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Investing in Cars

Illustration for article titled Investing in Cars

I just opened up an E*trade(TM) account. Not because I was interested in investing. I did it so I would feel more like an adult (it worked). After buying stock in Ford and a couple of Pharmaceutical companies, I sat back and prepared to watch the money pile in. Serious investors know that is not exactly what happened. Apparently I have the market sense of a copper tub, except the copper tub has a much larger market value than me.


In an unrelated event, I was perusing the used car section of Craigslist and came across a nice NSX (ad has been removed now) that the guy was asking $70k for. I was blown away. When I was learning to drive, I tried to talk my dad into buying one. He was on the ropes about it too. You could pick up a nice example then for under $20k. After I showed him how much they had appreciated, he said, "I should have invested in it then."

This got me thinking: could cars be a better investment than traditional sources? According to my dad, the NSX definitely outperformed his portfolio over that time, but you have to take into account that the economy tanked during that time and the NSX is a seemingly rare example of a car that greatly appreciated. Looking at how other classic cars have depreciated, I would have to say that investing in cars is probably a lot more volatile than safely stashing your money in bonds and mutual funds, but my dad made a great point, "You can't drive your stocks."


The whole incident now has me looking at purchasing a Honda S2000. I think it meets the criteria for a car that should appreciate shortly as long as it is kept in clean, stock condition. It was a relatively low production numbers car, it is highly desirable, it has aged well, and it is generally agreed upon as a future classic. What really seals the deal though, is that even if I lose money on it, I will have at least owned a nice car for a while.

TL;DR: I am bad at investing, so I'm gonna buy a car.

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