Financial Literacy Series: Five Books by John Bogle

December 14, 2021 Richard Green DDS MBA

Father of Index Funds

John Bogle has many books to his credit. We all may benefit from reading one or more of them as a part of a New Years Resolution focused on Raising Our Financial Literacy! A perfect Stocking Stuffer, with a future focus in mind! John C. Bogle, the founder of Vanguard, changed investing forever for ordinary Americans, and wrote a dozen books over his lifetime, selling over 1.1 million copies worldwide.

An editor that worked with Bogle said, “I don’t think there’s an author who spent greater care on the words he chose,” and, “when he did a book, he was so meticulous; he’d rewrite and rewrite. He always went the extra mile to make sure there wasn’t a single person who could not understand what he was saying.”

“Jack,” as he was referred to by many, made it his mission to educate people about the benefits of index funds and not paying high fees to mutual fund managers. Below are some of the best books he authored:

1. Common Sense on Mutual Funds: New Imperatives for the Intelligent Investor

The first edition of this classic was published in 1999, and Bogle wrote a completely updated second edition a decade later to help investors understand mutual funds and how his simple and low cost investing strategy can be used to outperform stock pickers.

2. The Little Book of Common Sense Investing: The Only Way to Guarantee Your Fair Share of Stock Market Returns

This 304-page hardcover book is one of Wiley Publishing’s Little Book investing series and has proven to be an incredibly popular tool for investors. In this investing bible, Bogle presents his ideas succinctly for the layman.

  • Warren Buffett advised in his 2014 letter to shareholders that rather than listen to the “siren songs” of advisors, “investors – large and small – should instead read Jack Bogle’s The Little Book of Common Sense Investing.”
  • Bogle said even he needed to be reminded of his own advice in trying times. “How do I feel when the market goes down 50%?” he continued. “Honestly, I feel miserable. I get knots in my stomach. So what do I do? I get out a couple of my books on ‘staying the course’ and reread them!”

3. The Battle for the Soul of Capitalism

John Bogle was a vocal critic of Wall Street and the American financial system, and in this book the insider revealed what he knew about the unethical practices of money managers and corporate executives, which add costs to millions of small investors.

  • The New York Times called it “yet another important contribution in an illustrious career,” and it was long listed for the Financial Times and McKinsey’s Business Book of the Year Award in 2005.

4. John Bogle on Investing: The First 50 Years

Bogle’s senior thesis at Princeton University was titled “The Economic Role of the Investment Company,” and it contained the very ideas that Vanguard would be built on. It is included in this compilation of his best speeches.

5. Stay the Course: The Story of Vanguard and the Index Revolution

At the time of publication, Vanguard had more $5 trillion in assets under management, and the road to that number wasn’t easy. Early on it was dubbed “un-American” and mocked by Wall Street professionals.

  • Named after his most iconic piece of advice, Bogle’s last book is a memoir that traces the history of the Vanguard Group and provides new details. He addresses his critics, his regrets and even his Vanguard successors.

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Richard Green DDS MBA

Rich Green, D.D.S., M.B.A. is the founder and Director Emeritus of The Pankey Institute Business Systems Development program. He retired from The Pankey Institute in 2004. He has created Evergreen Consulting Group, Inc. www.evergreenconsultinggroup.com, to continue his work encouraging and assisting dentists in making the personal choices that will shape their practices according to their personal vision of success to achieve their preferred future in dentistry. Rich Green received his dental degree from Northwestern University in 1966. He was a early colleague and student of Bob Barkley in Illinois. He had frequent contact with Bob Barkley because of his interest in the behavioral aspects of dentistry. Rich Green has been associated with The Pankey Institute since its inception, first as a student, then as a Visiting Faculty member beginning in 1974, and finally joining the Institute full time in 1994. While maintaining his practice in Hinsdale, IL, Rich Green became involved in the management aspects of dentistry and, in 1981, joined Selection Research Corporation (an affiliate of The Gallup Organization) as an associate. This relationship and his interest in management led to his graduation in 1992 with a Masters in Business Administration from the Keller Graduate School in Chicago.

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2021 Financial Literacy

April 7, 2021 Richard Green DDS MBA

Financial literacy is the foundation of our relationship with money, and it is a life-long journey of learning. The earlier we start, the better off we will be, because education is the key to success when it comes to money, and our financial life is likely to become more complicated as we get older.

Becoming financially literate involves learning and practicing a variety of skills related to budgeting, managing, and paying off debts, and understanding credit and investment choices. Personally, we have more energy around creating an effective spending plan, than a budget! Basic steps to improve our personal finances include creating a spending plan, keeping track of expenses, being diligent about timely payments, being prudent about saving money, periodically checking our credit report, and investing for our future. Financial literacy is the ability to understand and effectively use various financial skills, tools, and processes; including personal and business financial management, spending plan creation, and investing, while learning to live on less than we make!

We believe financial literacy is one of the most important things we can learn and help others learn, and the learning never ends. We believe the subject qualifies as a mandatory part of primary education. Yet presently, it is only a required course in public schools in just 17 states in the USA.

Given that college students graduate with an average of $32,000 in debt due to student loans and credit card debt, and on average, a graduating dentist in 2020 reported close to $300,000, in dental school debt (ADA).

Therefore, we believe, it is imperative that young people learn the basics of credit, debt, spending plans, saving, and investing before they face that burden. It is never too late to become financially literate, and the earlier we start, the better.

We are adding some basic financial literacy lessons into the intentional design of our coursework. Come join us and devote appropriate time and energy to really getting on top of personal and practice finances.

2021 Pankey Financial Course Offerings:

Mastering Business Essentials (MBE) – April 29th – May 1st
Creating More Financial Freedom – August 20th – 21st

 

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Richard Green DDS MBA

Rich Green, D.D.S., M.B.A. is the founder and Director Emeritus of The Pankey Institute Business Systems Development program. He retired from The Pankey Institute in 2004. He has created Evergreen Consulting Group, Inc. www.evergreenconsultinggroup.com, to continue his work encouraging and assisting dentists in making the personal choices that will shape their practices according to their personal vision of success to achieve their preferred future in dentistry. Rich Green received his dental degree from Northwestern University in 1966. He was a early colleague and student of Bob Barkley in Illinois. He had frequent contact with Bob Barkley because of his interest in the behavioral aspects of dentistry. Rich Green has been associated with The Pankey Institute since its inception, first as a student, then as a Visiting Faculty member beginning in 1974, and finally joining the Institute full time in 1994. While maintaining his practice in Hinsdale, IL, Rich Green became involved in the management aspects of dentistry and, in 1981, joined Selection Research Corporation (an affiliate of The Gallup Organization) as an associate. This relationship and his interest in management led to his graduation in 1992 with a Masters in Business Administration from the Keller Graduate School in Chicago.

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Competing with “the Corporates”

April 2, 2021 Paul Henny DDS

In Seth Godin’s blog, he writes:

“In all markets, the market leader gets an unfair advantage. That’s because casual and unsophisticated customers choose the leader because it feels easier and safer. The strategy then, is not to wish and dream of becoming a big fish. The strategy is to pick a small enough pond. By engaging with the smallest viable audience, you gain the reputation and trust you need to move to ever bigger audiences.”

As dentists in private practice, attempting to be everything to everyone dilutes our value while it simultaneously puts us in direct competition with large DSOs and every other iteration of a business model that has deep pockets, the ability to survive big mistakes, and time on its side.

Instead, we need to know our strengths, make certain they match up well with our target audience, and then relentlessly become better and better at serving our target audience well. That is what L.D. Pankey, Bob Barkley, Peter Dawson, Frank Spear, John Kois, and many other dental leaders did.

None of these people pursued a business model which aspired towards a practice full of undiscriminating patients. Instead, they targeted a small market segment. That segment is composed of those who value improved health, appearance, and function. Avrom King called those folks the “values elite. They helped their market segment on a very high level, and by doing so, they created their future.

Many of us are successfully doing this still. That is how you compete against “the corporates”—you don’t.

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Do You Have a Marketing Problem?

July 31, 2020 Paul Henny DDS

Seth Godin recently asked, “What are the symptoms of a marketing problem?” and continued… 

We have a ‘marketing problem’ when: 

  • There are people who would benefit from your work who aren’t engaging with you. 
  • There’s a change you seek to make in the culture, but it’s not happening. 
  • You’re having difficulty persuading other people of your point of view. 
  • The service or product you make isn’t resonating with those you seek to serve. 
  • You’re fighting in a race to the bottom, and it’s wearing you out. 

If you have a marketing problem, how much time are you spending working on a marketing solution? …You can’t solve your marketing problem tomorrow by simply repeating what you did yesterday. 

At the Root of Your Problem

Broaden your thinking and consider what is at the root of why you aren’t doing more of the dentistry you want to do and building a larger base of patients you enjoy. There are two primary reasons why dentists fail at meeting their desired practice goals: 

  1. They’re not very good at delivering on the promise, and therefore aren’t getting very many internal referrals and excellent digital reviews. (Marketing doesn’t solve this. Other things do. This isn’t really a marketing problem, is it?) 
  2. They are not well known in their community for being the genuinely caring and “honest” type of dentist that patients crave most. And they are not well known for being the perfect fit to compassionately and predictably solve complex oral health problems to significantly improve quality of life.  (Marketing can help solve this, but how?) 

Resolving Your Problem

Most dentists naturally focus on developing their skills and then struggle in the shadows with an amazing skill set that few people seem to appreciate. How do you best approach resolving issue #2? That depends on what it is that you’re trying to achieve. What is your purpose? And what are the principles and philosophy that stands behind that purpose? Because it’s your principles and philosophy that you need to be promoting and projecting out into the public sphere, not just the flash…not just the “how to”…and certainly not the doctor dancing around the office and bragging about how great he or she is.  

Patients need to be genuinely impressed and more than satisfied so they spread high praise in your community. You and your entire care team need to give them things to talk aboutwhat it is different about your approach….the relationship they have with you…the experience they have in your office…how well they are informed…the excellent results they enjoy…  

Clearly speak about your principles and philosophy in mindful, emotionally intelligent conversations with patients. Clearly write about your principles and philosophy of practice on your website. Listen and read “well” what patients say about you. What do they love? This is significant content for your website, blog and other external marketing.  

It comes down to: What is it that you can do that is deeply significant to your target audience, and how can you best convey that information and feeling to them on a consistent enough basis that they want your care?  

The foundational, solid relationship you build with them using highly attuned emotional skills will support treatment acceptance congruent with what they value and congruent with what you explain is in their best interest to meet their oral health and smile objectives. 

That’s what marketing is about, and it is both an internal and external process that must be constantly fine-tuned and consistently evolving within yourself, within your interactions, and within your messaging inside and outside of your practice walls. 

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Actionable Dental Tips to Thrive in 2018: Part 1

May 14, 2018 Gary Takacs

It’s my strong opinion that dental practices are either growing or they are in decline. A case could be made that there is a third option, staying the same, but with ever-rising overhead, staying the same is just another form of decline.  

In Part 1 and Part 2 of this series, I’ll share 4 specific tips that will help you thrive in 2018 and beyond.

Thrive in 2018: Marketing and Whitening

Develop a Comprehensive Marketing Plan

New patients are necessary for a growing practice. Oftentimes the difference between a good practice and a thriving practice is the volume of quality new patients.

Spend some time crafting a comprehensive marketing plan that includes internal, external, and digital marketing activities. In my own practice, our most effective internal marketing strategy is the dentist calling all new patients and any patient who receives an injection on the evening of treatment.

An effective external marketing strategy for us is making NFL-quality mouth guards for our local high school football team. Also, one very effective digital marketing strategy has been getting online patient reviews. An appropriate marketing budget for a growing practice is 4-5% of revenue.

Embrace Whitening

Growing your whitening business is a great way to attract patients. Here are 3 simple things you can do to increase the amount of whitening treatments you perform:

  1. Take a shade match at the beginning of the hygiene appointment. Then show the patient their current tooth shade on a shade guide organized chromatically from dark to light.
  2. Value-price whitening. Consider value-pricing as a means of making it more affordable and accessible for your patients. The real economic benefit is the restorative and elective treatment that results from increasing your whitening.
  3. Offer lifetime whitening. Consider offering free gel to your whitening patients, provided they keep their recommended hygiene appointments. This is a win/win strategy that patients love!

To be continued …

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Gary Takacs’ passion is helping dentists develop their ideal practice. Specializing in the ‘business of dentistry’, his unique, in-depth knowledge of the components of a successful practice has helped thousands of dental offices thrive in today’s challenging business environment. Gary’s seminars, highly acclaimed audio and videotape programs, and his in-office consulting services have helped many dentists develop a more profitable and enjoyable practice. A familiar presence on the dental lecture circuit, Gary frequently addresses dentists and team members at national dental meetings, regional seminars, and study club meetings here in the United States and internationally as well. His seminars are designed for the doctor and the entire dental team and are recognized for being both highly educational and entertaining. Attendees often comment that they learned more than they ever imagined and that Gary’s seminar was the most fun they have ever had at a dental meeting!! Gary is a member of the faculty for Essentials 3 at The Pankey Institute. Although Gary is not a dentist, he owns a dental practice in partnership with Dr. Paul Nielson. His practice is called LifeSmiles Dental Care and this practice serves as a learning and teaching laboratory for Gary to ‘test’ concepts that he can apply in his teaching.

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