A radio commercial recently described an automobile as "the second largest investment of a lifetime"—implying that (1) a car is an investment, not a consumer purchase, and (2) the only thing more expensive that people ever purchase is a home.

Both implication are wrong, the first obviously so, the second a bit more subtly. Sure, houses are costly. But much more expensive are the big life-shaping decisions of education, career, and marriage. Likewise for "lifestyle" choices with profound long-term mental & physical health implications. They may not look like "investments", but they sure act like them!

(cf. MoneyWisdom (20 May 2001), BasementWorries (15 Jun 2002), ...)

TopicSociety - TopicEconomics - TopicLife - 2005-08-09

(correlates: FeedingFrenzy, SupplyAndDemand, GatherScatter, ...)