Is DVC an Investment?

By Jason Swain / February 1, 2024

Have you ever struck up a conversation with people about the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) program? I find that there are largely two camps; those who criticize the purchase because it does not necessarily match with traditional methods of evaluating return on investment (ROI), and those who are able to see past the hard-nosed financial ratios.

Is DVC Right for your Portfolio?
If you are asking this question of yourself, then you should likely go to a financial advisor instead of a Disney Vacation Club salesperson. When you vacation, do you consider the financial return of the endeavor? Of course not. When you go on vacation, you kiss every penny goodbye and only hope for wonderful moments, memories, and experiences.

When you vacation, you choose your destination based on:
a) Being able to afford it
b) Excitement about the destination
c) Fun factor / Relaxation factor
d) Past Experience at location
e) Weather / Food / etc.

So, why do so many people approach DVC as they would approach a financial investment scenario? Yes, you are purchasing a portion of a property, but this is not a primary living residence that falls in the standard ebbs and flows of what we know as the real estate market. This is a vacation property. It is a luxury not to be confused with registered retirement savings plans, guaranteed income certificates, or mutual funds.

Let me make this clear. DVC is NOT a financial investment from which you should hope or expect to reap a viable return on initial investment. If you want to enjoy years of fabulous vacations with your loved ones, then consider DVC. The value comes with use over time.

DVC is Very Popular
Given that the program has been so popular, owners have benefitted from a healthy resale market which has allowed them the opportunity to sell their contracts with relative ease, recouping much, if not most, of their initial costs in many cases. However, don’t let the positive resale experience confuse you into thinking that DVC is a means of reaping huge financial returns. It is still a vacation program first. Value of contracts will be impacted by recessions and other things going on in the world around us.  That said, it is nice to know that if money does become an issue in your family, your DVC contract might not remain a liability to you for long, once listed on the resale market at a price that makes sense.

DVC Is an Investment in FAMILY with Priceless Returns
What happens in business or in life when we go beyond considering the future value of money and consider the now? What happens to our business decision to buy or not buy DVC when we allow ourselves to consider the primary motive, vacation time with the family?

Perhaps family time is abstract to many and difficult to think of as a construct relating to a financial decision; however, return on investment goes well beyond money, impacting relationships, familial bonds, and shared experiences with loved ones. It is hard to put a value on a smile or a moment shared. When one begins to consider that they are not just making a business decision but that they are investing in their family’s future, things begin to change.

The reality is that purchasing any kind of vacation property or time-share is likely not going to be on any financial advisor’s top 10 list of must-have investment vehicles.

Further, the common argument of future value of money is not realistic when discussing DVC, in my opinion. Of course there is nothing wrong with someone applying business and financial analytics to their vacation decision process but using a future sum value compared to current price works much better in situations where one is strictly attempting to make the best return on investment decision; however, as discussed above, family vacations are not business decisions that should be equated to actual cash-value returns. Such traditional methods of analysis do not apply to abstract, human aspects of family. When looking at family vacations, the major focus should be on the less quantifiable benefits to health, wellness, and relationship building.

The graces of compound interest are real; however, to benefit from the process, it would mean that the money needs to be parked, not spent. That is contrary to the primary reason behind why someone first becomes interested in DVC. People considering DVC are people who wish to travel and enjoy vacations.

So, are you looking for a retirement nest egg or are you looking to make the most of your vacationing years? Two very different domains that should not be confused with one another.

You work hard for your money, and you love your family. Finding enough quality time to spend together is not always easy. Does this not become the primary motivation behind family vacationing, to build memories and share moments with those you love without being burdened by the stressors of daily routine?

Being a Disney Vacation Club owner has been both a financial commitment and an investment in my family’s well-being. My son says his favorite place in the world is Disney, and while the activities and parks have something to do with that, the truth is that it is about the family experience together that really raises the bar. Sharing such enriched experiences together has been worth every penny, and the memories that we shall never forget are simply priceless.

If you’re thinking about taking the next steps to become a DVC owner, our agents are standing by to answer any questions you may have. Simply use the chatbox on our website or contact us at 1-866-544-2919.

Posted By:

Jason Swain