Special UK Report – Fine wine: the journey from passion asset to mainstream asset class

  • Our special report, entirely based on primary research, reveals wealth managers’ and financial advisers’ attitudes toward fine wine.
  • Almost all (96%) UK wealth managers expect demand for fine wine to increase.
  • Fine wine is ahead of watches (86%) and luxury handbags (80%) in second and third place respectively.

UK wealth managers see demand for fine wine comfortably outstripping other passion assets, such as watches, luxury handbags, and art. This is one of the findings in our special UK report, Fine Wine: The Journey from Passion Asset to Mainstream Asset Class.

Fine wine – the most in-demand passion asset

The report, based on a study conducted among 50 UK-based wealth managers and financial advisers who only deal with high-net worth clients (£100K+), revealed that fine wine will attract most demand from investors over the coming year amongst all leading passion assets. 96% expect demand to increase, of which three out of five (60%) said that it will increase “significantly”.

This placed fine wine comfortably ahead of watches (86%) and luxury handbags (80%) in second and third place respectively. Other well-established passion assets such as art (68%) and classic cars (62%) placed much lower in sixth and tenth place.

Fine wine in investment portfolios

The report found that fine wine is already featuring prominently in many wealth managers’ client portfolios. UK wealth managers and advisers estimated that over 40% of their high-net-worth (“HNW”) client base invest in fine wine with an average portfolio allocation of around 10%.

Fine wine’s growing prevalence among HNW client portfolios provides compelling evidence, if any is needed, that it has graduated to a genuine alternative asset, a highly effective portfolio diversifier, operating alongside other popular alternatives such as hedge funds, real assets, and private capital as well as mainstream assets such as fixed income and equities.

In common with other alternative assets, fine wine tends to feature more prominently in larger portfolios belonging to more sophisticated investors where there is a greater premium on diversification. Almost all respondents (98%) said that clients investing in fine wine are mainly experienced investors, with 62% saying they were “very experienced”.

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Three reasons why the Brexit deal will prevent customers from paying more for their wine.

Ever since the UK voted to leave the European Union in 2016, trade talks and negotiations between the two sides had been full of uncertainty, posturing and brinkmanship which at times made it feel like a deal was unobtainable. So, the news that a trade deal – now ratified by the UK Parliament - had been struck on Christmas Eve last year was met with welcome relief across all industry sectors on both sides of the Channel and especially by those looking to invest in wine.

1. The costly VI-1 import documentation for UK and EU wines is no longer going to be introduced in July as previously planned. Taking its place will be a straightforward Wine Import Certificate which asks for basic producer and product information. This means far less admin and fees for wine importers, which in turn means no extra costs will be passed on to customers.

2. Crucially, wines will not have to undergo lab assessment for the new Wine Import Certificate. Submitting wines for lab analysis would have caused backlogs of wines which would have created frustrating shipment delays.

3. While UK wine importers are going to have to get to grips with new processes and forms over the coming months, this is just part of the anticipated bedding-in period which will become second nature as time goes on and as new processes are established.

With the previous uncertainty around Brexit having disappeared with the end of the transition period and with 2021 looking to mirror previous years of healthy returns for fine wine, contact us to speak to one of our advisors about creating your portfolio to invest in wine.

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