“I had my own collection of wines,” explains Shakeshaft, “and after the crash friends kept asking me what I would be investing in. I told them I’d concentrate on my collection. I began to do it slowly, but by 2010 it had got to the level where I thought I could put some city mindedness into wine investment and analyse the hell out of it.”
There was very little out there on wine investment when Shakeshaft started and he found that he had to teach himself. But his knowledge grew rapidly.
“I looked at rich and famous people who had made a lot of money from their wine collections and I thought ‘I’d like a bit of this’,” laughs Shakeshaft. “Why should it just be the preserve of the rich and famous?”
Vin-X works closely with people who want to invest in wine, but are not sure where to begin. Establishing what a client’s goals are is the first step of the process. Shakeshaft is quick to point out that wine investment is very different from more traditional investments.
“It isn’t something like the stock exchange that you get into and then get out of after six months. You have to think of it as a medium to long term hold – but it’s secure and tangible.”
A wine investment company will then analyse what the client requires and then select wines which they believe will move the client’s portfolio forward.
“Let me put it this way” states Shakeshaft, “there are only 13,000 cases of Château Lafite-Rothschild, the most highly traded investment-grade wine in the world, made in a year. This capacity has to satisfy global demand and in the key market of China there are over one million millionaires with an appetite for Bordeaux’s finest. That helps you understand the basic economics behind this kind of investment.”
The Chinese market has been a key factor in the business. When Shakeshaft started out the Chinese really pushed the market on, to the point that it “got completely crazy at one stage”. Then, Shakeshaft explains, there was a push back. This saw a decrease in value of wines as the Chinese decided that they weren’t going to allow companies to give free gifts to get contracts which was, in effect, a form of bribery. But notwithstanding this, wine investment has still had double digit growth in the last 20 years, stresses Shakeshaft.
“A few years ago The Daily Mail did a piece around the time of the Queen’s Jubilee and looked at what the best investments were when she was crowned and what’s good now. Wine came above gold, silver, the FTSE, the Dow Jones and even house prices. As an investment it stands up over the course of time.”
So there hasn’t really been a dip then?
“Overall, in the long-term, it’s had a nice growth curve on it. Now is the most exciting time: we’ve had the over explosion of the Chinese growth, after which the market dipped too much,
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