting their breast removed to remove the cancer, and then getting breast reconstruction, which is by law a protected and covered procedure for them, for psychosocial reasons and everything that's been shown to be beneficial. But anyway, sometimes these, which you would think is just like it comes across an insurance person's desk and it's like, okay, yes, that's obviously covered, sometimes these get denied and then I have to do peer to peer review and I'm doing a peer to peer review with like, you know, a psychiatrist or something, who, to be fair to them, doesn't quite understand. But then like continues to deny this claim, which is just a horrible thing. And if there was just someone on the other side who was a little bit better educated or familiar with the procedure, familiar with this area, it would go a lot smoother and be better for patient care. It'd be better, frankly, for the insurance company because ultimately they are going to have to accept this because it's literally a law in the US and now they're just wasting their own resources at this point. So it's beneficial on all sides. And same thing with the malpractice review. You know, people worry about, oh, I'm just screwing - I guess, pardon my language on that - but I'm just screwing other physicians because I'm like testifying against them or something. A) that's not really the case. A lot of times you're supporting physicians who are being sued by patients or other entities or something like that. But you want to protect good patient care, and that's what you're doing by offering your services. You know, you are a very qualified, knowledgeable person. You want to make sure that qualified and knowledgeable physicians are being supported or if there is actual malpractice happening, that patients are being protected. So in that sense, I do think it's really valuable. And, so yeah, it is. And you get compensated well for doing that for your time. And it's actually pretty, I don't want to say easy to get plugged in, but like the opportunities are there.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:27:28] Yep.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:27:28] Like there is, there is a need for your knowledge and expertise in these arenas and you just kind of need to know where to look for it. But once you get started, like it's certainly possible if you are looking to get out of clinical medicine for whatever reason, to completely replace your income by doing these sort of endeavours. And alternatively, as a side gig, it can make you a good amount of money as a side gig. So definitely things to look into. And again, I haven't at this point because my other side gig, my other passion, kind of takes up that time. But it's something I'm learning more and more about and I'm even, you know, taking a course to learn about expert witness work and kind of how to find it, and how to be the best at it, because it is something in the future that I think I will do.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:28:26] So I did insurance check reviews and I agree with you. If anything, it also helps you as a doctor to your patients being able to, when they do have to deal with insurance companies, you know how the process works so you can actually advocate better for them.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:28:40] Yeah, that makes sense.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:28:41] Yeah. And I've done that before and it pays very well. It pays better than clinical work and you need good guys there. You're right. You need good guys because it helps everybody. Patients, insurance companies, the system. And there's a lot of demand in Canada, in the US obviously. So if a listener is interested, I can give, I mean, I know with the companies in Canada what they are, but obviously this is different, but I can give some references. So I know we're close to the end, even though I have like a thousand questions here, but I'll finish off because, you know, Physician Empowerment talks a lot about real estate. So real estate also could be a side gig, obviously.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:29:21] Yes.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:29:21] And just quickly, I know you have to go soon, but can you tell me a bit about that? Like how you got into real estate, how much time are you spending on it, and what specific things you invested in when it comes to real estate, if you don't mind.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:29:33] Yeah, I really enjoy real estate and think it's an awesome side gig, particularly for physicians. And I say that now. The first time I heard other physicians talking about real estate investing, I had what I think is a typical response, which is, What are you crazy? Like, don't have the time for this. And I do probably what's considered the most time-intensive form of real estate investing, or active real estate investing. So what I do is - and I say I, it's my wife and I - but we buy small multifamily properties like duplexes or triplexes within the Buffalo, New York area, which is where we live. You certainly don't have to buy them where you live. You can do it from afar, but we enjoy investing in our community, so we buy them and we rent them out and we manage them myself, my wife and now my brother who we've hired on to kind of assist us with it as we've grown the number of properties that we have. But it's really, really a powerful thing for a number of reasons. Obviously, you get cash flow from the rent that comes in and you make money above the mortgage you're paying, etcetera. You also build equity as your tenants pay off the mortgage. There are significant tax advantages, especially if you achieve something called real estate professional tax status in the US, which allows you to use these paper losses that exist in real estate to offset your active doctor income.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:31:07] Interesting. Interesting.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:31:09] That's a really powerful thing. And we do that because my wife is a real estate professional from a tax standpoint, and that's just based on the number of hours you put into participating in your property. But the real beautiful thing about real estate is, you know, our clinical work as doctors, when you really break it down, we're in the service industry. Our income is tied to the work that we put in in a 1 to 1 fashion. Real estate, you know, doing active real estate like I do, buying properties, renting them out, managing them, there is active work that goes into it, a lot on the front end. But then that 1 to 1 ratio starts to get broken. All of a sudden it becomes that there's not a lot of work, especially as you start to automate your processes and get more experience, etcetera, to where you're not really working a lot. And that money keeps coming in, so it becomes more passive income and that's really powerful. You know, we started two years ago. We bought our first place, just a small duplex, and now we've built it up to where we own seven places, which is 16 units, and that brings in $10,000 a month in net income for us. And a lot of that is tax protected. So that's income after mortgages, after maintenance, after things like that. So that's really powerful. And now we just, the way we've been able to scale so quickly is we just take that income and we use it to invest in more real estate. But eventually what it'll do is just become extra income that we can use for, you know, fun stuff. For vacations, for our kids' education, and for our retirement. So that is really powerful and that's like a whole podcast episode in itself.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:33:07] I'd love to. I'd love to, just thinking, I want to talk to you again.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:33:11] We can definitely, definitely we can do that. And there's tons of resources on my site about it and I'm very open. You know, it's not all, it's not all biscuits and gravy. You know, there's hiccups and there's stuff along the way. It's ultimately very worth it. But I try to be even, I'm obviously very open about our successes, but I am equally open about our mistakes and about the tough parts because I think not enough people do that. But it's really, really a powerful thing and that's what has accelerated our wealth building or our path to financial freedom, kind of more than anything else. And I'll say there are much more passive ways to do it. You can, you can do what we do, but also use a property management company to manage the day-to-day workings for you. You can invest in things like syndications, which is basically you are, you're just a money person, you just contribute the money. Someone else does all the investment aspects for you and there's pros and cons to all of this, but there's lots of ways that doctors can be involved in real estate investing very successfully.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:34:21] Yeah, I have to have you back. This is so fascinating, Jordan.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:34:26] And I'm happy to do it.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:34:28] Listen, thank you so much for your time. I suggest the listeners take a look at the website. It's really good. Take a look at the course. And Jordan, thank you again. We have to talk about real estate because you have so much knowledge, I have so many questions. But this is, it's about time to stop. So all the best, Jordan. Hopefully we speak in the future.
Dr. Jordan Frey: [00:34:47] Absolutely. Thanks so much for having me again, Dimitre.
Dr. Dimitre Ranev: [00:34:49] Take care. Bye.
Dr. Kevin Mailo: [00:34:50] Thank you so much for listening to the Physician Empowerment Podcast. If you're ready to take those next steps in transforming your practice, finances or personal well-being, then come and join us at PhysEmpowerment.ca - P H Y S Empowerment dot ca - to learn more about how we can help. If today's episode resonated with you I'd really appreciate it if you would share our podcast with a colleague or friend. And head over to Apple Podcasts to give us a five-star rating and review. If you've got feedback, questions or suggestions for future episode topics, we'd love to hear from you. If you want to join us and be interviewed and share some of your story, we'd absolutely love that as well. Please send me an email at [email protected] Thank you again for listening. Bye.