Financial Advisor, Managing Director

Collaborative financial planning and business guidance for Richmond area entrepreneurs and executives.


January 18, 2024
Mark Newfield

Why Falling Short of Expectations Can Still Be a Success: Lessons from a $52 Million Ferrari Sale

A 1962 Ferrari 330 LM, owned by Ferrari’s factory team and boasting a Nürburgring class win, was expected to fetch $60 million. But when the auction hammer dropped, it landed at a “mere” $47 million net for the seller. Gasp! Disappointment! Headlines screamed “failure” and “flop.”

But hold on, let’s shift gears and adjust our perspective. Because here’s the thing: just because expectations weren’t met doesn’t mean success didn’t happen.

Think about it: a 1962 Ferrari, even with a “subpar” sale, still snagged a whopping $47 million. That’s a 94x return on the original investment.

Success: Defined on Our Terms

This Ferrari story is a powerful lesson for us all, especially when it comes to navigating the often-turbulent waters of the financial markets and our personal financial plans. We get caught up in the hype, the predictions, the “should-bes,” and when reality doesn’t mirror those expectations, disappointment rears its ugly head.

In 1985, an ambitious collector by the name of Jim Jaeger bought this GTO for $500,000 (to be fair, no doubt he spent a considerable sum restoring and maintaining this car). His financial return, compounded, on his initial investment was 12.7%. In any financial universe, over this period, this qualifies as an outstanding result. He doubled his initial investment every 5.7 years.

As a car collector, he was able to admire its beauty all these years. I am willing to bet a considerable sum that this was his goal – to enjoy this rare and beautiful car.

Success is defined by your own goals, not by some arbitrary bar set by others. My personal portfolio last year? Up 15%, not the S&P’s 24%, but that’s still a win! Why? Because I stuck to my plan, diversified wisely, and averaged in cash. It wasn’t the gold medal, but it sure as heck put me ahead of the game.

So, let’s take a page out of the Ferrari playbook as I challenge us to focus on goals — our way:

  • Ignore the noise. Forecasters and headlines are merely distractions. Focus on your plan.
  • Craft a realistic financial plan. Define your goals, tolerance for bumps, and expected success ranges.
  • Create separate accounts for separate dreams. Give each goal its own vehicle (and strategy).
  • Annual checkups. Assess its portfolio performance and tweak if needed.
  • Time and volatility are the big bosses. Shape your strategy around your timeline and risk tolerance. They might differ for each goal, hence those separate accounts.
  • Save first, spend leftovers. This simple magic trick ensures you don’t outrun your income.
  • Systematic saving is your secret weapon. Every paycheck gets a piece of the action.
  • Automate it! Make saving seamless and effortless.
  • Build a financial cushion. 2-5 years of living expenses parked safely keeps you calm when markets get jittery.
  • Stay invested, no matter what. Don’t interrupt the compounding magic. If things get bumpy, take a deep breath, read some market history, and give it a solid 24 hours. This little nudge will help you avoid regrettable decisions.

This isn’t about fighting a losing battle. It’s about reminding ourselves what really matters. Changing our reactions and our responses is hard, but it’s the only way to navigate the financial world with clarity and confidence. From Viktor Frankl: “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

So, let’s shift into high gear and embrace a different kind of success story. One where expectations are realistic, goals are met, and even “failures” are stepping stones to a richer, more fulfilling financial future.

Need help reviewing your portfolio and navigating market movements? We’re here to help. Reach out today to connect with our team.



Financial Advisor, Managing Director

Mark’s role is primarily as lead advisor and client strategist of his division at JSW. Mark’s passion is ensuring that his team is completely focused on properly caring for you, that you enjoy working with us, and that you receive value from everything the team does for clients.


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