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Obsidian Planning

Obsidian Market Update 05/06/2023

Economic Update

Some Relief in the Automobile Market

The Good News

Kelly Blue Book, the automotive research company, reported in April that the average car transaction price dropped below the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for the first time in twenty months.

The Mixed News

Nevertheless, sticker shock endures because the average transaction price has increased 30% (since March of 2020) to $48,008. Taking an additional toll on shoppers for less expensive models are Inflation and higher interest rates on car loans. The supply of new cars has increased for all but a few models, so several manufacturers are again offering incentives. Consumers can expect to see markups on the few models that are still in short supply.

Used Car News

On the used car lot, prices are strong and supply remains low, especially of less expensive models. Experts recommend that used car buyers shop around before trading in a car, educate themselves on the demand for various brands and models, and consider trading in a car with one dealership and buying a new car from another.

The Road Ahead

Will the demand for used cars continue to build? Possibly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s new regulations require new cars sold in the U.S. to average 40m mpg by 2026. In addition, if proposed rules by the Environmental Protection Agency’s are enacted, automakers will be forced to sell a certain percentage of zero-emission vehicles. The price of electric vehicles (EVs) has been falling (and generous tax incentives are available on some models), but the average price for an EV in March of 2023 was $58,940. That price may be out of reach for many consumers looking for less expensive models. We’ll be watching to see if carmakers can find ways to produce more and more efficient EVs.


The Best Cars of 2023

Since we’re talking cars today, new rankings are available for the 2023 models. Car & Driver increased its price cutoff to $100,000—understandable given the 30% increase in prices over the last three years. Topping its list are the BMW i4, and Cadillac’s CT4-V and CT5-V Blackwing. With sticker prices above $50,000 (and in the case of the CT5-V far, far above), Kelley Blue Book rates all models from for compacts and coupes, to, sedans, SUVs and wagons. 

With summer right around the corner, we had to check out the top-ranked convertibles: the MAZDA MX-5 Miata in the non-luxury category, and in the luxury category, the Mercedes-Benz E-Class. Be sure to wave when you see us on the road!

How We Help

Insuring Your New Car—And Everything Else

We’ve all seen the online tools that compare auto insurance rates. They can work well, assuming you know the limits that are appropriate to your situation. What’s appropriate? That’s where we can help. 

Reviewing an individual’s or family’s insurance coverages, from health, disability and life to auto and property is a great annual or bi-annual exercise to confirm that you’ve got the coverage you need and aren’t paying more than you should.

If you haven’t assessed your insurance policies for both coverage and cost, we can help. Give us a call. We’d love to help you avoid unnecessary risk and expense.

Meet Anne Heydrick

A New Member of Our Planning Team

In her role as a Planning Manager, Anne primarily assists Jay Wilen with the many details involved in setting up and monitoring financial plans and investment accounts. These responsibilities align perfectly with Anne’s strong analytical skills and careful attention to detail.

Anne began her financial career working for one of the country’s largest banks before joining Jay in his financial planning practice. Anne and Jay weren’t strangers, however, since Anne and her husband had been clients of Jay’s for years. This both-sides-of-the-planning-desk perspective motivates Anne to provide accurate, clear, comprehensive, and prompt responses to clients’ questions.

Anne has a degree in business administration from McDaniel College and an MBA degree from Loyola University Maryland. She and her husband have two grown sons, two growing grandsons and enjoy hiking with “their boys” and with friends.

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