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Why I Became A Financial Advisor

By Jeff Brown, MD, MBA, CFA®, CFP®

When it comes to choosing a career, some people are drawn to certain jobs or industries because of a passion, a natural aptitude, or an exciting opportunity. But then, once they get their feet wet, they see a need that they can fill. That’s exactly how I found my way into my career as a financial advisor.

Building My Career

Physicians have a unique set of financial circumstances, challenges, and opportunities. Their work and their lives don’t fit within a one-size-fits-all strategy. By the time most physicians finish their medical training, they are saddled with a substantial amount of educational debt. Due to their prolonged education, they experience a much later start in their careers than other people, limiting the amount of time they have to harness the power of compound returns while saving for retirement. During my early years as a radiologist, I saw that physicians were generally not well served by the financial community. Our unique situation requires someone who understands our challenges and can help us optimize our approach to investing and financial planning.

While working as a professor of radiology at Washington University in St. Louis, I decided to go out on a limb and do my part to fill this gap. I earned an MBA in finance at Washington University and co-founded Shearwater Capital, LLC with my colleague and fellow radiologist Eric Malden. We share the vision of serving physicians by taking the best ideas from the world of academic finance and applying them in a practical manner to investment management and retirement planning, all at a very reasonable cost.

My Role Today

Now, 21 years after founding Shearwater Capital, I serve as principal and chief investment officer while still working as a practicing radiologist. I am committed to helping physicians and their families, providing comprehensive financial planning and an evidence-based approach to investing.

The Best Part

It is incredibly rewarding to have my feet in two different worlds and be able to serve people with all my experience in both industries. There’s just nothing like seeing our physician clients reach their financial and retirement goals because of our guidance and support. I know that our clients depend on us to help them create an effective financial plan conducive to their lives. I do not take that privilege lightly!

Can I Help You?

If you are a physician and would like to learn more about how investing, saving, and planning integrates with your academic or private practice career in medicine, I’d love to get to know you and show you how I can help. Schedule a complimentary consultation by calling (314) 434-4750, emailing, or using our online calendar.

About Jeff

Jeffrey Brown is principal and chief investment officer at Shearwater Capital, LLC, a fee-only fiduciary financial advisory firm helping physicians and their families attain financial security using a scientific, evidence-based approach. Jeff has been a practicing radiologist for over 35 years and is currently a professor and chair of the Department of Radiology at Saint Louis University School of Medicine. He earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, Irvine and his medical degree from the University of California, San Diego and has been named one of St. Louis’s Top Doctors every year since 2011 in St. Louis Magazine. Jeff saw a need for physician-tailored financial services and earned an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis, going on to found Shearwater Capital, LLC with fellow MBA classmate, radiologist, and faculty member Eric Malden. Jeff is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®) and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER® (CFP®) practitioner. Learn more about Jeff by connecting with him on LinkedIn.


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