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Forum Policies and Frequently Asked Questions (Read before posting)

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  • Forum Policies and Frequently Asked Questions (Read before posting)

    Welcome to the forum! We are glad you are here and hope your experience here will be enjoyable and profitable. This post includes a number of forum policies and frequently asked questions and will be updated from time to time as needed.


    What is the purpose of The White Coat investor?


    The mission of The White Coat Investor, LLC, is three-fold:

    # 1 Help those who wear the white coat to get a "fair-shake" on Wall Street. That is, to help high-income professionals get the information they did not receive in their training that will enable them to optimize their personal and professional financial decisions, become financially successful, and avoid being ripped off by financial professionals.

    # 2 To fuel my entrepreneurial spirit- i.e. make money. The White Coat Investor, LLC, is a for-profit business and has been from day one. While I don't necessarily need the money given that I am also a high-income professional, it does make the whole project more interesting to me and helps me to maintain motivation in pursuing it.

    # 3 To connect high-income professionals with the good guys in the financial world. While this was not one of the original goals of the website, I found that I was asked for recommendations for financial professionals so often that it was obvious there was a need to be filled. Forming and sustaining partnerships with financial professionals also helps to boost profitability of the site since that's who most of the advertisers are.

    The information on the website, in the newsletter, and on the forums has always been 100% free to participants and I anticipate it will always be so. There are no subscription fees. In fact, the only way readers pay me directly is by purchasing a book I have written, which is availability at a nominal cost compared to the cost of professional financial advice. However, the profitability of the site comes from the fact that I sell readers' eyeballs to advertisers. My financial relationships, however, are always clearly disclosed throughout the site.


    What is the purpose of the forum?


    The main purpose of the forum is to further the three missions of The White Coat Investor, LLC. For years readers have asked for a forum as it is far easier to communicate with other readers in a forum format than in the comments section below blog posts. While the blog posts will continue to allow comments, it is hoped that the presence of a forum will further the sense of community that regular readers feel as they interact with other high-income professionals interested in financial topics.


    Is this a public forum?


    No. Although the forum is available on the internet for anyone to read, the opportunity to participate here is a privilege which may be revoked at any time. This is private property. Consider yourself a guest in my home. If your behavior is inappropriate, you will be asked to change your behavior or leave. If you refuse, you will be thrown out.

    You do not, however, have to be a high-income professional to post here. All are welcome. Just realize that most of the comments and questions are going to written by or for physicians, dentists, attorneys, pharmacists, advanced practice providers, accountants, small business owners and other similar professionals.


    Aren't there already enough financial forums on the internet?


    Although there are a few excellent forums on the internet (and thousands of terrible ones), none of them are currently meeting all of the needs of members of the site.

    The Bogleheads Forum is not specific to the needs of high-income professionals and has extremely strict moderation policies. In addition, it is an extremely busy forum where it can be difficult to find relevant threads among the hundreds started each day.

    The Student Doctor Network Investing and Finance Forum, which The White Coat Investor co-hosts, is mostly composed of students and a few residents. It is also somewhat inactive, often going days between new threads started.

    The Fairmark Forums can be excellent for tax advice, but are fairly limited in topics discussed.

    The Sermo Finance and Investing Forum is limited only to physicians, is fairly inactive, and has inadequate moderation policies.

    The Mr. Money Mustache Forum is mostly composed of members that are not high-income professionals.

    The BiggerPockets Forum is mostly limited to real estate investing only.

    The International Medical Spouse Network Financial Survival Forum is limited to spouses of physicians and generally skews toward those in training or just out of training.

    The DentalTown Finance Forum is limited to dentists.

    The Early Retirement Forum is limited to people who either want to retire very early or did retire very early.

    Each of the listed forums is excellent, but does not meet all of the needs of readers of this site.


    What are the forum policies?


    1. Forum participants are expected to behave appropriately as though you were speaking with others on the forum face to face in polite company with small children present. If you wouldn’t say it in my living room with my kids playing on the floor, you shouldn’t type it here. Pornography, profanity, belittling, ad hominem attacks, trolling, spamming, sock puppeting, excessive abrasiveness, publicly complaining about forum moderation policies, threatening legal action against forum owners/members, and other rude behavior is not permitted. It is okay to disagree, but focus your disagreement on the ideas presented, not the person presenting them. If it is obvious you will never convince someone with whom you are arguing, agree to disagree before the argument becomes personal.

    2. Forum participants are expected to clearly disclose their financial conflicts of interest. If you are a financial professional, author, professional blogger, or otherwise own a significant share in a relevant business, that information should be present in your signature and/or profile. It is okay to place a link to your site or your business in your signature, but it is not okay to publish posts or comments primarily as a method of soliciting business nor to send out multiple private messages soliciting business. Signatures are limited to 250 total characters and no more than 2 lines. Your signature may contain only one URL and no more than 2 methods of contacting you (including the URL.)

    3. Forum participants are expected not to spam the forum. Do not post the same thread in multiple forums. While it is hard to define spam, like pornography, moderators know it when they see it. You may not be able to post images or links in your first few posts. This is to prevent spam and we thank you for your understanding.

    4. Moderation policies are not up for public debate. If you have an issue with a step a moderator took, PM that moderator or another one and it will be reviewed. Do not re-post a moderated thread. Do not start a thread complaining about moderator actions or policies. Remember that moderators are volunteers and their decisions, while not necessarily always final, will generally be supported by other moderators and by the owners of this site. Mostly because we don't want to do all the moderating ourselves.

    5. You should have particularly excellent behavior when you first start participating on the forum. Moderators may use their discretion to be more lenient with someone who makes a minor infraction but has posted hundreds of helpful comments over months or years.

    6. Penalties for infractions include a warning with a first offense, a one week suspension for a second offense, a one month suspension for a third offense, a one year suspension for a fourth offense, and a lifetime ban for a fifth offense. At the moderators' discretion, if you have not had an offense for at least three months, you may start over with a warning.

    7. You are not permitted to sign up with more than one profile, especially if you are under suspension or have been banned. This will result in lifetime banning. If you have a question you want asked anonymously, PM a moderator or email [email protected] (you can even do it from a new email account) and we'll get it up.

    8. You are expected to have thick skin. It would be unusual to participate on a public forum for long without ever feeling offended. Please remember the words of Brigham Young in this regard: He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool. He who takes offense when offense is intended is a bigger fool.

    9. These policies also apply to the "Lounge" forum, although moderation policies will generally be more lenient there. If you are easily offended, stay out of the Lounge.


    Why are there ads on the forum?


    It cost thousands of dollars to start this forum. There are also ongoing hosting costs. The revenue from the ads covers these costs. Not to mention The White Coat Investor, LLC, is a for-profit business and I hope to do much better than just cover costs. The content is still free to you, the ads are minimally intrusive, and private advertisers are pre-screened so that only high-quality financial companies are advertising to forum participants.


    Where did my thread go?


    If your thread has disappeared, you should have a PM waiting for you in your inbox. It was either moved to the moderator-only forum for review or has been moved to the appropriate forum where you should have posted it in the first place.


    What am I allowed to post here?


    You are allowed to post genuine questions, comments, stories, and thoughts of your own. You may also post appropriate images and links that you would like to share with other forum participants.

    You may not post images that you do not own unless you follow the attribution policies of the person or organization who owns the image. If in doubt, just post a link to the image.

    You may not post material that you do not own. If you would like to post an article that is published elsewhere on the internet, you should follow fair use guidelines. Post no more than one or two paragraphs of the article, usually in a quote box, with a link to the full article. Then add your comments, thoughts, or questions below it.

    You are allowed to post material you published on another website. However, fair use guidelines should still be followed. Post 1-2 paragraphs with a link to the full article.

    Do not post naked links. It is intellectually lazy for your entire post to consist of just a link and the words "discuss" or "what do you think of this?" Tell forum participants what you think about it or ask a question about it.

    Sock puppeting is NOT permitted. Sock puppeting is pretending you are something you are not. For example, an insurance agent should not post a thread about whole life insurance where he pretends to be a client interested in purchasing whole life insurance.

    Helping those who wear the white coat get a fair shake on Wall Street since 2011