Dentists Get Their Financial Check-Up: Nexus attends the 2022 Ontario Dental Conference

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Tom Wilson, CFA, MFin

June 24, 2022


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Dentists Get Their Financial Check-Up: Nexus attends the 2022 Ontario Dental Conference

In early May, we had the opportunity to attend the Ontario Dental Association’s (ODA) Annual Spring Meeting (ASM) in Toronto. Now in its 157th year, the ASM is the signature dental conference and trade show of the ODA and is one of the largest dental conventions in North America.

The ASM is a great opportunity for dental professionals to learn, network, share ideas, best practices and gain valuable insights into the dental profession. Not only was it our first time attending the ASM, but it was also the first in-person ASM since 2019 – hopefully a sign that things are finally starting to return to normal.

At Nexus, a number of our clients are dentists and medical professionals. Our business is designed to work with individuals who, like dentists, are often too busy to properly manage their own investments but want to know that their capital will grow in real terms so they can retire comfortably. Conferences like the ASM provide us with a great opportunity to connect with hard working professionals so that we can better understand the challenges they face and their financial goals.

Dentists, like other professionals, face many challenges throughout the lifecycle of their careers. Whether they’re entering the field, or a seasoned professional running their own practice, at Nexus, we can help them define a path through integrated investment management and wealth planning to help them achieve good financial health – for the long term.

At a high-level, the lifecycle of a dental professional can be broken down into four stages – early, growth, late, and retirement. In each stage, there are certain challenges faced and key things that can be done to set each person up for financial success. We help dental professionals achieve their financial goals throughout all four stages. You can read more on each stage here.

Although the decisions made in the early stage (debt repayment, cashflow management, establishing a professional team, opening a Professional Corporation) of a professional’s career will have a big impact on their first 5 years, the choices made in the growth and late stages will be the key determinants of success in their retirement. Let’s look at some considerations for those stages.

Growth Stage: For the established dentist

The biggest challenge dental professionals face in this stage is coping with the ever-increasing demands for their time and money. Their practice is growing, and they’re stretched thin serving patients and managing their business. They’re finally earning more than they spend. They may be buying their first practice or hiring more staff to support the ever-increasing demands from their patients. They’re starting a family! Needless to say, they’ll need to make important decisions about managing their wealth. Their priority should be focused on doing what they do best – managing their practice. Leveraging their professional team to help them manage their finances will be crucial to their success.

Some of the key things they’ll be doing will be maximizing registered savings and integrating their professional corporation into their financial plan to help keep more of what they earn. They’ll need detailed wealth and estate planning as their financial situation becomes more complex as they get older and their family grows. Their investments should be focused on continuing long-term capital accumulation (net cash contribution, focus on asset growth, long-term investment horizon). These are the peak earning years of a professional and their ability to replace capital is high.

Late Stage: Staying focused on the big picture

They’ve worked hard to build and grow their business to where it is, but they’re starting to think about retirement. Some of the questions they might be asking themselves are, “Should I sell my practice? What steps do I need to take today to prepare for that? Do I qualify for the capital gains exemption? Are my registered and non-registered portfolios enough to support me and my family in retirement?” Wealth planning in this stage should be focused on preparing for retirement. A key determinant will be how much income they need to support their lifestyle and how to draw it down tax efficiently. Investment management should be focused on portfolio accumulation, but they’re starting to consider preparing/transitioning their portfolio to decumulation.


There are some things that we don’t do in-house at Nexus. We’re not accountants, business consultants, or lawyers. But over the years we have assembled a large network of trustworthy professionals, including lawyers and accountants, with experience dealing with Dentist clients that we can leverage to assist professionals and their practice.

At the end of the day, no matter where an individual is in their professional or personal lifecycle, Nexus’s tailored investment management and wealth planning process can help them achieve their financial goals. For more information on how Nexus can partner with you to achieve your goals, get in touch with us for your financial check-up.

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