EscapeVelocity's Net Worth for September 2022

Assets Value Change ($) Change (%)
Stocks & Bonds $21,412,584 ($1,035,973) (4.61%)
Retirement $1,292,964 ($67,835) (4.98%)
Home $2,850,000 - -
Other Real Estate $505,852 - -
Cars $80,000 - -
Personal Property $0 - -
Business $400,000 - -
Sail Boat $405,000 - -
Power Boat $150,000 $150,000 -
$27,096,400 ($953,808) (3.40%)
Debts Value Change ($) Change (%)
Home Mortgage(s) $0 - -
Other Mortgage(s) $0 - -
Student Loans $0 - -
Credit Cards $0 - -
Car Loans $0 - -
Other Debts $0 - -
Total Debts $0 - -
Net Worth $27,096,400 ($953,808) (3.40%)
*All values shown in USD ($)
Oh, man. What can I say?

Bless me, Father, for I have sinned? I now own *two* boats.

Yeah, I know. This is not a "smart financial move.” But, let's talk about that for a minute.

As with my other boat, which is kept out of the country, this new vessel (which is actually lightly used) will be represented in “assets” (initially at a 25% discount to what I paid for it, and that amount will be periodically adjusted, like other assets, to its existing liquidation value). On that note, many people probably are not aware, but just like used cars, the used boat market has been the subject of “inflation” and serious scarcity over the last few years, “buoying" used boat prices substantially. For example, even though I've substantially marked down the value of my original sailboat purchased in 2018, it’s probably worth, at a bare minimum, $100K over my existing valuation if I were to sell it now.

That, of course, could also change and go the other direction, but that’s where we are today.

Anyway, I’ll accept the basic premise: buying a boat is not a wealth-building purchase, and buying two boats is bananas.

But, perhaps boat ownership is an investment in personal happiness, no? Not the material “thing," of course, but the experiences it provides you, your family, and friends. Is that too much of a rationalization? I’ll let you know.

Oh, and to anyone spewing the old-saw about the “two happiest days of a boat owner’s life,” they are either not a boat owner or not cut out to be one. I’ve owned many watercraft over the years without regret and experienced tremendous joy while being on the water, particularly on our sailboat. If those experiences cost me financially, then so be it. And also, remember the other old-saws that “you can’t take it with you” and that "tomorrow is not guaranteed."

Sometimes—particularly with net-worth bean counters like all of us—we have to recognize that "life is short."

Now that my confession (such as it is) is out of the way, let’s talk turkey.

The book is about to close on another summer and we are headed into a seasonally difficult part of the year (typically, through Halloween). We also have mid-terms, geopolitical challenges that could derail markets (I’m especially looking at you, China), in addition to the erstwhile inflation concerns and supply-chain issues that seem cautiously better in some areas (but still “sticky” enough to be a ongoing problem). On the other hand, life is getting back to normal after the pandemic and some companies are making lemonade from lemons and doing quite well under the circumstances. As a result, the near-term outlook still seems fuzzy.

Likewise, rates are creeping higher while meme stocks were on fire this month. That’s a bit of a dislocation to say the least and it didn’t surprise me one bit when J. Pow talked tough in Jackson Hole last week—but I’m not sure why the market seemed surprised. And, if you don’t think they are watching the market, note Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari, who said “I was actually happy to see how Chair Powell's Jackson Hole speech was received [by the stock market] . . . People now understand the seriousness of our commitment to getting inflation back down to 2%.”

Accordingly, my own views remain the same. Namely, that we saw a nice bear market rally this summer and that we still need a real shake out lower before germination of a new bull market can occur and, of course, inflation decisively under control.


9/2/2022 9:14:15 AM girlnextdoor
I definitely say buy the boat! That's what money's for at the stage of life you're in. My husband and I have been having similar conversations lately, not about boats but about services. We have a 3 yr old and 1 yr old. We spend ~60% of income, pay maybe 10% in taxes, and save the other ~30%. We should almost definitely be using more of that money currently directed to savings, to buy us time. Housekeeper, handyman, more eating out, etc. ... so we can spend more time relaxing and enjoying our kids while they're young. Lake house and boat is in our long term plans, but we're probably 10 years out at least. And we're pretty open to our priorities shifting between now and then, but lake house has been in the back of my mind for about 30 years now .... :)
9/2/2022 11:57:27 AM FatStacks
Fellow (used) power boat owner chiming in...We had a smaller boat for 6 years, sold it last summer (for 2x what we paid), and bought a much more expensive boat over the winter. I had buyers remorse for the first few months since A) I wasn't able to use it in the winter, B) Insurance was way more costly. C) It's bigger and has twice the maintenance, twice the [potential] repairs, twice the fuel...everything. Not a single thing is cheaper or easier. Then we took it out for the first time. All remorse instantly flew out the window. Grinning from ear-to-ear, I remembered why I made the purchase: It's fun as hell. Like you said, tomorrow is not guaranteed, and I want to spend the rest of my days with friends & family as much as I can. Not everyone has a boat, but everyone loves to be on a boat. When our daughter went back to school this fall, they asked what the best part of her summer was. Guess what? It was that July boat trip we took. Worth. Every. Penny. Maintenance, upkeep, re
9/2/2022 11:59:00 AM FatStacks
...continued since my text got cut off Maintenance, upkeep, repairs...those come with the territory like any motor sport. If you have time/ability/smart friends to help you work on it - perfect, you can save some money. (In our current financial position, it's the ONLY way we're able to afford a powerboat). If you have the means to pay someone else to work on it - perfect, you have more family time. Boat fuel - Also comes with the territory, and there's no getting around that :) We have some friends that chip in, and you know what? Some don't and that's totally OK too, because we're going out on the boat regardless. Ours is valued here at our purchase price, but I could easily sell it for 1.5x. I have no intention of selling it until I'm ready for a bigger boat :)
9/2/2022 12:54:55 PM EscapeVelocity
Appreciate the comments, encouragement and camaraderie -- it is annoying when "financial Karen's" call out boat purchases specifically as though they have some special insight. The fact is, most people do not get to seven-figures+ by being frivolous spenders, and self-deprogramming that type of thinking can be a challenge in its own right. For those that know, "life is short, buy the boat" is a thing we need to hear.