Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

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gouldnm
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Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by gouldnm » Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:37 am

Because bogleheads tend to live below their means, many people assume that they are poorer than they actually are (e.g., the millionaire next door phenomenon).

I've noticed that people always assume that I am very poor and hence offer me huge discounts on various services.

For example, I was driving a 17 year old Toyota Camry because I just didn't see the point of getting a new car as long as my old one was running fine. The last few years, I noticed that they were REALLY NICE to me at the car dealership. They would try to cut me a break and offer me the lowest possible rate because they assumed that since I drove such an old car, I must be really poor!

I guess it helps that I don't look rich. I've never been into fashion or expensive jewelry, for example. When I was in high school, sometimes the other girls would make catty remarks and laugh at me. But now I have the laugh on them!

Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon? If so, I'd be interested in hearing your stories.

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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by CFR » Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:44 am

Hmm, not to be contrarian, I have at times had the opposite. Once I walked into a dealership, with a clearly worn out car. I had cash ready to buy. I was completely ignored. My wife and I shrugged our shoulders and left. Bought at another dealership a few days later. That was a Saturn, what an awful car that was! A few years later, I gave it away to a ministry....wait that sounded bad :shock:

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gouldnm
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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by gouldnm » Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:01 am

CFR wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:44 am
Hmm, not to be contrarian, I have at times had the opposite. Once I walked into a dealership, with a clearly worn out car. I had cash ready to buy. I was completely ignored. My wife and I shrugged our shoulders and left. Bought at another dealership a few days later. That was a Saturn, what an awful car that was! A few years later, I gave it away to a ministry....wait that sounded bad :shock:
I think there's a difference between people who are selling cars vs. people who repair them. A car salesman wants to make as much money as possible so he will naturally seek out the wealthier customers (who are more likely to purchase a high-end car). But I'd bet in the repair dept., they'd be more likely to cut you a break.

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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by daheld » Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:40 am

gouldnm wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:37 am
For example, I was driving a 17 year old Toyota Camry because I just didn't see the point of getting a new car as long as my old one was running fine. The last few years, I noticed that they were REALLY NICE to me at the car dealership. They would try to cut me a break and offer me the lowest possible rate because they assumed that since I drove such an old car, I must be really poor!
This is what every gullible person who enters a car dealership believes.

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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by lthenderson » Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:40 am

I can't think of any time I've been cut a financial break for appearances in dress, vehicles, etc. I have however, seen a few surprised looks when I have made large purchases in cash. But by then, the time for price breaks was already past.

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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:53 am

CFR wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:44 am
Hmm, not to be contrarian, I have at times had the opposite. Once I walked into a dealership, with a clearly worn out car. I had cash ready to buy. I was completely ignored. My wife and I shrugged our shoulders and left. Bought at another dealership a few days later. That was a Saturn, what an awful car that was! A few years later, I gave it away to a ministry....wait that sounded bad :shock:
I used to dress poorly going into a dealership. If I want attention I try to dress not too shabbily. Car salesmen can be judgmental on who to pay attention to.

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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by Vanguard Fan 1367 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:09 am

Vanguard Fan 1367 wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:53 am
CFR wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:44 am
Hmm, not to be contrarian, I have at times had the opposite. Once I walked into a dealership, with a clearly worn out car. I had cash ready to buy. I was completely ignored. My wife and I shrugged our shoulders and left. Bought at another dealership a few days later. That was a Saturn, what an awful car that was! A few years later, I gave it away to a ministry....wait that sounded bad :shock:
I used to dress poorly going into a dealership thinking that I didn't want to be bothered too much. That worked well, no one paid much attention to me. If I want attention I try to dress not too shabbily. Car salesmen can be judgmental on who to pay attention to.

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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by The Wizard » Tue Apr 30, 2019 10:16 am

I don't think there's any real price break on anything just because you or your car or whatever look a bit old or ramshackle.

I suppose one could go to a food bank or similar charitable places and get free stuff, but that would be sort of fraudulent, I think.

I'm just happy to get senior discounts on certain things, based solely on my age, not my financial status...
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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by megabad » Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:25 am

gouldnm wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:37 am
Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon? If so, I'd be interested in hearing your stories.
Yep. Examples:

I tell people I live "on the edge of XXXX". XXXX just happens to be a really bad/poor neighborhood. I am actually in the next town over which has really good schools and is quite expensive (right on the border), but this generally gets me a sympathetic look. Perhaps it is a little bit of a fib, but I still do it.

I wear "work clothes" when going to bars/restaurants sometimes. They are usually covered in dirt and paint with plenty of holes and they are indeed clothes I have never worn to my full time job. I believe I get faster service this way.

I have "broken down" on the side of the road many times in my old truck. Three times last year I think. 2 out of the 3 times, I was in nice clothes (for me) on the way home from work and no one stopped. I was there for about an hour each time working on one thing or another with the blinkers on. Rush hour traffic, people driving about 5-10 mph past me. The 4th time, it was 95 degrees and so I took off my work shirt and just had on a wife beater. I proceeded to get dirt all over myself by trying to get to an iffy wiring connection. I looked up and a stranger had stopped and was walking toward me with tools. Not 10 seconds later a second guy stopped too. Had it fixed in no time. Just anecdotal, but I don't think it was a coincidence.

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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by lthenderson » Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:34 pm

megabad wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:25 am
generally gets me a sympathetic look.
Receiving sympathy as in the case of all your examples is much different than receiving monetary discounts which is what the OP was asking for.

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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by gouldnm » Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:47 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:34 pm
megabad wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:25 am
generally gets me a sympathetic look.
Receiving sympathy as in the case of all your examples is much different than receiving monetary discounts which is what the OP was asking for.
OP, here. Actually, they are related. In all the cases where someone gave me a discount or cut me a break, I got the distinct impression that they felt sorry for me.

It's possible that gender has something to do with it, too. I'm a small, petit woman (with a "sweet" smile, I am told) and many people have a soft spot for a "damsel in distress". Perhaps the phenomenon I describe is less common for men.

Of course, some people will try to take advantage of people like me, but I know how to defend myself against that. But, more often than not, people will want to cut me a break, especially if I don't look like I can afford something.

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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by megabad » Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:12 pm

gouldnm wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:47 pm
lthenderson wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:34 pm
megabad wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:25 am
generally gets me a sympathetic look.
Receiving sympathy as in the case of all your examples is much different than receiving monetary discounts which is what the OP was asking for.
OP, here. Actually, they are related. In all the cases where someone gave me a discount or cut me a break, I got the distinct impression that they felt sorry for me.
Couldn't have said it better myself. I have a very hard time connecting with people sometimes. Receiving sympathy and sending out empathy is one of the most important elements when I connect with people. These connections can lead to many valuable things (both monetary and experiential). It is hard for me to quantify the direct benefit of connecting with people, but I can assure you it has provided "advantages" and monetary benefits over the years. In contrast, I find that folks that throw around things like "my house in the Hamptons" have a much harder time connecting with average folks and do not receive the same treatment (financially or otherwise).

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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by HomerJ » Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:23 pm

megabad wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:25 am
I have "broken down" on the side of the road many times in my old truck. Three times last year I think. 2 out of the 3 times, I was in nice clothes (for me) on the way home from work and no one stopped. I was there for about an hour each time working on one thing or another with the blinkers on.
Can I ask why "broken down" is in quotes? Did your car actually break down 3 times in the past year? Or were you stopped on the side of the road for some other reason?

I'd suggest a newer truck if it's actually "breaking down" that often.
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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:26 pm

Herb Chambers' story on how he got into the car business when he owned A-Copy was that he went into a car dealership. Dressed way down, the salesman ignored him. He got no attention at all and left very angry. He then bought the dealership and fired the salesman. Herb now owns what seems like every dealership in eastern Massachusetts.
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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by TheOscarGuy » Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:31 pm

gouldnm wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:37 am

For example, I was driving a 17 year old Toyota Camry because I just didn't see the point of getting a new car as long as my old one was running fine. The last few years, I noticed that they were REALLY NICE to me at the car dealership. They would try to cut me a break and offer me the lowest possible rate because they assumed that since I drove such an old car, I must be really poor!
It is very hard to get any sort of good deals on servicing at the dealerships. I think they were upselling you a lot of stuff you didn't need, or needed but could have done cheaper elsewhere.

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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by lthenderson » Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:36 pm

megabad wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:12 pm
gouldnm wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:47 pm
lthenderson wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:34 pm
megabad wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:25 am
generally gets me a sympathetic look.
Receiving sympathy as in the case of all your examples is much different than receiving monetary discounts which is what the OP was asking for.
OP, here. Actually, they are related. In all the cases where someone gave me a discount or cut me a break, I got the distinct impression that they felt sorry for me.
Couldn't have said it better myself. I have a very hard time connecting with people sometimes. Receiving sympathy and sending out empathy is one of the most important elements when I connect with people. These connections can lead to many valuable things (both monetary and experiential). It is hard for me to quantify the direct benefit of connecting with people, but I can assure you it has provided "advantages" and monetary benefits over the years. In contrast, I find that folks that throw around things like "my house in the Hamptons" have a much harder time connecting with average folks and do not receive the same treatment (financially or otherwise).
I guess I fail to see how any of this is an "Advantage of Being a Boglehead"? Being a Boglehead has nothing to do with connecting with people by appearing sympathetic or deceiving people into thinking you have less financial resources than you actually do. Even if these actions lead to financial gain, it has nothing to do with investing or John Bogle.

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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by gouldnm » Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:47 pm

TheOscarGuy wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:31 pm
gouldnm wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:37 am

For example, I was driving a 17 year old Toyota Camry because I just didn't see the point of getting a new car as long as my old one was running fine. The last few years, I noticed that they were REALLY NICE to me at the car dealership. They would try to cut me a break and offer me the lowest possible rate because they assumed that since I drove such an old car, I must be really poor!
It is very hard to get any sort of good deals on servicing at the dealerships. I think they were upselling you a lot of stuff you didn't need, or needed but could have done cheaper elsewhere.
You are probably correct that I could have gotten the work done cheaper outside the dealership, but I still got the impression that they were trying to cut me a break as far as their dealership was concerned. The mechanic gave me multiple options and explained the pros and cons of each one. Some were inexpensive, but I would have had to keep bringing the car back for re-checks (it was an oil leak). Some would have completely fixed the problem but were super expensive. In the end I decided for the "middle of the road" option in which they sent the car out to a local business to do a non-standard repair that would at least keep the car running for a few more years.

By a "non-standard" repair, I mean a place that actually fixed the problem as opposed to simply replacing the old parts with newer, more expensive parts--which is all most dealerships seem to do these days.

Granted, I could have probably just shopped around at local businesses myself but I thought it was nice that the mechanic gave me multiple options and was honest about sending the car out to another shop for the "middle of the road" option. At that point I decided to stick with the dealership for the convenience and I appreciated their honesty about letting me know that I had other options.

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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by audioaxes » Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:56 pm

once someone offered to buy my kids their own beverage cup at a fast casual joint. We typically dont buy drinks at restaurants but due to the cost and we are not fans of empty calorie beverages. But they had a deal where it made since for my wife and I to get a meal that came with a drink. Our 3 kids kept trying to bum off our drinks and I guess that person noticed. We politely declined.

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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by whodidntante » Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:02 pm

CFR wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:44 am
Once I walked into a dealership, with a clearly worn out car. I had cash ready to buy. I was completely ignored. My wife and I shrugged our shoulders and left.
I wasn't ignored, but my hooptie and baseball cap did make them take me less seriously. I was projecting the image of a poor person so that's fine. Now if I show up in a suit and a nice car, I'm sure that I'll be called sir and offered coffee. But my suit is out of style and I don't like dealership coffee.

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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by megabad » Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:49 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:23 pm
megabad wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 11:25 am
I have "broken down" on the side of the road many times in my old truck. Three times last year I think. 2 out of the 3 times, I was in nice clothes (for me) on the way home from work and no one stopped. I was there for about an hour each time working on one thing or another with the blinkers on.
Can I ask why "broken down" is in quotes? Did your car actually break down 3 times in the past year? Or were you stopped on the side of the road for some other reason?

I'd suggest a newer truck if it's actually "breaking down" that often.
Haha. Hard to argue with that. A newer truck would be more reliable. I have sentimental attachment to this vehicle (and I have other more reliable vehicles that I drive more often). Very un-Bogleheads like of me I guess. Definitely a waste of money, but I can't let the memories go. Usually it is just something like--squirrel partially chewed through wire--find broken wire and reattach. Or, coolant hose leaks so just refill. "Broken Down" is more of a "temporary mandatory repair stop" rather than a tow me to the junk yard stop. I probably shouldn't let it sit as much, but then I would have to drive an unreliable car even more (Catch 22).

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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by Clever_Username » Tue Apr 30, 2019 2:56 pm

gouldnm wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:37 am
Has anyone else noticed this phenomenon? If so, I'd be interested in hearing your stories.
Yup. My car is over ten years old, has a bunch of miles, and the dealership knows I'm a "teacher" (they don't know any more details than that of my job). I seem to never get an overly expensive repair bill.
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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by megabad » Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:06 pm

lthenderson wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 1:36 pm
I guess I fail to see how any of this is an "Advantage of Being a Boglehead"? Being a Boglehead has nothing to do with connecting with people by appearing sympathetic or deceiving people into thinking you have less financial resources than you actually do. Even if these actions lead to financial gain, it has nothing to do with investing or John Bogle.
I suppose you are right in the most literal sense of things but I guess have a much broader definition of Boglehead beyond a simple forum poster limited only to investing philosophy. I would remind you that the OP was about owning an old car and the resulting benefits which is also not truly an investing strategy either. Also, Jack Bogle gave millions to charity through his charitable organizations...some might call this intertwining "sympathy" and "connections" and investing philosophy.

As a side note, I have no intention of "appearing sympathetic". I intend to actually feel sympathetic to their situation. My above examples were simply folks interpreting things in their own way and feeling genuinely. Additionally, I don't believe it is deceptive for me to describe where I live by the nearest town as this is rather common (where I live). No stranger has ever asked me how much my house is worth or if I can considered myself poor, I hope the fact that I don't offer this info unprompted does not make me deceptive or disingenuous.

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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by finfire » Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:09 pm

Does this thread make anyone else cringe?

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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by Texanbybirth » Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:13 pm

daheld wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:40 am
gouldnm wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:37 am
For example, I was driving a 17 year old Toyota Camry because I just didn't see the point of getting a new car as long as my old one was running fine. The last few years, I noticed that they were REALLY NICE to me at the car dealership. They would try to cut me a break and offer me the lowest possible rate because they assumed that since I drove such an old car, I must be really poor!
This is what every gullible person who enters a car dealership believes.
LOL! My thoughts exactly.
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gouldnm
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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by gouldnm » Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:19 pm

Texanbybirth wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:13 pm
daheld wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 9:40 am
gouldnm wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 8:37 am
For example, I was driving a 17 year old Toyota Camry because I just didn't see the point of getting a new car as long as my old one was running fine. The last few years, I noticed that they were REALLY NICE to me at the car dealership. They would try to cut me a break and offer me the lowest possible rate because they assumed that since I drove such an old car, I must be really poor!
This is what every gullible person who enters a car dealership believes.
LOL! My thoughts exactly.
Folks: Honestly, I find this insulting. I've been a driver/car owner for almost 40 years, and I have lived in many different places and dealt with multiple dealerships. The fact is, you weren't there. You don't know anything about me, my community, this particular dealership, or the body language and communication that occurred.

Besides, I didn't mean to get hung up on the car dealership. That was just one example. I have had this happen to me numerous other times in other businesses/other situations.
Last edited by gouldnm on Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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gouldnm
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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by gouldnm » Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:20 pm

megabad wrote:
Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:06 pm
I would remind you that the OP was about owning an old car and the resulting benefits which is also not truly an investing strategy either.
Please--let's not get hung up on the car dealership. That was just one particular example. It has happened to me numerous times and in other situations.

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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

Post by NYC_Guy » Tue Apr 30, 2019 3:31 pm

I sometimes wonder why people think that a Boglehead must also be a person who, for example, drives a 17 year old car or otherwise lives a life of self-abnegation. A Boglehead is someone who uses low cost, diversified, tax-efficient passive index funds in lieu of actively managed, high cost strategies. And stays the course and doesn’t try to time the market.

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Re: Another Advantage of Being a Boglehead

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