Can I buy a Tesla?

Questions on how we spend our money and our time - consumer goods and services, home and vehicle, leisure and recreational activities
mervinj7
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by mervinj7 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:58 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:06 pm
My brother-in-law just ordered a Model 3 to go with his Model S. He says that charging in California is a snap: at work and elsewhere. He only charges at home on rare occasions.
+1 We also live in CA. We have free charging at my office, cheap charging at my wife's office, and a L2 charger in our driveway (no garage living in a duplex)). Even without those, there are plenty of chargers nearby.

niceguy7376
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by niceguy7376 » Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:47 pm

HomerJ wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:52 pm
Congrats. Where are you charging it?
Trying to understand the background behind the question.
Is it that he cannot afford power at home to charge the car or that he lives in a remote part of the country (and be a doctor with no patients) where he needs to drive tens of miles without a charging network?

To the OP,
if you had put any other car maker name and said it costs 50K, i would love to see the responses.

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HomerJ
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by HomerJ » Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:26 pm

niceguy7376 wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 1:47 pm
HomerJ wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:52 pm
Congrats. Where are you charging it?
Trying to understand the background behind the question.
Is it that he cannot afford power at home to charge the car or that he lives in a remote part of the country (and be a doctor with no patients) where he needs to drive tens of miles without a charging network?

To the OP,
if you had put any other car maker name and said it costs 50K, i would love to see the responses.
He said he rents...

Thats why I asked... Im curious how many charging stations most work places have... i think we have 10 in my parking garage... but we have two thousand spots..

Could be a problem as evs become more and more common
The J stands for Jay

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Cramerica
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by Cramerica » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:06 pm

redbeard25 wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:39 am
Cramerica wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:35 pm
32 and I am just starting my career as a specialist physician.

I have about $160k in retirement

About $60k in low interest ( <2%) debt
A doctor you say?? If you don't mind me asking, how much does college really cost to become a doctor?
That is highly variable. It can be free or it can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. The average loan burden is around 200k. Some graduates have over 500k in loans.

mc7
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by mc7 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:40 pm

I had been waiting a few years to buy a Tesla. When I finally decided to get a new car, I rented several on Turo for a few days each and ended up getting a Honda Clarity Touring. I love it! I can commute completely on electric power, qualified for a California carpool sticker and Federal tax credit, I like the interior (on the Touring variant) just as much as the Model 3, it has a few of the "Autopilot" features under different names (adaptive cruise control and lane keeping assistance), and I think it rides somewhat smoother (not surprising given Tesla's sporty niche). My previous daily driver was an eighteen-year-old sporty convertible with a manual transmission, which I will keep for occasional use on weekends or whatever. I hadn't really set out to save money on the car purchase, and even eyed the Model S, but it was a great boglehead outcome that the Clarity was also so much cheaper than the Model 3.

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knpstr
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by knpstr » Fri Sep 14, 2018 12:55 pm

Do you think it would be crazy for someone making $75,000/year to buy a $16,500 car? Sounds reasonable to me; that is the same price:income ratio as you are talking about.
Very little is needed to make a happy life; it is all within yourself, in your way of thinking. -Marcus Aurelius

amitb00
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by amitb00 » Fri Sep 14, 2018 4:59 pm

Physician income is relatively secure. Go for buying your dream car.

epoxyresin
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by epoxyresin » Fri Sep 14, 2018 5:18 pm

Congratulations. I hope your new car serves you well.

What's the phrase that gets trotted out? "You can have anything that you want, but you can't have everything that you want". Lots of people, even those making much less than you, can afford to buy a Tesla. The question is what are they (and you) forgoing by doing so (luckily you'll have to forgo less than most).

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Nicolas
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by Nicolas » Fri Sep 14, 2018 6:09 pm

Congrats! Go for it.

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Dendritic Tree
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by Dendritic Tree » Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:34 am

I’m a relatively new attending (~2 years out) who cancelled my model 3 reservation when I got my invite to configure. But we have a LOT more debt than you and we’re focused on living like residents until it’s gone (never should have made the reservation in the first place - can’t afford any new car right now). We’re working on getting our loan payments to 13,000/mo and expect to be paid off late 2021, at which point I may loosen up a bit and buy the Tesla I’ve craved since 2012. If (when) I need a new car before then I’ll probably buy a used Nissan LEAF for dirt cheap as a placeholder (I can’t ever buy a gas burner again after leasing a first generation EV).

That said, I don’t think buying the model 3 was a total bonehead move on your part. Not the single most frugal thing as a new attending but within the spectrum of reasonable choices given your income and debt burden. I do agree with WCI though to avoid the slippery slope of hedonic adaptation that can come along with buying a Tesla and really set you back at the beginning of your career if you start spending big on other stuff too. If I had your income and debt I probably would have pulled the trigger on the model 3 though.

So what do you think about it, now that hopefully you’ve had a chance to drive it? Or are you a victim of Elon Musk’s “delivery logistics hell”?

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Cramerica
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by Cramerica » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:10 am

I absolutely love it. The best car I have ever owned. In a class of its own.

PFInterest
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by PFInterest » Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:25 am

Cramerica wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:10 am
I absolutely love it. The best car I have ever owned. In a class of its own.
thanks for the update!

wrongfunds
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by wrongfunds » Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:26 pm

Cramerica wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 7:10 am
I absolutely love it. The best car I have ever owned. In a class of its own.
You said fully loaded but currently M3 comes either as RWD, AWD or Performance version. Which one did you end up buying?

madbrain
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by madbrain » Wed Oct 17, 2018 3:47 pm

240U wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 11:45 pm
TimeRunner wrote:
Fri Jun 29, 2018 2:58 pm
Your billable time is too valuable to be hanging around a charging station. Gas and get to work! :D
I say just the opposite. Your billable time is too valuable to be wasted filling an archaic ICE vehicle when it could be charging while you sleep every night.
Also, those gasoline fumes from pumps smell foul, and are noxious. I very much enjoy not being at the gas station anymore.
(I don't drive a Tesla, other EV.)

novemberrain
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by novemberrain » Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:25 pm

With 100k NW, it is not advisable. Tesla is a luxury at this point. A $15k corolla will do the trick for now. When your NW reaches 15 or 20x the cost of a 'want' car, then it will be ok. Till then, a 'need' car is advisable.

wrongfunds
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by wrongfunds » Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:34 pm

novemberrain wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:25 pm
With 100k NW, it is not advisable. Tesla is a luxury at this point. A $15k corolla will do the trick for now. When your NW reaches 15 or 20x the cost of a 'want' car, then it will be ok. Till then, a 'need' car is advisable.
Are you sure about that ratio for a "want" car? For example, for the $60K car, do you think "mere $1.2M net worth" is enough? On BH forum that kind of net worth puts you in to 'barey scrapping by' territory! In my very not so humble opinion you should never spend more than 2% of your net worth on a "want" car. On a need car, you can go much higher because you obviously need it, so we can't apply the same standard as a 'want' splurge.

novemberrain
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by novemberrain » Wed Oct 17, 2018 6:40 pm

wrongfunds wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 5:34 pm
Are you sure about that ratio for a "want" car? For example, for the $60K car, do you think "mere $1.2M net worth" is enough? On BH forum that kind of net worth puts you in to 'barey scrapping by' territory! In my very not so humble opinion you should never spend more than 2% of your net worth on a "want" car. On a need car, you can go much higher because you obviously need it, so we can't apply the same standard as a 'want' splurge.
Yes, I stand corrected. A 2% NW is a good metric for a 'want' car. And yes, for a specialist physician, I guess a reliable car is critical. So buying a $2000 car is not advisable. But a reliable corolla or a chevy spark is ok.

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Cramerica
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by Cramerica » Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:00 pm

You guys are funny. Even Dave Ramsey says a NW of $1M is fine for a 'want' car.

Btw, my NW is closer to 200k now.

I personally think it would have been a mistake to wait on a very conservative NW number just to buy a nice car. I love the car and it is one of the few luxuries that has an effect on me every single day and saves me time and hassle.

wrongfunds
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by wrongfunds » Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:27 pm

Cramerica wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:00 pm
You guys are funny. Even Dave Ramsey says a NW of $1M is fine for a 'want' car.

Btw, my NW is closer to 200k now.

I personally think it would have been a mistake to wait on a very conservative NW number just to buy a nice car. I love the car and it is one of the few luxuries that has an effect on me every single day and saves me time and hassle.
Did I miss the information about the specific model and options of the car? You said full loaded but did not specify RWD/AWD/Perf etc

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Cramerica
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by Cramerica » Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:42 pm

wrongfunds wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:27 pm
Cramerica wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:00 pm
You guys are funny. Even Dave Ramsey says a NW of $1M is fine for a 'want' car.

Btw, my NW is closer to 200k now.

I personally think it would have been a mistake to wait on a very conservative NW number just to buy a nice car. I love the car and it is one of the few luxuries that has an effect on me every single day and saves me time and hassle.
Did I miss the information about the specific model and options of the car? You said full loaded but did not specify RWD/AWD/Perf etc
The Tesla people themselves said RWD is what they would get in my situation (living in Cali etc) so I got that. I got all other available options (long range, autopilot, multicoat paint, etc).

novemberrain
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by novemberrain » Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:48 pm

Cramerica wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:00 pm
You guys are funny. Even Dave Ramsey says a NW of $1M is fine for a 'want' car.

Btw, my NW is closer to 200k now.

I personally think it would have been a mistake to wait on a very conservative NW number just to buy a nice car. I love the car and it is one of the few luxuries that has an effect on me every single day and saves me time and hassle.
What does Dave Ramsey say about buying a 'want' car at $200k NW?

As someone pointed out, a $1M NW is considered 'barely scraping by' in this forum :)

wrongfunds
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by wrongfunds » Thu Oct 18, 2018 8:11 am

Cramerica wrote:
Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:42 pm

The Tesla people themselves said RWD is what they would get in my situation (living in Cali etc) so I got that. I got all other available options (long range, autopilot, multicoat paint, etc).
What was your frame of reference in terms of raw acceleration of RWD Model 3? Even though I come from 20 year old anemic vans and barely adequate 6-cyl sedans, the first test drive of the RWD failed to wow me away. I wonder if something is wrong with me?

Ignore the people giving you hard time about your purchase. The same amount spent on a Lexus would have got you full nod of approval from BH forum except from the guys who would have preferred you to buy my 1999 minivan with only 251K miles on it.

Remember if you ask BH forum can I afford to splurge, the answer mostly comes back as "NO".

abonder
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by abonder » Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:32 pm

Valuethinker wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:08 am
targetconfusion wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:28 pm
Cramerica wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:00 pm
Just wanted to update here since I got so many useful replies.

I bought the fully loaded model 3 :sharebeer
Good for you. Cars are an odd mix of (1) practical necessity and (2) aesthetic consumption item - so which of the two are we after here? If (1) it's a hard "No, get (e.g.) a 5-year old Camry." If (2), then it's a function of your personal preferences. For some reason, cars polarize people that have no trouble spending for other personal enjoyment items, like vacations, or eating out, or rounds of golf. Maybe because cars, for most trying to save, are one of the easiest ways to knock down expenses and so reflexive aversion lingers even when finances permit (as yours do) car purchases above "this is an appliance and nothing more."

Your answers, and that you're posting at all, suggest to me you want it.

For all of its flaws, Tesla has done something pretty revolutionary in upending a (capital-intensive) market with giant incumbents that are now racing to follow suit. Maybe TSLA succeeds, maybe it fails. Either way, it will have left a mark on the world.
Compared to history, there are very few ways to demonstrate via consumption in modern life.

Conspicuous Consumption mostly boils down to your house and your car. And in middle class America, 3000 square foot houses are not uncommon, neither are cleaners (servants!). But big suburban subdivisions full of nearly identikit homes - hard to pull one on your neighbours*.

(we should understand that throughout western history, conspicuous consumption is a thing. Social class definition via how and what you consume. Having a green and well kept lawn meant you could afford servants to mow it. Humans seem to hardwired for it).

The hipster in your office has a $1000 iphone and the Apple watch. Car leasing means anyone in the top 80% of American incomes can afford to drive a newish looking car. Every middle class kid has straight, white teeth.

Cars polarize people because it is visible consumption, where we can all look up the cost.

Tesla, full credit to Elon Musk, has played that incredibly well. Creating "geek chic" if you will. Nobody is going to get a "Tesla nod" for driving a Nissan Leaf -- but a Tesla ....

* those who live in such places will expound on the differences between the 4 bedroom plan and the 5 bedroom plan, and the difference between the keystone lot and the corner lot, etc. etc. That we notice such things is just a sign of how hardwired the human ape is to such signals.
I know this is an old thread. I was just reading some recent threads by valuethinker and they’re brilliant. I appreciate his/her ability to so clear articulate interesting insights.

Valuethinker
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Dec 17, 2018 4:48 am

abonder wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:32 pm
Valuethinker wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:08 am
targetconfusion wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:28 pm
Cramerica wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:00 pm
Just wanted to update here since I got so many useful replies.

I bought the fully loaded model 3 :sharebeer
Good for you. Cars are an odd mix of (1) practical necessity and (2) aesthetic consumption item - so which of the two are we after here? If (1) it's a hard "No, get (e.g.) a 5-year old Camry." If (2), then it's a function of your personal preferences. For some reason, cars polarize people that have no trouble spending for other personal enjoyment items, like vacations, or eating out, or rounds of golf. Maybe because cars, for most trying to save, are one of the easiest ways to knock down expenses and so reflexive aversion lingers even when finances permit (as yours do) car purchases above "this is an appliance and nothing more."

Your answers, and that you're posting at all, suggest to me you want it.

For all of its flaws, Tesla has done something pretty revolutionary in upending a (capital-intensive) market with giant incumbents that are now racing to follow suit. Maybe TSLA succeeds, maybe it fails. Either way, it will have left a mark on the world.
Compared to history, there are very few ways to demonstrate via consumption in modern life.

Conspicuous Consumption mostly boils down to your house and your car. And in middle class America, 3000 square foot houses are not uncommon, neither are cleaners (servants!). But big suburban subdivisions full of nearly identikit homes - hard to pull one on your neighbours*.

(we should understand that throughout western history, conspicuous consumption is a thing. Social class definition via how and what you consume. Having a green and well kept lawn meant you could afford servants to mow it. Humans seem to hardwired for it).

The hipster in your office has a $1000 iphone and the Apple watch. Car leasing means anyone in the top 80% of American incomes can afford to drive a newish looking car. Every middle class kid has straight, white teeth.

Cars polarize people because it is visible consumption, where we can all look up the cost.

Tesla, full credit to Elon Musk, has played that incredibly well. Creating "geek chic" if you will. Nobody is going to get a "Tesla nod" for driving a Nissan Leaf -- but a Tesla ....

* those who live in such places will expound on the differences between the 4 bedroom plan and the 5 bedroom plan, and the difference between the keystone lot and the corner lot, etc. etc. That we notice such things is just a sign of how hardwired the human ape is to such signals.
I know this is an old thread. I was just reading some recent threads by valuethinker and they’re brilliant. I appreciate his/her ability to so clear articulate interesting insights.
That's very kind.

I get nailed for going off piste ;-). And sometimes for wild unsubstantiated speculation ;-).

Sometimes though we need a wider perspective. What makes the human animal tick -- I am very interested in that.

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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:31 am

Dendritic Tree wrote:
Mon Sep 24, 2018 6:34 am
I’m a relatively new attending (~2 years out) who cancelled my model 3 reservation when I got my invite to configure. But we have a LOT more debt than you and we’re focused on living like residents until it’s gone (never should have made the reservation in the first place - can’t afford any new car right now). We’re working on getting our loan payments to 13,000/mo and expect to be paid off late 2021, at which point I may loosen up a bit and buy the Tesla I’ve craved since 2012. If (when) I need a new car before then I’ll probably buy a used Nissan LEAF for dirt cheap as a placeholder (I can’t ever buy a gas burner again after leasing a first generation EV).
13k pcm. Dear Lords. I am guessing that is one huge mortgage (with amortisation mine is about 10% of that; that feels crushing but I do have a large pension pot)?
That said, I don’t think buying the model 3 was a total bonehead move on your part. Not the single most frugal thing as a new attending but within the spectrum of reasonable choices given your income and debt burden. I do agree with WCI though to avoid the slippery slope of hedonic adaptation that can come along with buying a Tesla and really set you back at the beginning of your career if you start spending big on other stuff too. If I had your income and debt I probably would have pulled the trigger on the model 3 though.

So what do you think about it, now that hopefully you’ve had a chance to drive it? Or are you a victim of Elon Musk’s “delivery logistics hell”?

The cost of anything is its cost *compounded* by your investment return until you retire and spend it - but with tax knocked off. On that basis one would, of course, never spend anything on anything. But it's worth always having that in the back of your mind. A $50k car actually costs you $100k over 14.5 years at 5% return.

randomguy
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by randomguy » Mon Dec 17, 2018 7:07 am

Valuethinker wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 5:31 am

The cost of anything is its cost *compounded* by your investment return until you retire and spend it - but with tax knocked off. On that basis one would, of course, never spend anything on anything. But it's worth always having that in the back of your mind. A $50k car actually costs you $100k over 14.5 years at 5% return.
Sure but does knowing that the 5 dollar ice cream I bought my kid would be worth 300 dollars 60 years if invested for her retirement have any value? You can inflate all your spending by x amount if you want but it really doesnt change anything. Your either saving enough for your goals (given your assumptions) or your not.

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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by sschoe2 » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:17 am

Image

wrongfunds
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by wrongfunds » Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:44 am

I know this is an old thread. I was just reading some recent threads by valuethinker and they’re brilliant. I appreciate his/her ability to so clear articulate interesting insights.
What is most impressive is that ValueThinker's comments are made from thousands of miles away and without having the privilege of being US citizen or actually domiciling in USA. How is that even possible?

Dottie57
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by Dottie57 » Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:06 am

abonder wrote:
Sat Jun 30, 2018 12:19 am
This thread touches on so many Boglehead hot buttons...cars, especially Tesla, lifestyle inflation, etc.

I’m in the camp that you should wait. It’s not that you can’t afford it (you can) but the whole live like a resident thing is really the clear path to success. If you can basically live your current existence unchanged for a couple of years, You’ll create a trajectory for success that will be nearly impossible to mess up.

Also, I’m of the (possibly minority) opinion that driving a fancy car as a physician straight out of training is truly one the top “stupid doctor tricks.” Also, thinking about and researching a new car will always be more fun than actually owning it. Best of luck to you.
This.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:06 am

wrongfunds wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:44 am
I know this is an old thread. I was just reading some recent threads by valuethinker and they’re brilliant. I appreciate his/her ability to so clear articulate interesting insights.
What is most impressive is that ValueThinker's comments are made from thousands of miles away and without having the privilege of being US citizen or actually domiciling in USA. How is that even possible?
Add me to ValueThinker's fan club. Always thoughtful and informative. I look to learn something new every day, and truth be told, after a certain amount of time on BH, it doesn't always happen even with some of the venerable posters, but ValueThinker is a mortal lock to provide something I didn't know or think before. An added benefit is that 98% of the time I agree with him/her, 2% of the time I'm wrong :oops: Somewhere I got the impression that VT is a him, but gender/schmender...
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

Valuethinker
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:23 am

wrongfunds wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:44 am
I know this is an old thread. I was just reading some recent threads by valuethinker and they’re brilliant. I appreciate his/her ability to so clear articulate interesting insights.
What is most impressive is that ValueThinker's comments are made from thousands of miles away and without having the privilege of being US citizen or actually domiciling in USA. How is that even possible?
Britain used to have the great virtue of being without the American extremes: of climate, politics, culture -- anything else.

Then we had the mother of all financial crashes, and then we voted for Brexit ;-). We have gotten a bit "interesting" for my taste, of late.

We share a common language and it's easier to see a country, see the big land features, from a long way away than up close.

However I do miss cultural changes because I don't live in the North American landmass -- and I grow old, and I am not with the zeitgeist any more ;-).

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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by Valuethinker » Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:24 am

TomatoTomahto wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:06 am
wrongfunds wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 9:44 am
I know this is an old thread. I was just reading some recent threads by valuethinker and they’re brilliant. I appreciate his/her ability to so clear articulate interesting insights.
What is most impressive is that ValueThinker's comments are made from thousands of miles away and without having the privilege of being US citizen or actually domiciling in USA. How is that even possible?
Add me to ValueThinker's fan club. Always thoughtful and informative. I look to learn something new every day, and truth be told, after a certain amount of time on BH, it doesn't always happen even with some of the venerable posters, but ValueThinker is a mortal lock to provide something I didn't know or think before. An added benefit is that 98% of the time I agree with him/her, 2% of the time I'm wrong :oops: Somewhere I got the impression that VT is a him, but gender/schmender...
Strangely and ironically, a Canadian friend of mine who has also visited this site read some of my posts and thought it sounded like me, but of course that was ridiculous given how far away I live ... just proves it is a very small world.

fastrak99
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by fastrak99 » Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:14 am

I briefly skimmed all the replies and am surprised I did not see the one line of reasoning that I use to approach every car purchase, and that makes the most sense to me.

My question always is --- what is this car going to 'cost' me for year 1, 2 and 3 of ownership, if and when I do decide to sell her. Meaning a sum total of all registration fees, depreciation, potential maintenance/repairs, finance charges (if financed), etc.

As a hypothetical example I would gladly pay 100K for a car knowing I can get 97K Back in 3 years, versus buying one for 40K that will be 20K in the same time span duration. Why? Because 1K a year loss to me provides enough value to drive the car, to justify the higher outset cost. And I have done this before on several occasions with cars of different value.

Buying a car to me has almost nothing to do with the initial 'cost' (as long as it's not beyond my means) - but more so the cars actual value when I go to sell (and I typically keep cars between 1-3 years). All these numbers can be easily calculated and approximated using tools such as ebay, KBB, used car auction pricing, autotrader, etc - to give a general idea of what the value will be down the road.

That is how I have evaluated majority of my large purchases, and will continue to do so - where the financial toll is of concern to me.

Where does this leave the tesla? I generally stay away from buying 'brand new' as that leaves potential for greatest depreciation (so instantly out of the equation) - and my sweet spot has been 2-3 year old cars, that typically have enough warranty left on them so I'm not worried about that - and sell the car when it's still relatively 'new', without excess miles to take depreciation tolls. And I will be frank that I don't know much about teslas or the electric car market to make a solid recommendation - but given that every equation and scenario is different - only you can figure out what will work best for you.

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bertilak
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by bertilak » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:12 pm

Well, I wanted a Tesla since I learned about its "Ludicrous Mode" but have been able to push that aside.

Now I see it has "Romance Mode." It puts a burning fireplace on the main screen and turns up the heater.

It also has a "Toilet Humor" mode where it makes various fart noises when you use the turn signals. You can pick the noises. One is called "Shorts Ripper." Tesla's getting harder to ignore!
May neither drought nor rain nor blizzard disturb the joy juice in your gizzard. -- Squire Omar Barker, the Cowboy Poet

FoolStreet
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by FoolStreet » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:24 pm

bertilak wrote:
Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:12 pm
Well, I wanted a Tesla since I learned about its "Ludicrous Mode" but have been able to push that aside.

Now I see it has "Romance Mode." It puts a burning fireplace on the main screen and turns up the heater.

It also has a "Toilet Humor" mode where it makes various fart noises when you use the turn signals. You can pick the noises. One is called "Shorts Ripper." Tesla's getting harder to ignore!
Stay classy, Bogleheaded Teslars... lol. Love it!!!

boogiehead
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by boogiehead » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:28 pm

The first true test for Tesla is what's going to happen once some of the incentives for the car disappears federal, state, hov sticker along with stiffer competition.... if history repeats itself it does not look good for Tesla.

https://www.ft.com/content/2b8eb480-0a4 ... ca06376bf2

wootwoot
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by wootwoot » Mon Dec 17, 2018 8:37 pm

abonder wrote:
Sun Dec 16, 2018 10:32 pm
Valuethinker wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 3:08 am
targetconfusion wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:28 pm
Cramerica wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:00 pm
Just wanted to update here since I got so many useful replies.

I bought the fully loaded model 3 :sharebeer
Good for you. Cars are an odd mix of (1) practical necessity and (2) aesthetic consumption item - so which of the two are we after here? If (1) it's a hard "No, get (e.g.) a 5-year old Camry." If (2), then it's a function of your personal preferences. For some reason, cars polarize people that have no trouble spending for other personal enjoyment items, like vacations, or eating out, or rounds of golf. Maybe because cars, for most trying to save, are one of the easiest ways to knock down expenses and so reflexive aversion lingers even when finances permit (as yours do) car purchases above "this is an appliance and nothing more."

Your answers, and that you're posting at all, suggest to me you want it.

For all of its flaws, Tesla has done something pretty revolutionary in upending a (capital-intensive) market with giant incumbents that are now racing to follow suit. Maybe TSLA succeeds, maybe it fails. Either way, it will have left a mark on the world.
Compared to history, there are very few ways to demonstrate via consumption in modern life.

Conspicuous Consumption mostly boils down to your house and your car. And in middle class America, 3000 square foot houses are not uncommon, neither are cleaners (servants!). But big suburban subdivisions full of nearly identikit homes - hard to pull one on your neighbours*.

(we should understand that throughout western history, conspicuous consumption is a thing. Social class definition via how and what you consume. Having a green and well kept lawn meant you could afford servants to mow it. Humans seem to hardwired for it).

The hipster in your office has a $1000 iphone and the Apple watch. Car leasing means anyone in the top 80% of American incomes can afford to drive a newish looking car. Every middle class kid has straight, white teeth.

Cars polarize people because it is visible consumption, where we can all look up the cost.

Tesla, full credit to Elon Musk, has played that incredibly well. Creating "geek chic" if you will. Nobody is going to get a "Tesla nod" for driving a Nissan Leaf -- but a Tesla ....

* those who live in such places will expound on the differences between the 4 bedroom plan and the 5 bedroom plan, and the difference between the keystone lot and the corner lot, etc. etc. That we notice such things is just a sign of how hardwired the human ape is to such signals.
I know this is an old thread. I was just reading some recent threads by valuethinker and they’re brilliant. I appreciate his/her ability to so clear articulate interesting insights.
What a great comment to bump. Tesla's are really becoming a status symbol much like BMW's were considered years ago.

wrongfunds
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by wrongfunds » Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:24 am

(and I typically keep cars between 1-3 years).
I think you are on the wrong forum :-) Seriously, this is like exactly 180 degree opposite of BH philosophy on car purchase. No wonder your outlook is not shared on this forum.

weltschmerz
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by weltschmerz » Tue Dec 18, 2018 10:22 am

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Last edited by weltschmerz on Tue Jan 01, 2019 12:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:15 pm

wrongfunds wrote:
Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:24 am
(and I typically keep cars between 1-3 years).
I think you are on the wrong forum :-) Seriously, this is like exactly 180 degree opposite of BH philosophy on car purchase. No wonder your outlook is not shared on this forum.
I think that’s one of the differences between BH and MMM. I invest wisely in order to be able to choose the extravagances that matter to me; what’s wrong with that?

Does anyone tell Taylor Larimore that a sailboat is an anti-BH item?
Okay, I get it; I won't be political or controversial. The Earth is flat.

cdu7
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Re: Can I buy a Tesla?

Post by cdu7 » Tue Dec 18, 2018 12:25 pm

Once you have 1 million or more in savings you have my expresss permission to buy one. You do not have my permission to buy one before reaching this exact dollar savings value. I am an official boglehead and thus my arbitrary opinion matters a great deal. If you don’t follow my advice the consequences could be most dire, you will end up with a Tesla and 55k less in savings for the year.

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