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Passion Investments

December 28, 2015

When it comes to getting away from it all, there is no image more potent than a yacht sailing off over the horizon. It could be going anywhere. And these days, that is almost literally true.

Modern superyachts are equipped so lavishly and crewed so professionally that guests want for nothing, wherever they may cruise. As one experienced charter broker puts it: “Yachts above 40 metres are very self-sufficient – they have everything from massage therapists to Michelin-standard chefs. You take your five-star resort with you.”

August 10, 2015

Bibliophiles are like no other type of collector; often uninterested in the monetary value of their collection, what sets them apart is a quiet dedication and often obsessive passion for a particular type of bookmaking, or subject.

For almost a century people had walked through the library of one New England family every day without ever really thinking about the books on the shelves. Over generations a large collection of antique books had been accumulated, but had mostly remained in the library of the main family home.

January 23, 2015

The demand for state-of-the-art warehouses to park art and other valuable collectibles is growing – due in no small part to their tax-free advantages. So does it make sense for a family office to hide its art away?

October 31, 2014

Racing? So passé. Eventing? So last season. Dressage is the equestrian sport getting the wealthy chomping at the bit, and more newcomers than ever are ready to spend big to get involved.

Those who followed Republican Mitt Romney’s run for the 2012 US presidential elections will remember the multi-millionaire’s bumbling attempts to connect with the working classes. So imagine the Democrats’ glee when it emerged his wife was the co-owner of a million-dollar dressage horse, Rafalca, which was preparing to compete at the London Olympic Games. The couple, it emerged during the campaign trail, spent $77,000 (€61,300) annually on the German-bred mare – $50,000 more than the average US salary.

August 15, 2014

Most people wouldn’t fancy tapping into a beverage bottled in the time of Napoleon, but the longevity of liquors means some of the rarer tipples can pull extraordinary prices among well-heeled consumers.

When self-made Dutch millionaire Bay van der Bunt put his extensive cellar up for sale a couple of years ago, he shone a light on both the collectibility and the investability of rare liquors. His 5,000-bottle collection, said to be the world’s largest, included a cognac that had travelled with Napoleon’s army, and another from the Duke of Windsor’s Paris cellar. In all, it was valued at €6 million.

July 3, 2014

Beluga caviar, cigars and fine dining are among the luxury goods and services that became more affordable for wealthy Londoners over the last year, according to new research, marking a significant fall in price inflation. 

Beluga caviar, cigars and fine dining are among the luxury goods and services that became more affordable for wealthy Londoners over the last year, according to new research, marking a significant fall in price inflation.

Conducted by multi family office Stonehage, the research found the decrease was primarily fuelled by a 9.7% fall in the price of luxury consumables.

April 3, 2014

Forget attending packed auctions and phone bids, buying a top-end collectible is now just a click away. 

In December of 2012 Edward Hopper’s painting October on Cape Cod (pictured, below right) was sold at auction by Christie’s for $9.6 million (€7.1 million). Nothing unusual about that, you might say. But the buyer wasn’t in the room, and not even on the end of a phone, but watching the auction live through an online stream. That is, so far, the most that anybody has paid for a painting while bidding over the internet.

January 22, 2014

An original Apple Mac prototype was the most expensive purchase made through Christie’s online-only auctions in 2013, as the auction house invests in its Internet platform to drive sales.

An original Apple Mac prototype was the most expensive purchase made through Christie’s online-only auctions in 2013, as the auction house invests in its Internet platform to drive sales.

Christie’s, which is part of Francois-Henri Pinault’s holding company, Groupe Artemis, posted sales of £4.54 billion (€5.5 billion) for the year ended December 2013, up 16% on the previous year – the highest sales total for any auction house in the history of the art market.

January 8, 2014

Classic cars have topped a new passion investment index released this week, while when it comes to fine art, traditional Chinese works have provided the most lucrative returns.

Classic cars have topped a new passion investment index released this week, while when it comes to fine art, traditional Chinese works have provided the most lucrative returns.

According to The Coutts Index: Objects of Desire classic cars saw a 257% return on investment over a seven-and-a-half year period, starting in 2005, well ahead of the next most profitable passion investment, classic watches, which saw returns of 176%.

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