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Until recently this was true. Yet, the alternative investment market has finally changed and is opening up to the broader population, also driven by young companies like Konvi. Konvi is the first European-wide platform that makes alternative, traditionally-exclusive asset classes accessible to retail investors. By offering fractional ownership of blue-chip collectibles on their platform, Konvi allows everyone to invest into rare assets worth more than 250,000€. From only 250€ everyone can invest in alternative assets such as rare luxury goods or collectibles without having to be an expert and benefit from yearly returns of up to 20% (based on the historical average of Konvi's partners).
The concept works as follows: Through the Konvi platform, existing world-leading asset specialists and investment vehicles, such as The WatchFund or CultWines, can make their investment service available to smaller retail investors. WatchFund, for example, has been giving large investors and high-net-worth individuals the opportunity to invest in rare watches for more than 10 years and enjoys a track record of 20% average historical return per year. However, to date the investment vehicle has only been accepting selected clients with a minimum investment of $250,000. Likewise CultWines, an investment vehicle for rare wines and wine portfolios that holds assets under management of £200 million. The full CultWines service is only accessible to investors with a £25,000 minimum investment. Konvi is breaking these traditional entry barriers and opens up their service to retail investors of all sizes.
But how can watches become such a good investment - isn't it highly speculative? In general, to source alternative assets with the highest potential value appreciation, the most important factor is access. Konvi therefore relies on experienced and world-leading specialists such as The WatchFund and its CEO Dominic Khoo. Khoo is the only certified watch expert in Southeast Asia with shareholdings in Swiss watch manufacturers, luxury dealers (Berluti) and the Antiquorum auction house in Switzerland. This is the biggest secret why Khoo is able to source these super rare watches below retail price to allow his clients to generate impressive two-digit returns and the reason why national soccer players from all over Europe invest through him. An example is the limited edition of A. Lange & Söhne’s Tourbillon Pour le Mérite of only 200 pieces which showed an impressive >300% return between 1994 and 1999 as an investment of Khoo's client. Even experienced watch collectors who enjoy a strong network in the industry struggle to access these rare timepieces. This is because these are rare watches that “money cannot buy” (Dominic Khoo, 2019) but which scarcity is almost a safe indicator of their value appreciation over time.
However, the impressive returns are not the only reason why a financial portfolio should also consist of alternative luxury assets. More importantly, alternative assets like rare watche or fine wine have a low correlation to mainstream asset classes such as stocks or bonds. This unique diversification power makes alternative assets an invaluable addition to a well-diversified portfolio - espcially in times of market fluctuations and to protect a portfolio against stock market crashes.
Konvi's mission is to make traditionally-exclusive asset classes accessible to everyone and to provide a platform that makes effective portfolio diversification with these asset classes as simple as ordering a book online. In doing so, Konvi's app allows investors of any size to buy shares in a rare watch or a wine portfolio for as little as €250 through the principle of "fractional ownership”. In the near future, Konvi will also allow its users to invest in whiskey, art, rare handbags or even classic cars.
Konvi's crowd ownership concept has already captured the interest of many watch lovers and retail investors looking to diversify their portfolio. Due to the impressively high demand and the highly positive feedback from users, the current watch offering of 250,000€ is reaching its funding target soon.