The Toothless Millionaire

Orange County is either dripping in gold or there’s just a high concentration of wannabes.  Everywhere you look are BMWs, Mercedes, and Porches with a sprinkle of Ferraris, Bentleys, and Maseratis.  Coming from Tucson, the land of Fords and Toyotas, the omnipresence of luxury cars is a reality to get use to.  We currently rent an apartment in an area where homes are in the 300-400K range, but you see people driving out in their Mercedes and BMWs (as I’m sitting here typing at the dining table and looking out, I’ve counted 6 Mercedes, 3 BMWs, and 1 Jag drive by).  Somehow, I’m inclined to think that there are a few truly wealthy people in Orange County, and the rest are just aspirationals.  Take J’s previous landlord for example, the guy lives in a 3-million dollar home in a gated community, and drives a Mercedes with a Bentley parked in his garage.  However, a neighbor told J that the landlord’s home is actually bank owned.  So all that glitters is not gold, it’s more like plated gold.

I’ve just finished reading Thomas Stanley’s ‘Stop Acting Rich…And Start Living Like A Real Millionaire’, and the statistics are quite fascinating.

  • 86% of luxury car ‘drivers’ (owners and leasers) are not wealthy
  • Most popular brands of cars for millionaires are Toyotas and Fords
  • Only 27% of people living in million-dollar homes are millionaires
  • Most millionaires live in homes worth 400K or less
  • Worst accumulators of wealth are professionals such as doctors and lawyers
  • Best accumulators of wealth are farmers and engineers
  • Favorite retailers of millionaires are Costco and Target
  • Favorite brands of watches of millionaires are Timex and Seiko

The book gets a little repetitive but it drives the message home, and that is, in order to accumulate wealth, stop comparing yourself to others and start living within your means.  It certainly gives you pause when you see a guy sitting in that Mercedes in the next lane, because chances are he probably doesn’t have that extra $20 for gas; whereas, that toothless guy with the flyaway hair you saw the other day at Costco grabbing free food could very well be that millionaire next door.

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4 Responses to The Toothless Millionaire

  1. Juin says:

    very interesting, indeed. Also, I didn’t realize you could find homes in so cal f0r $300-400. have you seen the movie “the Joneses” with demi moore and david duchovny? interesting concept.

  2. brstevens says:

    The wealthiest guy I personally know, and he is ridonkulously wealthy, drives a Ford Expedition. It’s probably the nicest Expedition you could buy 8 years ago though. His wife is the status-conscious one and she drives a BMW, but it’s a cheaper (for BMW) 3-Series one.

  3. LY says:

    Juin,
    No, you can’t get a home for 300-400K. These are tiny townhouse apts. IMO, no one in their right mind should buy a home in CA, as renting is much more cost effective. I’ve never seen the movie, but from the trailer it looks like a mockery of the hyperspending consumer as well as a tongue-in-cheek jab at the advertising industry.
    TRM,
    Next time check out his watch, it may just be a Timex : )

  4. me says:

    Yo that is so true! hahahahahah The toothless guy comment. Because people who are usually rich tend to keep their money and don’t want to spend it. They will figure out ways to minimize any cost!

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