A Surprising Benefit Of Driving A Luxury Automobile You Might Not Realize

Before I was addicted to real estate, I was addicted to cars. At one point, I had owned eight cars over a 10-year period. And out of those eight cars, one was considered a luxury automobile: the Mercedes G500. Buying a G-Wagon in 2002 was one of my biggest financial regrets.

Thankfully, once I became hooked on real estate, my addiction to cars faded. It no longer made sense to pay a lot of money for a car that depreciated in value. Instead, I wanted to plow as much time and money as possible into real estate to live better and potentially make more passive income.

My frugality with cars lasted up to 2017 when our son was born.

The Desire For A Luxury Automobile After Becoming A Father

For three years prior, I drove a silver Honda Fit I had leased for just $235/month. He was an amazing car who could fit in about 25% more parking spots in San Francisco. For twelve years prior to my Honda Fit, I drove a 2000 Land Rover Discovery II I bought for $8,000 in 2005.

However, in December 2016, I decided to buy a 2015 Range Rover Sport which had only 10,300 miles on it. The paper-thin doors on the Honda Fit were too worrisome for me to use for transporting a baby. If something were to ever happen to him in a car accident, I would never forgive myself due to a misplaced desire to save money.

As a result, I paid $58,000 cash to a private seller who had the car originally listed for $65,000 at an Audi dealer. I still drive the car today.

If you're usually frugal but are considering a luxury automobile purchase, let me share a surprising benefit of driving one over the past five-plus years. It could dramatically change your life for the better.

Definition Of A Luxury Automobile

Before we begin, let's define what a luxury automobile is.

In my opinion, any car that costs more than 50% of the average new car price is considered a luxury automobile. I interpret the word “luxury” to mean something you don't need, not so much luxurious amenities, such as leather seats and an amazing sound system.

Therefore, back in December 2016, when I bought my current car, it was considered a luxury automobile since the average new car price back then was about $35,000. My car brand new was closer to $76,000.

Today, the average new car price is roughly $40,000. Therefore, a luxury car starts at $60,000 and up.

The Surprising Benefits Of Owning A Luxury Automobile

I didn't buy a Range Rover Sport to show off. I mainly bought it because it was a bigger car to better safeguard my family. But I will admit I liked the look of the car and how it drives. It's also a great mid-life crisis car.

I've been a big fan of Range Rovers since I was a middle school kid in Malaysia. Hence, if I was going to buy an SUV, I might as well buy the one that I was also most excited to drive. Nostalgia is a powerful force.

Besides the benefits of improved safety, more room, and greater horsepower, here is the one benefit I did not foresee.

Nobody Questions Whether You Belong

During the pandemic, my son and I decided to explore all the playgrounds around San Francisco. In total, we discovered eighteen new ones, many of which were remodeled.

One of our favorite playgrounds turned out to be a private playground in a neighborhood of $2.5-6 million dollar homes. It is located in a valley that has a nice field with newish play structures. We liked the playground the most because it was often empty and not windy. It felt safe and was also within a seven-minute drive away.

Only after a month of going to the playground did I notice a sign at the end of the field that said “Private Playground – Members And Their Guests Only.” I never knew private playgrounds existed in the city until then. How strange!

Once I saw the sign, I was faced with a dilemma. Do we keep coming back, even though we don't own a home in the neighborhood? Or do we move to a different playground that wasn't as nice or as safe? It's not like we were climbing gates and fences to access the playground. It was wide open.

Decided To Violate The Guideline

After doing some research about private playgrounds in San Francisco, I realized the neighborhood had a racist history!

“When it was established in 1912, XXXX neighborhood had a clause specifically prohibiting people of “African, Japanese, Chinese or of any Mongolian descent” from owning property in the neighborhood.”

Wow! After learning about the neighborhood's exclusionary history, I decided we would definitely be returning many more times. It was my small act of defiance.

Further, I thought it would be nice for the families at the playground to see our Asian and mixed faces. In a way, I felt like I was helping them assimilate and raise more aware children.

Another reason why I continued to go back was that I don't mind confrontation. If someone were to come up to me and ask whether I lived in the neighborhood, I would just tell them “no.”

I didn’t seek confrontation as we’re just minding our own business playing on the playground. But I was curious to see if anybody had the guts to confront me about peacefully playing in a mostly empty playground with my son. Then I wanted to hear what they had to say and see if we could have a friendly discussion. Then I could write an insightful post about the encounter! How fun would that be?!

It's been a pleasure to share some of my experiences as a minority living in America. And as a writer, I'm often looking for new stories to share.

A Car's Signal To Others

Because I drove a car that blended in with the other cars in the neighborhood, I didn't feel like I would be bothered. After more than 50 trips to this private playground, nobody has once asked me about where I live. It is clear the residents of 1912 and the residents of today are not the same.

When you drive a more expensive car, rightly or wrongly, people will make assumptions about your wealth and status. Therefore, the biggest surprising benefit of driving a luxury automobile is feeling more welcome. And when you feel more welcome, you feel more confident, which can set off a positive chain of events.

Seriously, a big part of succeeding in whatever you want to accomplish is feeling like you belong. Therefore, if you have greater self-belief, your chances of winning also increases.

No Longer Getting Stopped At The Gates

When I drive around the city to compete against various tennis clubs for the USTA league, I don't get stopped at the gate. Instead, they just wave me right through.

However, when I drove to these same clubs in my Honda Fit, I was stopped about 50% of the time and asked what I planned on doing at the club or who I planned to meet.

When I was in middle school in Malaysia, my dad drove around in a paintless 1976 Datsun with only one hubcap. I was mortified to be seen in the car every time he drove me around.

But I do remember getting waived through at the guard's entrance to the Royal Selangor Golf Club, despite our beater. We were coming as guests. I had thought we would surely be stopped and questioned. However, our red diplomatic plates rewarded us with immediate entry.

Feeling more welcome might be one of the best feelings of them all. Like in the show Cheers, who doesn't want to walk into a bar where everybody knows your name? And as parents, all we want is for our children to be accepted for who they are.

The Dangers Of Driving A Luxury Automobile

Besides not wanting to waste money on a depreciating asset, the other reason why I hadn't bought a luxury automobile since 2003 was due to my desire to follow my Stealth Wealth principles.

I grew up in emerging countries that often had carjackings. For example, in Manila in the 1970s and 1980s, you would read in the news about drivers getting their fingers and hands chopped off by motorcyclists so they could steal their jewelry!

I have no desire to attract attention, which is also why I tinted my windows black and got a black car. I just want the safest automobile I can comfortably afford that is also fun to drive.

The other concern about driving a luxury automobile is attracting road rage. If someone was to kick or smash my car due to road rage, I wanted the cheapest car, not an expensive car! Expensive cars can sometimes attract hate, especially from some holier-than-thou cyclists.

Thankfully, it turns out drivers are less aggressive against larger cars. It must be the logical fear of getting injured more by a larger car in a car accident. Further, if you can't see clearly who is driving due to tinted windows, you might be stirring the hornets' nest!

Please contain your road rage, especially as a parent transporting a child. You just never know what might happen.

Drive A Car Because You Like It, Not To Impress Others

When you're in your 20s and 30s, perhaps a big reason for driving a luxury automobile is to impress others. But as you get older and wealthier, you don't really care as much. The novelty of driving a sports car or a fancy car eventually wears off.

So long as you follow my 1/10th rule for car buying, no car will ever blow your socks off for very long either! It's only when you spend way more than 10% of your annual gross income might you start getting this lasting thrill (and dread) of owning a luxury car.

I plan to own Moose II, my Ranger Rover Sport for 10 years. 10 years is the ideal length of time to own a car. Once January 1, 2027 rolls around, I plan to buy a new luxury automobile.

Surely by then, cars will have better safety features and more amenities.

No More Car Addiction

I realized one final thing about cars that you might realize as well as you get older. One of the reasons why I no longer have a car addiction is because I can buy just about any car I want now. But it's actually the desire to buy a sweet ride that's out of your financial reach that makes cars so fun!

Once you're able to buy whatever car you want, you no longer desire cars so much. It's like reaching the peak of one mountain and moving on to conquer another.

However, I'm capped out with what I can buy when it comes to houses. Hence, the real estate FOMO can sometimes rear its ugly head if I spend too much time looking online.

As you get older and wealthier, owning a luxury automobile becomes no big deal. You'll start driving it because you like it, not because you want to impress others. The other thing is that new luxury car prices are now outrageous. I'm not sure who is willing to pay $150,000 – $200,000 for a car nowadays. One door ding would cost $5,000 to fix!

And for those of you who would like a little more love and acceptance from others, driving a luxury automobile might actually give you what you want. However, in the long run, the most important person to want love and acceptance from is yourself.

Related post: The 10X Investment Consumption Rule Before Buying Something You Don't Need

Invest In Real Estate Instead Of A Car

Paying money for a new luxury automobile is a waste of money, especially if you are not financially independent yet. Cars are depreciating assets that won't make you money in the future. Instead of paying for a car you don't need, use that money to invest in real estate instead.

Take a look at Fundrise, my favorite private real estate investing platform. Fundrise was founded in 2012 and manages over $3.3 billion with over 500,000 investors. The firm focuses on single-family and multi-family properties in the Sunbelt, where valuations are lower and cap rates are higher. For most investors, investing in a diversified private real estate fund makes the most sense.

Another great private real estate investing platform is Crowdstreet. Crowdstreet offers accredited investors individual deals run by sponsors that have been pre-vetted for strong track records. Many of their deals are in 18-hour cities where there is potentially greater upside. Crowdstreet is a solution where you can build your own select real estate portfolio. I've met the people at Crowdstreet on two separate occasions and came away impressed with their product offerings.

Personally, I've invested $954,000 in private real estate since 2016 to diversify my exposure and earn more passive income. Both Fundrise and CrowdStreet are affiliate partners of Financial Samurai, and Financial Samurai is currently invested in Fundrise. 

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77 thoughts on “A Surprising Benefit Of Driving A Luxury Automobile You Might Not Realize”

  1. Most of those who drive luxury cars are fools who can’t afford them. I consider spending more than 10% annual income or 5% net worth utter foolishness. If you are super rich >25M go ahead and buy yourself a $500K car but I suspect even those rarely drive cars above $100K.

  2. 1976 Datsun! Was it a 240z? Those are collector cars now. Heck, any datsun that’s still on the road is cool in my book;)

  3. Enjoyed this post as well as the many others that I follow on your site. I’m actually debating the same things regarding trading up to a luxury car for me and my family – who welcomed a newborn baby girl just 7 months ago.

    I’m actually glad I found your blog and very grateful I did as I’ve learnt a lot from you to get me back on the right financial path, especially getting invested in tracking stuff on Personal Capital & investing in FundRise.

    One thing we share in common is that we’ve lived in Malaysia at some point of our lives. I was actually born and raised there and its actually quite refreshing to know when I read your posts that you’ve mentioned Malaysia several times.

  4. RealtorSwimBikeRunGirl

    “Expensive cars can sometimes attract hate, especially from some holier-than-thou cyclists” As a cyclist, I am curious (and a bit outraged) by this statement? Do you realize nearly 1,000 bicyclists die and over 130,000 are injured in crashes that occur on roads in the United States every year? I don’t hate on luxury vehicles. I own one myself. But I do share the road, both as a cyclist, a runner and as a driver of a luxury vehicle.

    1. Yes, good for everybody to be careful. It’s only some cyclists that zoom through stop signs and hate on cars. It’s just like only some car drivers try to bully cyclists off the road.

      Your comment is more good feedback to write in a more neutral tone. So thank you! And I hope your outrage doesn’t last too long.

      1. RealtorSwimBikeRunGirl

        All true. (Outrage over, lol). If the rest of the world could only handle themselves in this manner. Talk it through, see both sides. Thank you!

  5. Wow.. the level of white insecurity and manufactured grievance in response to a perfectly rational post that mentions the racist history of this country blows my mind. Hey people, there is NO SUCH THING as the institutional oppression of white people in America.(Before I’m asked, I am a middle aged white guy from the middle of the country) Also, this is Sam’s blog, his story, his thoughts; why in the hell should he tiptoe around your insecurities and irrational fears?, Sam, for what it is worth, I like the fact that your heritage occasionally comes up in relevant ways in your posts, adds context to your thoughts and ideas. Keep it up!

    1. Thanks Jack. Just trying to share real stories and experiences and tie them together with personal finance.

      But I do find the comments insightful. Given people from all over come visit, it’s good to read different perspectives.

      Nowadays, one has to be really careful saying anything if they don’t want to offend anything. So I take it as good practice!

  6. Purchase a preowned luxury vehicle the oldest that the warranty will still cover
    Sell it when the warranty expires and repeat or budget the cost of maintenance and keep the car as long as it drives
    Drive it on the weekends and a beater on the weekdays

    1. Having two cars is lot less cost effective, saving in car miles will likely not cover extra insurance and maintenance cost.

  7. Admitted reformed car junky here. I’ve paired the fleet down but still have a couple $100k ish vehicles, and a couple of fun off-road vehicles. As long as the sum of my depreciating assets is under 5% of our NW I’m okay. Actually our new Platinum Escalade has been our best investment this year, I was offered $20k over sticker when picking it up at the dealership. Our 911 is worth more than I paid for it over a decade ago, so other than tying up capital cars haven’t been a horrible hit on our finances.

    What I find interesting is people who fret over if the 4% rule is now the 3.875% rule, but then ridicule people driving large SUV’s. In an accident the laws of physics always win and I’d much rather spend a couple extra dollars on an SUV (that I’ll probably never need) to have my family in the safest possible vehicle.

    1. Got to love it when your vehicle holds its value well. I was so close to picking up a 2016 Porsche 911 GTS. It would probably be worth a similar amount today as I wouldn’t have put many miles on it. But my baby was coming and I had to be responsible!

  8. Hi Sam, interesting how Manila was like in the 70s and 80s! Wasn’t even born yet then. Haha. Your comment section has shown me what it’s like to be Asian living in the US? Are these commenters bots as the racism is outrageous and passive aggressive, and feels unreal. Haha.

    Keep going and say what you want, you do own this website, right?! All the best from the Philippines.

    1. I’m glad I provided you some insights! It’s always interesting and kinda fun to see how some people will react when I include racist history in my posts. I write one maybe once a year out of ~150 articles.

      My main point about this article was not about racism. It was a part of my story about buying and driving luxury automobiles. I didn’t realize there was this feeling of welcoming and belonging driving a nicer car.

      Even if I just discuss in a matter-of-fact way, racism is still a very sensitive subject. But it’s a part of society here in America, so it’s worth talking about IMO.

  9. I’ll bet your lack of car FOMO will eventually expand to include real estate as well. It did for me. I live in a large luxury home at the absolute top of the market and have a beautiful second home as well. Don’t find myself wanting any more real estate and don’t envy those who might have more. It’s a good place to be and expect you will soon be there.

    1. I think that would be nice Jeff, to stop desiring an ever-nicer home. I thought I got there until my friend started looking ta really expensive homes. Then I started looking at really expensive homes and when I found a not as expensive home that I thought was nicer than the really expensive homes he was looking at, I started salivating!

      It’s funny how friends impact friends. But let’s see! It does feel nice to accumulate cash and not leverage up in this market. Could easily see a 1-3 year fade in RE.

      Contentment is key to happiness!


  10. Hey thanks for throwing the racism in there. Always nice to hear people helping to heal old wounds. It would be nice if people would try to help each other get along instead of constant division.

  11. I made the same mistake you did with the G Wagon only a year ago when I was 23 buying a 2020 Cayenne Coupe CPO. Drove it for a few months and then got lucky when Porsche called saying they’d buy it back for more than I bought it for. Got myself an older diesel truck and haven’t looked back. Lost $10k in sales tax that I would love to put into my kitchen now but sometimes you have to pay for experiences.

  12. I LOL at “minority living in America.” You fail to mention that you belong to a group that makes on average much more money than the supposedly “privileged” whites. Dry your crocodile tears on your Range Rover seats LOL!

      1. I got a couple unpleasant e-mails that I brought up the fact our favorite playground’s neighborhood had a racist past. I’m just stating the fact as I was surprised as anybody would be for finding this out.

        Not sure why we can’t talk about history, race, and other topics in a factual manner without inciting anger.

        Good to understand our past for a better future.

  13. Christine Minasian

    We sold our company and treated ourselves to the Mercedes G Wagon 550, our kids HATE it- they think it looks like a mail truck and they said we are “flexing”. I agree with all your points. Finally, feel like our hard work was paying off. You can’t take it with you!

    1. Haha, oh well. The G-Wagon does have bench-like seats that are the most comfortable. At least mine did back in 2002. They are better now. And man… mine would have really held its value if I held on!

  14. NW Islander

    In early 2020, I pulled into the driveway of the pandemic bunker I would purchase that same month. I was supposed to meet only my agent, but the sellers of the property were running late and we had a brief nose-to-nose encounter of our vehicles. I had just upgraded to a CPO BMW. We both did a mildly awkward smile and wave. I submitted an offer the next day.

    To this day I wonder if the sellers would have distrusted my 7-figure offer if I had pulled up in a 20 year old Subaru – the vehicle I was driving a few months prior. Man, pandemic life would have been miserable if I hadn’t been successful in purchasing my current family home.

  15. I have a Range Rover Sport as well. Like you, I bought it because I liked the way it looked and drove not to show off. It definitely does help feeling like I “fit in” in certain places– for example my kids fancy private school (I’ve noticed certain snobby parents act nicer to me after they see me in the car. Not that i really want to talk to those people but still). More importantly, it makes mundane chores more enjoyable..i love the scent of leather when i get in the car, the way it looks walking up to it, the solid feel out on the road, the ultra comfortable seats and driving position, the ability to go pretty much anywhere w/ no issues, the responsiveness of it for a big SUV and even the beverage cooler in the center armrest, etc.

    On the other hand, I noticed that I have to drive in an extra respectful manner so as no to attract the ire of other drives or pedestrians. My wife had an incident where she stopped just over the line of a crosswalk. Some guy got infuriarated and started pounding on the hood saying “back up b*tch!”. She played it cool and didn’t make eye contact so he eventually gave up and walked away. But I doubt this would’ve happened in a Honda.

    I also know what you mean by having enough to buy whatever car you want makes you not care as much about cars. I still obsessively read Car magazines, etc like I did when I was younger. But nothing quite “grabs” me as a car that I really want. A Boxster GTS 4.0 manual sounds great, but I can’t take my family in it. 911s all seem overpriced these days. Ferraris are too flashy for my taste, etc.

    1. It’s really true on nicer vehicles attracting more hate. It’s a bummer, the increased antagonism. But like some nasty comments left here, the comments are often a reflection of one’s own state of mind. So if someone is yelling at you and you’ve done nothing wrong, it’s almost always a reflection of something going on with themselves.

      You’ve reminded me to wash my car and maybe apply some leather cleaner and conditioner!

  16. Manuel Campbell

    I love Mercedes. But I can’t (am not willing to) afford one for the moment. So I bought the shares instead.

    Incredibly profitable company. PE of 6 (ie. annual return of 17%). 7.5% annual dividend. What can you ask more as an investor ? Not a lot of growth (except for future price increases). But, do you really need that much growth when you get a 17% annual return ? Haha. The only downside may be the extreme volatility of the stock. They are in a luxury market and they have a lot of debt, both of which increase the volatility quite a lot. But, for those who can stand the fluctuations, the returns are great.

    Until I get my own Mercedes vehicule, I will continue to drive my non-luxury Hyundai Sonata. It’s a large car, it looks great and it has all the most advanced electronics. I love it.

  17. I’ve never had a desire for a fancy car. The fanciest thing I wanted was a new Toyota Camry back when I was growing up. We had an old hatchback without a muffler and you could hear it coming from a mile away. It was so embarrassing for me to get dropped off at school in it. Funny thing is some people would probably love that car today for it’s style and noise lol.

    Fun post and hilarious video clip. Aahahaha

  18. Fellow car nut here. I think there’s more to it. I live in a wealthy neighborhood in Marin County ($3-6M homes) and feel self-conscious when I drive my sports car around (2017 Porsche 911 GTS). There are plenty of nicer cars than mine, so I’m not even the outlier there. Comments are always positive, but then people sometimes want to tell me a story about someone they know with a sports car, which feels like posturing and then ultimately turns into a conversation about money. Unless I’m meeting with other car people or want to talk about money, I usually just take my VW e-Golf instead.

  19. Your article today was a gem. Many of us feel as you do about many, many important concepts. You and your wife should know her article on her personal bout with aspergers (sorry if I got that wrong) was off the charts. I shared that with quite a few people.

    Many thanks Sam, Keep your pearls coming. Art Papale

  20. There’s a flip side to this. Drive through the wrong neighborhood and people will assume you DON’T belong.

    In major US cities where the wealth inequality is apparent from one side of the street to the other, I find that wearing a long-sleeve button down with slacks in my clean, late-model Mazda fools the affluent and working class alike. To the elite, I’m a master of stealth wealth; to the working class, I’m an up-and-comer dressing for the job I want.

      1. I sort of agree. For those of us still trying to practice stealth wealth, it becomes very difficult to do that with a luxury vehicle. A few years back I bought a nice lexus SUV. At first, I was very proud of myself. But when I would go to work, my vehicle would stick out like a sore thumb. This made me feel uncomfortable because co-workers would think: a) I was living above my means, or b) I had more money than I was leading everyone to believe.
        Either way, I lose in the stealth wealth game.

  21. Appearance could definitely affect how others treat you. Not automobile specific. A friend of mine who is a software engineer in a FAANG company still wears the same clothes when he was a student. His circle of friends who are software engineers in FAANG are the same. The 4 good friends ate out once and found out that someone who sat across from them thought they were poor students in the area and paid the check.

    1. That’s the way it is in the SF Bay Area. Many high earners and multimillionaires who look like college students.

      But over 40, nobody cares about driving fancy cars for status or attention anymore.

      1. Haha being 40 is the magic boundary!

        Years ago, I dated someone who drove a luxury automobile (according to your definition!) that cost about the same as his pre-tax annual salary. It wasn’t our first date. He was trying very hard to impress me. He wanted to show off his car. I didn’t and still don’t understand fancy cars. I knew he wasn’t getting very far in his career. The fancy car, I thought, was to hide his underlying insecurities.

        I’m not in the SF Bay Area but in tech. Some establishments, such as banks, know the tech folks don’t have fancy clothes/cars and treat us well.

      2. I don’t necessarily believe this is true. I worked in healthcare, and if a doctor drove a beater some might think the doctor lost a malpractice suit, and hence, must not be a very good doctor. Same for lawyers. When my wife started driving her Lexus, my daughter called her a diva. lol

        1. Good example with the doctor!

          But if you are a low-level employee working in finance, consulting, or tech.. driving a Lambo to the office is a sure way to not get paid as much or promoted as often.

  22. I’m curious about something and I wonder if this happens outside California also. It seems whenever I go by an apartment complex, they have a higher percentage of luxury cars then any of the residential neighborhoods around them. I’ve been a renter and I never thought about buying an expensive car simply because most apartments don’t have garages to protect them. Why this is is above my paygrade, but I’d like to know if this happens elsewhere.

    1. $7mm net here, drive a 2013 tundra. I love my truck because nobody is expecting a decent tip from me at valet, carwash, etc. So it seems to go further! Another move i do is pop the toolbox lid in the back, put emergency flashers on, pop my trusty cone down by my rear tire, and park wherever i want, haha!

    2. I’m in NC and there are definitely WAY more luxury cars than I would expect from people who can’t buy property. That said, there are plenty of nice cars in residential areas too — so not sure if the mix holds. I’m assuming most at the apartments are leased maybe as a way to boost self esteem when you can’t afford much else.

      I’m still driving a 2003 CRV. It doesn’t look good at all and won’t pass the inspection in January without a $3k catalytic converter. Engine is shot. Kids are all moving out (twins will be HS seniors), so I’m torn what to buy next. I love small cars, but agree with the road rage and consider higher, bigger, tinted windows to be a safety feature. Do I splurge? I’m of Scottish descent, so it’s hard… :D

    3. I have noticed this in California, and only in California (both NorCal and SoCal), as well. The apartment parking lot is full of lower- and mid-tier luxury vehicles.

    4. I grew up in rural Michigan and it was very common to see a beat up mobile home with a fancy Corvette parked in the (garageless) drive. Car culture and status is alive and well! I grew up desperately wanting a new Mustang GT, and now that I could just write a check and buy one, or sell some stocks and upgrade to something European that would better impress my peers today, I find that I just don’t care any more, as long as a vehicle is safe, reliable, and functional. I guess I’m just getting old!

    5. When you don’t have to save up for a down payment or buy a house, you can definitely splurge more on a car. I did that the first several years after college. I have to re-publish a cool post about your house and car ratio.

    6. We’ve noticed the phenomenon, too. It seems if you can’t invest in a house (too much time, too difficult to save the Down Payment, to difficult to qualify) it is much easier for low-middle income people to qualify for a car. And why not a nice one, they say.

  23. interesting that you purposefully go out and look for conflicts due to people that existed in the past and are no longer alive. You just assume racists run that park and its not up to your standards but you take your kids there hoping for a fight with people you don’t know.

    1. Don’t think I’m purposefully looking for conflict playing with my son at the playground. But I don’t mind conflict.

      I assume the neighborhood back in 1912 was racist based on the bylaws. But I’m assuming most people have changed since. However, one never knows.

      You mentioned you are a grandmother in your email to me. Have people who grew up in that era changed?

      1. I am a proud white woman and don’t take kindly to minorities bringing up our past deeds.

        It’s offensive to me that you bring up this neighborhood didn’t allow Asians and Blacks to buy. Just stop.

        1. And people like you are precisely why institutional racism will linger for a long time to come. Not to mention that you personally still benefit from the misdeeds of the past.

    2. I agree. I’ve followed FS for a couple years and this post only confirms what I’ve surmised for some time: Sam has a huge chip on his shoulder and he thinks his success gives him license to get even with “whitey” for past racism. He loses a lot of credibility when he’s so cavalier about being confrontational.

      1. Thanks for agreeing with me Art. We white folks need to stick together and stand up against the oppression we are now facing.

        It’s not right for Sam and others to bring up past discrimination by our people. Best to leave things in the past and bury it.

        Minorities need to keep quiet and be less confrontational. Things will work things out on their own.

      2. Definitely need a chip on the shoulder to go to the playground. More energized and present with my kids this way! Otherwise, I’d just be on my mobile phone not paying attention to them.

        1. Sam, I’ve enjoyed following you and you publish some great material but every time you bring up race it’s like you have a score to settle with white people. I reread some of your old posts on race, including “Dear Minorities, Use Racism As Motivation For Achieving Financial Independence,” and its full of anecdotes about white people wronging minorities. It’s clear you have deep rooted antipathy towards whites because of how some treated you in your youth or how your father and grandfather were treated in the US military, etc. etc. Unfortunately, we live in a broken world with broken people and shit like that goes on all the time, even in present day San Francisco, the world’s epicenter of inclusivity. I’m a minority myself. I grew up in the hood during the Rodney King riots and before I was near the point of no return of becoming an ese, my family miraculously found ourselves moving to a predominately white neighborhood outside of Los Angeles. Looking back, it was probably the best thing that happened to me. In all the years since, I’ve experienced overt racism once in my life, which I have used “as motivation” to succeed in life. I went on to serve in combat in the US military, attended a prestigious (very white) private university, and now work at a top consulting firm (surrounded by whites) making healthy six figures. We live in a VHCOL area in CA amongst multi-million-dollar homes and, you guessed it, white people. Truth be told, I have a chip on my shoulder too from the time I experienced racism, but I’ve used it as motivation to be upwardly mobile, not to get even. I hope you reconsider your public posture towards whites, because you have the potential to do a lot of good with your platform. Be well.

          1. I welcome conversation. It’s how we learn from each other. I didn’t say I’m going to get in a fight over someone who questions why I’m there.

            I’m not sure how playing with my son at a once white-only playground is a negative public posture. But I have my blindspots. So please elaborate why you think my public posture is negative towards white people in this post.

            Is it too sensitive to bring about past deeds? We are a product of our experiences. I mention racism once or twice a year out of 150+ posts a year. And it does seem to fire some people up.

            Post you mentioned: Dear Minorities, Use Racism As Motivation To Achieve Financial Independence Every Day

            1. Is it too sensitive to bring up about past deeds?

              To answer your question Sam, in my opinion, this is not about sensitivity, but you perpetuating this false and hate-filled propaganda against these undefined “White people.” You realize that the British and Irish for centuries killed, raped, enslaved each other, etc. But are being both considered “White” as if they are best friends in expelling each other in a 1912 SF community. Add in German, Russian, Middle Easterns, etc. As fellow “Whites” per the census and you see that all this is “racism” is simply constantly brought up to divide and conquer us 99.9% have nots, so the true wealthy less than .1% Fed Reserve members run off with the true wealth. Add in the facts to see how racist the Chinese Are to their own people, let alone the Vietnamese, Japanese, etc. Or how racist Indians with their caste system, Latinos against lighter and darker skins, Blacks in Africa and how their own government promoted and benefitted from the Slave Trade, etc. I believe the point is clear…STOP being used as a useful idiot believing there is racism when I believe from that you’ve stated 99%+ of the White people you have met have been great sans a few jerks at Denny’s. I could definitely add more empirical data and facts to these points, but time is limited and energy better put towards real problems.

              1. Got it. I’m sorry the discovery of this playground’s history for this post has offended you.

                How do you think I can go about sharing my experiences and stories without being offensive? Over the years, I have tried to be more neutral and matter of fact so fewer people get angry. It’s just not as fulfilling.

                I responded to your parents‘ cash question in my rental property post btw. Not sure why you changed your name three times though.

              2. I agree. As a white person, the more people bring up the past, the more we are forced to change our ways. And given we have had a headstart in society, I don’t appreciate change and losing out on our advantage.

                Better to keep things in the past and focus on meritocracy of the present.

                1. So, you’re a Kevin, then?

                  …Nah, we all know you’re a Russian bot. Fresh from the Russian Internet Research Agency…

          2. So, you’re a minority. Have done well. Used racism as motivation. And have a chip on your shoulder.

            And you’re upset at Sam for pointing out a historical fact and being willing to have a conversation? So weird!

            Comments truly are a reflection of the commenter. Are you feeling bad because you didn’t speak up for yourself enough and let people walk all over you?

            Playing at an open and empty private playground isn’t exactly getting back at whites. These comments are truly fascinating. Thanks to everyone for sharing.

  24. Unless they are truly hard of heart, most parents on playgrounds will leave others alone. Everyone wants their kid to be accepted. I also wonder if you tried to use the neighborhood pools, if you would be left alone. I doubt it given the more controlled atmosphere. Ditto if you tried fishing with your son in a private neighborhood pond.

    Your point about cars fitting in is what I would expect. Whenever I rented property, I paid less attention to what people wore and drove. I did notice it but put no stock in it. Generally, the better the outfit the more of a chance something was lurking that they were trying to hide.

    1. Karen Alert

      There is this phenomenon called “being a Karen”. It took off during the pandemic and a lot of minorities are aware of this phenomenon.

  25. Interesting post and certainly brought up points I would have never thought of. I am not a particularly big car guy and both of my cars combined cost about 1% of our net worth and well under 10% of our combined income… With that being said, I actually test drove a Porsche Panamera a few weekends ago and was totally blown away. I don’t think I could get myself to actually pull the trigger, but what a wonderful experience… I am losing about a half a Panamera daily in the market so why not I think? It just seems crazyyy to spend that much on a car!

    1. Indeed! Best try to spend your money before the market takes it all away! :)

      It’s really hard to go from being frugal to living it up. But I promise you, if you’re spending that little off your income and net worth, buying a luxury automobile won’t feel like nothing.

      And years later, you’ll start wondering why you didn’t leave it up more. Don’t die with too much money!

    2. That’s how I felt driving a Porsche Cayenne Turbo when I was looking at 6K lbs SUVs. The sound system alone was insane! Couldn’t wrap my head around 100K though, even with the 6K lbs write-off. Hearing reports of $2,500 brake jobs also freaked me out. I think the maintenance costs are the biggest barrier for Porsche. Paying through the nose for routine maintenance doesn’t sound appealing!

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