Chink in the armor of American Funds

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B24's picture
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http://www.onwallstreet.com/news/Capital-Rothenberg-401k-2665915-1.html

 
Capital Group Struggling With Biggest Outflows in 79-Year History

Investors in the mutual funds of Capital Research & Management appear to have taken notice of the funds being beaten by more than half of their peers in 2008 and 2009, as redemptions are coming in at the fastest pace the company has seen in its 79-year history. Last year alone, the company was hit with $25.5 billion in redemptions, and in the previous year, $16 billion.
 

Although the $1.18 trillion firm’s American Funds was the best-selling mutual fund family for years following the dot-com crash and the fund trading scandal, since it remained largely unscathed by the litigation, the company is experiencing a reversal of fortune.
Capital Research Chairman James Rothenberg notes how the flagship, $149.3 billion Growth Fund of America delivered an average annual return of 10.7% over the past 15 years, compared with the S&P 500’s 8%, and over the past decade, the fund rose 2.3%, while the S&P lost 0.95%.
“It’s a matter of whether you believe the people you put your money with can deliver,” Rothenberg told Bloomberg Markets magazine. “I think history shows, including all the bad stuff, that we’ve delivered.”
Unlike competitors that are coming out with tactical-allocation solutions and low-cost alternatives such as exchange-traded funds, as well as bond funds, a best-seller of the past year, Capital Group is sticking to the long-held premise of telling investors to trust mutual fund managers to traditional asset allocation, Rothenberg said. In addition, the company continues to sell its team-managed funds through advisers, and its fund lineup remains concentrated on equity funds.
“There are a lot of things we could do to grow sales, but we won’t do them,” he said.
The challenges of the past two years, however, forced Capital Group to lay off 1,300 workers, or 14% of its workforce, last year, including a number of portfolio managers for poor performance. And as a new tactic, Capital Group is pursuing small- to medium-sized 401(k)s.

chief123's picture
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Those numbers are just insane...

B24's picture
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You mean because they had more outlfows in one year than most fund companies have in total assets?

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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It's a love/hate relationship we have with American Funds.  You love the performance consistency with a lot of their funds, but hate the arrogance ("There are a lot of things we could do to grow sales, but we won’t do them").  It's hard to argue with the performance numbers of funds like CWGIX and CAIBX, but if they could give us that kind of return with a little bit of humility it would be great. 
 
We have a new wholesaler.  Maybe 37-38 years old.  He lives in Kansas.  I'm on the very eastern edge of his territory.  Think I'll see him more than once or twice a year?  Dude pulls up in a BMW 7 series.  Now, I know you're in your car a ton, but can we at least show some sort of restraint in the purchase of your automobile?  That's the kind of stuff that gets under my skin.

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Spaceman Spiff wrote:It's a love/hate relationship we have with American Funds.  You love the performance consistency with a lot of their funds, but hate the arrogance ("There are a lot of things we could do to grow sales, but we won’t do them").  It's hard to argue with the performance numbers of funds like CWGIX and CAIBX, but if they could give us that kind of return with a little bit of humility it would be great. 
 
We have a new wholesaler.  Maybe 37-38 years old.  He lives in Kansas.  I'm on the very eastern edge of his territory.  Think I'll see him more than once or twice a year?  Dude pulls up in a BMW 7 series.  Now, I know you're in your car a ton, but can we at least show some sort of restraint in the purchase of your automobile?  That's the kind of stuff that gets under my skin.
 
I dont see a problem with this comment. They are sticking to their business plan. Jones does the same thing. Jones could have 3 advisors per office but won't. Jones could fire more underperforming advisors but wont. I have no problem with a successful company sticking with their game plan. You don't have to change everything just because things aren't going perfectly.
 
Ice - Why the extreme hate with American Funds ?

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Spaceman Spiff wrote:It's a love/hate relationship we have with American Funds.  You love the performance consistency with a lot of their funds, but hate the arrogance ("There are a lot of things we could do to grow sales, but we won’t do them").  It's hard to argue with the performance numbers of funds like CWGIX and CAIBX, but if they could give us that kind of return with a little bit of humility it would be great. 
 
We have a new wholesaler.  Maybe 37-38 years old.  He lives in Kansas.  I'm on the very eastern edge of his territory.  Think I'll see him more than once or twice a year?  Dude pulls up in a BMW 7 series.  Now, I know you're in your car a ton, but can we at least show some sort of restraint in the purchase of your automobile?  That's the kind of stuff that gets under my skin.
 
It is the same sort of thing with you Jones guys.  It just burns my arse to see a Jones FA pull up in his '87 Tarus, wearing his J.C. Penney polyester suit, then begins spouting off how he works for the greatest company in the industry...    LOL, just having some fun.

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Spud34 wrote:Spaceman Spiff wrote:
We have a new wholesaler.  Maybe 37-38 years old.  He lives in Kansas.  I'm on the very eastern edge of his territory.  Think I'll see him more than once or twice a year?  Dude pulls up in a BMW 7 series.  Now, I know you're in your car a ton, but can we at least show some sort of restraint in the purchase of your automobile?  That's the kind of stuff that gets under my skin.
 It is the same sort of thing with you Jones guys.  It just burns my arse to see a Jones FA pull up in his '87 Tarus, wearing his J.C. Penney polyester suit, then begins spouting off how he works for the greatest company in the industry...    LOL, just having some fun.

I know it is OT, but this brings up a good point and something I have been bouncing around.  What kind of car IS suitable for an FA.  I can afford an 05 or 06 3 series Bimmer, but does it send the right message or the wrong one?  I could get a bland Taurus, but does that take away credibility?  Being that I will be going to A LOT of homes what should I be driving to convey professionalism and success, without looking arrogant and wasteful.

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Fair enough. I never use them exclusively, but I do like to use some of their funds in certain situations. I have never really run across any extreme arrogance with their wholesalers. The ones that I have dealt with have been helpful and talk less about American Funds and more about how I can build my business. I always appreciate that.

chief123's picture
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B24 wrote:You mean because they had more outlfows in one year than most fund companies have in total assets?

Yeah pretty much...

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Spaceman Spiff wrote:It's a love/hate relationship we have with American Funds.  You love the performance consistency with a lot of their funds, but hate the arrogance ("There are a lot of things we could do to grow sales, but we won’t do them").  It's hard to argue with the performance numbers of funds like CWGIX and CAIBX, but if they could give us that kind of return with a little bit of humility it would be great. 
 
We have a new wholesaler.  Maybe 37-38 years old.  He lives in Kansas.  I'm on the very eastern edge of his territory.  Think I'll see him more than once or twice a year?  Dude pulls up in a BMW 7 series.  Now, I know you're in your car a ton, but can we at least show some sort of restraint in the purchase of your automobile?  That's the kind of stuff that gets under my skin.

2 points...
 
1. Not sure why you think CWGIX and CAIBX performance is all lthat good... I use to when I was at jones too though(so I understand)...
 
2. Why do I care what type of car somebody drives....
a. If you were in your car all day long and got a stipened for it, wouldn't you buy or lease something nice..(use it or lose it)
b. biggest client has 3 cars(1. nice family sedan 2. wife's murano  3. Pick up truck(old)) and he only drives the sedan when with his wife, other than that he drives this rusty terrible looking pick up truck..
c. how somebody choose to spend their money doesn't not make them better or worse than anyone else... I have a two friends who produce the same amount at the same firm...Friend 1 takes tons of trips to Florida whenever he wants, drives an Acura and wife has some type of SUV(explorer possibly)... Friend 2 owns a house that cost 4x the amount of friend 1, drives new series 7, wife drives that Mercedes suv, and never leaves ever..(I keep waiting for him to have a bad six months so I can pick up his house on the cheap ).
 
To me a car will always be a depreciating asset, so I look for good value(i.e. used, low miles)...

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Generally speaking, my AMF wholesalers have been pretty good.  Helpful to a point. 
 
AMF is OK as long as you want to do the A-share, single fund family thing.  They are very good at a few things (international LC value, domestic LC value, international growth), and OK at some things (Domestic growth), and then marginal at most everything else (fixed income, emerging markets, small caps, anything ecclectic).
I think CWGIX and CAIBX are their best funds.  Europacific is pretty good - sort of an emerging markets-lite, I like Fundamental Investors. 
However, I think their size does get in their way.  Not necessarily in that they are "closet index" funds, but rather they lack the agility to get out of the way when the schit hits the fan.  Then again, even if the funds were smaller, I don't know that they are wired that way.  That's why them and Jones are such brethren - they both believe in long-term buy-and-hold quality sort of stuff.  If you believe in that, they are a good fund company.  They definitely pursue quality.  Although, IMHO they got caught with their hands in the cookie jar on the fixed income side last year (2008).  My wholesaler insists that it was just part of the focus of the Bond Fund (higher than average income).  In his defense, that is true - their prospectus always identified that as a focus.  I guess it is up to us to interpret the eventual outcome (sliding down the quality scale).  Their big mistake, though, was then turning around and running to Treasuries after they got buried.

RealWorld's picture
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B24 - good points about the pros and cons. American funds are good if you are looking for balanced mutual funds. (BTW- don't they all own Chevron?)

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chief - CWGIX and CAIBX do have good performance.  I didn't say the best.  I said good.  Are there other funds that have performed better?  Yep.  But try and find a client who has owned CAIBX or CWGIX for the last 10 years who isn't happy with what they've seen.  
I understand that the wholesalers get $$ to lease a car.  It's his choice what he gets.  I'm just saying that if your company has an image problem, like AMF does, then leasing the biggest sedan that BMW has in it's lineup might not be the best way to go.  Pretentious might be the best word to describe it.  Their choice of car won't be the deciding factor in what fund family I choose to use, but like I said, it gets under my skin. 

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HAcoreRD wrote:Spud34 wrote:Spaceman Spiff wrote:
We have a new wholesaler.  Maybe 37-38 years old.  He lives in Kansas.  I'm on the very eastern edge of his territory.  Think I'll see him more than once or twice a year?  Dude pulls up in a BMW 7 series.  Now, I know you're in your car a ton, but can we at least show some sort of restraint in the purchase of your automobile?  That's the kind of stuff that gets under my skin.
 It is the same sort of thing with you Jones guys.  It just burns my arse to see a Jones FA pull up in his '87 Tarus, wearing his J.C. Penney polyester suit, then begins spouting off how he works for the greatest company in the industry...    LOL, just having some fun.

I know it is OT, but this brings up a good point and something I have been bouncing around.  What kind of car IS suitable for an FA.  I can afford an 05 or 06 3 series Bimmer, but does it send the right message or the wrong one?  I could get a bland Taurus, but does that take away credibility?  Being that I will be going to A LOT of homes what should I be driving to convey professionalism and success, without looking arrogant and wasteful.
 
Boring Taurus?  You mean this: 
 
 
vs BMW 5 series:
 

 
For the money, I'd buy the Taurus.  I'd pop for the SHO version though.  You can spend the extra $10K you'd keep in your pocket on something else.   
 
 
 
 
 

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RED X

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Sorry - supposed to be the 2010 Taurus SHO and the 2010 BMW 5 series.  Stupid Jones computer.

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I agree spiff, the 2010 SHO would fit the ticket.  But considering they are nearly 40k, and I refuse to finance a car, it's not an option.  I was looking at a 2-3 year old used car.  In the 15-20k range which would buy me a "boring" Taurus. 

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Pound-for-pound, horsepower-for-horsepower, and dollar-for-dollar, the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is the greatest sports cars ever built.
638 HP.   0-60   3.1

Sure, you don’t get the supercar badge or mid-engine placement that you get with the many a Prancing Horse or Raging Bull, but for $106,000 the Corvette ZR1 provides more horsepower, far more torque, and just as thrilling a driving experience. It is the greatest US car ever built. Maybe the best car value EVER.
Hang with a 911 Turbo

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1987 Huffy Dirt Bike, no seat, is the way to go.

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Shania Twain wrote:Pound-for-pound, horsepower-for-horsepower, and dollar-for-dollar, the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is the greatest sports cars ever built. 638 HP.   0-60   3.1 Sure, you don’t get the supercar badge or mid-engine placement that you get with the many a Prancing Horse or Raging Bull, but for $106,000 the Corvette ZR1 provides more horsepower, far more torque, and just as thrilling a driving experience. It is the greatest US car ever built. Maybe the best car value EVER. Hang with a 911 Turbo
 
Agreed.  But if I couldn't afford the ZR-1, I don't think I would buy a standard 'Vette. 

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I smoked every fund they have by performance and risk. WTF does one need AF? All you're doing is supporting an army of people on your clients dime. I drive a quad cab short bed Ram. I could run over their cars just like their funds

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I would love to have a 68 ram air cherry red white top convertible Firebird and or a cherry red white top convertible 63 Vet.

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HAcoreRD wrote:Spud34 wrote:Spaceman Spiff wrote:
We have a new wholesaler.  Maybe 37-38 years old.  He lives in Kansas.  I'm on the very eastern edge of his territory.  Think I'll see him more than once or twice a year?  Dude pulls up in a BMW 7 series.  Now, I know you're in your car a ton, but can we at least show some sort of restraint in the purchase of your automobile?  That's the kind of stuff that gets under my skin.
 It is the same sort of thing with you Jones guys.  It just burns my arse to see a Jones FA pull up in his '87 Tarus, wearing his J.C. Penney polyester suit, then begins spouting off how he works for the greatest company in the industry...    LOL, just having some fun.

I know it is OT, but this brings up a good point and something I have been bouncing around.  What kind of car IS suitable for an FA.  I can afford an 05 or 06 3 series Bimmer, but does it send the right message or the wrong one?  I could get a bland Taurus, but does that take away credibility?  Being that I will be going to A LOT of homes what should I be driving to convey professionalism and success, without looking arrogant and wasteful.

 
Successful people want to work with successful people.  A car doesn't denote success, but it doesn't detract from it either.  I drive a 7 series, and to the best of my knowledge, it has never hurt me with a client or prospect. 

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I'd go with a Vespa....nothing says sporty like an Italian sportbike....

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QB wrote: HAcoreRD wrote:Spud34 wrote:Spaceman Spiff wrote:
We have a new wholesaler.  Maybe 37-38 years old.  He lives in Kansas.  I'm on the very eastern edge of his territory.  Think I'll see him more than once or twice a year?  Dude pulls up in a BMW 7 series.  Now, I know you're in your car a ton, but can we at least show some sort of restraint in the purchase of your automobile?  That's the kind of stuff that gets under my skin.
 It is the same sort of thing with you Jones guys.  It just burns my arse to see a Jones FA pull up in his '87 Tarus, wearing his J.C. Penney polyester suit, then begins spouting off how he works for the greatest company in the industry...    LOL, just having some fun.

I know it is OT, but this brings up a good point and something I have been bouncing around.  What kind of car IS suitable for an FA.  I can afford an 05 or 06 3 series Bimmer, but does it send the right message or the wrong one?  I could get a bland Taurus, but does that take away credibility?  Being that I will be going to A LOT of homes what should I be driving to convey professionalism and success, without looking arrogant and wasteful.

 
Successful people want to work with successful people.  A car doesn't denote success, but it doesn't detract from it either.  I drive a 7 series, and to the best of my knowledge, it has never hurt me with a client or prospect. 

I believe you should drive a nice car in this business. Image is important and your clients or prospects will appreciate and respect you more if you don't show up in a shatbox. I'm not saying you need a 7 series, but a nice looking newer car should do the trick.   

For the record, I drive a new Accord. It's not flashy, but I agree that cars are depreciating assets and I'd rather spend my cash on something else.

Any yes, that ZR-1 is awesome. Unfortunately I would have my license revoked within 24 hours of owning that thing.

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Gaddock wrote:I smoked every fund they have by performance and risk. WTF does one need AF? All you're doing is supporting an army of people on your clients dime. I drive a quad cab short bed Ram. I could run over their cars just like their funds

 

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How about this ? Listed $18,900 .... Looks high end but it's a 2003...

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I actually considered a Range Rover until I found out how bad the fuel mileage ratings were and how high the insurance rates were.
I'm really considering an 06 325xi. AWD is a big plus in my neck of the woods.

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Squash1 wrote:

How about this ? Listed $18,900 .... Looks high end but it's a 2003...

Nice looking truck....brutal gas mileage and expensive to fix

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My commute is 3.7 miles each way... So gas isn't an issue... But the fact that it is a ford is...would rather get one of these... if only they would come down in price

 
or this might set you apart for $20K less than the Jag

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If I was buying today on a budget, I'm a fan of the impala. Not much difference from '06 to '10, so you can buy the $10k version, spray a little "new car smell" fragrance and people will think you bought a new one.

Does anyone know of a fund family that has paralleled American Funds performance?

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'Vette looks sweet....my older brother had a '59 about 30 plus years ago that he foolishly sold...I've never let him live it down.....
Anyway, back to American Funds...they are ok in some areas, mediocre in many, and I see them in every 401k plan I've ever looked at= that may be a big reason why they're so huge.
 
I don't know about anyone else, but I can't name any American Fund wholesaler that has ever covered my territory, and I've been in the business 17 years.

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The wholesaler in my area has been here for 10-15 years... Worth millions(combo of Job and family money)
Lawrence: Not really, you could say FT, but I hate them too, you could say First Eagle but they only have 4-5 funds(well 2 are almost the same)... Nobody needs a generalist ok at everything fund company....Fund familys are like that good high school basketball player.. Looks really good against the current talent but when they get to college half of them disappear and the half that don't only 10% of those make it to the pros(as like a 6th man).. So as a fund family American is very good(compared to other big fund companies) but as you open up the realm(etfs,etc) you find out that they are good for someone to throw money in and never really do anything with(401ks) but compared to what you can do with other investments they fail by comparison..

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Squash1 wrote:My commute is 3.7 miles each way... So gas isn't an issue... But the fact that it is a ford is...would rather get one of these... if only they would come down in price

 
or this might set you apart for $20K less than the Jag

 
I say "GO YUGO!!"  LOL, probably the majority of folks on here will have to Google Yugo to even know what that is!  Nothing paints the aire of professionalism like a Yugo!

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Buy and drive a car that reflects your clientele.  If you work with blue collar business owners who drive pickups, they aren't gonna give two sh!ts you're driving a 7 series. 

 
My clients tend to be very good savers and couldn't care less what kind of car I drive.  They are very well off and realize sinking money into a depreciating asset isn't smart.  So I plan on driving my VW into the ground and buying a used Honda/Acura when the time comes.

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Ron 14 wrote:
1987 Huffy Dirt Bike, no seat, is the way to go.
 
Ron
If someone wants to know what it feels like to sit on a bike with no seat Windy could probably give them a pretty good explanation from his Sat nights in boys town. 

LA Broker's picture
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For those still door knocking try something reasonable:
 

 
When you get to Seg 3 make your house calls in something a little nicer:
 

LA Broker's picture
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Here is a pic from me and my American Funds wholesaler a few years ago when I closed that $25 a month 529 DCA.
 

DD's picture
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Are you the blonde chick in the back, LA?

WarRoom's picture
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I drive a 2007 Caddy CTS.  Can afford whatever I want but its a nice image car and not a German badge of prick.  Anything else is too flashy.  Are you guys really driving Honda accords and going after big money? Crazy.  That's okay for a guy just started out but a vet?

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American Funds are great for newbies with no clue how to build a portfolio or for a veteran in a small town with no competition. I work in a metro area and a diverisified portfolio of American Funds does not set me apart from my fellow EJ rep 5 blocks up the street, let alone all the wirehouses and independents in the area. By the way, I have been reading this forum for quite a while, and B24 and Spiff seem way too intelligent to be working for EJ. Why do you stay?

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WarRoom wrote: ...That's okay for a guy just started out but a vet?
 
Pretty much I am that guy just starting out, and it's still an image thing. As soon as I could afford it, I moved up to an older Audi A4 (3 years old on purchase). In a couple of years, I'll start replacing it every two years with a 3 year old, compact luxury sports sedan.
 
To me, it sends the message that I like quality but I'm careful with my my money. In my town, the millionaires drive F150s and they've got no space for Hummers, BMW 7s or MB.

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Train wrote:American Funds are great for newbies with no clue how to build a portfolio or for a veteran in a small town with no competition. I work in a metro area and a diverisified portfolio of American Funds does not set me apart from my fellow EJ rep 5 blocks up the street, let alone all the wirehouses and independents in the area. By the way, I have been reading this forum for quite a while, and B24 and Spiff seem way too intelligent to be working for EJ. Why do you stay?
 
Because we're too intelligent to leave.  Just kidding. 
 
It's a really long, drawn out conversation about why I stay at Jones.  To keep it short, I like the company, don't want to go indy at the moment, and don't feel that moving to another b/d that isn't indy makes any sense.  My guess is that unless I just get really bored with this career or EDJ makes a switch in business model that I don't agree with I'll probably retire from EDJ.  When I'm 75.  It'll take me that long to build up enough LP to make it worth my while.
 
As to the cars conversation, I'm a truck guy.  If I were to start over with my vehicles today I'd buy myself an quad cab F150 and a Flex for my wife.  It would end up with her driving the truck and me driving the Flex.  In my garage would be a 67 Mustang GTA convertible with a 390. 

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The argument that we shouldn't buy flashy items is ludicrious. Buy whatever you damn well please. We cold call and door knock for a living. Anyone else want to do that?
 
You determine your own standard of living and if someone wants "in," by all means take the 7 and hit the pavement.
 
There's a guy in my region who owns a 2002 BMW Z3 and he parks it behind his office. A $10,000 2002 BMW Z3 FOR GODSAKES.
 
You've got 1 life to live, don't waste it in a Ford Taurus if you can reasonably afford the car of your dreams.
 
We're a capitalist country, greed is good, and you want a ferrari by all means buy a damn ferrari. And park it out front you've earned it.

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I say buy the nicest car (truck for me) you can pay cash for.

Moraen's picture
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I say get a scooter.  

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Moraen wrote:I say get a scooter.  
 
Then you can literally roll up to the front doors during doorknocking. You wouldn't even have to get off the scooter, just hand them your brochure and off you roll to the next house. You could even add a suction-cup Edward Jones sign to the back like pizza delivery cars 

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mlgone wrote:This is what I want
 
BMW M6.  Actually in full disclosure I am in the market for a 2003 BMW M5 with like 60k miles.  I figure 20K? Sweet ride
 

 
great call. 

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Gaddock wrote:I would love to have a 68 ram air cherry red white top convertible Firebird and or a cherry red white top convertible 63 Vet.
 
great call

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I didnt want to brag.  
 
But this is my ride.  
 
It's Carrol's '66 A/C Cobra Super Snake.   I picked it up at auction a few years back.  

HAcoreRD's picture
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I think I found the winner.  Around 15k (3yr old with 40,000 miles), good gas mileage, decent insurance rates, nice, but not snobishly nice.
 

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