This weekend MJ and I went car shopping. We test drove a few cars, poked around the used cars, and were having a pretty good experience until that terrible moment at the end of visiting a car dealership where they bring out the big guns.
Do they do this everywhere or just in Virginia? You look at some cars, you talk to a salesperson, you take a test drive, and then they're like "Oh, real quick, let me grab my sales manager to give you the hard sell until you wish you'd never thought of buying a new car."
This sales manager was a particularly interesting case. He talked loudly and excitedly without making eye contact. He flipped a pen between his hands as he talked at us, asking how aggressive a deal he'd need to make for us to buy a car today, and asking the same questions repeatedly.
At a key moment in his spiel, he told us, "Look, I will give you twenty percent off a car today. That's unheard of. That's such a good deal, it's an investment. Tell me that's not an investment."
I tried to stop myself, but...well... he asked. I said, "Well, it's not an investment. By definition, an investment is something that appreciates in value. This car is going to depreciate. I'm not trying to be difficult, but I'm getting my Master's in Finance and - that's just not an investment."
"Okay, okay," he said. He repeated his spiel over again, and then finished with, "Tell me that's not an investment!"
You know what happened next.
I'd feel badly for this dude, who is just trying to do his job, right? And here I am, unable to resist the impulse to define key financial terms for him. But when we were test driving the car, the dealer told us about how many young kids from the nearby base come in and buy sports cars. He didn't know how they could afford them. And, having spent lots of time with young Marines and their financial troubles, I'd have to say they can't.
But maybe someone convinces them it's an investment!
1 hour ago