3 Things 3-21

03/21/2022 Although MAS is a financial services company, not everything published herein will be about numbers or investing. But no matter the topic, we hope for three things: 1) That you find the time you spend engaged worthwhile. 2) That you’ll reach out to us for help in any of our areas of expertise if something we discuss creates an urging in you to do so. 3) That you’ll share this with somebody new each time you read it. Thing One Tips For Reducing What You Pay For Car Insurance The following tips are taken from an article on nerdwallet.com. .......................

  • Ask for discounts. There could be savings from car insurance discounts you’re not taking advantage of. For instance, maybe you now work from home and are driving less frequently than when you bought your policy. Mention that and you might get a low-mileage discount.

  • Rethink your deductible. A higher collision and comprehensive deductible might make sense if you rarely drive or are comfortable with the financial risk. Raising your deductible means you’d owe more out of pocket if you had to file a comprehensive or collision claim. But it’s a surefire way to get cheaper car insurance.

  • Know when to cut coverage. Don’t strip away coverage just for the sake of cheap auto insurance. But if you drive an older car, you can probably drop comprehensive and collision coverage. These coverage types pay out only up to your car’s current value, minus the deductible.

  • Cash in on major life changes. Certain life events could translate to cheaper car insurance, so shop for quotes whenever something major changes in your life. For instance, many companies offer a lower rate for married couples or domestic partners. Or perhaps you moved to a suburb with lower accident and crime rates. Even if you moved to a more expensive area for car insurance, shopping around can help you get cheaper coverage.

  • Revisit quotes after your driving record improves. Shop for cheap car insurance quotes online three to five years after any accidents, tickets, or moving violations. They may have dropped off your driving record.

....................... In addition to following the tips above that apply to your situation, we would add that you can save some research time by working with an independent agent or agency like us.

Thing Two Rockets and Feathers “…When oil prices rise after being steady for some time—gasoline prices shoot up quickly. In contrast, when oil prices fall after being steady for some time, gasoline prices retreat slowly…” The quote above, which essentially says gas prices rise like rockets but fall like feathers, is from a 2014 report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. It wasn’t an opinion but rather a creative recitation of the facts as represented by historical data. Given that the fundamentals haven’t changed, it’s an instructive comment, especially in light of the recent run-up in gasoline prices. Here are a few more facts:

  • The last big spike in gas prices was in 2008. The national average price per gallon was $4.11. Today the (nominal) national average is $4.32 ($5.40 in 2008 dollars).

  • Individual retailers set gas prices based on what they expect their future fuel deliveries to cost.

  • Global uncertainty (wars, potential oil production increases/decreases, potential refining capacity increases/decreases, etc.) makes it quite difficult to predict future delivery costs.

  • Most of the Unites States’ 150,000 gas retailers are mom and pops.

  • Less than 5% of gas retailers are owned by big oil companies.

  • Retailers' profit margins are between 10 cents and 15 cents per gallon – even when prices shoot up.

Those are just facts. No politics. No emotion. In that vein, the oil and gas supply chain doesn't need to become more regulation-bound in the interest of protecting consumers and preventing “windfall profits” because given that the fundamentals haven’t changed there either, it is the consumers who will ultimately bear the burden of increased regulation by paying more at the pump. If gas and oil prices are to come down, either supply needs to become more abundant and predictable/stable or demand needs to fall. But without an immediately scalable alternative to fossil fuels, the latter is not likely in the near term. So, while our legislators can certainly write laws that affect supply and demand, it cannot rewrite the laws of supply and demand, no matter what they say and no matter how high gas prices rise.


Thing Three Just A Thought "Facts are stubborn things; and whatever may be our wishes, our inclinations, or the dictates of our passion, they cannot alter the state of the facts and evidence." - John Adams