Need to waste some time? Try Quicken.

Physicians who do business with me know I don't mince words. So I'll just come right out and tell you: I hate Quicken.

Here are three reasons why:

  1. It's accounting software. Accounting is the time-honored art of rendering financial history in it's most favorable light. But making your family's financial history "pretty" won't change anything about the transactions you see in Quicken. You wouldn't drive a car by looking in the rearview mirror, and you can't drive your family toward financial security by looking at the money you've already spent.
  2. It doesn't work. Sure, it will download your mortgage balance, it will show you what you've already spent on your Pottery Barn Mastercard, and it will track every wiggle and hiccup in your brokerage account, but it doesn't really "work". The work of building, maintaining and enjoying financial security happens long before you make a purchase, or take out a mortgage, or buy a stock. The work is in choosing the higher payments of a 15-year note instead of a 30-year mortgage. The work is in walking past the Poverty Barn and into Target. The work is building an investment strategy that's so solid you don't need to track it every day.
  3. It isn't "quick." It takes time to buy the software, install the software, download or input the transactions, and reconcile what the software says with what the bank statement says. It takes time to make sense of the gobbledy gook that comes out of the software (aka "reports"). And it takes a bunch of time to argue about who spent what, and why. This time could be better spent as quality time for family, caring for patients, or getting some sleep or exercise.

Oh, and there's one more reason I hate Quicken: it rhymes with chicken.

To achieve financial securitythe kind of financial security that can last a lifetimeyou'll need to do more than count the money you've already spent. You'll need to think differently and act differently with the money you have now and the money you will have in the future. And this takes more than a key stroke. It takes courage.