Keep calm and buy the car

Keep calm and buy the car


I HAVE a love-hate with my financial adviser. I love her because she has on several occasions stopped me from spending money on stupid things; and I hate her because she has on several occasions stopped me from spending money on stupid things.

So imagine my surprise when I broached the subject of dipping into the capital reserve to fund the purchase of a new car. She didn’t even stop to ask me what I had in mind. She simply said “Yes. Why not?”

I was flabbergasted. She never – and I mean never – just says yes. There’s always a cost-benefit analysis, a sober discussion and a stern lecture about how much more use it would be to do something else with the money. 

It’s not like she actually has to give me permission, but I value her counsel exceptionally highly. For reasons I hope I don’t need to go into, The Companion and I keep a significant portion of our personal wealth separate from the other’s. I’m sure you understand; I love him dearly but that doesn’t mean I ever want him to have my stuff. There are things we do together, and there are things we do apart. I buy cars; he buys drones and whisky. And my adviser is my ally.

Anyway, it turns out that I’ve had a very good few years on the financial front. The self-managed super fund is flush and will provide more than adequately when the time comes, and outside of super the investment portfolio is doing just fine. I don’t mean to brag – to be honest, the less involvement I have in it the better it does – but it’s going to be just possible to find the $2 million I need to buy the car I’ve fallen in love with. 

Shall I tell you what it is? This is the bit I find difficult, because if you were to say to me “What on earth are you thinking?” I would be mortified. That’s the thing with cars: you can have yours and I’ll have mine, and even though our tastes may differ, and our opinions may vary, we should each respect and value the other’s.

It’s a Ferrari F12tdf.

There – I’ve said it. That’s what I want, and that’s what I’m proposing to liquidate part of my investment portfolio to possess. It may or may not be a rational decision but I’m well past that point. I simply have to have it. In yellow. There’s only 799 of them – for god knows what reason – and one of them must be mine. 

OK, so if I’d bought it new it would have cost me probably less than half that amount, but that, at this stage, is very much beside the point.

The “tdf” in the name means Tour de France and it has nothing to do with bicycles. Zero to 100 km/h in under three seconds and zero to 200 km/h in under eight. I am, well, let’s just say breathless, thinking about it. Did I mention it will be yellow? You know, just in case you miss the banshee-wail of its 6.3 litre V12 from five miles away.

Right now I just cannot wait. I don’t know how it might end but I can’t wait for it to start. It could be something that lasts a lifetime; it could be like the gorgeous blond from Albury, which was my idea of heaven while it lasted and a time I’ll never forget. All I know is that all my life I’ve been powerless in the face of a beautiful car. To paraphrase Nick Hornby, I fell in love with cars as I was later to fall in love with men: suddenly, uncritically and giving no thought to the pain it would bring.

It will take a few days, perhaps weeks, to get the funds together because even though my adviser has loosened the purse strings she’s not completely ga-ga and she wants an orderly sale of assets to minimise my capital gains tax. She has also pointed out that since the car I have my eye on is pre-owned, there’s no tax payable on the purchase. She remains calm in the face of deeply emotional decisions. And that’s another reason I really love her.