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Investing in alternative assets - Why and how?

Ioana Surdu-Bob

yellow Ferrari car

Financial experts always advise to reduce the risk of losing on one investment by diversifying your investment portfolio. And aside from investing in the stock market and other commodities, alternative investments, such as rare luxury watches, have started capturing the interest of more and more investors. For example, alternative assets are now becoming accessible, with much lower entry barriers into the market.

But, now that we can actually invest in luxury assets, why should we add it to our investment portfolios?

Attractive returns‍

Various alternative asset classes have generated strong historical returns. According to the latest Knight Frank Wealth Report, over the course of 10 years, fine wine has increased in value by 127%, handbags by 108%, and watches by 108%.

Besides their returns, assets like wine or watches have shown to be more stable than the stock market. For instance, the price of fine wines has proven to be less volatile during major events, such as the onset of COVID-19. Another asset class that has seen prices soaring is that of trading cards, such as sports and Pokémon cards. In 2020, prices reached all-time highs with some cards having gone up in value 10 times within a 4-year time span, with items being sold at multi-million dollar valuations.‍‍

Diversification of a financial portfolio‍

No matter which investment professional or financial advisor is asked, they are all agreeing on one thing: the importance of portfolio diversification. As the value of securities are influenced by many external factors, like popularity, consumer trends and forecasts, it’s impossible to predict their future value. Just like spreading out one’s stock portfolio through an index, experts recommend spreading even further to other asset classes like real estate, commodities, and alternative investments.

Beyond investing through traditional methods, alternative assets become attractive because many hold low or no correlation to the stock market. This means that if the stock market goes down, prices of these assets are not affected, helping to generate more stable returns over time. ‍‍

Backed by a real asset‍

Just like real estate, collectible assets are tangible. Whereas money is constantly being printed by governments, resulting in inflation, these assets can’t easily be reproduced and in the case of limited edition collectibles brands ensure there will be a finite supply. This means that as long as the demand is higher than the supply, the asset will retain its value. And, with assets such as fine wine and whisky, the bottles are consumed with time, and therefore supply of older assets decreases over time. This results in greater scarcity that causes value increases. A similar concept applies to timeless watches, on limited edition pieces. As watches continue being worn, the ones in prime condition become fewer as time passes.

Passion items with value increase potential

We all have certain beliefs. Even when looking at the stock market, it’s common for investors to go for stocks in industries they’d like to support. The more money is flowing in an ecosystem, the more innovation is possible. And, it’s also more convenient. Keeping track of the market is more enjoyable if it’s an industry of interest.

When comparing stocks to alternative assets, going through companies' reports is definitely less enjoyable than researching which items will go up in value. And, platforms like Konvi allow you to access assets that you may not yet afford or want to purchase for pleasure, but you know they make sense as an investment. Being linked to a passion through an investment makes predicting future trends more exciting, and also brings interesting discussion points with fellow collectors!

Growing global demand‍

The latest Knight Frank report also uncovers increasing interest in investing into alternative assets. During the pandemic, 21% of surveyed investors increased their spending on tangible investments of passion, such as art and classic cars.

High net worth individuals do so because the main reason the asset will appreciate is increasing demand of collectors and investors looking to buy the same item for a higher price a few years down the line. Now, investment grade assets are really expensive, surpassing the €100,000 mark in many cases. And… there are increasingly more wealthy individuals ready to buy them. Over the past decade the number of billionaires has almost tripled. The expectation is this growth will continue. All of these are strong signs that there will be no shortage of demand for investment grade luxury assets.

Besides wealthy individuals that purchase entire pieces, platforms like Konvi fractionalise ownership of assets and allow anyone to diversify their portfolios with alternative assets.

In a nutshell, demand for luxury assets is growing. Due to the unique market dynamics limiting supply, there are strong reasons to believe prices will continue growing. Now is a great time to consider adding alternative assets to your financial portfolio. If you’d like to learn more about some of these assets have been performing, sign up to Konvi to explore our offerings!

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