Quick question: Who here drives a car? I see just about everyone raised their hand — except our readers in New York, Boston, and the other major metros where mass transit is the
OK, who leases their vehicle? Wow, that’s more than I
How’s your lease working out for you? Kind of a mixed
bag? If you exceed your (ever-shrinking) annual mileage
allowance, you’re left holding the bag, right? Yeah, I’ve been
down that road. For me, leasing just isn’t right — but it is the
right way for many.
By now, you’re probably asking yourself: “What’s up with
all this car stuff?” Great question
— I promise, I’ll make it relevant
to DR in just a few sentences!
Just two more questions:
1. Who owns their vehicle
outright? Ugh … that’s not
very many at all.
2. If you lease a vehicle, or
still make payments on the
purchase of one, what’s your
monthly payment? Too
high? That’s the most common answer I hear!
The reason for all my questions
is that I’ve been looking at trends in the automotive financing and student-loan markets for a while, and just wanted you
to see my train of thought before I dive in head first. In direct
response, we’ve become experts at spotting trends and helping our clients capitalize on them. Sometimes we’ve noticed a
trend too late, when we’re careening toward, or already deep
into, a recession. Today, however, because
of superior information, we can get ahead of
trends and be true stewards of our communities, our clients, and our companies — all
while being true, red-blooded American
If we want to make a positive impact in
the automotive and student-loan debt markets, it would pay for us to know something
about where they are in their business cycles.
Per the July 2017 ITR Economic Advisor,
And that’s huge, because it demonstrates that, economically
speaking, we’re in good health.
Yes, there are circumstances beyond our control — geopolitical strife, which often seems distant and disconnected to
us, as well as natural disasters that have taken an almost indescribable human toll. But for reasons beyond my ability to
explain, these don’t seem to diminish our appetites for buying
vehicles or seeking higher education.
The Real Impact on
So, while I’m truly ambivalent
about these oddly juxtaposed
streams of reality, I do see our
economic engine’s growth as
mostly good news — and an even
better opportunity for us in marketing to act with humility and
care by assisting consumers who
need financial help, either in securing financing for their upcoming car purchases or seeking relief
from burdensome student loans.
Thanks to the role we play
in bringing buyers and sellers together, I believe we have a
unique responsibility. We deserve more credit for facilitating
business than we might give ourselves, and we sell ourselves
short if we don’t do that. But the fact that we’re so close to
the increased velocity of money between so many buying and
selling segments means we have a powerful responsibility to
act with care and good stewardship.
My point is simple: it’s perfectly acceptable as capitalists to help those who want
loans find legitimate and credible ways of
getting them. It’s equally okay for us to help
those who are in need of help restructuring
burdensome student loans. But we needn’t
act from a pure profit motive. Our purpose,
first and foremost, is to be of service. That’s
my take. What’s yours?
DR Has Opportunity to Help Manage Debt Load
BY PETER FEINSTEIN
Loans 1000, 000, 000, 000. $