"You can't judge a book by its cover" is a well-known adage warning the unwary to look deeper into an advisor's hidden agenda before buying into their advice. Usually, free advice is worth exactly what you pay for it because the advice may or may not apply to you, your life, or your objectives. Advice is relative, and for it to be constructive and meaningful, time must be spent learning more about you and your objectives before giving (and receiving) useful advice. If this process is skipped, then most of the information you receive will be inappropriate (as in not applicable to your needs) or terrible advice.

For example, some dental students are being told that the value of dental practices is dropping because there are more sellers than purchasers coming into the marketplace, which is half right. The more rural practices that come up for sale, the lower the prices will go because there are very few purchasers for rural practices in the first place. However, practices in a highly desirable metro areas (or great tourist destinations) have five to ten purchasers for every practice available. Hence, prices remain high, so this claim is extremely misleading.

Many young dentists have lost out on good practice opportunities in highly desirable areas because their uninformed advisors told them that the practice was priced too high. Other dentists then purchased these practices who understood that any difference of opinion relating to the purchase price paled compared to having the right practice in the right area for the next 30 or 35 years of their practice lifetime. The dentist who passed on buying the practice would, more often than not, continue wandering from office to office for years. He'd continue to look for a great deal while losing tens and even hundreds of thousands of dollars each year of lost income that could have been earned by him/her through owning that practice.

Advisors make money by having their new clients open new practices. They are always going to advise new dentists to do their own thing or do it their way. The advisor may say not to buy someone's old office with old, used dental equipment, or to not buy some other dentist's problems (too many patients?). Therefore, they should open a new practice from scratch. Dentists who start a practice from scratch earn an average of three to five million less over their practice lifetime than those dentists who purchased an existing dental practice!

Some well-meaning dental schools invite so-called outside experts to provide advice to their junior and senior students. There are instances where these advisors have financial ties to certain commercially owned dental practices, so their "advice" to the students is not to buy a practice but instead, go to work for the commercial dental practice for some years before striking out on their own.

If these trusting students, already burdened with school debt, follow this advice, then they now face years of much lower income (compensation of 20% to 25% of their production). The students will also face rising interest-related debt before discovering that he/she has no future where they are. They have lost hundreds of thousands of dollars of unrecoverable earnings that they could have made if they had owned their practice. They have also provided support to the very companies competing with them and their colleagues for the same business they will need to survive in private practice. They usually don't discover this error for 5 to 7 years later, thereby compounding the hidden cost of bad advice.

AFTCO sells dental practices, and we would like to sell you a practice if it is the best thing for you to do for your future. Our advice will be to think for yourself, look at the issues objectively and decide what is best for you, your family, and your future. Consider the hidden cost of bad advice and the advisor's hidden agenda. Don't just blindly follow anyone's advice, but keep an open mind and think logically. If the information provided by AFTCO makes sense to you, follow your instincts, and go for it. If you remain doubtful, listen to your instincts because you are not ready to handle a practice on your own. It is your future, and we are here to help, whether that assistance is used by you today, next year, or in the next decade. Call AFTCO today at 800-232-3826 or visit our website at www.AFTCO.net.

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