SOFT AS­SETS

It pays to fol­low your heart, es­pe­cially if it han­kers af­ter such fine col­lectibles as coloured di­a­monds and clas­sic cars.

The Peak (Malaysia) - - Contents - TEXT KI’ERN TAN

It pays to fol­low your heart, es­pe­cially if it han­kers af­ter such fine col­lectibles as coloured di­a­monds and clas­sic cars.

Ac­cord­ing to the Knight Frank Lux­ury In­vest­ment In­dex (KFLII), by the end of Q2 2017, pas­sion as­sets had out­per­formed other as­set classes like gold, with wine, art, coins and clas­sic cars reign­ing as some of the more pop­u­lar in­vest­ment-grade col­lectibles.

For the first time since 2010, the ul­tra rich have spent more in­vest­ing in art than wine, and The Wealth Re­port lists art as the top in­vest­ment choice for the wealthy last year. Af­ter Christie’s record­shat­ter­ing USD450.31 mil­lion sale of Leonardo Da Vinci’s Sal­va­tor Mundi last No­vem­ber, some are ex­pect­ing to see a re­vival of in­ter­est in Old Mas­ters and more trea­sures com­ing out of the wood­work. How­ever, the con­tem­po­rary art mar­ket is show­ing prom­ise, with wealthy buy­ers from the East snapping up Western art. Last year, Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Un­ti­tled (1982) be­came the most ex­pen­sive work by a US artist when it sold for USD110.5 mil­lion at auc­tion to Ja­panese en­tre­pre­neur Yusaku Maezawa.

Art watch­ers also pre­dict in­ter­est in works by fe­male artists with the rise of fe­male em­pow­er­ment, en­cap­su­lated by cam­paigns like the #metoo move­ment. Ger­man artist Katha­rina Grosse, whose ab­stract works are in­creas­ingly sought af­ter, might be worth look­ing into.

Art aside, those work­ing on ex­pand­ing their cel­lars have more rea­son to do so. In 2016, the top lux­ury in­vest­ment choice was wine, which saw 21 per cent growth. It places a com­mend­able sec­ond in 2017 with an 11 per cent uptick. Asian buy­ers with a pref­er­ence for lim­ited va­ri­eties from re­gions like Bur­gundy make up the bulk of wine in­vestors, ac­cord­ing to The Wealth Re­port.

It’s no sur­prise that Chi­nese buy­ers emerged as the top lux­ury in­vestors in 2017. Hong Kong jew­eller Chow Tai Fook paid USD71.2 mil­lion for The Pink Star, a 59.6 carat vivid pink di­a­mond. When the ham­mer fell at the Sotheby’s auc­tion, it set the world record for the top auc­tion price for any gem.

For keen in­vestors with loose change to spare, the fol­low­ing pages present the next wave of pas­sion as­sets worth amass­ing.

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