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Monday, 1 April 2013

Investment choices of the super-rich

Wealthy investors worldwide are looking for assets that satisfy both head and heart. Knight Frank’s The Wealth Report 2013 maps the place where investment meets personal passion.

Fine art
Fine art is the favourite investment option among the wealthy. The report states that art was the sector where spending activity increased the most last year, with a net balance of 19% of respondents predicting clients to spend more on art in 2012 and 13% expecting the trend to continue into 2013.

The next most collected asset overall was watches. Watches showed a comparatively lowly 10-year rise in value of just 76 percent. In November 2012, an Asian collector bought a platinum chronograph Patek Philippe wristwatch owned by British rock guitarist Eric Clapton for the equivalent of US$3.6m at a Christie’s sale in Geneva.

Fine wine
Wine was the third most popular passion investment among the wealthy, scoring highly in all areas bar the Middle East. Although the Liv-ex 100 Index dropped 19% in the 12 months to September 2012, this was mainly due to the performance of one wine - Chateau Lafite.

Jewellery is another favourite investment option among the super-rich. The report states that to some high net-worth individuals these emotional assets will be pure investments, to others they will be personal passions.

Sports teams
Sports teams occupy a unique and fascinating niche that combines aspects of luxury spending with investing.

Classic cars
Classic cars complete the global top five passion investment list. According to the report, looking at the constituent parts of the Luxury Investment Index, all but one asset type increased in value over 10 years, with the Historic Automobile Group International classic car index up by a staggering 395 percent.

Antique furniture is well-liked and fashionable among the wealthy. Furniture classifies as a collectable investment assets finding favour with the rich.

Coins were the second lease collected and invested items among the rich last year. According to the report, coins may not be the most popular investments, but for performance they’re hard to beat: Stanley Gibbons’ indices have more than tripled in value over the past 10 years.


Stamps completes the global passion investment list. In Knight Frank’s Attitudes Survey, stamps were the least collected items by high net-worth individuals.


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