"I want to be a life planner for ascending physicians," says Joe Matelich, founder of Physician Advising, a fee-only firm working virtually with physicians all over the United States. Being married to a family physician, it didn't take Joe long to realize he could help his wife's colleagues with the unique challenges facing physicians. Joe combines his educational background in both psychology and finance to help his clients make balanced choices.
"One of my favorite moments was assisting a physician with a student loan analysis," says Joe, "I shared that she could significantly lower her interest rate...as well as get a private loan refinancing bonus. A month later, I received an email from the physician thanking me for my help and ecstatically saying she got a private loan refinance check in the mail for $350."
Joe's colleagues at XY Planning Network recognized his contributions to the industry and nominated him to be XYPN's Member of the Month. In recognition for earning this distinction, we asked Joe to share a little about himself.
Six Questions with Joe Matelich
XYPN: Where did you grow up and where are you currently based?
Joe: I grew up in Great Falls, Montana before spending 4 years in Spokane, Washington getting a bachelors in psychology, (followed by) two years in Denver, Colorado getting a master’s in business finance and four nomadic years living, working, & traveling domestically and internationally. In 2016, I married a family medicine doctor and moved to Grand Junction, Colorado where I spend my days building my dream job and my evenings trying to match the timing of a hot dinner to the end of my wife’s variable work schedule.
XYPN: Tell us about your journey into financial planning for Gen X and Y.
Joe: In 2011, I was an unpaid intern for a broker-deal in Montana. I studied for and passed licensing exams as well as the sales training course. However, the consensus among the established employees at the broker-dealer was that nobody was going to let a 23-year-old manage their money until I had some gray hair.
I reverse engineered that consensus into a plan on how I wanted to spend the rest of my 20’s. I rode my bike across the country, began investing, worked & studied to earn an MBA in finance, traveled to 40 countries and all 7 continents, learned how to build websites, and read deeply into blogs like Kitces, White Coat Investor, and Mr. Money Mustache.
After a job search with many of the typical investment advising companies, and a six-month stint at a local, fee-only investment advising business, I founded Physician Advising LLC in 2017 to bring physician specific financial advice to my wife’s peers at a fair price.
XYPN: What is the one piece of advice you find yourself giving over and over?
Joe: It depends..."How should I repay student loans?" It depends. "Should I do Roth or traditional contributions?" It depends. "What should I do with my old 401k?" It depends. "Should I pay down debt or invest?" It depends. "Should I buy a home or rent?" It depends.
XYPN: What or whom inspires you to do great work?
Joe: In 2016, I sat in the audience of a student loan & investment management presentation with a loan expert and financial advisor in a room filled with hundreds of new resident physicians. The student loan presenter finished the first half of the presentation with only a couple questions asked by the general audience. Thinking she was done, the loan presenter mentioned she would be available immediately following if there were any further questions. Within 30 seconds, most of room formed a silent line stretching from the podium out into the hallway and around the corner.
When the next presentation about investment management began, the male presenter shared poignant tips for getting started investing and choosing a financial advisor with a fiduciary responsibility. At the end a of the presentation, a physician raised her hand and asked, “Can I pay you do this stuff for me?” The presenter’s smile faded as he mumbled something about a $250,000 account minimum. My heart broke knowing that the presenter’s response would forever color that physician’s perception of the financial advising industry.
XYPN: What is most challenging and/or rewarding about your work?
Joe: At the start of every day, it feels like I am trying to juggle... while riding a bicycle... backwards... uphill... blindfolded... whistling... and stopping to say hi to people I pass along the way. Every day there are more important things to do than the 24 hours allows. Every night I tell myself, "I will try again tomorrow." But the best part now is I own my own practice and I'd happily work 24 hours a day (not literally) for myself before working 1 hour for someone else. And that has made all the difference!
XYPN: What do you enjoy splurging on?
Joe: Bristol Bay, Alaska Sockeye Salmon and multi-week quests such as international immersions, Eurorail riding, African Safaris, Egyptian Pyramid viewing, Caribbean scuba diving, Thai Buddhist meditation, Cambodian temple exploration, Great Wall of China hiking, Trans-American bike riding, New Zealand driving, Trans-Siberian railroad riding, Greek island hopping, Kilimanjaro climbing, Patagonian hiking, Antarctic photography, Australia scuba diving, Himalayan trekking, Alaska northern lights chasing, El Camino de Santiago walking, etc.
Joe is available to work with clients virtually. Visit Physician Advising's website.