My “Lost” Purchase

Virtually all of us have been touched to some extent by the decline in stock prices and asset devaluations (houses). I recently was talking to someone and they mentioned this thought experiment:

What if you had spent all the money that was lost in the recent market declines instead of watching it fall in value?

I was walking through River North last weekend when my personal answer sat on the curb right in front of me – a brand new Nissan GTR, valet parked by a high-end restaurant and club. Sure it has a sticker price above $70,000, but it is about the fastest thing on the road and has a great control layout and is a Nissan, to boot (so it likely won’t end up being a rolling pile of junk after a few years).

Nissan GTR

Of course, this is now fantasy-land, since reality binds me to the GTR’s all-too-practical sibling, a 1999 Nissan Altima, nearing a decade in service but still reliable and practical for the almost no driving I do in the city.

Not that I am encouraging this type of thinking (spend it now because it is falling in value), because it is critical for everyone to keep a long term perspective and to plan for the future. These market losses are discouraging but this is life and we need to keep marching ahead and learn from our failures. It is likely that high government spending and large deficits will mean that relying on social security, always a bad plan, will become even less viable, since all the other spending will crowd out this benefit.

But it is a fun thought experiment, especially when it is sitting on the curb, right in front of you…

Cross posted at LITGM

6 thoughts on “My “Lost” Purchase”

  1. I was drooling over looking at Bally’s $1,200 bags* with the same feeling. OR: I might have went on that long-postponed (3 times!) trip to Italy.
    But not everything’s lost yet: before more of my account evaporates, again, I’m going to invest in myself.
    Yes, I’m going for LASIK surgery today.

    *I just checked: it’s on sale for mere $951!

  2. I would have thought that you would be better placed drooling over an American-made car, which in itself would help the home industry, and also help the balance of payments!

  3. Ha my last Nissan was made in the good ol’ USA. The transplants like Nissan and Toyota and Honda are the only parts of the US car industry that are functioning.

    According to wikipedia they make the GTR in Japan but it is a niche model.

  4. Among the items designed to accentuate cube’s unique design approach are “shag dash topper” instrument panel inserts, which fit into the top center of the instrument panel!!

  5. You aren’t just looking at a car, you’re looking at the opportunity cost of doing the prudent thing. Now try to visualize what you would have done with the extra $20,000 of national debt you’re about to acquire.

    Regarding the transplants, they are prima facie evidence that Detroit should not have been bailed out. Americans are still making and buying cars. The transplants just make them better and cheaper than the Detroit companies do. We don’t have an industry that has gone bad, we have companies that have gone bad. Had I wanted to give GM an unearned premium over the value of their merchandise, I wouldn’t have bought three Toyotas in a row.

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