Where are all the customer's boats?

There's an old story about a guy who sold his business in the midwest and reaped a few million dollars for it that he wanted to invest. He goes to New York and gets courted by various bankers for his business (i.e. to invest his money for him). One banker walks him to the pier and shows him these huge boats and talks about which ones are owned by various executives at his big ol' Wall Street firm - thus striving to prove how great they are with managing money. At which point the midwesterner asks thats interesting, but where are all the customers boats?. Point is - there arent any. Which tells him a lot.

That's what I thought about when I read this article today. In Boston, Herb Chambers name is on most car dealerships you pass or read about or hear about. Yes, I applaud his success. Yes, I think free markets are great. But when I see the level of wealth he accumulated as described in this article I find myself surprised and asking the ol' question: Where are all the customer's boats?


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