CPA: The best profession if you want to make the most money + keep the most money?

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N1CKV
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Re: CPA: The best profession if you want to make the most money + keep the most money?

Post by N1CKV » Mon Dec 11, 2017 11:13 am

Do something that you are passionate about and that interests you.

I have a degree in Accounting. They changed the requisites to sit for the CPA right before I was eligible. Moving the finish line on me like that aggravated me to the point that I didn't even bother (I need another 15 hrs., of which I think it is 2-3 courses specifically). I'm not that interested. A CPA is a nice and can open certain doors, but my degree opened plenty enough and a CPA wouldn't help me in my career path (government accounting).

On the side - my Accounting degree does give me an edge to more easily understand the concepts of taxation and personal investing, which in turn saves me considerable money. I do not pretend that this can not be done with someone without the formal education, as this site proves time and time again. I also know that there are plenty of CPAs (some co-workers) that are clueless when it comes to personal finance. They are not automatic experts. Continuing education and experience is everything, especially when changes happen on a regular basis.
I have met a lot of people that claim to love money, but they also seem to be the same people that are in the biggest hurry to get rid of it.

staythecourse
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Re: CPA: The best profession if you want to make the most money + keep the most money?

Post by staythecourse » Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:22 pm

clutchied wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:12 am

Hey yeah, so it's pretty easy. You would think there would be some type of secret but nope...


1. They had big brokerage accounts, most were actively managed
2. Many had a business of some kind. Most were service oriented.
3. Many had real estate rentals.
4. Many had lots of cash to capitalize on opportunities as they presented themselves.
5. All had lots of insurance and professionals to assist them with their various enterprises.
6. Some had combinations of the above but most tended to focus on either stocks and bonds or real estate. There were a few crossovers but less than I would expect.
7. Most had no debt.
8. Most were self made.
I would be a bit cautious just following the above advice because 1,2,3,4, and 7 do NOT got with 8. How can you me self made AND start your own business and own rental real estate AND be there with no debt? That doesn't pass the sniff test of common sense. If you are self made you have used leverage to start/ expand a business+ rental real estate. My opinion, this a case of selection bias. You are seeing the ones as a CPA servicing a specific type of clientele so that does NOT mean everyone doing the same will end up in the same situation. Your are taking care of the one's that made it and that is why take care of their taxes and NOT because of the above reasons.

This was an inherent issue with Millionaire next door. Most SBO don't make it rich. Most real estate folks don't make it rich. Just because you find the ones that do doesn't make it a great plan. Correlation and causation are not the same.

Good luck.
"The stock market [fluctuation], therefore, is noise. A giant distraction from the business of investing.” | -Jack Bogle

clutchied
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Re: CPA: The best profession if you want to make the most money + keep the most money?

Post by clutchied » Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:16 pm

staythecourse wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:22 pm
clutchied wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:12 am

Hey yeah, so it's pretty easy. You would think there would be some type of secret but nope...


1. They had big brokerage accounts, most were actively managed
2. Many had a business of some kind. Most were service oriented.
3. Many had real estate rentals.
4. Many had lots of cash to capitalize on opportunities as they presented themselves.
5. All had lots of insurance and professionals to assist them with their various enterprises.
6. Some had combinations of the above but most tended to focus on either stocks and bonds or real estate. There were a few crossovers but less than I would expect.
7. Most had no debt.
8. Most were self made.
I would be a bit cautious just following the above advice because 1,2,3,4, and 7 do NOT got with 8. How can you me self made AND start your own business and own rental real estate AND be there with no debt? That doesn't pass the sniff test of common sense. If you are self made you have used leverage to start/ expand a business+ rental real estate. My opinion, this a case of selection bias. You are seeing the ones as a CPA servicing a specific type of clientele so that does NOT mean everyone doing the same will end up in the same situation. Your are taking care of the one's that made it and that is why take care of their taxes and NOT because of the above reasons.

This was an inherent issue with Millionaire next door. Most SBO don't make it rich. Most real estate folks don't make it rich. Just because you find the ones that do doesn't make it a great plan. Correlation and causation are not the same.

Good luck.

Certainly a great point. I should have put that caveat that these were the success stories. Obviously attach Boglehead philosophies to bring them inline with the philosophy of this site.

and of course this doesn't guarantee success...


BUT the relationship was robust and often repeated. I'm not trying to tie them together or say one preceded the other. This was the outcome.

The only real exception were the double dipping california government employees who had massive pensions.

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Re: CPA: The best profession if you want to make the most money + keep the most money?

Post by abuss368 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 2:23 pm

clutchied wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 12:12 am
abuss368 wrote:
Sat Dec 09, 2017 11:18 am
clutchied wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:38 am
SouthernCPA wrote:
Fri Dec 08, 2017 11:26 am
I'm a CPA that has worked in public practice (tax) and now am in Commercial Real Estate development. The key to making money as a CPA is using the knowledge the CPA provides to leverage that into industry - at least that has been my experience.

If you are going to become CPA because you think you're going to make bucketloads of money simply by being a CPA, I'm afraid you will be let down. The knowledge gained certainly gives you an edge over others in business, but it doesn't guarantee you'll make great money. I know CPAs who make $25,000/year and I know CPA's who make millions. It depends how you utilize the knowledge and how hard you're willing to work.

Am CPA and totally agree. I did tax returns for wealthy people for 6 years and figured out how the wealthy make and keep money and now I do that.
Hi clutchied -

I am interested in your post and it is relevant to this thread and the original posters note. What did you learn from servicing tax return clients? What knowledge gained have you specifically put into practice?

Best.

Hey yeah, so it's pretty easy. You would think there would be some type of secret but nope...


1. They had big brokerage accounts, most were actively managed
2. Many had a business of some kind. Most were service oriented.
3. Many had real estate rentals.
4. Many had lots of cash to capitalize on opportunities as they presented themselves.
5. All had lots of insurance and professionals to assist them with their various enterprises.
6. Some had combinations of the above but most tended to focus on either stocks and bonds or real estate. There were a few crossovers but less than I would expect.
7. Most had no debt.
8. Most were self made.


So specifically for me I made the "tremendous" step of realizing they were normal people that started somewhere so I took a leap and started buying real estate. I started saving aggressively and paying down debt.

probably not earth shattering for bogleheads but for me in my mid-20's it made a huge impression on me. Specifically since my family, while well educated, had zero investment experience so I was starting from zero...
Thank you for the explanation.
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!" | | Disclosure: Three Fund Portfolio + U.S. & International REITs

retired recently
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Re: CPA: The best profession if you want to make the most money + keep the most money?

Post by retired recently » Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:30 pm

While I did not go into accounting as I thought it would make me rich, I went into the Big 4, made partner after 10 years and retired after 18 years at 40. I could not have done this in the US but I was quite willing to move where I was needed. I was very lucky to be in the right place at the right time. I made very good money but most importantly I am not (and do not think I could ever be) a big spender...

I do not believe the follow your passion advice as I was certainly not passionate about accounting, but at the same time I did like accounting and was reasonably good at it. So you certainly should not go into any field if you do not find it interesting and like it since you will be doing a lot of it.

SrGrumpy
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Re: CPA: The best profession if you want to make the most money + keep the most money?

Post by SrGrumpy » Mon Dec 11, 2017 5:52 pm

Pacman wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:37 pm
Weren't you the guy posting about a month ago who runs a tutoring business but wants to go to medical school? I'm not sure whether to take this post seriously, because of some of the phrasing such as "extremely rich" which honestly sounds immature.
Good catch. This person's posts are always fun, in a weird way.

investing1012
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Re: CPA: The best profession if you want to make the most money + keep the most money?

Post by investing1012 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:27 pm

Derivative wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:11 pm
I am wondering if becoming a CPA is the best profession if you want to make the most money + keep the most money? I have some friends who are CPA accountants and they have their own business and are expanding it to 4+ different locations in different cities AND different states. I am wondering if my goal was to make the most amount of money + keep the most amount of money, that a CPA + accounting business would be the profession and job for me. Basically, I want to be able to use tax strategies to maximize the amount of money that I earn and keep.

My other dream is to become a doctor (surgeon) and have a successful business but I don't know if it is smart or possible for me to do both MD + CPA? Is CPA overkill if I want to maximize how much money I earn and keep? I am 25 y/o. Should I only focus on being a doctor or is getting both degrees smarter if my goal is to not only become a doctor but become extremely rich and financially independent with businesses & real estate?

Any advice is appreciated. Thank you!
You probably wont get into medical school (only 1/3 of applicants do and majority who get in aren't in it for the money) so just go to CPA school.

amindu
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Re: CPA: The best profession if you want to make the most money + keep the most money?

Post by amindu » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:35 pm

investing1012 wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:27 pm
Derivative wrote:
Thu Dec 07, 2017 5:11 pm
I am wondering if becoming a CPA is the best profession if you want to make the most money + keep the most money? I have some friends who are CPA accountants and they have their own business and are expanding it to 4+ different locations in different cities AND different states. I am wondering if my goal was to make the most amount of money + keep the most amount of money, that a CPA + accounting business would be the profession and job for me. Basically, I want to be able to use tax strategies to maximize the amount of money that I earn and keep.

My other dream is to become a doctor (surgeon) and have a successful business but I don't know if it is smart or possible for me to do both MD + CPA? Is CPA overkill if I want to maximize how much money I earn and keep? I am 25 y/o. Should I only focus on being a doctor or is getting both degrees smarter if my goal is to not only become a doctor but become extremely rich and financially independent with businesses & real estate?

Any advice is appreciated. Thank you!
You probably wont get into medical school (only 1/3 of applicants do and majority who get in aren't in it for the money) so just go to CPA school.
Lol there is no such thing as CPA school. You get a degree in accounting from any accredited univ, and then sit for the CPA exams. If you successfully pass then your a CPA.

investing1012
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Re: CPA: The best profession if you want to make the most money + keep the most money?

Post by investing1012 » Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:42 pm

Wow big difference. Cpa school vs schooling to get a cpa license. I hope you got the sarcasm.

Miakis
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Re: CPA: The best profession if you want to make the most money + keep the most money?

Post by Miakis » Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:53 pm

I'm a CPA and my Physician clients make way more money than I do. On the other hand, I'm self-employed, so I control my own schedule and work fewer hours than they do. I also spent less time in school.

I don't think there are many synergies to being a CPA, MD.

On the other hand, a couple of my professors in business school were PhDs in Accounting and they had huge salaries - with experience, they made more than my Physician clients!

So Dr. CPA is a money-making route, if you like Academics. Different kind of Doctor, though.

As a small-business focused CPA, I would say that I do KEEP the most money, as a percentage share of gross income. But I don't make the most money.

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abuss368
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Re: CPA: The best profession if you want to make the most money + keep the most money?

Post by abuss368 » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:29 pm

amindu wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 6:35 pm
Lol there is no such thing as CPA school. You get a degree in accounting from any accredited univ, and then sit for the CPA exams. If you successfully pass then your a CPA.
There is a third piece to becoming a CPA - Degree in Accounting, CPA Exam, and Experience requirement from working under a CPA for a certain period of time.
John C. Bogle: "You simply do not need to put your money into 8 different mutual funds!" | | Disclosure: Three Fund Portfolio + U.S. & International REITs

Texanbybirth
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Re: CPA: The best profession if you want to make the most money + keep the most money?

Post by Texanbybirth » Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:33 pm

Miakis wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:53 pm
I'm a CPA and my Physician clients make way more money than I do. On the other hand, I'm self-employed, so I control my own schedule and work fewer hours than they do. I also spent less time in school.

I don't think there are many synergies to being a CPA, MD.

On the other hand, a couple of my professors in business school were PhDs in Accounting and they had huge salaries - with experience, they made more than my Physician clients!

So Dr. CPA is a money-making route, if you like Academics. Different kind of Doctor, though.

As a small-business focused CPA, I would say that I do KEEP the most money, as a percentage share of gross income. But I don't make the most money.
Interesting point about the Dr. CPA route. Have you heard of this program? It keeps popping up in my head every few months, considering I almost did the PhD route a few years ago (albeit in economics), but I chickened out.

Miakis
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Re: CPA: The best profession if you want to make the most money + keep the most money?

Post by Miakis » Thu Dec 14, 2017 5:50 pm

Texanbybirth wrote:
Tue Dec 12, 2017 4:33 pm
Miakis wrote:
Mon Dec 11, 2017 10:53 pm
I'm a CPA and my Physician clients make way more money than I do. On the other hand, I'm self-employed, so I control my own schedule and work fewer hours than they do. I also spent less time in school.

I don't think there are many synergies to being a CPA, MD.

On the other hand, a couple of my professors in business school were PhDs in Accounting and they had huge salaries - with experience, they made more than my Physician clients!

So Dr. CPA is a money-making route, if you like Academics. Different kind of Doctor, though.

As a small-business focused CPA, I would say that I do KEEP the most money, as a percentage share of gross income. But I don't make the most money.
Interesting point about the Dr. CPA route. Have you heard of this program? It keeps popping up in my head every few months, considering I almost did the PhD route a few years ago (albeit in economics), but I chickened out.
I think if teaching university is something that appeals to you, then a CPA PhD makes a lot of sense. Especially if you're mobile (willing to move for a faculty position) and have some form of decent classroom presence. There aren't many out there, and the work experience + PhD is very attractive to business schools (although not 100% necessary - the two I was speaking of were lifelong academics).

I don't know anything about the linked program. Personally, I am just not prepared to suck up 4 more years of school and then land in academics - which doesn't seem to be an uncommon attitude among my accountant peers. Teaching is not really my passion. But I can't deny that financially, it would be more lucrative than working for myself.

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