The Chrysler Experiment 2-Years On


I am now two years into my Chrysler experiment, I expect this not so scientific observation to last for a minimum of 10 years.

Two years ago I wrote:

“I bought a Chrysler minivan. I could have easily bought the Toyota of the Honda (remember we always pay cash, we never ever finance depreciating assets) but they were both just under $11,000 more out the door. There is no doubt that the Japanese makes are more refined vehicles and have likely better reliability. But I am betting that over 10 years of ownership I am unlikely to need an additional $11,000 in repairs. I am not bothered by the resale value as I keep cars until they die.

So I wanted to illustrate a point. What happens if we invest the $11,000 instead? That’s exactly what we did. In August of 2014 I purchased 45 shares of Visa at a total cost of $10,850.28 CDN. More importantly I expect Visa at an absolute minimum to double in value over 10 years and hopefully we will use those funds to purchase another vehicle 10 years from now.

It all comes down to the most basic consumer decisions of delayed gratification. If I don’t spend the money now and instead I invest it in high quality assets, what will become of it? Lets take this journey together.”

So how has the vehicle held up?

Overall very well, it has just over 40,000km on it. We have traversed a good chunk of Alberta and British Columbia in it with some very fun and memorable family vacations. Apart from a few oil changes we haven’t really done anything to it. It never cease to amaze me how reliable modern vehicles are, certainly in comparison to my first car, a 1972 VW beetle.

I have a minor warranty issue that I will address at the next oil change, the rear cargo door needs fixing. When we first bought it, I would squeeze the handle and the electric door mechanism would kick in to lift it up. I have to lift it manually or use the key FOB for the electric lift. Its a trivial issue, but its under warranty so I will get it sorted.

I had it looked at, at a super friendly Chrysler dealer in Salmon Arm, BC in the summer, they didn’t have the part but they gave me a letter to take to the dealer here in Calgary.

More importantly, what has become of our 45 shares in Visa that I purchased for $10,850.28 CDN in August of 2014 upon our return to Canada?

They have also done well for us, they have had a stock split, so our 45 shares of Visa are now 180 shares and at todays trading value are worth $19,143.83, for a return of nearly 80%. Not a bad return for two years. That number should be higher, but I have not kept track of the dividends as I spend them.

I will keep this updated every year, whether its good or bad.

Investing is not without risk, but I cannot think of a better long term company right now than Visa to park these funds for the long term.

I fully expect 8 years from that these shares will continue to grow and they will buy us another vehicle outright and with cash left over for another one 10 years from that as the value of Visa continues to grow.

I hope this will serve as a lesson to you kids about the value of delayed gratification.

Disclaimer. Buying new cars is a stupid idea unless you are financially INDEPENDANT and can pay cash, and you don’t need the money for anything else. Small used cars are always better value for money. Even better, ride a bicycle or walk. This car is an inefficient beast, if you are still paying a mortgage, haven’t fully saved for retirement or have any consumer debt DO NOT BUY ONE.

Note for my friends: TJ, if you buy a truck like Robyn did you are an idiot, pure and simple. Read these great articles, first this one about how this guy made stupid vehicle decisions and these other ones here and here. What you need are a good set of winter tires, not a truck.

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