Hammer Time: Wealth Construction

hammer time wealth construction

My Dad worked with the same company for sixty years. His first days were spent making coffee, learning English, and finding any opportunities for him and the company. It wasn’t easy. Back then America was in a recession with unfathomable debt and a dollar that could seemingly buy all the remnants of a battle scarred Europe. Today we have all the elements of the past. Except America is still fighting the wars, the dollar is weak, and the only thing that our country can seemingly buy is more debt… and time. With such lighthearted thoughts in my head this afternoon, I decided to go for a long walk.

And I found hope… really. The first thing I saw were a bunch of old gas guzzlers that were still in great shape. An early 90’s Crown Vic and a late 70’s Malibu. They were neatly kept and in the shade. How long could they last? Well, as long as the owner wants them. The house for them was a beautiful four sided brick that can likely outlast all of us. That too was kept up and had been bought for a song as a recent foreclosure. As I sauntered down the hill I saw so much more of the same. Late 80’s BMW’s. A couple of Accords. A 1st gen Taurus, and a smattering of older SUV’s that were looking like ‘third cars’ due to all the Georgia pollen built up on them. Then it hit me.Americans are in a great position. A frugal Yank can spend the next 20 years buying virtually no expensive big ticket items and still be perfectly fine. Used car prices are becoming cheaper quicker… because a lot of folks simply can’t economize to save their asses from first base. I would estimate that our country has more consummate spenders than any other country on the planet. But then there are tens of millions of people that save, invest and plan. For us it’s a wonderland of high quality cheapness.Buying a house in most of the United States is less than 100k. With 20% down and a 5% interest rate that’s about $550 a month. A car? If you’re willing to learn the absolute basics you can more than likely make a $3000 car last at least 5 years and sell it for $1500. I will admit that there are plenty of other areas where inflation is going to start opening people’s eyes. The list as long as the government is involved. But if you’re smart enough to maximize the investments and minimize the divestments (a.k.a. being a tightwad) a recessionary economy can be quite a boon.
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  • Akitadog Akitadog on Apr 16, 2010

    We just closed on a short sale 1300sf 3/2 condo in Takoma Park, MD for under $200K. We own 2 other apartments (3/1 and 2/1) in DC proper that are paid for. Also, both our cars are paid for. We'll be using the rent from the DC apts. to help pay off our new place in 10 - 15 years, depending on how much fun we decide to have in the process. Then it's on to a SFH with ample passive income to mitigate the financial worries that come with owning your dream-house. Is that smart/wise enough for you, Mr. Lang? ;)

  • Steven Lang Steven Lang on May 04, 2010

    No, sorry. Your plan is truly pathetic. Please turn in your Yuppie Union Card immediately.

  • Johnster Not feelin' it. The traditional unreliability of turbo engines is a big turn-off, especially in a work truck that (I hope) you'd want to keep on the road for 200,000 miles or more without having major repairs.
  • ToolGuy Car audio is way overpriced.
  • Marty S The original Charger was a 2 door, as was the landmark 68 model. Its funny that some younger commenters are surprised that its not a four door. I never understood why modern Chargers have been four door sedans. I think the best looking Charger was the 68, absolutely perfect in its lines and proportions. This concept really emulates that and I think I think it looks great.
  • Master Baiter The D-bag elites like Al Gore demanding that we all switch to EVs are the type of people who don't actually drive. They get chauffeured around in black Yukon Denalis. Tesla does have a good charging network--maybe someday they will produce a car that doesn't suck.
  • MRF 95 T-Bird As a Challenger GT awd owner I lIke it’s heritage inspired styling a lot. There’s a lot of 66-67 as well as 68-70 Charger in there. It’s refreshing that it doesn’t look like a blob like Tesla, Volt/Bolt, Mach-e BMW I whatever etc. The fact that it’s a hatch makes it even better as a everyday driver thus eliminating the need for a CUV. If it’s well built and has a reliable track record I can see trading up to it in a few years.