Automobiles and Investing

By: Dean Huddleston

Automobiles and investing, what do they have in common?

They both are at times referred to as vehicles, a car moves you from point A to B, a mutual fund can be considered an investment vehicle where your dollars take a ride down a prescribed investing highway.  Today the majority of the population might consider them both vastly complex to the point that they use them, but don’t really know how they work or if there is a problem how to fix them.

An automotive icon like Karl Benz (of Mercedes Benz) is usually credited with building the first practical vehicle to use gasoline as a fuel.  Every car/horseless carriage sold at that time was built by hand until Henry Ford climbed to fame and fortune by rethinking the process of how cars were built and by introducing the assembly line to the world and then suddenly everyone could afford owning one.

The US Census Bureau reports that there are nearly two light vehicles for every US household.  In 2018 that equated to about two hundred and seventy million vehicles.  The United States has the largest network of roads of any county in the world with over four million miles of roadways.  And we use them; the Federal Highway Administration states that we drive an average of more than three trillion miles each year.  With those miles, you could make four round trips to Jupiter.  [1]

There is no doubt we Americans love our cars.  So it’s not surprising that the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 8.5% of our workforce is in the business of making vehicles.  [2]

Those numbers represent the manufacturing of the vehicle itself; it doesn’t include the companies that supply the thousands of parts that go into each one.  Did you know the average new car has about 30 microcomputers? Luxury vehicles can go as high as 100. They make millions of calculations per second, controlling everything from the fuel ratio, the suspension, the emissions byproduct and on and on.

Investing isn’t really all that different from the evolution of the auto.  It may have been around a lot longer, but it had its roots in the basic items that we value.  With time those items have spawned a tremendous variety of investment products, which can be daunting in their complexity.

Stocks, bonds, cash and the wrappers that can encase them like annuities, mutual funds, IRA’s, 401(k)’s, REITs, and commodities are just a few of the investments that are available in the market today.  Trillions of dollars move through the markets each day.

I love cars, engines and everything in-between and I work on them myself when time and my skill level allows.  I also enjoy understanding the facts on why they are such a huge part of our culture. Like most people who own and drive today I expect my RT Charger with the 5.7l Hemi (growl, growl) to start up and take me where I am going each day without fault.  I also understand in the ever changing automotive landscape there are times that I need to seek professional help, someone who is skilled in every facet of its inner workings who can repair it when one of the idiot lights come on and my scan tool can’t take care of it.  Investing in your financial future today demands that same level of understanding; if your need to plan has outgrown your skill level, it is time to seek someone who you trust to ensure you can get from point A to B.

A fiduciary financial professional is the place to start; someone who is legally obligated to put you and your needs first, someone who will not only help guide your investment strategies, but also make sure that your vehicle is suited to make your retirement road is smooth.

We take care of people who don’t want to worry about their money so they don’t make inefficient financial decisions that lead to frustration and devastation. We are legally and morally obligated to treat your money as if it were our own and we were in the same situation.

Sources:

[1] http://www.umich.edu/~umtriswt/PDF/SWT-2017-4.pdf

[2] https://www.bls.gov/cps/cpsaat18.htm

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