Aug 5, 2008 3:03 am

How much do clients look at the car their FA drives?  I’m thinking about getting a Prius next year because they’re so good on gas.  Would a high net worth client look down on an FA driving a Prius?  I think the Prius gets around 45 MPG.  They make a hybrid Camry that’s nicer looking, but gets more like 30 MPG. 

  What you your all's thoughts? 
Aug 5, 2008 3:10 am

I personally don’t like the Prius, but I don’t think your clients will mind you being financially saavy.

  An estate attorney I refer to has a Prius.  He is extremely smart and it hasn't stopped me from sending people to him and taking people he sends to me.   99% of your clients will never see your car anyways.   This stuff has been discussed extensively so you might search for some previous posts.
Aug 5, 2008 3:25 am

I personally don’t like the Prius

  Yeah, when I told my wife I want a Prius she asked me if I was gay, haha. 

Aug 5, 2008 12:47 pm

Spice & Ice - I drive a Buick Lesabre. Okay it’s a North American vehicle. My approach is let your clients see that you are like the next door neighbour. In tough times the vehicle does not stand out and in good times it gives the appearance of responsible stewardship.

Aug 5, 2008 1:24 pm

Ice … I know one new/young advisor that recently purchased a BMW , he had a Ford SUV type vehicle. His point was he thought/wanted to appear that he was " a made man " and his vehicle somehow gave the appearance of success. Of course the downside is in a tough market … the client looks and thinks???

I agree the client does not determine the type of vehicle you drive but my theory is be a little uder the radar.
Aug 5, 2008 1:59 pm


Whether you like it or not, it's reality.  It's easy to say "they are too stupid to be my client."  It's not about the client you will lose because you buy a Bimmer or whatever, it's about the image you portray in your community (and the clients that you will never get because of it).   I am very good friends with the most popular CPA in town (as if).  Unfortunately, he has had a longer relationship with the Merrill guy in the same building as him.  No biggie, I get some of the smaller stuff.  He tells me he works with this guy at Merrill because he is very good, he's conservative, and has been around a long time.  He also says half the people in town can't stand him.  I ask why, he says because he drives this (as he puts it) "honkin' big-ass Mercedes", and people think he's too slick (he also dresses like Wall Street in a place that he looks well, sort of out of place).  Well, my friend is a conservative CPA, and there's NO WAY he would endorse a guy at Merrill that he thought was too slick.  Point is, the Merrill guy has alienated himself with "half the town".  Now, to be honest in his situation it doesn't matter.  He's ready to retire and had plenty under management.  But what if he was 3 years out and had $23mm under management?  Probably not a smart move on his part.   Just something to think about.
Aug 5, 2008 2:04 pm

Yuk Yuk … 

Aug 5, 2008 4:44 pm

Nothing wrong with an expensive car. Ice is right in not letting the clients make the call. There is no way to satisfy all the contingents within the client universe. One client hates foreign cars, another loves them while still another thinks anyone who buys a new car is an idiot  anothers believes new is the only way to go. Some people hate BMWs and their drivers, for others it's SUVs. Buy what you want.

One rule; keep the toys out of sight.   As for the ML broker mentioned, I doubt the car really puts many people off. However, the car may be the manifestation of an outsized ego that puts people off. I could see that. The guy's a good broker, but he's also a jerk. I've worked with plenty of those types in my time. Entertaining!
Aug 5, 2008 4:50 pm

Bond guy, I think you’re right. If he was a nice, down-to-earth guy, nobody would care about his ride (in fact, some would say “good, he deserves it, he made me a ton of money”). My point was that it exacerbated the image problem. I know personally that although he does good work, he is sort of the “my way or the highway” type.

Aug 6, 2008 3:54 pm

By the way, recently I broke my don’t let the clients see the toyz rule. My usual client meeting ride, a Jeep GC, was down for maintenance so I saddled up the Mini Cooper S. I figured the client, an 80 year old woman, wouldn’t even look out the window.

  Boy was I wrong! Not only did she see it, she went nuts for it! She wanted a ride.   So, to all you single guys out there the Mini Cooper S is a babe magnet for the 80 plus crowd.   She now calls my Mini the cute little red car. Hey lady, keep feeding me the million dollar referrals and I don't care what you call it!   You never know.   Bondguy 07 R56 - 6 speed Chili Red - the fastest color
Aug 6, 2008 4:25 pm

Hey BG, you ever get a replacement for your BMW bike?

Aug 6, 2008 5:31 pm

Hey BG, you ever get a replacement for your BMW bike?

  Sore subject in more ways than one.   1.  Originally BMW had slate a replacement for it's flagship bike, the K1200LT, for late last year. However, taking a page from the "GM, How To Grow Market Share" playbook BMW brought a new model a year or two ago, the K1200GT. The GT is a K1200 based sport touring machine. Nice bike! But no LT in the long distance riding department. The GT robbed sales from the LT and BMW re-thought spending the dough to market a new LT. So the new LT is currently shelved. BMW has continuously lost market share over the past 10 years on their bike business. GM would be proud!   2. The most important factor in a bike for my purpose of long distance riding is comfort. The LT is the only bike that right out of crate I didn't have to modify to be able to ride all day. Riding position, seat, heat, all good. Now the bad - the LT is shaft drive. The part of the drivetrain that connects to the wheel is called the final drive. This part has a fatal flaw that causes failure. Out of warranty that's a three thousand dollar fix. But that's not the point. Getting stranded out in the middle of nowhere, wrecking the trip/vacation/IBA ride is the point.  Of the 43 BMW's that started the 11,000 miles in eleven days 2007 Iron Butt Rally, 12 had final drive failures. All 12 DNFed. Geez, even every Honda scooter that has ever run the IBA has finished! So until that's fixed, BMW is off the list. The new model supposedly included a fix.   3.  BMW's dealer network is thin. Closest dealer to my house is about 5 miles away. The next closest are 60 miles north or 125 miles south. many times riding the coutry icouls be several hundred miles from a dealer. Trying to get that to work with their road service 100 mile towing limit is a joke. Break down and you are pretty much on your own.   With the Mini it isn't much better.  My Mini was damaged after hitting a Raccoon. The BMW road service people couldn't find RT 301 in Sudlersville Maryland. They couldn't find Sudlersville. I'm not sure they could find Maryland. I called Triple A.   4.  That brings me to the other possibilities, Honda ST1300, Yamaha FJR 1300, or a Goldwing. Both 1300's are nut roasters. There are fixes, buttt? And the Goldwing is, well, a Goldwing. Great touring machine, very comfortable, but with things that really bug me. Starting with its 32mpg fuel mileage. My K12, Gertruda The Bugslayer, got mid forties with the hammer down. On economy , please let there be a gas station around the next curve, cruise it got over fifty. That and no electrical outlets for all my farkles, GPS, heated suit, electronic counter measures etc. And a non electric windshield.   That's a very long way to say I'm currently bikeless. Well not quite completely bikeless if you count Skippy the Honda Reflex Scooter. Fun, but probably not an Iron Butt machine.   I may pick up a used Honda ST1100 to hold me over until i can decide what to do. Or maybe a an older BMW K75.   How about you? Riding much?                    
Aug 6, 2008 6:04 pm

BG, I’ve always been a Harley guy (used to have a Road King), but I was just checking out the BMW K1200 GT.  That look like a fun bike.  Are you saying they’re not making them anymore?  And you mentioned it no LT, what’s that mean?

Aug 6, 2008 6:10 pm
"With the Mini it isn't much better.  My Mini was damaged after hitting a Raccoon. The BMW road service people couldn't find RT 301 in Sudlersville Maryland. They couldn't find Sudlersville. I'm not sure they could find Maryland. I called Triple A."   ...a couple of years ago, I picked up a Triple-A membership and withing 6 weeks and used it twice...both with pretty good results.  I haven't used it since, but I enjoyed the humor in your comment.   Yes, I'm ironbutt, but I put on 150-250 miles on a typical weekend ride...we have lots of hills and curves in my area, so there's plenty of good riding to be had.  My wife and I are doing a weekender labor day weekend if the weather looks promising (I avoid rain like the plague).  Right now Kawasaki is deciding what to do about a broken snap on my sidebag.  The dumb thing was way too tight rioght out of the crate and it finally broke.  Now's my first chance to see how the big K stands behind it's bikes.   While the Goldwing is not my look (I'm more of a cruiser type), a riding buddy of mine just got one and is getting 45-48 MPG with his bike (maybe the mileage is improving?), but he complained to me that the legroom is a bit less than he likes, as he's over 6' and feels a bit cramped at times.  If I decide at a later date to do longer runs, I'll certainly look into a touring bike as opposed to my cruiser, which is more than fine for now.
Aug 6, 2008 8:24 pm

[quote=IsOldSpiceRightForMe]BG, I’ve always been a Harley guy (used to have a Road King), but I was just checking out the BMW K1200 GT.  That look like a fun bike.  Are you saying they’re not making them anymore?  And you mentioned it no LT, what’s that mean?

Thanks![/quote]   The GT is currently being made. What I said is BMW shelved bring out a new, as in redesigned, LT.   The GT and Lt have different rider positions and seats. The LT is about as good as it gets in the comfort department. The GT is also a comfortable bike , but not as comfy as the LT. It also lacks the LT's storage space. This is a big deal on long rides.   The domain of the LT is the Iron Butt rides. Putting on a thousand miles a day, day after day. In this it excels. On top of this the LT is no slouch in the twistes. It's not a GXR either but plenty fast with good handling. On the other hand the GT is more sport and less touring. For many that's exactly what the doctor ordered, an LT on a diet. However, the changed riding position isn't for everyone. The GT also gets rid of on eof the LT's nastiest traits, the parking lot dump. LTs are notoriously top heavy and are a handful at low speed. I never dumped mine but most have. It's easy to do. The bike comes with rubber tip over protectors. If you're at a dealership looking at used LTs just feel along the underside of the protector. If it's rough then the bike has been over. No biggie but good to know.   Lastly, those who own the GT love the bike. Still for 8 grand less you can get as much bike with a Honda ST1300 or Yami FJR 1300.
Aug 6, 2008 8:28 pm

Yeah, even 10 years ago when i had my last Goldwing the high 40 mpg stories were around. Mine got 32.

  My reading of the wing forums tells me most are getting somewhere around 40mpg give or take.   Last year i almost bought a Suzuki Burgman scooter until i read it was only getting in the low to mid 40mpg. I need more from a scooter. Cool machine though.   Buy yourself an Aerostich suit and never worry about the rain again.
Aug 6, 2008 9:32 pm

BondGuy and Indyone - this morning on our local newscast they announced the arrival of the new BMW Hydrogen 7 Car in to Canada. Interesting concept and of course an even more interesting price tag.

Not bad mileage ( regular gas / hydrogen ) , as I watched the news clip , I wondered great idea/concept but not sure where the local Hydrogen station is located. Take a look a the vehicle.
Aug 6, 2008 9:34 pm

Said it before and I’ll say it again, the ST would be my choice.

Aug 6, 2008 10:26 pm

So far I have only had one doorknock think that the Bugatti was inappropriate.

      Then I realized that I had just dozed off while debating if I should actaully get out of the car and DO some doorknocking...
Aug 7, 2008 12:59 am

Aug 7, 2008 2:09 am

[quote=joedabrkr] [quote=BondGuy]

  That's a very long way to say I'm currently bikeless. Well not quite completely bikeless if you count Skippy the Honda Reflex Scooter. Fun, but probably not an Iron Butt machine.  [/quote]

With your chops, I think Skippy has at least one IBA ride in him.  Just think....being able to add that to your brag sheet along with the rest.  I say go for it!
[/quote]   Thanks Joe, but there's a reason the IBA banishes scooters to the Hopeless Class.   Back in 2001 one IBR rider did ride a Honda Reflex scooter, just like skippy in the IBA. The rally started in Madison Alabama went to the west coast, and then up to Washington State before turning east for maine on the third leg. From there it was finally back to Madison. On the third leg, coming back east bound riders were given an option of going to Maine or Alaska as a third leg. The Reflex rider went to Alaska. He finished 52 out of 113 riders. That includes 20 DNfs. He clocked 8700 miles in eleven days.   The IBA considers scooters hopeless because the lack of of horsepower starts to grind away at the rider leading to fatigue. The bike can do the ride, but most riders can't.  Yet, when I look at that ride, I think it's doable. Then i ride Skippy for an hour and my back starts to ache, the seat gets hot from low speeds with an air cooled engine, my head is getting buffeted by wind making its way over the too short windscreen and I know it's not happenin'. So Skippy is relegated to commuter/fun duty.
Aug 7, 2008 2:13 am

[quote=norway401]BondGuy and Indyone - this morning on our local newscast they announced the arrival of the new BMW Hydrogen 7 Car in to Canada. Interesting concept and of course an even more interesting price tag.

Not bad mileage ( regular gas / hydrogen ) , as I watched the news clip , I wondered great idea/concept but not sure where the local Hydrogen station is located. Take a look a the vehicle. [/quote]   Back in the pre bubble days I invested in the company that is supplying BMW with the drive system for that car, Ballard Power. At least back then they were the supplier. I've been out of the stock for years. Rode it from 6 to 140. It's down around 5 or 6 again.   Fuels cells are a long way off. Heavy and expensive.
Aug 7, 2008 1:05 pm

Remember Ballard Power well …the darling of the Canadian Investment community and of course Investors. The stories about Ballard were really something at the time as you recall?

The next generation of energy source for cars , the Auto Companies and Oil Companies were secretly buying them out to stop the technology from becoming viable. Hey BondGuy , thanks for my morning smile.
Aug 7, 2008 2:04 pm


Aug 7, 2008 3:08 pm



Sounds to me like all you need is to find a way to extend the windscreen and cool your buns...maybe raise the bars a hair, and then you're set! don't have to do the 8700 mile mega ride to get the patch!
[/quote]   I've already got the patch, the license plate frame, my IBA number, and all the rest of the junk they send you for doing the rides. Of course the cool thing about this stuff is that you can't buy it for any price. You have to do the rides to get it.   I did my first IBA ride ten years ago and countless more since. I've also paricipated in several IBA Mini rallies. Most these rallys attract 80 to 125 riders. My best finish to date is 4th. My worst finish is 9th. So, I still have the no win monkey on my back.   On the 4th place finish weather did me in. Heavy fog in the Cacoctin mountains at 2am slowed me enough to knocked out a slew of bonus locations. Riders who went further North beat me. On the ninth place ride my plan just wasn't a winner. It was good, just not good enough. And it was well executed. Everything went right. That was the Diners of America Rally. A fun ride!   A funny story from the DOA ride: The rally required us to plan a ride from a list of about 400 bonus locations. The locations, almost all were diners with some national parks and other historic sites mixed in. Some bonus locations had point values much higher than others. Planning the ride, which was 36 hours from start to finsh required stringing together a route that was both ridable in the alloted time and that maxed out the bonus points. Starting and finishing in York Pa, those locations went as far west as Minnesota, south to Key West, north to Maine, and Canada. The rally was run on a holiday weekend, Memorial Day, just to add heavy traffic to the mix.     I started the ride at 6am and all day I'm walking into diners asking for menus or for the serial number of the diner or whatever the bonus required. And all day I was hearing the same thing, "Here comes another one" from the employees seeing me in my Aerostich riding suit and helmet. I looked like a cross between an astronaut and the Michilen tire man. That it was in the mid nineties made the suit look more ridiculous. Buttt, sweat or bleed, I soldiered on. At 3am after a daylong swing through New England I found my self  in Hasbrouck Heights  NJ. I walked into the diner bonus location to get the answer to the bonus question. There were a few patrons and one guy manning the register. I looked at the guy and thought something was wrong about him, but I couldn't pick what it was out of the 3 am haze clogging my brain. And he's the only person all day who didn't comment that he'd seen other riders. SO, I asked the guy "How many guys dressed like me have you seen today?" He replied "I'm blind sir, I haven't seen anyone today." Yep that was it, that was what was wrong about the guy. I knew it was something! On I rode towards my nineth place finish arriving in York 6 minutes ahead of the 3pm DSQ.   At least I didn't have to deal with trying to find the ass-kicking machine in some forgotten town in West Virginia. That one tripped a bunch of riders, or i should say, kicked their butts.
Aug 8, 2008 12:42 am

paid off the Saab 9-3 convertible today. turning my buyer down. I decided to keep the Saab. I just can’t see paying $750/mth lease for a mercedes E350.

Aug 8, 2008 3:29 am

$750 a month lease for a car?  $750 A MONTH!?!?!?!? 

Sorry, just sticker shock from a young, much poorer, guy.
Aug 8, 2008 3:30 am

Aug 8, 2008 3:32 am

Aug 8, 2008 3:35 am

$2k a month, that's insane.  What is it, a Bentley, Aston Martin...?

Aug 8, 2008 3:45 am

Aug 8, 2008 12:39 pm

how about $550/mth. still too much you think?

Aug 8, 2008 2:19 pm

I’m not a fan at all of car payments.  I think it should be cash or wait until you have the cash.  I’m sure that opinion will change as I learn more about this business.  I would assume the client leasing an Aston Martin has the cash to pay for the car if he/she had too, but feels theres an advantage to leasing it. 

Aug 8, 2008 3:25 pm

Prolly an Aston Martin DBS. I’m surprised at that payment. Seems about % bills a mont too high. Butttt, anything is possible.

   The E350 is a really pedestrian car. it's much like a Lexus ES. My question for buyers of these cars is why?   The 350 has exactly zero going for it. It's used as a taxi cab in europe. Remy Julienne now wrecks them in his stunts instead of Volvos. When I see one I picture an owner who couldn't pony up for an S class.   On top of that they're expensive to own and operate.   Buy a Smart Car or a S class and call it done. Or, buy a 5 series BMW. Even the most benign 5 series is a real car.   The car I really don't get is the Lexus ES. It's a Camry. It's on a Camry platform. I'll bet anyone that if I show you a picture of each car and cover the nameplate badges most couldn't pick out the Lexus. I can, but I'm a car guy. Inside, the Lexus is more luxurious. it's a nice car. But for 8 grand less you can a loaded to the gills Camry with a six cylinder engine that more fuel efficient and runs on regular.   Step up to the GS, now that's a car that can give BMW a run for it's money.    
Aug 8, 2008 3:59 pm


When I see one I picture an owner who couldn’t pony up for an S class.  

Aug 8, 2008 5:23 pm

Perhaps it's not the car, but the driver who needs to learn how to properly use the clutch. 

Aug 10, 2008 3:39 pm

Aug 11, 2008 4:51 pm

350Z’s have known tranny probs, so did my '02 WRX (awesomely fun car, but broke constantly).

  This whole topic is very near and dear to me, I'm an unabashed car-guy.  In the past 5 years I've had a WRX (big turbo, race tranny, etc), 93 5.0 Mustang notch back (big choice for drag cars, light, moddable), a '68 camaro (I had a bunch of toys for it, then they all got stolen, still came out ahead because I timed the market...haha, yeah right... I miss it though), and I now have a '93 lexus sc400 that I have been too busy to do a 1jzgte swap on.  Just always thought they were pretty cars, and I have buddies with 2j cars with upwards of 800hp, so I have a good support base on the motor.   ...At any rate because a huge part of my natural market are people that are into cars I've been struggling with this.  I personally would have a hard time driving a ferrari or something that would make me cry if it got a tiny ding from bad parking lots, I'm not that into super flash, and I loathe SUV's (just for the lack of driving experience).  e36 on up m3's just don't float my boat, sti's are a little too boy racer, as are evos.  Which leaves me thinking what cars have serious car guy cred, but don't make you come across as some stuck-up type?   My short list... to this point: e30 m3 (if you can find one, and don't mine giving it some tlc) c5 z06 (true drivers car) GN (if you can get past the 80's nascar shape) 993 Porsche (except the whole porsche thing) 70ish BMW 3.0cs (except for the fact they are a bit tough with up keep) Mini S (most fun FWD car I've ever driven)   ...then again a guy I know got his hands on a lancia delta integrale, which is amazingly cool, but won't turn any heads other than those in the know.   ...some other fellow in town that rubs elbows within my 'natural market' is rocking a mosler mt900.  Not exactly discreet....
Aug 11, 2008 6:49 pm

Yeah, 100mph trap, 120mph trap, and 140mph trap.  Lots of fun on the highway though. just got cred knowing that haha... As for other stereotypes I have a buddy with a 7m that is constantly broken, and a few friends that have finally given up on their low 11 sec DSM's that work for one week a year.   Turbo mustangs are really big out here too   My BM told me to pretty much suck it up, and realize I need to go to some circle track races, I know there is a lot of money there, but it's just so boring.
Aug 14, 2008 2:29 pm

[quote=joedabrkr] [quote=IsOldSpiceRightForMe]

$2k a month, that's insane.  What is it, a Bentley, Aston Martin...?


The big Aston Martin convertible...embarassed to say I'm too tired to remember which model that is.  Apparently each oil change is about 2k, and they come pick the car up on a flatbed and take it to the dealership.
[/quote]   In today's paper a half page add for one of the area's luxo car dealers advertised an 08 Aston Martin Vantage Roadster, list price $127,000, for $1552 a month for 84 months with $15,000 down.   Based on this a 2k a month lease payment is probably in the ballpark depending on the up front out of pocket cash.
Aug 14, 2008 4:31 pm

Aug 15, 2008 3:18 am

After our 3 kid, I traded in my '01 BMW 330 convertible for an '08 535. I really miss that car but I am thrilled with this car. I pay $698/month. Couldn’t be happier.

I have two clients with M5s. Those are super cars. I went with one to the Homestead Speedway and he burned through a $2,000 set of tires in one day.

Aug 15, 2008 2:03 pm

I really like the 535’s too.  That motor is pretty impressive.  After driving just about every bimmer, I’d take a 535 over a 6 series. I think the g8 GT might be a pretty good car too, not showy, nice, quick, and since it’s a holden I think the quality is up there. 

    ...For the gear heads here, have you tried the car-guy niche market? what success have you had with it?
Aug 16, 2008 7:15 pm


  What did you pay upfornt for that lease? About 4k I bet. They want $559/mth and 4800 down to lease a Benz.
Aug 26, 2008 9:28 pm

bougth the benz e350. love it !

Aug 27, 2008 3:57 am

Buy a limo, hire a driver.

Aug 27, 2008 12:57 pm

the Maserati Quatroportte is pretty nice…

Aug 27, 2008 4:12 pm

Thank goodness for the online urban dictionary, or I’d have no idea what you were saying.

  I'd recommend leather seats, based on your comments.