People often contact me asking for special dispensation because they drive expensive prestige makes of motor vehicles. They maintain that this is an effective way to show others [especially prospective customers/clients] as well as themselves that they are successful. And every one of them tells me that they either got a great lease deal or purchased their motor vehicle at cost, at dealer’s cost. . . . But should you be bragging about the deal you cut if you’re driving around in $80,000 worth of sheet metal?
Sorry but I don’t give special dispensation! I do tell these people, however, that 86% of those who drive prestige makes of motor vehicles are not millionaires [having an investment portfolio of $1M or more-see Stop Acting Rich]. Also, I mention the median price paid for the most recent motor vehicle purchased by a millionaire was $31,367 [for decamillionaires-$41, 997]. It is understandable why so many people relate wealth with the price tag of a motor vehicle. In a study of more than 2,000 respondents, The Wall Street Journal found that 35% believed that in order to qualify as being rich a person must drive a car that costs $75,000 or more. If I applied this $75,000 threshold to the millionaires whom I surveyed, more than 90% would fail to qualify.
I also mention the case studies about two decamillionaires who drive anything but prestigious automobiles. One of these men invented the “dumpster”; he drives a Honda Civic. In sharp conrast, a trial lawyer who works in Boston commutes everyday in his Ford 250 super duty pick-up truck. Clients judge his success on his track record in the courtroom, not on the basis of his choice of motor vehicle!
The key here is simple: focus your energy on becoming an economic success not on acquiring the pseudo symbols of success.