Is a BMW a better investment than a bachelor’s degree? The immediate thought that comes to mind for most people would be “Come on, what type of a question is that? Of course, NOT!”. And this would true in almost any sense of the question.
This is because an ‘investment’ is an instrument through which one can generate profits to increase one’s wealth; and a bachelor’s degree is universally accepted and acknowledged as a tool to increase one’s ability to generate wealth. There is not much left to be said about the viability of a bachelor’s degree as an investment. A BMW, however, is more of a big boys’ toy and would be considered as one of the rewards for being rich. In general, buying a BMW would hardly be considered an investment because unless a car is a collectible or a limited issue, depreciation kicks in the moment the purchase is confirmed.
If a comparison is made from a bean counter’s perspective, it would not be very much of a comparison at all. Both items may cost approximately the same amount, but from a fiscal perspective, the bachelor’s degree would be an asset while the BMW would be a liability.
However, for a select group of people, it may just be passable that a BMW is a better investment than a bachelor’s degree. Anyone from a sales background can testify that, in general, relationships and reputation is all that matters. In this line, a bachelor’s degree, though still important, plays second fiddle to the image that a sales person can portray. A good image opens doors to potential relationships for the sales person; and helps boost confidence.
For a relationship-type person (e.g. in the sales line), a good BMW definitely helps in improving one’s image. In fact, most would agree, very much more than a bachelor’s degree. In some cases, a bachelor’s degree would be needed to kick-start a career but after a certain point, the value of the BMW will, in all practical senses, be a greater asset to a sales person than a bachelor’s degree.
Based on this line of reasoning, it would seem that a BMW is a better investment than a bachelor’s degree for a relationship-type person who is already at a certain position in his career. This is from a complementary sense and not from a mutually exclusive (i.e. BMW or bachelor’s degree – not both) sense.