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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