Name: David Hazlewood
Occupation: Wealth Manager – I help successful medical specialists and their families make smart decisions with their money.
Family Profile: Married to Jenn with two daughters (Savannah 8 & Eliza 6), a dog, cat and two chickens
What book are you currently reading?
I’m sure you won’t be surprised that much of my reading is focussed on business. There are three books that I am reading at present:
- The Opposite of Spoiled: Raising Kids Who are Grounded, Generous and Smart about Money
- Happy Money: The New Science of Smarter Spending
- Small Giants: Companies that Choose to Be Great Instead of Big
On a recent holiday I did get some time to indulge though, and loved re-reading To Kill a Mockingbird.
What is something that most people are surprised to find out about you?
One of the things I spend a lot of time talking about professionally is risk, and managing risk. So many people are surprised to find out that I love riding motorbikes. I don’t get much of a chance to ride for pleasure lately but have had some fantastic trips on bikes – the most memorable would have been riding a Harley from LA up the Pacific Coast Highway to San Francisco, out to Yosemite National Park then through Death Valley to Las Vegas.
You have just released the eBook “Clinical Trials”. How did you come to write the book?
It goes back to when my wife Jenn was pregnant with Savannah. About halfway through the pregnancy our Obstetrician told us that he couldn’t deliver our baby – he had developed a heart condition and his Cardiologist had told him he could no longer deliver babies. I remember thinking how devastating that must have been after all of the time and effort he put into his career, but I also worried about his and his family’s financial well-being – after all, there is not generally much call for an Obstetrician who can’t do deliveries. I wanted to be able to do something for him and people like him to ensure that if something like that happened to them they would be ok. This book is my attempt to help more people than I can help directly through my practice.
Can you briefly describe what the book is about?
The book looks at the current state of the medical profession and the people who work within it. We start with an overview of conditions and review details such as working hours, holidays and income, including details of how earnings change over time. This is based on information collected from over 6,000 Australian Doctors, both Specialists and GPs.
We then move on to explore the financial issues and difficulties faced by doctors and their families, and the broader issues of well-being and work-life balance.
Finally we look at how the profession has changed and how it might change in the future, and explore the impact that this might have on the doctors working within it.
In the book you note that “Spouses (both male and female) are becoming more central to operational and strategic issues relating to family wealth and/or business”, why do you think that is?
Part of it I think is that people are generally more educated than previous generations, and the division of labour in families no longer occurs along traditional stereotypical lines but is more along the lines of interests and expertise. For instance in my household I do most of the cooking because it is something that I love doing, whereas my mother always did that at home.
In terms of non-medical spouses increasingly managing the family wealth this is certainly a factor. But I think it also comes down to practicality and levels of interest. Given the professional demands on the time of medical professionals, if their spouse can manage these issues it allows them to spend their time outside of work in other areas, be it family or leisure. There are also many people who are just not interested in money and finance, so if their spouse has more interest or expertise in this area it is more appropriate to let them handle it as it will probably be done better.
What is the biggest financial mistake young medical families make when starting out?
Probably one of the biggest is not planning – but then I would say that.
What I mean by this is that once training is complete and you start working and earning there is a real acceleration in income. Having struggled on little money for so long there is a danger of becoming like the starving person who is offered food and eats so much they make themselves sick. There is no doubt that you need to reward yourself and your family for having survived the training process, but if overdone, this can have long term financial implications that can prevent you getting the things you really want. Having a plan provides a framework to assist in making these sorts of decisions, plus provides confidence that making such trade-offs will be rewarded in the longer term.
Why should ADSN members read “Clinical Trials”?
Doctors and their families have invested considerably in a career in medicine and will continue to do so throughout their working life. There are significant professional and financial rewards available to those who do well, but these are not without risk. It is important to invest some time considering these issues, and how you will manage them now and into the future. “Clinical Trials” is a good starting point on this journey. In the words of an anaesthetist who read it:
‘You are absolutely correct in your observation that we spend so much time getting there, that little energy is spent working out an exit strategy…a timely reminder to get our shit together.’