The Credit Suisse Research Institute, the Swiss bank's research laboratory, has released a report carried out in collaboration with Deloitte Luxembourg, providing an overview of various collection assets.
While real estate accounts for 27% of the investments of UHNWIs (the world's wealthiest people, who own at least $30 million), collectors' items account for 5% of their outlay. With 2% to 5% of these people, they even represent up to 44% of their total wealth, and up to 16% with over 10% of them. Their main reason for building a collection is portfolio diversification. While pure passion remains the driving force for 37% of the wealthy, it goes hand in hand with financial motivation for 16% of them. The study also shows that collectors' items are certainly riskier than traditional assets, but generally more profitable. British paintings, for example, are subject to 50.10% volatility but offer the prospect of a 9.10% return on investment. Other less risky artistic specialties provide lower returns (between 2% and 6%), like jewelry, watches and handbags. Old Master paintings are usually not a growth area, but there is an expanding market for lesser-known Impressionist painters, especially in Asia. Vintage cars represent a market of $4 to 5 billion at auction, boosted by a new generation of buyers keen on models from the 1970s and 1980s. Wines, with sales estimated at $5 billion per year, still celebrate Bordeaux, the best investment, but the profitability of Burgundy wines continues to rise, while champagne remains undervalued. Strong growth was also observed for collector's watches, particularly in online sales: since last March, 26% of new customers have registered for these, with 20% of the bidders being under 40.