Guest Blog: Car Collecting and Beyond — 3 Tips for Achieving Life’s Financial Goals


Detroiter’s love cars. Last month’s Woodward Dream Cruise spectacle demonstrations the drive-to-drive runs deep.

No matter if it’s modern-day models or classic cars that rev your engine, attending a summer car show leave many of us possibly thinking, “These cars are amazing. How could I get into car collecting?”

Obviously, car collecting is not for everyone. But with the right kind of wealth accumulation and proactive financial planning, a dream of dream cars may be fulfilled.

Dave Wathen felt this way four decades ago. President and CEO of TriMas Corp. based in Bloomfield Hills, Wathen is a classic-car fanatic. He bought his first “collectable car” — a 1966 Jaguar E-Type — in 1972. He got the keys and his passion for classic cars was ignited. Wathen told me, “This is an expensive hobby, so it’s important for me to understand how car collecting could work without putting any of my other financial priorities at risk.”

Whether your priorities include a classic car, a dream home, or a travel-filled retirement, these three tips can help big dreamers to achieve their financial — and life — goals:

Start Your Engines

Know your priorities. Ask yourself tough questions about your biggest wishes and worries. Work with a fee-based planner who will engage you in a process that will provide a written comprehensive financial plan to create and identify your mission, vision, values, and goals. You can cruise with confidence each year knowing the results are managed toward achieving what is most important to you and your family.

Hit the Next Gear

Your fee-based planner will be your crew chief in coordinating your financial pit crew of advisors — including experts like CPAs and attorneys if necessary — to ensure that there are no planning gaps or overlaps. When done properly, your team will be focused on your values and goals in assisting you to truly enjoy the financial ride.

Don’t Run Out of Gas

Make sure your financial tank is filled with the right asset mixture to give you the horsepower needed to live your life’s dream cruise in classic style. You will have confidence with a thorough, written, and regularly reviewed financial plan to help you achieve your goals.

Drew Besonson is a wealth management adviser, fee-based planner, and director of estate and business planning at Northwestern Mutual’s offices in Troy.