I recently received an inquiry from “Bill”:
One topic I’d like to see Dr. Stanley blog about sometime is in marriage situations where one spouse comes as a balance-sheet affluent and the other is income affluent. I’ll be married in a few months and we’ll be in that situation. I’m an engineer, she’s a lawyer, I have a beatup Camry, she has a BMW, I rave about Dr. Stanley, she tells me to stop quoting him 🙂 . . . . We love each other and are upfront about finances, but I’m wondering if there’s data indicating whether the combined couple ends up BA or IA? Thank you and keep up the blogging + book writing!
My response to Bill was as follows:
It is not unusual for young economically productive couples to own at least one status motor vehicle. But over time I find that SUVs and minivans become more popular and needed as the family grows. I also find a precipitous decline in the number of BMW owners who continue to insist on funding the “ultimate driving machine” after they receive their first out of warranty invoice for servicing/repairs!
BAs are more successful in converting their IA spouses by using the “soft sell” approach and hard data concerning the present and future value of dollars allocated to motor vehicles. Coincidentally I once shared a stage with the head of an automobile company that manufactures high status Eurpoean motor vehicles. He mentioned that brand loyalty among his customers was less than that of housewives’ loyalty to brands of garbage bags!
Postscript: I should also have mentioned that brand loyalty for motor vehicles acquired by millionaires is much lower than most people think. For example, the make with the highest retention rate [45.5%] among millionaires was Chevrolet [see Stop Acting Rich]. This means that of all those who acquired at least one Chevrolet in the prior ten years 45.5% acquired at least one more . . . Ford was a close runner-up at 44.8%.