That’s a lie, I do have my personal circle of keeping up the joneses. Fortunately for me I have never met these Joneses, I’ve only read their books, and talked to them online in forums. I don’t know what car they drive, how they dress, or what their homes look like. I know one thing about them, they’re successful Investors who have quit their jobs and invest.
I was reminded of this topic a couple of times this last month, and wanted to add my own voice to the clamor about the Joneses. The one that reminded me was Afford Anything: The Joneses Strike Again. Here Paula talks about how we can’t judge a person by what they look like. We can’t tell if they are loaded with cash, or drowning in debt. And how we should avoid feeling the Joneses with people like that. Because we simply do no know.
But, one of the most interesting comments I’ve heard of about the Joneses was over at Get Rich Slowly: We all have our Joneses. Sarah Gilbert a contributing author over there breaks it down into a much better mindset. We all have our personal Joneses. For some people she says it could be that super hippy family that bought property and is building a commune, it could be the members of a book clubs. She goes on to say that identifying who our Joneses are helps us control our spending habits and quashing that jealousy.
In the opening paragraph I identified my personal Joneses. Successful Real Estate Investors. People who make their living from Real Estate Investments. When I use these people as the cause of my jealousy, and the people to aspire too, I find that the other jealousy that people feel towards other desirables fall away. A couple months ago when we were gathering bids for Hopkins roof repair I met the Property Manager and a Contractor at Hopkins to go over the needs of the roof and find out how long it could last. And of course had an experience relate-able to the post at hand:
While waiting for the Property Manager to show up (He was 10 Minutes late!) I sat in my car replying to emails and sending texts and what have you. The contractor came down off the roof and started explaining to me the needs of the roof, and the methods he would use to repair the roof. When the Property Manager pulled up, he went on to explain the same thing to him. I asked the Contractor for a card, and offered him one of my own. Since I didn’t have one in my pocket I had to grab one from my car. He followed me to my car and raised his eyebrows upon seeing it.
When we returned to the Property Manager the contractor said something to the effect of; “Haha, are you sure your the one in charge.”
Me: “Yah, I own the property and this is my property manager.”
Contractor: “He drives a nicer car than you.”
Me: “Which is why I own Investment Property, and he works for me.”
I am driving a beat to shit 2000 Ford Taurus. The doors are scratched and banged up. The passenger side mirror is duct taped to the door, It only gets washed when it rains. The Property Manager was driving a brand new 2012 Lexus SUV. Jet black and sparkly.
In the case of vendors in Real Estate; Agents, Property Managers, CPA’s, et al., I am sure the vendor themselves feel this need to project an ‘Image of Success’. Drive better cars, wear better clothes, be better groomed. Be in debt to maintain an image. Having worked with enough vendors now, those things won’t impress me. It just means they aren’t smart enough to be planning for the future. What impresses me is knowledge, and a successful track record.
If your Joneses are based on Afford Anything’s Model, know that most of those people are in debt. And probably do not deserve that feeling of jealousy. If your Joneses are based off the Get Rich Slowly model, know that you will often have to strive and toil to keep up with those people.