Archive | June, 2010

5 Basic Steps to Becoming a Great Leader


Leadership traits exist within all of us, regardless of what position we hold in our work or at home.  It is in all of us to make some great choices in tough situations as well as make pro-active choices to keep ourselves from getting into a bind. Regardless of the situation, location or time, the power remains in your hands. One of the main questions I ask everyone during interviews that wants to join my team is simply to differentiate management from leadership, and to make me understand which is more important to them. They often fail and therefore lose the opportunity.

So I decided to take a moment and break it down for all of you that might be struggling on the core competencies that make a leader.

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Cost of Ownership of an Exotic Luxury Car

In our last installment we covered the cost of ownership of an exotic car, so here we go again but this time we are going to deep dive in the cost of ownership of exotic luxury cars, like the Bentley Continental GT, Rolls Royce Phantom, Aston Martin DB9, and the Mercedes AMG line up.

All of those cars are spectacular and unlike exotic sport cars, they are meant to be driven everyday; but are they really worth the dollar per mile?

We take another look into what it really cost to drive your dream ride…

1) Rolls Royce Phantom

The king of the throne Rolls Royce Phantom, which is big brother to our newly reviewed RR Ghost is just about one of the most expensive cars to maintain and takes the cake for being the most expensive one of our list. Annual Maintenance costs of $3900 and an oil change for $650. This outrageous luxury boat on wheels is phenomenal but may not be the best option after its 4 year warranty is up. The umbrellas in the doors cost $600 a piece so imagine what the cost of repairs is on a transmission job. The cost of ownership for the RR Phantom might be high, but as we said it in the Ghost review, you get what you pay for.

2) Bentley Continental GT

The Bentley Continental GT has always been one of my all time favorite daily drivers. It is a superb blend of luxury and sport, refined by an unmatched quality of craftsmanship found all over the car but it does come at a price. The cost of ownership on the Bentley makes it the second most expensive car to maintain in our line up. Basic oil changes will run you $500 annually, while yearly service will vary from $1400 to $2500 depending on what you need done. We estimated that the average cost of driving a 2005 Bentley GT 10,000 miles per year was $3200 assuming nothing broke.

The cost of the maintenance on the Bentley is not that bad, but can give you a heart attack should it break outside of its warranty period. Most dealer charge over $140 an hour to work on Bentley cars and parts are rare and expensive, but more importantly almost non existent in the aftermarket world. You better have a great relationship with your Bentley dealer.

3) Aston Martin DB9

The Aston Martin DB9 is simply fabulous and very stylish. A step above the Vantage, the DB9’s V12 engine makes it a bit more expensive to maintain but not as bad as you’d expect. The typical oil changes will run you about $400 and the annual maintenance alternates from $1200 to $2600. The car is clutch less and therefore saves you from big money spend on E-Gear clutches every 10,000 miles and makes it a great option for a daily driver. Unexpected repairs on the other hand can be extravagant as we did hear that a hose under the car’s replacement cost was $1600 for the part only. We do however give big thumbs up to the DB9 for being reasonable in maintenance cost, compared to its peers. The car’s unlimited mileage 3 years warranty may not last long but can be renewed at a very reasonable $3500 per year which is much cheaper than the first repair bill you will repair should you break down.

4) Mercedes S65 AMG/Cl65 AMG

Last but not least, the Mercedes AMG. Particularly the S65 and CL65 which both offer luxury and brutal power in one conservative package. As a matter of fact, these cars are some of the fastest on the road thanks to their V12 Bi-Turbo engines and are known to be usable daily without many glitches. The cost of ownership of these AMG cars isn’t cheap but in no way close to the cost of those mentioned above. The S65 and CL65 run typical $500-$1000 per year in annual services, and usually about $2000 for their 30,000 mile service.

These cars cost close to $200,000 new and are very understated for the money you spend but are much more reliable on the long term than the other luxury exotic cars reviewed above. The cost of repairs on the other hand outside of the warranty period is not to be taken lightly especially if components of the airmatic suspension goes out. The last bill we saw for one side alone was upwards of $4200.

Reality remains that based on where you live and who you know at your dealer, the cost of ownership of any car will vary. In our case, we have personal experience with some of these cars and others were inquiries made to our local dealer who charged us a “fair” price when quoting us. No matter which car’s ownership cost you consider, the outcome will still lead to lots of money spent unexpected repairs. The actual maintenance cost, despite bad is still reasonable in proportion with the cost of the car bit still can leave a dent in your wallet if you are not prepared. Remember that just because you can find one of these exotic cars for less than 1/2 of its original worth, you should still consider that repairs will not be proportionate to that price but rather the original MSRP. A $300,000 Rolls Royce will always have repairs that equal a $300,000 car no matter what you bought it for, so pick your next exotic luxury car carefully and make sure to educate yourself on its cost of ownership.

LUM – TEC Bull45

lumtec M45 Secret Entourage version

Our LUM-TEC Bull45 is finally here and it is by far one of our favorite watches. This newest LUM-TEC was sent to us last week and have had a full week to really enjoy it before bringing you guys our thoughts on this latest piece by the masters of affordable time pieces. This watch is much different than last month’s LUM-TEC M9 which we reviewed as it commands much more attention due to its larger size and thicker case. The design is very similar in a sense to the famous Bell & Ross designs which are square and commando like. There are however many differences that allow it to not stand out as some sort of look-a-like or replica…

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Secret Model – Moya

model with viper

We gave you a quick glimpse of our summer line up of amazing beauties last month, but this month we actually get to bring you the real thing. Introducing Moya, a spectacular playmate posing with the Secret Entourage Lamborghini Murcielago and Dodge Viper.

Moya has a decent amount of experience and has worked with our photographer before so it made the shoot quite easy; the hardest part was getting her to let go of the Lamborghini…

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Fear is Your Friend

money down toilet

“Be afraid when everyone invests; but invest when everyone is afraid”

In a recent article we discussed how fear keeps you from being able to take the necessary steps to being successful. We must look beyond our basic day to day fear in order to be successful, but this shouldn’t keep up from playing off of other people’s fear which have yet to be overcome. As we discussed fear makes people act in predictable ways, which is what the news anticipates, as it makes its money this way. So you can also predict people’s reactions and drive some major market wins for your business or finances…

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Relationships Are Everything – SR Auto Group Audi R8

sr auto group adv1 wheels

Business relationships are everything, and Tony Yuen of SR Auto Group shares how his relationships with some of the biggest players in the automotive industry helped him complete the most amazing Audi R8 you have yet to see. Sr Auto Group is notorious for delivering some of the world’s most exotic cars and when Tony shared his success story with us a few months back, we all got to witness first hand that being successful takes hard work and dedication. In this latest project, Tony calls on PPI and ADV1 Wheels to help him create the masterpiece known as “Valkyrie”

Here is project “Valkyrie” unveiled and Tony Yuen to tell us all about it…

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Reader’s Question: How to Start Investing in Stocks?

how to invest

I received 4 different emails on this topic in the past few weeks and decided to just do a basic feature on the topic, since it seems to be on everyone’s mind. The best part is that it is quite relevant and in good timing seeing the craziness of whats going on out there with the stock market. The main focus of this article will be the Stock Market. I will have monthly features on Real Estate, Commodities, and Foreign currencies in the next few months.

Here are the 5 basic things you need to know about getting into the stock market:

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