Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Late Stage MBA - Josh Moritz - Maserati and My Mother

Mother's never stop.

When I told mom that I was thinking about an MBA she said, why not get a Maserati instead? Live a little, she said.

My mom was thinking that her son was having a mid-life crisis. For the fun of it, I had just test driven a Maserati Quatroporte. Ever the direct marketer, I was intrigued by the direct mail offer that Maserati sent to me. The reward was a $100 gift card to the Smith and Wollinksy steak house in New York. Drive a great car and eat well. What's not to like?

Mom did have have a point, but it sounded a bit like to me the economic rule of instant gratification vs. saving for the future.

For comparison's sake, a three year lease on the Maserati actually costs less than a Babson MBA, about $40,000 vs. roughly $51,000 to $55,000 all in for business school. Throw in the cost of extra gas vs. my hybrid which gets roughly 37 MPG, I figure it was a wash.

The seats and stereo are nicer in the Maserati vs. Olin Hall at Babson, and you don't have papers, finals and quizzes, work in a study group, or for that matter work 25 hours per week on homework. The Quatroporte is a lot faster than even the two Fast Track Babson MBA program.

Doing a primitive NPV analysis, I figured out that that if I was right, the Babson MBA was likely to pay bigger dividends in the long-term, although in the short-term there are days now when it seems the Maserati would have been more gratifying.

From an intellectual side, you can't do mechanical things yourself on a Maserati like I was able to do with my oil burning Chevy back in college. You need a master's degree in mechanics. The car would have been fun to drive, my wife and I would have gone parking maybe a couple of times, the kids would have put their feet on the dash and dog would have left her hair on the seats.

The Maserati sales person even informed me that there were only 7 other people in my town that were driving them. Reminded me of the time in Barney's Men Store when the sales person said would you like to buy a Mercedes or a Chevy. I looked at the Chevy suite I was test driving, thought it looked a hell of lot nicer than the one I saw at Brooks Brothers and said "Chevy."

Although I like a good meal, wearing fine clothes some of the time and driving fast cars, status conscious I ain't.

So to mom I say this: my Babson MBA won't depreciate nearly as fast as the Maserati, no matter what the sales person says. Besides it might get me somewhere faster in the long term.


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