Freedom from Ownership

Greetings everyone,

The post below, which Timothy Brown wrote, is intended for dentists but it would apply to most business people. It will make you think. Enjoy.



Freedom from Ownership – how one dentist sold everything to see the world!

As the hull crashed down for the third time, we realized that this was not going to be an ordinary boat trip. Heavy gales across Tasmania the day before had resulted in 4 meter swells and we were headed straight into them. Ginger tablets had been handed out in anticipation of the rough seas, but the very experienced captain reassured everyone that ‘this was nothing’. We forged onwards in our floor length waterproof coats towards the beginning of the Southern Ocean (with nothing but open water until Antarctica), and I was struck at how life often leads us down paths that we never could have imagined. While the other two tour boats had turned around for calmer waters, we continued (uncomfortably) into what felt like the full magnificent force of Mother Nature.

From this excursion at the ‘bottom of the world’, to living overseas, to being the only two people spending an afternoon with elephants at a sanctuary in Thailand, to celebrating my 50th birthday walking the West Highland way in Scotland, the past two and a half years have been filled with life changing experiences and……


Don’t get me wrong – I loved being a dentist, but when I received an eye-opening (yet very treatable) diagnosis five years ago, it was thrust upon me to make decisions for the benefit of my long-term health and the well-being of my family. Proper planning gave me the option to continue practicing as I was, modify my professional and personal lifestyle, or look very carefully at my bigger picture and realize that the pressure of even pre-pandemic dentistry was not agreeing with me.

I did receive a very useful critical illness insurance payout, but that did not impact the final decision. What made the biggest difference was a full understanding of what my biggest asset was worth. Shortly after paying off the practice (which was a magical day!), and at the behest of my accountant, I engaged ROI Corp. to perform an appraisal as a means of long-term financial planning. Tim Brown even stopped at the practice on his way north and gave his initial assessment. In my mind, I had a rough idea of the practice value based on the purchase price ten years earlier, consistent growth, and some rough guidelines for practices a couple of hours outside of the GTA. I couldn’t have been more wrong. The practice was appraised at double my high-end estimate, and the information provided tremendous insight into the operating efficiency (or lack thereof). Even better, a few simple changes added more than six figures to the total.

I also considered that the practice itself was a large source of capital, but not easily accessible. For years, my accountant had sung the praises of other clients who were funding private mortgages and enjoying a consistent return (in the form of monthly passive income) of 7-10%. The details of that can be saved for another article, but ultimately after plenty of thought, my wife and I chose to liquidate our assets, greatly simplify our lives, and move overseas to see the world. With greatly reduced expenses, almost all of our income was disposable which allowed for frequent travel at a variety of ‘star’ levels. Having recently returned to Canada for some new challenges, we are still enjoying a lifetime of memories (many photographs to organize) and a wealth of world experience garnered from stepping out of our collective comfort zone. Now getting back to the concept of freedom – this can mean a lot of different things. I don’t begin to suggest that world travel is the only form of freedom a dentist might seek – it could be continuing to practice without the pressure of managing the office, or it could be picking up a new hobby, or diving into an existing one. Whatever the dream might be, it is probably more attainable than you realize.  Relying only on the passive income to fund our new lifestyle, two plus years overseas visiting more than 30 countries and a 9-week trip around the world, had a negligible impact on our net worth (down no more than 3%). Information is power!

In Closing, Timothy A. Brown, CEO of ROI Corporation adds this:

I have met and spoken with many dentists who, after selling, had this to say: “I wish I had done it sooner.”


A common thread is that they held on too long. Why?

  1. Their Ego told them to be a responsible owner and to be a success.
  2. Their advisory circle told them to ride out the lows and to be a winner!
  3. Their finances held many to the daily grind.
  4. They could not face the loss of control over their income.


This list goes on… Just ask Drew Markham. He sold young, travelled and his story should reach you if you feel any stress or anxiety from ownership.


Freedom comes at a price – but Freedom need not be expensive!



Why can’t dentists (and most other professionals) afford to retire?


I have orchestrated thousands of private consultations with dentists throughout my career.

Many hang a head in shame and regret about their bad financial decisions.

Most say they are not ready to sell – they need to keep working.

Need: it is a 4-letter word that is used to express a decision based on necessity – not desire. Sad….

Why do they need to keep working?

The answer is always the same: Bad financial advisors.

It is NOT bad financial advice…. It is the bad financial Advisors – the people!

The dental practice always does fine. It provides a great income for most dentists. Practice values are at an all-time high!

A Dental Practice is an Exceptional Investment – the subtitle of my book. That is not the source of financial disaster.

So, what happened? Why are so many dentists (and most other professionals) in financial trouble?

Its bad investments promoted by bad investment advisors.

Bad investments are the #1 drain on their lifetime savings.

And now I will tell it exactly as I see it: There are a lot of questionable and suspect characters that are trying to tell professionals where they should invest their money. Most of them make very handsome fees for dispensing this advice and many of these investments seem to diminish retirement savings as opposed to increasing them.

Please watch out for the hustlers and thieves who dispense shady investment advice.

What should you do? My advice is exacting and brutally simple. Start with these two tasks:

1. Put your money into a self-directed account that does not require any third-party investment advisor influence or involvement.
2. Buy an exchange traded fund that tracks the S&P 500.

There are several other habits that make for highly effective successful investors, and they can all be found at

Disclosure: I am a co-Founder of Monday Morning Millionaire. We charge $12 per year for a subscription. We make ZERO (nil) fees from any wisdom we share. We do NOT dispense financial advice – never! Your investment is $12 per year. Is this bad financial advice?

Why do investors pay for inferior returns? We can do better. How?

Timothy A. Brown, FRI

One of my clients asked me the other day if he thought my traditional brokerage service would be under threat because of all the developments in technology. Just look at travel agents. Who really uses them anymore?

How about the financial services industry? Everybody could buy and sell their own stocks using a do-it- yourself direct investment account. Why would the traditional full-service, full-fee financial advisor/stock trader stay in business?

Circling back to my industry and using the residential real estate as a close parallel, why is it that traditional real estate agents continue to earn 5% of the sale of over 97% of all Canadian homes? There are all kinds of self-serve websites. With all the advent in technology and social media, it is quite easy to market a home and it has been a seller’s market for several years, so why are people still paying 5% to have their house sold?

My industry is very secure and not necessarily easily disrupted by technology, but of course I am biased, and I am a traditionalist, and I am obviously going to defend my company, our fees, and our future business cycle.

But the purpose of this article is to talk about the financial services industry. When they produce exceptional returns, I would be more than happy to pay them their traditional percentage to manage my money or buy and sell my stocks and bonds and other entities.

The problem is that all statistics show that the best investment managers rarely, if ever, beat the indexes. The most reliable index is the Standard & Poor’s 500 and that can be easily bought and sold via exchange traded funds, which any individual investor at any age can buy within minutes. No advice is required to buy the top 500 companies in the United States of America. None!

So why do we pay the players of this industry when the advice of the experts produces less than what we can achieve on our own? Why do they stay in business? Why do we continue to pay them? They do nothing for us and in fact, they are doing more damage to our financial portfolios than good. It is habit and fear. Nothing more, nothing less.

If a real estate agent sells your house for far more than you expected and you are thrilled, the 5% does not mean anything any longer.

If a dental practice broker sells your practice for a record amount, the 10% charged would appear nominal (and it is tax deductible) and you should be happy.

While no one in any brokerage can guarantee a result, such as real estate, stocks and bonds or my industry, I can tell you that if somebody is creating value for you, pay their fees happily.

If somebody is doing a disservice to you and costing you money, I do not understand why you continue to pay them.

How to gamble on stocks and bonds and win



Timothy Brown

My amateur study of professionals at large who are typically high achieving and high-income earners reveals that we have a high tolerance for risk. There is no secret there, and researchers have been looking at that for a millennium.

But why is it in today’s day and age that high-income earners who are also subjected to the highest tax rates feels compelled to gamble with their hard-earned after-tax dollars when we know full well the chances of success are minimal, if not ruinous?

One of the investment newsletters I subscribe to recently touched upon the word “folly”. It is a noun, and it generally means a lack of good sense, understanding, or foresight or an act or instance of foolishness or a costly undertaking having an absurd or ruinous outcome.

We have all done it. I have done it. My mentor Milan Somborac says he has made every mistake known to the investor and I think I am not far behind him. Thankfully, I could afford to make most of those mistakes, but one was darn near the end of my financial well-being. I escaped with dignity because I used foresight to know to get out.

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How to live longer, happier — practise part time for life (PTFL).

How to live longer, happier – practice part time for life (PTFL).

Timothy Brown

Recently, I was speaking with Dr. Milan Somborac, the founder of the Monday Morning Millionaire program and he produced this quotation: “Retirement is the leading cause of death, so let death be your retirement.”

I coined the phrase “part time for life” (PTFL) many years ago to explain the phenomenon of mature professionals (dentists) continuing to work part time, as opposed to full time, in order to stay active and to stay stimulated.

Dentists can do this. They can sell their practice today but keep their license and continue to practice dentistry part time for the remainder of their lives. There are many corporations and individual practice owners who are thrilled to have a senior experienced dentist in a part-time associate position.

The high stress level related to dentistry is in part connected to the business side of dentistry.  The primary source of stress in dental practice ownership is human resource management. Most dentists are not properly trained for human resource management. Given it is a micro/small work environment, toxic employees impact everyone – and it happens everywhere – more often that we as owners even know. Thus, turnover is frequent. Turnover is also in part due to the fact that most of the people working in dental practice are young females.

Getting out of ownership equals getting out of stress. Keep your license. Continue to work part time for 10, 20 or 30 years and watch out for retirement. According to Milan, it is a leading cause of death.