mrcvs

Creative financing, or...everyone is a wealthy 'real' doctor?

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So I take it that you agree that even an entry level Brass; and probably nickel era, old car are outside the reach of many middle class potential owners. At one time I thought to myself that one way or another I would beat the odds and have a nice car without having substantial wealth at my disposal , these days I am a little less sure but it's kinda late to change direction.

Greg in Canada

Yes, I would agree.  An entry level Brass Era car is beyond the reach of most 'middle class' individuals, especially as the 'middle class' continues to be eroded by inflation and stagnant wages.  25 years ago, I would have thought I would have a nice car without having substantial wealth at my disposal, forget about beating the odds.  Of course, then, when I was young and stupid, I thought I might have substantial wealth at my disposal.  I don't know how it is in Canada, but in the USA, one's wages are determined MOSTLY by one's employer--there is no real negotiation, this is what you get paid, and that pretty is much it.  Going to college enables you to be competitive for some jobs one wouldn't otherwise qualify for, (or, narrows down what one can even consider for employment), but, after THAT, there is no real 'competition' amongst employers to get or retain you.  Get your one job offer, if you are lucky, and, if a competitor is interested in you (as happened to me ONCE), have them interview you, and then explain WHY they are a better employer than the one you have, because they don't even want to match your current wages.

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I think that there is at least some wiggle room on the middle class affordability issue. The basic income is a constant by definition. There is one variable involved that will be the critical factor for many and that is local cost of living, and most importantly local cost of housing.

Income in a given career will vary a bit from one geographic rejoin to another, but not nearly as much as housing cost. If a person is young and just starting out in a career it can make a very large difference in life long disposable income by choosing the best / lowest practical cost location to live.

There are many places where I could be a plant engineer rather than a Marine Engineer; earn roughly the same income, and probably get an apples for apples house for a third of what I had to spend for a West Coast location. That could potentially add $100,000.00 + to my lifelong disposable income, and would make a world of difference in my old car budget.

I am sure that at least some of the people who have commented on this subject live in a region where $100,000.00 - $150,000.00 buys a reasonably decent house. That is probably the key right there to middle class people who can afford old cars. California , Vancouver B.C. , New York city and probably a number of other locations have such a high Housing price that there is often nothing left over for admittedly expensive hobbies.

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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I am the wife of an old car enthusiast  My tips are these  Only do one project at a time. Allow your husband to store car parts in the family room. Try to trade work as in you do the paint and a friend do the carburetor and then the other way for his car. It is best if it is the family hobby as in it takes the place of golf etc., holidays are at swap meets or tours . A project may take ten years but stick at it. Don't allow the car to go on the back burner, get the kids involved. They can polish brass, find you parts at swap meets. Trust me, I am married 32 years, we have three antique cars, one has its senior first from AACA meet at Hershey. Husbands, listen when you are told the budget is tight and don't put that parts order in.  Just wait a little until other essentials get paid. And above all, don't send work out if you can possibly do it, because that is what takes costs out of control.Talk to older craftsmen, they will gladly teach you skills. Get books, learn how to do things. We ran a stove one winter on the wrongly made parts for our wooden framed car. But it now is on the road !!!!

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You sound like every old car guys dream wife, and my wife's worst nightmare. I suggest you take out a patent on your DNA and if human cloning becomes a reality you will be set up for life selling authorized replications of yourself. My wife went to a swap meet ....once. Every now and then someone in my regular swap meet group suggests to one of the wives that they can come along and join the fun, the look of shock and disgust is the same regardless of which wife has been asked. 

  My teenaged son will go to shows {to mainly look at the Tuners and Lo-riders} but draws the line at swap meets {just old guys with stalls full of old junk}.

I have been married about 30 years ; and involved in the hobby for about 40, but I find that as time goes by my wife has less toleration for taking any part herself.

  By the way I find most of your advice spot on. The only thing I do differently is I usually have a few back burner "parts accumulation" stage projects on the go at any given time. I find so little for my main project at swap meets that I would probably stop going to swap meets out of frustration and lost time / effort / expense if I was only looking for parts for that car alone. There are few things worse than booking a day off work ;I am normally scheduled to work 2 out of 3 weekends on my shift cycle, getting up a 4 or 5 Am, driving 2 or 3 hours, walking around all day, and going home empty handed.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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I am the wife of an old car enthusiast  My tips are these  Only do one project at a time. Allow your husband to store car parts in the family room. Try to trade work as in you do the paint and a friend do the carburetor and then the other way for his car. It is best if it is the family hobby as in it takes the place of golf etc., holidays are at swap meets or tours . A project may take ten years but stick at it. Don't allow the car to go on the back burner, get the kids involved. They can polish brass, find you parts at swap meets. Trust me, I am married 32 years, we have three antique cars, one has its senior first from AACA meet at Hershey. Husbands, listen when you are told the budget is tight and don't put that parts order in.  Just wait a little until other essentials get paid. And above all, don't send work out if you can possibly do it, because that is what takes costs out of control.Talk to older craftsmen, they will gladly teach you skills. Get books, learn how to do things. We ran a stove one winter on the wrongly made parts for our wooden framed car. But it now is on the road !!!!

 

I am fortunate.  Here is a picture of the bride and I this 4th of July in northern Michigan.

 

post-87831-0-88320200-1436321241_thumb.j

 

She does though not go to swap meets as she know that it is my time with the guys.

Edited by Larry Schramm (see edit history)
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jrbartlett, on 24 Jun 2015 - 7:08 PM, said:snapback.png

I wish I'd had the chance to respond to this thread earlier. I own a Duesenberg, Auburn, Cord, Packard and Locomobile -- all very expensive cars -- plus two Buick Rivieras and a Lincoln convertible that aren't very expensive. I've never inherited anything, I grew up in a poor neighborhood, I volunteered for Vietnam and my college degree is in a low-paying profession. But what I did have was an extremely high work ethic. I've simply outworked all my peers for decades, learning a lot along the way and getting better at what I did, and over time it was recognized and rewarded (I've always worked for others). It wasn't until my mid-40s that I could buy the Auburn, my late 50s when I bought the Packard and Locomobile, and my 60s when I bought the Duesenberg and Cord. So you can't make sweeping generalizations -- everyone's situation, talents, choices and resulting opportunities are different.  

 

I have a strong work ethic.  I work so hard during the week that I am dead tired come Friday evening, and need the weekend to recharge, and still work at least one Saturday a month!  I think a lot of what you accomplished is simply being in the right place at the right time.  Your wages were not FLAT the first 25 years of your career, you had more job opportunities, and were in the right place at the right time when those cars came up for sale, plus you bought some nice cars that, in hindsight, were (relatively) bargain-basement prices.

I agree with Mr. Bartlett, and I respectfully disagree with mrcvs.

I too have managed to acquire a 29 Duesey, a '10 Maytag, a 67 GTX Hemi convert, 3 Hemi hardtops,  and a bunch of other cars that I love even if they were not too costly. I'm not bragging, I just want to help inspire others to realize their potential. I grew up poor, inherited nothing, started with nothing, never even dreamt about going to college. I do not consider myself rich, I still borrow money to buy cars, but then I pour myself into paying it off rapidly.

What people should consider is that the incredible wealth of this Nation is available to anyone who strives for it. Look around you, money is EVERYWHERE in huge quantities. In the industry that I am in, roofing, $100 million changes hands within a 100 mile radius of me every year. I just need to get a very small fraction of that. It is the same for everybody, if you cease to limit yourself, you can get all the money you want. The key is service to others. The more you give, the more you get. Make your own luck. Luck is the intersection of knowledge and opportunity. We all have luck, but is your mind open to recognize opportunity when it knocks? Put yourself in the right place at the right time. Don't limit your self by your current vocation, location, education or age. Read about Colonel Sanders, he was in his 70's when the started making his KFC fortune, and we've all heard of the 19 year olds who have made millions.  Working hard is not enough, you have to work smart! You have to work to serve others and to make money. Not to "put in your time" not to excel at your trade, but you have to put yourself in a place and a situation were people will pay you lots of money to get what they want from you! I am a skilled machinist, I did that for 7 years before I got into roofing. I could stand at a Bridgeport making chips until they carried me out on a stretcher, and I still wouldn't have much money. Now, if I would borrow the $ to buy 20 machines and  hire 20 machinists to run them, and a couple salesman to keep them busy, then I'd be making some serious money. Do you see what we just did? We used other peoples money and other peoples time to increase our service to others.

The process is simple, but not always easy: Decide what you want from life. Learn how to get it. Use the knowledge to make a plan. Set goals for accomplishing each stage of the plan. It all needs to be written down. Act on your plan, review your plan and you goals daily, chart your progress, modify your plans as you learn more, and don't let the inevitable setbacks stop you. Use the goals to keep you focused. Then watch your dreams unfold. Go to the library. There are thousands of books that explain how to do this. One of my favorites is Earl Nightingale.

 

Don't look at yourself as the poor guy with no luck who can't afford anything. Dream big. Your dreams now are your future reality. Good luck!

 

 

Edit: mrcvs, you are a veterinarian. Americans spend 60 billion per year on pets. 30 billion on vets and supplies. Divided by 102,000 vets, that is an average of $292,000 each.  That is a LOT of $$. Start thinking about how to tap into that more. Can you produce 4 times as much as average thru multiplication of effort using other peoples time and money, that would be almost 1.2 mil per year. How about 10 times as much as average?  Sell pet health plans? then you get paid even if the pets are healthy, plus lock in your customer base. Internet sales of veterinary supplies? Open Multiple veterinary locations staffed by employees that you oversee? Delegate the time consuming tasks and spend your time and energy building your business? There is so much you can do.

Edited by Joel1967 (see edit history)
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Joel,

 

I like your intersection of Hemi cars and prewar Classics.   The Model J is certainly one of the great Musclecars of all time.  I had the opportunity 15 years ago to buy one of the 10 or so Hemi 68 GTX 4 speed verts.  It wasn't cheap but I probably should have followed through.

 

I think I have said this so much I'm like a broken record.   Off the top of my head I have pretty good insight into the backgrounds of at least a dozen collectors that we could all agree are in the very wealthy category.  Every single one of them has a story similar to yours.     Everything you said is spot on but I feel you are wasting your breath.   People reading this thread fall into two buckets automatically.   And the buckets have nothing to do with net worth or the number of cars you own.  It has everything to do with your outlook on life. 

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Hi Joel, Al and others. I have to agree that for some taking chances pays off, sometimes big. I think that growing up middle class has probably led mrcvs and myself to be very risk adverse . I know I am. By starting from nothing a certain "I have nothing to lose" attitude develops. For some this attitude leads to prison , for others success.
  People raised in a middle class environment realize that they do have something to loose , are quite calculating {some would say timid}, and tend to move in incremental  steps. They tend to put emphasis on specialized training, hard work and persistence rather than leaving things to luck.
  I know as an Engineer all of my training has been toward a situation where everything is measured , calculated and nothing is acted on without a factor of safety. It's the way Engineering works. We strive for 100 % safety and service especially in the Marine transportation field, and our passengers expect no less.
 And it is the complete opposite of how an enterprising  businessman operates.  It's a proven fact of human nature that some of us are risk takers , and some are methodical step by step watchers of all the details, cross all the T's, dot all the I's. If a Business man takes a risk and looses that is a tax loss or at worst bankruptcy. If a licensed professional takes a risk and looses its lawsuit, professional association inquiry , license suspension or revocation, court of inquiry and at worst Jail.
  I think that most customers of a Vet want the Vet's mind to be on the Animal in front of him, rather than if the insurance subsidiary is performing this quarter.  And I know my passengers expect me to be 100 % focused on running the ship I am an officer on, as well the international marine authorities that grant me my certificate of competency insist on it.  
 With reference to the original question that mrcvs started all this with I don't think that there is any real question about weather wealthy, successful people can have nice old cars. I think it is pretty self evident that they of course can.
And I think it is also pretty self evident that the ability to be a successful independent business man is something that only a select few will possess.
I never thought I would get "wealthy" as an Engineer , or own a Duesenberg. And in that respect I am not disappointed.  I did however think that a nice old car or two was a reasonable expectation, the Jury is still out.
  There is always the exceptional practitioner of a given skill that also has the "knack" for business, but they are a pretty rare bird I think.
There is no doubt the trait of outlook shapes your career path. The next time I ride on or in any public transportation device; be it land ,sea or air, I hope the operator and maintenance staff shares my outlook ;and yes, very few of them will get rich.
And you are correct Al; it is my outlook in life/ career/ approach to how I do things, that makes it impossible to get rich. That outlook is also what leads my employer to entrust me with 4, $5,000,00.00 main engines and indirectly a $250,000,000.00 Ship / the safety of up to 1800 paying passengers.
 Joel, I know you are trying to be helpful, and I do appreciate your candid advice. But what you are suggesting is that we just be exceptional, but that is by definition something that is rarely achieved. Your message is not news to me. As I mentioned in a previous post one of my lifelong friends Father was a man such as yourself, and growing up I listened to many "advice sessions " that covered a lot of the same ground as your post.
But I know myself; my strong points and weakness, and I probably don't have what it takes to be successful in the world of business. I was first a mechanic, then an Engineer. The logical, step by step ,methodical way my brain is / has been conditioned by years of training and experience makes me a details man. The world of business takes a visionary who can work in "broad strokes" , in other words pretty much the opposite of who I am.
Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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I think most people probably think the way you do Greg which is perfectly fine way to approach life.  Incremental improvement and achievement and minimizing the risk of catastrophe is a prudent way to go and probably the smartest thing when you have kids to worry about.    It also means you won't be driving a Duesenberg but that shouldn't be a problem.  I would argue that your average collector will get just as much joy from any particular car as the wealthy guy gets from his top end collectable.

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I find that regardless of the cars price, I am interested in it due to its mechanical design, styling, or other unique features. I find the supercharged Dusenberg as interesting as a White steamer. That's what makes this hobby so great. You start in one area of interest and usually end up somewhere else. Ed.

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I suppose it is a reflection of the fact I have been involved with cars for 40 years or so, but I don't find very much interesting about the mass produced American cars from the later teens onward. The early cars I like were not produced as a "consumer product" like the Model T and so many others, but were rather substantial machines built with quality and durability taking precedence over list price.

I also have a very soft spot for old trucks for much the same reason, as well as late 50's - early 70's purpose built "sports racers" , Lola, Lotus, Elva. Chevron ,March , Tiga etc., also for technical reasons as much as anything else but they are not vintage cars in the AACA way of thinking of vintage cars.

Nearly anything I am interested in has become fairly expensive as the decades have passed, and the majority of them are now beyond me. It would be great if any of my cars ; other than my 5 year old Hyundai Accent, were driveable, but that is a hurdle for the future.

And sure a White; gas or steam ,sounds great! Know where any budget priced ones are available ?

I am also a big fan of Pierce, but they are also for the most part well outside my budget. Any that I could afford would most likely stagger me with restoration costs.

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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Another idea for mrcvs to get the Pope Hartford:

You've had the rental property for 21 years. Hopefully it is paid off, or paid way down. Refinance it, and pull out as much cash as you can. Not knowing anything about the property, I am going to guess that you will pull $100,000 out of it. Use that as a down payment on the car. Finance the balance thru Woodside, JJ Best, or one of the other specialists. The car loan will be $175k at 4.75% for 12 years, with a monthly of just under $1600. (assuming you paid retail for the car, but you can do better)

Every day, when you see that beautiful car in your garage, when you carefully put your wrenches to it, when you proudly take it for a drive, and savor the enjoyment it brings you, you will feel very motivated to make sure that YOU NEVER LOSE IT! You will WANT to get to work early, you will WANT to make those extra sales calls at lunch time and at the end of the day. You will begin to automatically upsell customers. When a chance to flip a car for 5 grand shows up, you'll do it.  Every opportunity to make more money that you have been ignoring because you are "comfortable" will be eagerly embraced, and in a few years, you'll find that the car is paid off, then you'll move on to the next one.  I know this this works, because I have done it. You can do it too!

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One small obstacle to this plan is possibly the fact mrcvs has said he has a wife. Not only that but a wife who is not a big fan of old cars. And a wife who is probably legally a 1/2 owner of the investment property.{and everything else he "owns"]

Were I to put a plan like this into action my current wife would rapidly be my X wife. And I would have nothing to show for it but a large legal bill. I suspect mrcvs is in a similar situation.

Most of us in the hobby are 1/2 of a partnership, it tends to get in the way at times. That other 1/2 seems to often think of "old car nut's" as just being "nut's".

Otherwise I like your plan; should I become single at some point in circumstances that do not involve the net worth fall over a cliff of divorce, I will do much the same using the value of my house{currently my 1/2 house}.

I used to enjoy a PBS series many years ago "Rumpole of the Bailey", the main character Rumpole would refer to his wife of 40 years or so as "she who must be obeyed". It probably means more to those of us who are married.

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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What if you blow up the 5 million dollar engines, and it sinks the 250 million dollar ship and drowns the 1800 passengers? You have a lot more risk in your occupation than I have in mine, but you are used to it. You control it, you have back up plans on your back up plans. That same steadfast planning and logic can be used in a side business to get more cars into your life, but reducing risk to comfortable level. Take calculated, well planned risks. I'm not talking Las Vegas here, it's not a roll of the dice. Only buy cars that you are reasonably certain are solid investments. That way, if you lose your income you can sell the car and be just as good or better off than you were before.

When you are on your last leg, in the nursing home, everything material thing in your life will be contained in single drawer and a 2 x 2 x 6 foot closet. And none of it will follow you to Heaven.  So it's not a big worry that you might lose money. Resign yourself to the inescapable fact that you WILL lose it all.

 

My wife, bless her heart looks at my collection as her life insurance policy. And the big thing is trust. She trusts me that I will do everything in my power not to bring ruin upon our family. That takes time and conditioning to develop.

Edited by Joel1967 (see edit history)
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You do have a very positive attitude, and I am inspired by it. And any way you would be interested in swapping wives ? Mine trusts me all right, she trusts that I am going to sell most of the cars I currently own and keep one or perhaps 2.

  I know money can be made in old cars; and in my pre- married days I did to some extent, unfortunately I live in Canada, the land of high taxes, comparatively low wages, an ever sinking dollar, substantial border fees, sky high cost of living and property prices and a few other  {we are  in a all but declared recession due to the crashing price of crude oil}.  I have sometimes contemplated the purchase of some land in WA. state or Oregon for the basic purpose of buying and selling cars and parts without having to import them into Canada, however the recent revelation that the two countries are going to share information about Canadians visiting the U.S., and more to the point limit Canadians to a max of 4 months in the U.S. {either in the sum of daily visits or longer visits, eg. 120 days total in a year.} makes the idea impractical.

  The Canadian old car market is pretty flat;  we don't have all that many to start with, they are for the most part pretty ordinary cars, and few in Canada can afford to participate in the hobby. E bay prices are a fantasy to most Canadian sellers, the price anyone local can / will pay is usually a fraction. I also have come to the conclusion; perhaps not completely true but seems so in general, that U.S. purchasers don't want to consider vehicles from outside the U.S. . Unless it is something really special , and priced very attractively they seem to not be interested.

Were I in the U.S. I have no doubt I could make things work. It's a much bigger market, no border to complicate things , overheads esp. land are a fraction of the cost. I go to a number of Pacific N.W. swap meets each year, the difference in the cars available in Portland Ore. or Seattle WA. compared to Vancouver B.C. is amazing.  But when I look at the tiny little Canadian $ in my wallet , and the expensive barrier to cross at the border I soon return to reality.

 My Wife; God bless her heart, looks at my collection as another bill she will have to pay to have the property clear again upon my passing. She knows I would never bring ruin on the family, but she thinks I have brought ruins to the back yard. I have been trying to condition her for 30 years but it hasn't worked yet, she still thinks it's old junk.

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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It would be difficult to quote the numerous responses since I last posted, so I will attempt to cover all bases.


 


I think those who have an entrepreneurial spirit are NOT inclined to attend college.  They don't need to.  I find it laughable that colleges now have majors in entrepreneurship.  It is something you are born with, not something you learn.


 


As I said may posts ago, I grew up lower middle class in a wealthy area of the country.  My parents did not own a home when I was growing up.  I equated 'wealth' to home ownership.  I determined to do this as soon as possible.  I thought it was the reason why they were broke all the time.  Going to college, and getting out with loans, this decreases one's risk tolerance.  I got out, earned 25 cents more an hour than I had without the degree, and had purchased what became the rental property quickly (could not find a job within commuting distance)--and, don't try this at home boys and girls, I purchased that place on that income simply because I found a wealthy individual who was willing to give me a loan.  I got no breaks on the loan, just was able to get it.  That winter was a long one--I had no ability to assume any risk, as I couldn't even afford to heat the place, etc.  I was dying a slow death.  Then landed a job elsewhere.  I think that had I been given a home, had no mortgage or rent to pay, and had no student loans, either by not attending college or having it paid for, I could assume a lot more risk.  I am not trying to sound selfish or self-centered, but this does happen to some lucky individuals, and would have made options greater in number and more attractive.  Not having anything and working so hard, makes one averse to risk.


 


I perform regulatory duties in the meat industry and I see individuals who made a ton of money, '80's and before.  Their kids are spoiled, they goof off, and were 'handed' a business.  But times are leaner now, and many of these old timers keep coming in to work all day long because they can't even trust their kids.  It is a brutal business, now too much competition.  Raise the price on a pound of beef a dime, and watch customers leap to your competitor.


 


For me, IDEALLY, I would have had a family business that I could run, but run well, something in which there is limited competition.  Not much risk, the opportunity for profits, maybe substantial.  But that didn't happen!


 


I see folks in the veterinary business, and that is no longer rosy.  For some it is, but for many, it is not.  Many get out now with $300,000 in loans, the economy isn't what it was, the AVMA has increased the number of seats in vet schools to out of state students and in foreign schools, because this generates revenue.  Sometimes, in private practice, you wait for the phone to ring, and it doesn't.  A competitor could open up a few miles away and then you can watch your customers dwindle.  You have to do stupid gimmicks, sometimes, like walk customers and their pets in with an umbrella when rainy, wipe the dogs' feet down, etc.  When in vet school, a business class detailed two competing vet clinics in the same market, both looked attractive visually, inside and out, and one grossed far more than the other.  What they didn't tell you is the one grossing more, had a bread making machine, and the waiting room smelled great!  I have little patience for these 'games', but this is how the profession has evolved.  Too much competition, too few resources.


 


I said I was somewhat risk averse, so, to me, the answer was to go to college and to work for a major corporation with huge profits, and, by default, have a well above average salary.  I did not realize that this was at all risky.  For me, it seemed not risky at all.  Of course, the 'risk' here would be that you would never get into major corporation XYZ, due to better potential employees, or you would get in and go no where for various reasons.  So, this was risk, too!  I got my useless liberal arts degree, and risked not getting into that major corporation, as un-risky as that might seem, and indeed never got in the door.  Now, too, I realize that little risk, going to work, even working hard, may never pay off.  To be the movers and shakers, it takes innovation, being more than just run of the mill.


 


When I was growing up, I would wonder why my parents worked for someone else, NEVER thinking that I, too, would ever work for someone else.  For me, it seemed really simple.  You own a corporation that manufactures widgets.  These widgets sell for $25 each.  They cost $12.50 to produce, including overhead (rent, supplies, resources), and salaries.  Make 1,000 widgets daily.  Make $12,500.  OR, hire a lot of folks in your field, all of which work for an hourly rate,  Ensure each produces at least 4 times his or her hourly rate.  In theory, hire more folks, 'earn' 3 X what they bring in, pay overhead with a third of that, and for every employee, your income is twice what they earn.  Hire 100 folks, in theory, your wage is 200 times that of the hourly paid worker.  Seems like you could sit back and get really rich, maybe barely even ever show up for work.  I thought I had a mind for this.  Turns out, in hindsight, they were all 'get rich quick' schemes that never panned out, a LOT easier said than done.


 


I knew at a young age I needed a substantial salary to fund my hobbies.  Never thought my hobbies would ever give way to reality.  For me, this is what hobby X, Y, and Z cost, I simply have to earn that to support them.  Didn't ever reason it might be the other way around:  This is what I will earn, how to I want to spend my limited funds?  Probably will never get into hobby X and Z, and maybe do hobby Y on a no frills basis.


 


My 2 cents worth, for what it is worth!

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Oh, out of all that, an important take-home message is that when you have limited employment options, and your student loan payment comes due monthly, as does your mortgage, it really knocks the wind out of your sails.  When you are just scraping by, how can you invest in a business, etc.  In those days, my mortgage payment was $600 a month, then I had to pay taxes and insurance on it as well, and I had a student loan payment, which seems inconsequential now, but was a struggle to pay then.  Heating, gasoline for work, food, etc.  On top of that.  And bringing in $49 a day before taxes 5 days a week.  Not much money left over to be innovative and assume risk.

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And...one other thing...

 

I had stated that my parents did not own property when growing up, in the 1980's.  Real estate, to me, was a way to wealth.  Folks made so much money off of real estate then, it was unreal.  NOT the case anymore.  Here we are, 10 years out from the boom times, and real estate is stagnant where I own properties.  I could have tripled my money on that rental property had I sold it 10 years ago.  Now, if I wanted to sell it, I would be lucky to sell it for a third more than I paid for it, and it would take a LONG time to sell it.  I still owe $6,000 on it.  Hoping to pay it off before the end of the summer.  Someone suggested taking out a loan against it and purchasing that Pope-Hartford with it.  Well, I am SO MUCH looking forward to paying off this mortgage that getting a HELOC loan against it, and having a mortgage again, is unattractive.  NOW, with greatly reduced expenses soon, and a rental income coming in, perhaps I could 'bank' this income for a while (or a LONG while) and purchase a Pope-Hartford or something similar.  Now, that's an idea and a goal!

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Real estate around here is BOOMING, but many say we are in a speculating bubble and it will collapse at some point. The unknown is for how long money from mainland China will continue to pour in.  Some are saying that we haven't seen anything yet as the Chinese authorities are about to make it easier to bring money out of the country. I don't know how it can get any more expensive, but I said the same thing 10 years ago when prices were 1/3 of what they are today. Many are also quietly saying that a lot of the money is the result of "something nefarious " and the Vancouver housing market is a key part of a global money laundering scheme. A couple of the most blatant cases have been front page news lately.  If so what simple wage slave can compete for a place in the market, all I know is the scale of wealth has to be seen to be believed.

More or less anyone who earns their income locally is priced out of the single family residence market  ,Vancouver city and near suburbs are entry level or tear down at about a million and a half. Something decent on the west side is 5 million and UP. Bidding wars on new listings are almost par for the course and sales of a hundred thousand or more over listing price are not uncommon. Defies logic but in North America we don't generally realize how wealthy a substantial number of Chinese business people have become. And most of those want a plan B in case trouble happens back home.  Many of the properties sit empty or perhaps a grandparent and a child once purchased, must be nice to be able to afford a 5 million insurance policy but there are thousands of them doing the same thing.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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Hi Joel and others. The other problem with the buy and sell game is it already a very competitive market. There are at least a couple of well connected , knowledgeable, and well financed people locally that are in a position to beat me to every really good deal.  {they both post on these forums} And there are any number of people in my position in the market ;  bottom feeder to most people, that have a much better chance as well. My shift work means it is often a week or more before I can view a car {I work 12 days at a go at odd ball times}. Unless I am very lucky ; or the "deal" is actually no deal at all, someone else is generally there first.

  In addition to vintage cars I have been quite active with British sports cars over the decades. At one time I would encounter the same car over many years and  sometimes owners. For the last 15 years or so once they come up for sale as often as not they are exported to Europe or the U.K. obviously never to be seen again. The remaining stock are either hopeless basket cases needing more spent on them than they will ever be worth or showpieces that have had time and $ spent on them and will command a price that leaves little room for profit.

  This part of the market only works if you are the local buyer 1/2 of a team that has a seller 1/2 in either the U.K or Europe. I know that is the case for the gent up the road from me who frequently dispatches 911's and SL's {along with the odd Austin Healy or MG}  to his brother in Europe. Unfortunately I have no such partner.

  I am sure that if a person was retired {which I hope to be in 3 years} had capital {well no},had a building to work out of {again no}, had a tow vehicle {probably not a Hundai Accent}, then providing they had knowledge of old cars{check mark} things might work out.  Until then I will probably not be much more than a footnote in the vehicle buy / sell game.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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I am sometimes asked advice by young people wanting to go into business for themselves. I have a stock question I always ask them. "Are you willing to put your house, your marriage, your credit rating and everything you own on the line to make your business succeed?" The answer is almost always "Well, I won't risk my house". I then tell them "If you are not willing to risk everything you have then you have no business going into business. You don't have the personality for it".

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I am sometimes asked advice by young people wanting to go into business for themselves. I have a stock question I always ask them. "Are you willing to put your house, your marriage, your credit rating and everything you own on the line to make your business succeed?" The answer is almost always "Well, I won't risk my house". I then tell them "If you are not willing to risk everything you have then you have no business going into business. You don't have the personality for it".

Yes, that would describe myself, but...I grew up with so little, it is a really difficult concept to risk what I worked so hard for.

 

On the other hand, 'no risk, no reward'.  For me, I got in my head the (ill-conceived) notion that a college degree would provide for any opportunity I desired, it just was up to me to find it.  A college degree never really did this, except maybe when only very few had them, pre WWII, or even pre-WWI, from a select school only.  It recently provided for a decent lifestyle, but never could go hog-wild.  Now, you are lucky if it even gets you a job, afterwards.

 

So, I was willing to take little risk.  I saw lots of folks who took risk, already growing up wealthy, and their rich daddy bailed them out when they failed.  Lacking a rich daddy, I decided the best option was to work for someone else.

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One of the thing that I learned as I got older was that being self aware was an important quality.  I feel reading your posts you really haven't gotten to that point.   Step one is to look in the mirror and think to yourself "What can I do today to improve my situation".    Btw,  reading between the lines,  I'm not sure you have a very bad situation, you just seem to think there are guys that have it a lot better by luck.

Edited by alsancle (see edit history)

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Hi Al, I am probably the annoying one but I am sorry if you take me that way.  I agree that circumstance and luck can to a point be overcome with effort and persistence. I have been grinding away at the old car thing for 40 years after all, so if nothing else I have demonstrated persistence. And a couple of my projects are the beginning of very worthwhile cars.

  The "improve my situation" aspect is always more of a challenge, and for some it works out better than for others. When I retire I will be 60 ; I really can't see myself doing my current job any longer than that {average life span of Engineers who work beyond that is distressingly short according to research by our global professional Assn.}, but I was at one time a High School Auto teacher and will attempt to get on our substitute teacher call list once I retire. In any event the time afforded to me once retired will allow me to organize and hopefully sell off a lot of surplus old car stuff. I know if nothing else that will improve things with my wife. And as Joel has pointed out there is always the possibility of using ones experience with old cars to do a little horse trading, preferably with a bit of a profit for the effort.

  My advice to mrcvs is little different than yours. I think you got the wrong impression because I could identify with his lack of satisfaction about the cost / reward ratio of our educations . And I was sympathetic with him on this point, no doubt at all. But it was only to provide some context to the fact that regardless of income there is always a way to work towards your goal. It just takes longer. Even raw materials and especially equip. are expensive enough to require a pretty substantial outlay, I acquired my lathe, milling machine and woodworking machines over a couple of decades.

  I have always felt the old car hobby is much more than a destination {a wealthy person buying a ready to use restored old car for example}. Instead I have for a long time now seen it as a process or if you will a journey. I have spent untold hours at swap meets, talking with older more experienced people. I have accumulated a substantial reference collection, books, manuals teens and twenties magazines, sales material , you name it {a spare bedroom filled to capacity with bookshelves and filing cabinets}. And I have collected the equiptment and tools enough to pretty much build a Brass car from scratch {and know my way around most of it}.  I have been in total immersion mode for as long as I can remember and I guess mrcvs hit a cord of resonance with me when he mentioned the slow erosion of disposable income that he was experiencing.

  But my message to him has always been keep at it , keep positive and always look for opportunity.  Some will always be in a position to enjoy instant gratification, but others less well off can still participate {well perhaps not with a Pope as nice as that would be}. It will take longer; require one to be resourceful , and take more creative thinking, but it is achievable. And if nothing else a big brass project becomes an engineering education in itself. With a minor in historical research to boot.

 

Greg in Canada

Edited by 1912Staver (see edit history)

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One of the thing that I learned as I got older was that being self aware was an important quality.  I feel reading your posts you really haven't gotten to that point.   Step one is to look in the mirror and think to yourself "What can I do today to improve my situation".    Btw,  reading between the lines,  I'm not sure you have a very bad situation, you just seem to think there are guys that have it a lot better by luck.

What 1912 Staver has said is invaluable!  He has done it the way I may have to do it someday.

 

No, I don't have it bad, or very bad at all.  I do okay for myself.  Yes, however, there are guys who have it better than me.  Originally, growing up, it was the 'by luck' folks.  I am now out of that area and in a very blue collar area of the country.  Those that make it big do it by working for themselves and by perseverance.  The ones I see took the risk, and are the lucky ones.  The ones I do not see are earlier competitors in the field, who failed, for whatever reason.  I should have taken more risks in life.  In what field(s), I don't know, but I should have done this.  I think not knowing what to take the risks in was part of the problem.

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