Moral dilemma time … Do you save for your children’s college or do you buy a all American-made, kick-ass Harley? Do you come home to a mess every night kiss your bedraggled spouse and cook fish-sticks, or do you pound tequila with Jax Teller?
What if I told you, you could do both? And cheaper than you thought: at $26,000 – $36,000 a motorcycle, buying a Harley Davidson motorcycle doesn’t seem like a path to financial freedom; but buying a share of this company, NYSE: HOG, (that’s got to be the best ticker symbol ever!) at around $52/share (click the link above for a real time quote), this just may be your ticket to ride!
A poor economy has slowed sales of this Motorcycle powerhouse, but sales will never disappear. Recent talk of increasing dividends, coupled with a depressed market price may give you a great buy-in price on this chrome-plated beauty. This is a stock that will only rise (think blue collar folks recovering from the depression(s)), and it has a serious moat around it -There are no other American companies that pose any competition – and if we know anything about our outlaw biker brothers and sisters, its that only American will do. At least, if they want to hang with the cool kids.
So, what’s the problem here? This is a StockGuilt portfolio “buy”, at this point, and we’ll do just that when the funds roll in … but it was a bit of an ethical conundrum.
I mean, lets just look at the list of negatives here: Does this support oil companies (see StockGuilt manifesto)? Currently there are 0 motorcycles companies that utilize alternative fuel sources, and there is no research (as far as we can tell) that there ever will be. Also, biker gangs do a lot of bad things! They ride Harley’s! Also, just by it’s existance, and it’s enthusiastic following, we know that Harley’s are only around because of simple racism. I mean, seriously, there are more than 10 other countries that make motorcycles that have better reliability and performance than any Harley Davidson cruisers — hell, even hard core bikers laugh about how unreliable and poorly operating Harleys are. They leak so much oil, that there is a term for it: marking their territory.
Ok. So, why do we think this is alright to own? Motorcycles may be gas-burning, but they are the origional high-MPG vehicles. Ranging from 33-48 MPG, for a beefy hog. So, no. They don’t support the oil industry as much as that 4-Runner you have in your driveway. What about the drugs, violence, prostitution, etc? OK, lets just say that 100% of full-time bikers were doing drug deals, which they aren’t but even if they were, the motorcycle has nothing to do with the business. I mean, do we want to boycott Wilson Suede and Leather too? (well, maybe, depends if your a PETA person or not). Regardless, StockGuilt has no qualms about owning a stock associated with good and bad people, cause every type of people are good and bad. Just cause they prefer choppers to clippers doesn’t make them evil.
But this racism thing, well we can’t shake that. A lot of people that ride Harleys are racists. Does supporting H&D mean supporting racism? Perhaps. We here at StockGuilt don’t think so. It’s an American product, made in America for Americans, but that doesn’t mean that it is bad. It represents America, home of the free, and people like to be reminded of that. Some of the free a dirty bigots, true … but most of the free, well, they love their families, want to retire well off and ride off into a sunset.
NOTE: StockGuilt is a blog about interesting stocks, and our views. We are not stock brokers, investment councilors, planners or legal advisers. In fact, at least one of us is an idiot. The rest are just folks who think about investments. This is what we think, and what we will do/did. In no way are we telling your what to buy or sell … Do your own homework.