As a physician, I am well aware of the current financial and legal pressures we all experience daily. The state of medicine is ever-changing, and sometimes it can be hard to keep up. Still, despite these realities, I also know that most of us are not looking for another day job. We choose to do what we’re doing because we enjoy it.
Still, wouldn’t life be so much better if we also had some additional, consistent streams of income? More money is great, but the real value here is that it would take some of the pressure off of us. It might free up some of our time. Even better, it would probably help us enjoy our day jobs more.
I’ve personally met some physicians who have figured out how to do exactly that, and it motivated me to do the same.
I’m most interested in reliable sources of income that can ultimately begin to replace my current income, and set me on the path to gradual retirement.
If this idea appeals to you as well, then you’ve come to the right place. Recently, I’ve begun assembling a list of ways to make some passive income that are absolutely perfect for physicians – from the obvious to the low risk, to the higher risk, to the more creative. To see what I’ve found so far, keep reading.
1. High Yield Savings Account
This one may seem simple, but that’s only because it is. If you were to move your savings from a traditional, brick-and-mortar bank with a low-interest rate and into a high-yield savings account online, over time you can make a surprising amount of extra cash. Online banks are FDIC-insured just like the traditional brick-and-mortar institutions, so your money is just as safe.
You can find online banks that give you a return up to 100 times higher than many traditional banks. When you look at it like that, it’s almost a no-brainer.
2. CDs (Certificate of Deposits)
These are like a savings account that you have to keep in place for a certain amount of time, for a guaranteed return. Again, simple, but a great place to park some cash that you may need in a specific amount of time and don’t need immediate access to.
3. Dividend-paying Investment Portfolio
Build an investment portfolio that pays out dividends (Stocks / Bonds / Mutual Funds). Dividends are payouts that companies give to their investors as a portion of their earnings. They’re often paid out quarterly. If you’ve already got an investment portfolio, it’s time to take a good look at which stocks, bonds, or mutual funds you own. You’ll see consistent returns from the ones that pay dividends. This is a fantastic way to earn passive income. Invest once and watch the returns pile up.
4. Invest in REITs (Real Estate Investment Trusts)
This is like a mutual fund that holds various real estate projects. Perfect for someone who wants exposure to the real estate market, but wants the investment to be totally passive. They typically pay higher dividends than stocks, however, transparency and liquidity are often lacking.
5. Own Rental Property
This one is fairly straightforward on the surface – just buy a property, find a tenant, and get some cash flow as your income exceeds your expenses. The initial capital needed can be steep, and might require a larger time commitment than other things on the list, however, the payoff can be huge and last for many years.
6. Real Estate Crowdfunding
Crowdfunding is a newer way to invest, having emerged onto the scene just within the last few years. Most people have heard of sites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe, and a very similar concept exists for real estate. Developers are always looking to raise capital to fund their projects. Through the various online platforms, investors have access to these projects and can choose to invest in both residential and commercial properties. See the List of My Favorite Crowdfunding Sites.
7. Peer-to-Peer Lending
This option utilizes web-based platforms, such as Lending Club and Prosper (two of the best), that connect people who are looking for loans with people who are willing to lend. Lenders, in this case, are essentially acting as the bank.
Basically, people looking to borrow money will make a listing on the site. Those borrowers are then placed into a category and given a “rating” based on their credit history and rate. You, as an investor, will contribute money to these loans and then be paid back at the predetermined rate of interest. Invest and see those monthly interest payments deposited into your account.
Read the latest on my peer-to-peer lending experiment.
8. Create an Invention
If you’ve ever thought to yourself, “I wish there was a product that did this,” then invent it! Create a product, medical or otherwise, and sell it as a company or get royalties for it. It’s not impossible to figure out, I have many friends who have taken a concept to market. Don’t overlook an invention as a fantastic means of attaining passive income.
Read the True Doctor Series interview with Dr. Edna Ma, How I Launched a Business and Ended Up On a Deserted Island.
9. Create an App
Have you seen a problem that might have an app-based solution, medical or otherwise? These days, there are great resources to help take your idea out of your head to reality. If your app takes off, you can expect the checks to start rolling in.
10. Make It Big on YouTube
This might sound a little crazy, but again, I personally know physicians who have used this incredible platform to create some passive income for themselves. There are physicians acting as educators, entertainers, and musicians on YouTube, and collecting income through the ads that pop up on the videos.
Read the True Doctor Series interview with ZDoggMD, How Youtube is Helping Me Change Healthcare As We Know It.
If you’re looking for a way to begin gradually replacing your income, these are just some of the best ways you can do it as a physician. Remember the idea of gradual retirement? Passive income streams like the ones mentioned here are perfect ways to allow you to spend more time with family, enjoy your day job more, and, of course, make a little money while you’re at it.
Have questions? Am I missing anything? Feel free to comment.