Welcome back to GrowOrtho! In today’s episode, we sit down with Dr. Keith Dressler. Dr. Dressler is the founder of Orthobanc, a payment solutions management company, as well as Rhinogram, a zero-barrier patient access Telehealth software platform company. He is also a practicing orthodontist from Chattanooga, TN, with nearly 40 years in the field. Tune in to hear about:
- One of his favorite pieces of advice on how to accumulate wealth (Hint: It’s incredibly simple)
- When Dr. Dressler recommends loans—and when he doesn’t
- The “rule of 72” and why finding tax-free environments for wealth-building is so crucial
- How he defines independently wealthy—and how he achieved that state in his 30s
- How Dr. Dressler identified opportunities to create products and services to increase his practice’s wealth (and his patients’ experience), including his journey toward creating Orthobanc
- The importance of diversification and having multiple streams of income
- When and how to choose the right people to help you with your finances, especially if you don’t have high financial literacy yourself
Our discussion covers a wide range of financial topics, including wealth-building, bonds, and taxes. Here’s a brief summary of just a few of our talking points to pique your interest:
- Dr. Dressler came out of dental school and orthodontics residency in a situation that is virtually unheard of today—debt-free. At the time, he knew nothing about finances and was under the illusion that walking into a bank to get a loan would be easy. That wasn’t exactly true, and by the time he did end up getting a loan to start his business, he “did not sleep for the first three months.” For the first time in his life, Dr. Dressler was in debt.
- Thankfully, Dr. Dressler was able to get out of debt within about two years, and at the same time dove headfirst into wealth-building for himself and his employees. The key factor? Investing early and often in retirement plans or any vehicle that would be state and federal tax-free. “To accumulate wealth,” he says, “you want to do it in a tax-free environment.”
- Dr. Dressler hits on plenty of other important pieces of business knowledge, including the rule of 72, how to establish multiple streams of income (and how to position these “streams” in a tax-advantaged way), and the mathematical reality of how much it would take to get an investment back even after losing 50 percent of its value.
- Tellingly, some of his most poignant insights come from some of his biggest losses. Early on in his career, Dr. Dressler started gaining traction in his own investments and decided to branch out by investing in other practices. However, he was only a limited partner in these ventures and therefore had no say in how these companies ran their operations. The lesson he learned from this was costly; Dr. Dressler ended up losing close to $1 million on practices that seemed to care more about high salaries and appearances than success. He realized at this point that if he were going to lose that kind of money, “I’m going to lose it doing it my own way.” Thanks to this entrepreneurial spirit, alongside a deep calling to help others, Dr. Dressler ended up creating Orthobanc, and later, Rhinogram.
- As for creating an exceptional patient experience (and, in turn, drive profitability for himself and his employees), Dr. Dressler gives credit to his willingness to pay attention to what his patients are already doing. He cites a perfect example: moving his practice away from traditional means of communication (e.g., phone calls) to social media messaging and texts after noticing that these were the clearly “preferred” methods of communication among his community.
One other thing Dr. Dressler says that really sticks out: “The wealthier you get, the harder it is to be happy in some sense. Happiness is not derived from how many chips you’ve got. It’s not how much money you’ve got. It’s what you’re able to do.” A great reminder for anyone on a wealth-building journey.