Free Car Anyone?

November 10, 2009|By David Lester

As promised, here is my strategy for getting a free car (which is working quite well for me at the moment). The trick, and there is always a trick, is that you need to have the money upfront to buy the car. Many people who do have the money in investments don’t want to part with their investments to buy a depreciating asset, but here is a way to get your car and drive it too.  

First, pick the ultimate car that gives you that butterflies in your stomach feeling when it drives by. If you don’t have the money to buy a new car, start with a used version that you can afford to pay with cash. With my strategy you can keep trading up until you get the new one that you’ve always wanted.  

Having cash to buy the car will get you a better price, especially in today’s market. The sweet spot for getting the best deal on a car is to get it when it is 1 or 2 years old. If you do decide to buy brand new try to get an employee discount or check to see if your employer is on a preferred vendors list for automotive manufacturers. This will get you a quick  3-10% off a new car which will help to offset the first year’s 20-30% depreciation.  

The next tip, and my favourite tip, is to only buy luxury cars. This goes against almost every financial talking head’s opinion but I like to think outside the box to get the most “shazam” from things I buy. Luxury cars hold their value longer, are always the top cars in the industry quality reports, and always have demand for resale and longer warranties. They also have more and better features, which makes ownership that much more enjoyable.  

When you’ve negotiated the best possible CASH price for the car, go to the bank and get an investment loan for the same amount as the price of the car. As an example let’s say that the car costs $60,000 including tax. You then get an invetment loan for $60,000 and re-invest it. Investment loan interest rates vary but you should be able to get one for prime plus .50% or 1%, which would make it currently 2.75 – 3.25% and an open variable loan amortized over 15 years. The huge benefit of the investment loan compared to a standard car loan or lease is that you can deduct the loan’s interest as an expense. You will also be paying a much lower interest rate compared to standard car loans due to the fact that the loan is pledged against the investments.  

The bank will secure the loan with the investments and you have two options for investing. The first and easiest is a monthly income fund. My favourite income fund is the BMO monthly income fund. The units currently are around $8.00 and it distributes .06 per unit a month.  .06 x 12 = .72 / $8.00 gives the fund distributions a 9% yearly yield.  $60,000 / $8 units would give you 7500 units that would generate $450 a month in distributions to cover the monthly loan payments which would be $421.60. The natural balance of the fund having 50% in bonds and cash and 50% in blue chip high yield dividends provides a natural cushion for any market corrections. Through the worst part of the last correction the BMO Monthly Income Fund didn’t drop nearly as badly as the overall market. It is also reassuring that through the last two years of financial and world economic downturn the BMO Monthly Income Fund didn’t decrease it’s .06 distributions. In fact its distributions have been .06 since 2002.  

The second option is for you to create your own monthly income fund within your own account. I love my money way too much to give up the 1.49% or $894 management fee for the fund, so I have purchased the following portfolio to pay down my investment loan:  


I’ve purchased roughly $5k in each trust. They are properly diversified among many sectors and are all high yielders with upside potential due to market recovery or commodity price increases, such as oil. The basket of trusts generate $6k a year or $500 a month in income to cover the cost of the investment loan. They have all appreciated in price as the market has risen and I expect the oil trusts to increase their distibutions as oil continues to recover.  

I’m sure all of the market followers out there are thinking “The trusts convert in 2011–what then?”  Well, most trusts are expected to convert to high yielding stocks like Crescent Point just has, and if one of my selections doesn’t convert I’ll swap it out for one that has.  And that is exactly what I did to get a free car! I turned a loan for a depreciating asset into a tax deductable investment loan that covers my payments and, market willing, a portfolio that increases over time as the underlying trusts increase in value, like they have over the last two months. 
Hope you’ve all enjoyed my free car strategy. Watch for my next blog later this week! Don’t forget to love your money and it’ll love you back–with a free car.   
David Lester
About David Lester

David Lester is a best selling author and professional Financial Coach, helping people be better with their money. David has written a personal finance book that breaks with traditional attitudes towards finance and describes his own philosophy to money that he has gained through his personal and professional experiences. His philosophy on money applies to many areas of everyday life, including banking, investing, goal setting, shopping and entertainment.