Running with the Mustangs

By: Chester Allen

Originally published for Linkage Magazine

Clients come first, but David Clayman seizes the day and eases stress with his collection of special Ford Mustangs

DAVID CLAYMAN, 48, is a man of many talents. His firm, Twelve Points Wealth Management, in Concord, Massachusetts, is known for top results, client care and solid integrity. He’s an Eagle Scout who follows a moral code. He’s a big sports fan, and he’s a passionate car guy and car collector. He’s also this issue’s Private Business interview.

David, we know that you’re passionate about cars, taking care of your clients, Boy Scouts, and sports. What comes first in your life?

Clients definitely come first if I have to choose because I am involved with them every day and they have put a fairly significant amount of their financial fate in my hands. That is a level of responsibility that both deserves and demands that it come first. Of course, that moral obligation ties very closely to my time in Scouting and the Twelve Points of the Scout Law. The cars and sports are my releases from day-to-day challenges.

How did cars become a passion?

I first fell in love with the Ford Mustang in 1979. My dad’s best friend was a toll taker on the Mass Turnpike. Whenever we would head into Boston, I would see Jackie’s car. He had a 1979 Mustang Indy Pace Car and those were painted pewter but had a graphic of a series of 3 fading running horses down the side. Those horses were pretty cool for a 5-year-old, and forever after, that siren song of the Mustang has called my name.

Are you a car collector? A car collector can have one special car — or a warehouse full of cars. Where do you fit in on this spectrum?

I am a car collector, and it has always been the Mustang for me. I collect Saleens and Shelbys. I definitely have other brands that I’d like to add to the collection one day.

What is your favorite car?

That I own? It’s a tie between 2, the 2017 Shelby GT350R and the 2006 Saleen Extreme painted in Extreme Rainbow. The 350R, with its flat plane crank Voodoo engine is just raw power. Redlining at 8,250 RPM’s, when you hit 5,000, you can almost hear her say, “Don’t you even think about shifting me, I’m just getting started.” The paint on the Extreme Rainbow breaks everyone’s neck to catch a peek when I’m driving down the street. Ford had both the Mystic and the Mystichrome Cobras but their color changing paint can’t hold a candle to the Extreme Rainbow special paint from Saleen. Just taking a walk around the car, you can see 8-10 different colors from the same paint job…truly amazing.

What is your daily driver?

Don’t laugh… the Ford Mach-E (and no, I won’t call it that other M word like all of my other cars.)

As someone who devotes his professional life to the financial health of his clients, do you think of collector cars as investments or objects of pleasure?

Well, they certainly bring an immense amount of pleasure. Whether you are getting the wind through your hair at 70 mph on a nice windy road or getting to look at the fine craftsmanship, you’d better enjoy it. However, every time I am purchasing a car, I feel the need to “buy it right” so that the investment can pay off in the long run.

What should car collectors think about these days when it comes to managing and protecting their cars?

Increased values…the market for cars has been so hot that many collectors are underinsured.

Liability…many of us enjoy the fantastic displays of horsepower we can produce with our toys and that brings a certain amount of risk into play. Do I own the cars in an LLC instead of in my own personal name? Have I sheltered my assets as best as possible in case of an accident? Do I have insurance for when I let my buddy from the car club take her out for a quick spin and something goes wrong? Are my children allowed to drive them without additional liability coverage?

Should collectors have a plan for when to buy cars — or sell cars?

My wife would certainly say I have a plan for buying (early and often) and for selling (never). The truth is that of course one should have a plan if the cars truly are assets. Buy low, sell high and don’t be emotionally attached. I believe we’re in a bit of an asset bubble that is going to deflate so being a seller now and waiting for more reasonable prices is my current philosophy.

I once heard a guy say that he plans carefully for the future — while getting the most out of every day. What do you think of that philosophy?

I have a sign in my kitchen that reads, “It’s not the number of breaths you take in life but rather the number of moments that take your breath away that matter.” So yes, I believe strongly in patience and being a bit dispassionate on the purchase of a vehicle. However, we only get 86,400 seconds in a day and I don’t believe you should waste 1 of them… get the most out of every second in everything you do.

What’s next for your business?

That will be determined when the next opportunity arises because we are entrepreneurs. It’s why we are The Entrepreneurial Firm for Entrepreneurs, we understand the pros/cons, struggles, and analyses they go through when the next opportunity arises. As for what’s latest, this year we have launched our outsourced corporate trustee for those who want a professional to unemotionally carry out the wishes of their Family Trusts and avoid some of the inner family turmoil that can occur when family members are forced to play that role. Most exciting though, we just launched an Investment Banking division to help our entrepreneurs value, maximize and sell their businesses.

Do you drive a collector car on trips, say to a Patriots game?

I do take the collector cars along on trips, typically to national car shows for some combination of driving and showing. However, as much as I love my Patriots, I don’t risk the door dings that would come with mixing those 2 hobbies.

What’s next for you as a car collector?

A few friends and I have started an LLC to acquire a shared collection because we realized we were starting to buy the same car multiple times. We figured that we would have more opportunity to diversify by pooling our resources. There are talks of someday expanding that into a tourable collection and maybe more…entrepreneurs, always dreaming.

You’ve got a week with the car of your choice. Where do you go, and who is your co-pilot?

Pacific Coast Highway, and it’s my wife Julie. First, because she’s my ride or die. Second, because she’d kill me if I rode her favorite highway without her.

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