Buy a Boat If You Like, But Only If . . .



My Sunday Washington Post Business Section column is out. This morning, we look at why buying a boat may — or may not — be a good or bad financial decision.

Its really an excuse to look at the Department of No — the advice which says “Never Do XXXX” is often just blind risk-avoidance without real analysis behind it. The idea is you will never have a loss if you never invest — but you also will never have a gain.

Here’s an excerpt from the column:

“My advice for people considering buying a boat are to recognize four key issues: knowledge, costs, skill and psychology. For our wannabe boater, or anyone making a major purchase, it looks something like this:

• Understand what you are getting into.

• Carefully consider all of the costs of ownership.

• Only buy what you can afford.

• Make an intelligent decision about using your limited time and money.

Not surprisingly, you can apply the same approach to all manner of financial situations. Consider assessing an investment:

One last thought omitted form the column: There are 12 million boats registered in the United States. Is there a possibility they know something that the “Just say No” crowd has not figured out?



‘Never buy a boat’ and other rash financial advice
Barry Ritholtz
Washington Post, September 27 2015

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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. Dervin commented on Sep 27

    The second happiest day in your life is when you buy a boat, the happiest day in your life is when you sell it.

  2. romerjt commented on Sep 27

    It always amazes me how many boats are IN the marinas during the summer even on weekends. I keep thinking, if not now, when?

  3. VennData commented on Sep 27

    Never buy a pet.

  4. tude commented on Sep 27

    Great, common sense article. My husband and I used to joke about this, until we decided to buy a boat after he fell in love with fishing. We did exactly as you advised and it has worked out so well. Nothing quite as wonderful as being out on the SF Bay on a beautiful day. Same goes for any other expensive hobbies. We have a finite time here on earth, live it!

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