so are financial planners really rich?

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brothaK's picture
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Joined: 2006-04-18

i see them all drive bmw's and mercedesbut it just seems all the lower end modelsI never see any AMG's or any ///M'sjust a buch of leased 525's and e350's and some 745'swhats going on guys??? i was expecting 760's and s65's... what is your ride?

brothaK's picture
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Joined: 2006-04-18

bunch*

Gone Indy's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-02

'75 Chevy Impala wagon...you know the one, has a third seat that faces to the rear.  I can fit up to seven clients!
 
 

Scorpio's picture
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A lot of them are really rich, but still only drive modest cars for
good reason.  If a broker rolls into the country club in a Lambo,
all his clients there are going to start questioning the fees and think
they're being overcharged....

You don't want to look *too* luxurious when its your clients' money that you're spending.

Captain's picture
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Joined: 2006-04-07

I prefer to spread my wealth around over a variety of toys.

The most outward demonstration of my monetary existence is my
sailboat. I own a racing sailboat and will many times take my clients out
for an afternoon of sailing.

I could certainly afford something other than the Audi A6 that I drive, but,
I agree with Scorpio.... clients, for some strange reason, thing when you
drive a suped-up car, that you've been overcharging them.

So, I opt to tell them that I'm too poor to afford a true yacht with the big
engines. I have to take the 'free' way up and down the coast..... wind
powered is the only way to be. I don't, however, tell them that it can cost
up to $12,000 for one sail to harness that 'free' wind.

Hahahahaha.

Capt.

brothaK's picture
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Joined: 2006-04-18

yep.. thats exactly what I thoughtbut do you guys have the lambos, or even the amg's at home at least?i mean it sounds like the avg salary on this forum is around 200kand I think that is good enough to get some nice cars.. no?

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

Financial planners are not rich.  The vast majority make under $100,000.  It's hard to make that much money on financial planning fees. 
On the other hand, those who sell financial products (stocks, bonds, insurance, mutual funds, etc) can make a ton of money.   Their title (stock broker, financial advisor, insurance agent, financial planner, etc) is irrelevant.
The point is that the money is not made in the planning, but rather in the sales.

brothaK's picture
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Joined: 2006-04-18

thats what i mean the full on FA

Captain's picture
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Joined: 2006-04-07

Nope.

Those cars are nice, but I really don't have the interest. True story.

Could I purchase a Lambo? yeah... the low-end version.... But, I have no
real interest in that kind of thing. Then, I'd have to sacrifce some sailing
event, put off a new boat purchase - I'd rather not do that....

Enjoy it all, I say......

C

derekgaddy's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-18

Go read the Millionaire Next Door by Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko - you might learn something. Jeeeeez.

brothaK's picture
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Joined: 2006-04-18

reviews are looking good, will go check it out at the library or bookstore. thanks for the book tip

Scorpio's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-22

Yeah that is a good book....

I can't afford those cars (I'm just a rook).  If you think about
it though, buying really expensive cars goes against everything an FA
preaches anyway.  There's no other asset that loses value faster
than a car.  So tying up a ton of money in batmobiles doesn't make
much sense as someone who provides financial advice for a living. 

Soothsayer's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-24

A real financial advisor would never waste money on something as silly as a "Lambo."  He would invest in something far more practical--like serious bling-bling or a rack enhancement for the wife.  Oh, and he might send his kids to private school. (Read the signature line.)

exEJIR's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-12

A friend of mine has this saying...
"I'll never drive a car that my clients can't afford to drive."

D.H.K.'s picture
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Joined: 2005-02-27

I drive a 2003 Toyota Corolla.It now has over 80k miles on it.  Best car on the road for gas mileage - other than the overpriced hybrids out there.I'm also a rookie, and would like to "upgrade" to a Nissan Maxima or similar type car.

BrokerRecruit's picture
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Joined: 2005-04-19

I'm glad someone expressed the thought that you don't want to seem like you are overcharging by driving a "lambo" and appearing to be too overpretentious.  I've known many that drive a 5 year old MB that is still in great shape, but not too flashy to make their clients wonder what they're doing with their money.

7GOD63's picture
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Joined: 2006-01-29

Millionare Next Door is an awesome book...
Read it and live within your means and anyone can be a millionare.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

brothaK wrote:yep.. thats exactly what I thoughtbut do you guys have the lambos, or even the amg's at home at least?i mean it sounds like the avg salary on this forum is around 200kand I think that is good enough to get some nice cars.. no?
Depending upon how much one follows one's own advice about spending habits, paying oneself first, saving for the future, etc....and if one has kids and a mortgage, most likely one cannot afford a Lambo or AMG on 200k a year.  It would be insane.  Right now my car isn't anything to brag on, but I make no payments, and it hasn't cost me a nickel.  I like the new Escalade, and could buy one on my signature today with no problem, but I don't need it.  I have other priorities.We have some nice stuff, and live a comfortable life.  But, I know from first hand experience what it's like to live from one paycheck to the next with no cushion.  I know how it feels to have debt collectors call, and staring at the credit card bill and wondering how it would be paid off.  I don't ever want to go back there.I gain greater gratification from watching the balance in my account grow by the month!Live life, and one day you'll understand.

bankrep1's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

Wow
I wonder if I was that stupid when I was 21.  Son, you can buy anything you want and just because you can make the payment doesn't mean you can afford it.

Moneytree's picture
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Joined: 2005-12-27

joedabrkr wrote:I gain greater gratification from watching the balance in my account grow by the month!Live life, and one day you'll understand.

Agree 100%

Cars depreciate. Portfolios appreciate. I drive the best car on the road today. A four year old one that's paid for.

I could afford many of the luxury vehicles but it just doesn't make any financial sense.

I often wonder about the person driving the $80,000+ auto. I would guess for most, that is their portfolio.

brothaK's picture
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Joined: 2006-04-18

very good pointsthanks for all your feedbacks

san fran broker's picture
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But you do, in fact, need to have decent wheels to do this job.
I drive a $50,000 mercedes for the reasons others described - it's nice, but it's not TOO nice.
In order to build rapport - you must generally look like your clients - not wealthier, but of the same social class and income. If your clients make more than $300k a year and have investment assets north of $2 million, they are going to drive something relatively new and expensive. Even that Ford F150 is going to be a NICE, new truck.
Most corporate executives, management consultants, affluent attorneys, specialist physicians, senior engineers and financial types are going to do business in a wirehouse or boutique firm. We wear suits and meet face to face.  If you saw us, you'd assume that WE were a corporate executive, banker or doctor. We never describe ourselves as "Financial Planners" - too downmarket. "Financial Advisor" or "Wealth Manager" or "Private Banker" are the terms that we're going to use to decribe ourselves.
If you're in a wirehouse or a boutique, whether you can afford to or not (and when you're a rookie, you can't) you must dress and drive the part. No C-level corporate executive of a public firm is going to employ a "Wealth Manager" who drives a 1990 Hyundai Charade and wears a $200 suits. He will not sign an ACAT worth $2 million. No one will.
The Suze Orman - ish "Financial Planner" - types are generally catering to a much more frugal crowd - either by preference or necessity. Their clients are blue and grey collar employees, small business owners, GP physicians, nurses - people who never had the company fly them first class or who went on a roadshow. Their clients are people who've saved their entire lives or who cashed out the pension plan in a lump sum. Sometimes they're young families who make little money, but want to know how to save for retirement. Suze can dress from Macy's and never have to worry about looking "poor" to their clients. She'll always seem successful - it's relative.

anonymous's picture
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Joined: 2005-09-29

Big hat.  No cattle.
You are probably correct in your assessment if you are going after the high income crowd.  You are completely incorrect if you are going after the high networth crowd.  So many of these folks are business owners who have no outward signs of wealth.

7GOD63's picture
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san fran broker Praise the lord! For sure a new PFA who goes to any professionals home with a 93 Ford or a 88 Chevy is going to have a serious confidence issue. Of course there are some strong people out there who can overcome this, but when you drive a nice car you feel good... Also it can help with marketing!
Anonymous.. Man I work with blue collar crown/owners and I don't think they have an issue with a financial advisor who at least looks the part. Of course you have to sell/advise the client, but if I pulled up in a beat up 93 pickup??

anonymous's picture
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I don't recall anyone advocating that you should drive a beat up pickup.  If you want a $50,000 car, go buy one.  If you think that it will help your business, you are dreaming.

troll's picture
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san fran broker wrote:
But you do, in fact, need to have decent wheels to do this job.
I drive a $50,000 mercedes for the reasons others described - it's nice, but it's not TOO nice.
In order to build rapport - you must generally look like your clients - not wealthier, but of the same social class and income. If your clients make more than $300k a year and have investment assets north of $2 million, they are going to drive something relatively new and expensive. Even that Ford F150 is going to be a NICE, new truck.
Most corporate executives, management consultants, affluent attorneys, specialist physicians, senior engineers and financial types are going to do business in a wirehouse or boutique firm. We wear suits and meet face to face.  If you saw us, you'd assume that WE were a corporate executive, banker or doctor. We never describe ourselves as "Financial Planners" - too downmarket. "Financial Advisor" or "Wealth Manager" or "Private Banker" are the terms that we're going to use to decribe ourselves.
If you're in a wirehouse or a boutique, whether you can afford to or not (and when you're a rookie, you can't) you must dress and drive the part. No C-level corporate executive of a public firm is going to employ a "Wealth Manager" who drives a 1990 Hyundai Charade and wears a $200 suits. He will not sign an ACAT worth $2 million. No one will.
The Suze Orman - ish "Financial Planner" - types are generally catering to a much more frugal crowd - either by preference or necessity. Their clients are blue and grey collar employees, small business owners, GP physicians, nurses - people who never had the company fly them first class or who went on a roadshow. Their clients are people who've saved their entire lives or who cashed out the pension plan in a lump sum. Sometimes they're young families who make little money, but want to know how to save for retirement. Suze can dress from Macy's and never have to worry about looking "poor" to their clients. She'll always seem successful - it's relative.

 
'Tis true, 'tis true 

7GOD63's picture
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Okay so when I pull up to the Democratic town committee in my 97 Grand Am... Why not pull up in a nice 7 series 95 BMW... That is my point. Not 50k or 200k, but instead of something low end go premium and - 5 years for 15k.
If your inside a building and you never go to see customers then drive a Chevette to save your money and be debt free. Also all employees would get one hell of a laugh. Actaully go with the Gremlin, I love that freaking car!

skeedaddy2's picture
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san fran broker wrote:In order to build rapport - you must generally
look like your clients - not wealthier, but of the same social class
and income.

Well said.  Reading this thread has caused me to chuckle, so I
decided to jump in.  As far as a Lambo, its okay if your clients
are Snoop Dog, Shaq or Larry Flint.

I have a client who is a car collector (daily driver is a Cayenne
Turbo).  We disagree about whether it is a good investment, but I
have to acknowledge that his cars offer HIM a level of satisfaction he
doesn't get from his brokerage statement. 

He invited me to one of the larger car club functions...Ferrari. I have
to admit, it was a financial advisor's wet dream...200 affluent
individuals at one spot.  I'm tempted to tap my HELOC to get one
so I can be on the inside.  

Now, I need to convince the wife.

dude's picture
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Only *hacks* drive anything less than 'Lambo's'.

c'mon man do you know how many people actually drive $150k plus sports cars?  The maintenance costs alone are enough to keep someone making $200k a year in the poor house (assuming they have other real life expenses and a commensurate lifestyle with their income). In addition owning a 'lambo' or other sports car is not necessarily proof that someone is 'rich'.  What's you definition of rich anyway?  Sorry to break it to you but I don't see someone making $200k as rich (if that's the only qualifying factor).  I've known guys who make $500k a year with $1,000,000 homes driving higher end cars (sorry no 'lambo's') that I don't consider rich by any means (although they are certainly affluent). 
I don't start to consider someone rich until they are at a place where they don't have to work to afford their affluent lifestyle, maybe it looks something like $10 million producing $400k plus in income yearly (and this is at the low end).  These guys are probably not driving 'Lambo's' to say the least.
The plain truth is that very few financial advisors are at this level.  The 'richest' brokers I've known were in their 70's or 80's worth approximatley $10 million (received through years of staying with Dean Witter and getting stock grants through multiple acquisitions) and drove middle of the road vehicles.  There were 3 if these guys at my Morgan Stanley branch.  The thing is that they were able to accumulate that sum by not driving 'Lambo's', Benleys, Rolls Royce's etc.... and living with in their means (which was a pretty nice lifestyle by the way, not extravagant though).
 

doberman's picture
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What? No one drives a Yugo?

Scorpio's picture
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skeedaddy2 wrote:
Well said.  Reading this thread has caused me to chuckle, so I
decided to jump in.  As far as a Lambo, its okay if your clients
are Snoop Dog, Shaq or Larry Flint.

Haha...actually Shaq, Eminem, and 50 Cent are all clients of ML. 
Sometimes when I'm bored I'll search through the 'existing relationship
directory'....I don't think I would even want to be the FA for 50 cent
though; imagine doing a review with him at the end of '02 

skeedaddy's picture
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I'm down with that...DAWG!

tjc45's picture
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Judging a book by it's cover, always interesting.
A couple years ago I was the guest speaker some place, Rotary, Lions, I don't recall exactly which group. But I remember what happened. I'd given my talk and was taking questions when some clown asked why I was driving a Honda Accord. "Well the Benz is in the shop", I joked. Then I continued "Seriously, I own 12 vehicles. None are leased or financed, 7 are for my personal use and 5 are driven by my children. They range from brand new to a few years old.  I could have come tonite in my Mustang Cobra convertible or on my BMW K1200LT motorcycle, but I didn't think it would be appropriate. Likewise, I could have ridden over on my Honda scooter, but I don't like riding it after dark. If we were at a park or fairground I might have brought my motorhome, but this restaurant doesn't have a big enough parking lot for my 40 foot diesel pusher. And if you guys were all farmers maybe I would have shown up in my Dodge Ram Pickup truck. But, tonite I decided to drive my Honda Accord. It's a perfectly good car and I enjoy driving it, more so than my Jeep Grand Cherokee. Does that answer your question?
Those might not have been my exact words, I didn't write them down. But it's close and I did get all my cars into the answer.
I've learned that judging a book by it's cover is a huge mistake. Yet, there are those who do it. If not driving the top of the line car with the blue propeller insignia on the grill cost me a client, so be it. So far, it hasn't been an issue.

liquidasset's picture
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A car is not going to land you a client. Trust will land you a client.
How is a client going to know what kind of car I drive anyways? Our biggest producer in our company drives a mini-van, he must be a hack though. A humble hack though right?
If you appeal to a certain social class, i am sure you are one of them anways. Why change your ways if that is not even the cirlce you run around with?
I never have once met someone and been like WOW, he drives a high end benz. I have to do business with him. Heck for all you know, he could be dealing drugs, fraud, churning , ect. You get my drift.
Besides I only do business with Carver Yacht owners, and maybe a Boston Whaler owner!

7GOD63's picture
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True..  Toyota is awesome! Liquid Assets should I get a mini van?All I am saying is that for a new PFA everything helps... First impression is important... Confidence is important and looking your best is important. Now an experienced RR could pull off driving a Pinto, but a new RR with limited knowledge needs every bit of help. Actually if a new PFA had something really nice you would have to question how smart the "kid" or "rookie" is. Last thing they need to worry about is a $500 dollar car payment and the $400 insurance payment. But I would much rather drive a 10 year old 7 series then a 5 year old anything American.

Revealer's picture
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tjc: I could almost live off the interest on the value of the stuff you own/drive. Guess I don't get the point of 12 vehicles.

babbling looney's picture
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12 vehicles does seem excessive. We only have 6.  Of course almost all of them are classic type vehicles for several reasons. We belong to a hot rod/classic car club. Older vehicles don't need to be smogged and can be brought up to modern standards without the high DMV registration costs of a new vehicle. Older vehicles don't have computerized crap to fail on you every time you turn around.
For example our 1967 Chevy Stepside costs less than $80 a year to register.  We upgraded with a Chevy 350 performance Crate Motor, Hooker Headers, FlowMaster dual exhausts, lowered front end with power disk brakes, power steering, 700r4 automatic transmission, Chevy Rally Rims all around, BF Goodrich radial T/As, lowered two inches all around, rocking stereo/cd player, bucket seats, fiberglass bed cover and a nice green paint job to match the original factory color.  We call him Pickles.   If  you don't think that turns heads when I drive it (after my husband and I fight over who's turn it is), then let me tell you about our 1957 Chevy flat bed (hubby's work truck), or 71 GMC or 72 K5 Blazer or 68 Galaxie fastback.  We just lost out on bidding on a 47 Buick 2 door sedan that I wanted to trick out. :-( Can you tell I like cars?
My daily driver is a boring new model Blazer which is the standard type of vehicle in this area.  
Actually the advice about you blending in with your dress and vehicles is good advice. And the point about belonging to a car club is a very good one.  People who have the discretionary money to put a 12,000 paint job on their classic hot rod, have other money too.  But don't join any club just to get into the group, you must be passionate about the clubs interests whether it is Rotary, Garden Club or Hot Rod club.  The members will know if you are a phoney.

babbling looney's picture
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Oh Yeah...One more big advantage of older vehicles.  You can't be cited for a seat belt ticket.....they don't have any.    Take that California  "Click it or Ticket campaign".  Our little way of sticking it to the man.
We do have after market seat belts in the 67 Stepside and the K5 Blazer.  But we don't have to if we don't want to.  Neeener neeener.

tjc45's picture
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Revealer wrote:tjc: I could almost live off the interest on the value of the stuff you own/drive. Guess I don't get the point of 12 vehicles.
Let's break it down. Two daily drivers, the Honda and the Jeep. The Jeep does duty as a tow vehicle for one of our boats. I need its 6500 pound towing capability. It also serves to get us to off road kayak and canoe locations. Another reason we own a Jeep and a Honda is that both can be flat towed behind the motorhome. That means we don't need a trailer to pull them. The BMW K1200LTC motorcycle is my Ironbutt machine. Look'em up at www.ironbutt.com. The Honda Reflex scooter is an around town, go get the milk bike. Lots of fun to ride! The Motorhome is a recreational vehicle that we use for travel and to support the boat racing we still occasionally do. The Cobra was a self explanatory middle age crisis machine, and once I burned the rear tires off the thing I sold it, melted tires and all. I bought the pick up truck because at the time I was doing serious renovations to my house. I did most of the work myself. Things like rebuilding an 1100 square foot triple level deck from the ground up. I got tired of being burned time and time again by a lumber yard that couldn't keep its delivery promises. One day, after planning yet another day off to work on the house, and waiting for a load of lumber and supplies that didn't show up, I drove to the nearest car dealer and bought the truck. I kept the truck for three years and sold it. I regret selling it, because it was such a handy vehicle to have around. So right now I'm down to five personal vehicles. Of course my wife drives one. We work together and usually commute to the office together in the 03 Accord which now has 92000 miles on it. If she has appointments out of the office and I don't, I take one of the bikes. In really bad weather, I take the Jeep. The other five vehicles are driven by my children, and even though technically speaking I own them, I consider those car as theirs. If you don't get the point of helping out your kids, I can't explain it to you. I have four kids. I help them every chance I get. I enjoy helping my kids. In fact, it is one of the forces driving me. No one helped me. I started at the bottom with nothing. One of my goals was to help my kids start at a higher level. That I'm able to do it is testimony to the rewards that await anyone willing to gut this business out and do what it takes to succeed.
And sometimes the math behind doing things isn't obvious. For example buying an $18000  pickup truck might seem like a stupid waste of money. Yet it paid for itself with just the deck job. The low estimate on a contractor doing the deck was just over $30,000. I was able to do the deck myself for about $8000 in materials. I sold the truck for $11,000. Adding the $7000 depreciation to the cost of the deck and I'm out of pocket $15,000 on the deck. Of course the truck was a useful tool in many more projects around the house. So, by my way of thinking, it wasn't a stupid purchase.
Actually, I agree with you, cars are a stupid way to spend money. Thus the Accord instead of a Benz, and the Jeep instead of an LX470.
The point of my post was to show that judging one by the vehicle they drive is a mistake.

tjc45's picture
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babbling looney wrote:
 
Actually the advice about you blending in with your dress and vehicles is good advice. And the point about belonging to a car club is a very good one.  People who have the discretionary money to put a 12,000 paint job on their classic hot rod, have other money too.  But don't join any club just to get into the group, you must be passionate about the clubs interests whether it is Rotary, Garden Club or Hot Rod club.  The members will know if you are a phoney.

BL, exactly right about joining a club for the right reasons. I like your choice of wheels.
For any rookies reading this. If you do join a service club, Rotary, Lions etc, don't solicite business. Be a hard worker for the club's cause and show'em you care. The business will come to you.

LloydHarry's picture
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tjc45 wrote: Revealer wrote:tjc: I could
almost live off the interest on the value of the stuff
you own/drive. Guess I don't get the point of 12
vehicles.
Let's break it down. Two daily drivers, the Honda
and the Jeep. The Jeep does duty as a tow vehicle
for one of our boats. I need its 6500 pound towing
capability. It also serves to get us to off road kayak
and canoe locations. Another reason we own a Jeep
and a Honda is that both can be flat towed behind
the motorhome. That means we don't need a trailer
to pull them. The BMW K1200LTC motorcycle is my
Ironbutt machine. Look'em up at
[URL=http://www.ironbutt.com]www.ironbutt.com[/UR
L]. The Honda Reflex scooter is an around town, go
get the milk bike. Lots of fun to ride! The Motorhome
is a recreational vehicle that we use for travel and to
support the boat racing we still occasionally do. The
Cobra was a self explanatory middle age crisis
machine, and once I burned the rear tires off the
thing I sold it, melted tires and all. I bought the pick
up truck because at the time I was doing serious
renovations to my house. I did most of the work
myself. Things like rebuilding an 1100 square foot
triple level deck from the ground up. I got tired of
being burned time and time again by a lumber yard
that couldn't keep its delivery promises. One day,
after planning yet another day off to work on the
house, and waiting for a load of lumber and supplies
that didn't show up, I drove to the nearest car dealer
and bought the truck. I kept the truck for three years
and sold it. I regret selling it, because it was such a
handy vehicle to have around. So right now I'm down
to five personal vehicles. Of course my wife drives
one. We work together and usually commute to the
office together in the 03 Accord which now has
92000 miles on it. If she has appointments out of the
office and I don't, I take one of the bikes. In really bad
weather, I take the Jeep. The other five vehicles are
driven by my children, and even though technically
speaking I own them, I consider those car as
theirs. If you don't get the point of helping out your
kids, I can't explain it to you. I have four kids. I help
them every chance I get. I enjoy helping my kids. In
fact, it is one of the forces driving me. No one helped
me. I started at the bottom with nothing. One of my
goals was to help my kids start at a higher level. That
I'm able to do it is testimony to the rewards that await
anyone willing to gut this business out and do what it
takes to succeed.
And sometimes the math behind doing things
isn't obvious. For example buying an $18000  pickup
truck might seem like a stupid waste of money. Yet it
paid for itself with just the deck job. The low estimate
on a contractor doing the deck was just over
$30,000. I was able to do the deck myself for about
$8000 in materials. I sold the truck for $11,000.
Adding the $7000 depreciation to the cost of the deck
and I'm out of pocket $15,000 on the deck. Of course
the truck was a useful tool in many more projects
around the house. So, by my way of thinking, it wasn't
a stupid purchase.
Actually, I agree with you, cars are a stupid way to
spend money. Thus the Accord instead of a Benz,
and the Jeep instead of an LX470.
The point of my post was to show that judging one
by the vehicle they drive is a mistake.

Well said. Just curious, once you began the work
yourself (so, I guess, minus the wasted time with the
lumber company, etc), how long did the deck project
take to complete?

LloydHarry's picture
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Man, I am sorry, the format on this Mac sucks.

BrokerRecruit's picture
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At least it's not a Commodore..."Firms with poor technology for $200, Alex."

san fran broker's picture
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liquidasset wrote:
If you appeal to a certain social class, i am sure you are one of them anways. Why change your ways if that is not even the cirlce you run around with?
I never have once met someone and been like WOW, he drives a high end benz. I have to do business with him. Heck for all you know, he could be dealing drugs, fraud, churning , ect. You get my drift.
Besides I only do business with Carver Yacht owners, and maybe a Boston Whaler owner!

 With regard to the question of 'whether you come from that crowd' being a factor  - ultimately, the beauty of this profession is it's egalitarian nature - almost everyone starts with about the same odds. There are VERY few guys who have Harvard MBAs and heiress wives who can make introductions to their dad's friends for them at parties (they are the institutional salesmen).
The vast majority of brokers are from fairly modest backgrounds. Almost everyone I know has to put up with so much brutal humiliation that very few of the "well born" manage to survive. Generally the guys with rich fathers and Ivy League diplomas can't ever seem to really make it work for them in this business - at least at the beginning. Their family and friends know how inexperienced they are and aren't any more likely to do business with them than some stranger. The few of these types that do manage to survive for for 3 or 4 years seem to do VERY well later on, but generally it seems to be the guys with state college degrees and a chip on their shoulder that manage to survive and later thrive. Almost all of the Wharton MBAs (hell, most of the MBAs period) failed out of my training class - or, rather, quit and took a good sales jobs that paid a base salary and you knew where your potential clients where. You generally only last if you REALLY want to do this or this is your best chance of getting rich. Most MBAs arent willing to make $60k their first year, $70k for years 2-5 and $150k to $300k for years 5-10, only to make big money after 10 years of hard work. They'd rather make $150-220k for the rest of their lives and hope that they get rich off stock options...
Point is, brokers who work with the HNW and UHNW crowd generally do it because they've focused on that group. Not those who are born into it. If you want to do business with these people you have to look the part and be confident in your approach with them.
Most HNW or UHNW people weren't born into their money and didn't come from lots of money. I often have to restrain myself from standing up when the wife gets up from the table because the husband doesn't. The dinner parties of the wealthy aren't scenes from The Age of Innocence. These people were just motivated to make lots of money when they were younger - just like a promising young broker. Generally they wanted to make lots of money so that they could buy things like cars and homes.... just like  a promising young broker.  Point is, if you want to do business with these people, you have to do what they do.
You have to go where they go and do what they do. You then let them know what you do and they will eventually some will do business with you. After they trust you. The car or the clothes will assure them that they are dealing with a person who is reasonably successful, but trust is still paramount.

tjc45's picture
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Joined: 2005-05-06

Well said. Just curious, once you began the work yourself (so, I guess, minus the wasted time with the lumber company, etc), how long did the deck project take to complete?
I didn't track the exact amount of time it took to do the deck. It was done as I had time over a three month period. I needed to get it done for my daughter's wedding, as the deck was where we were holding the reception. I'm not an expert on building decks so I had to learn some new tricks as I went along. One week before the wedding the deck sat unstained and without rails. My wife was insisting that I hire someone to finish the deck. I told her, "No sweat, I'll knock this thing out in no time."  I took three days off that week, measured, cut, and installed the rails and over 400 ballisters. Two days before the wedding I stained the deck. Then, that night it rained and washed most of the stain off. Early the next morning, the day before the wedding, I restained the deck and prayed it would dry before 2pm the next day. Luckily for me it did. I spent an hour on wedding day morning just checking the deck. Then the catering company showed up and started setting up tables and equipment. I officially finished the deck two hours before the wedding and 4 hours before the reception.
As a side note, over this time period I fell in love with the truck. It was such a cool vehicle. Need a load of lumber, go to the lumber yard. Time to mulch the yard, off to the garden center for a ton of peat moss. A neighbor need's a washer moved to his mother's house, not a problem. But, once the major work on the house was done the truck sat unused more and more. When the battery died, run down by the alarm system, I realized it was time to sell.
O

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