An Introduction to Wine Investing – Part 2 (by Biffermas)

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Picture courtesy of BT310.  Thanks!

Note: For
those confused by the appearance of wine collecting / wine investing material
on a trading blog, keep in mind this series is meant to be posted during
off-market times, evenings, and holidays when little is going on.  This post will include charts and economic
information, so in that regard it’s relevant to the core mission here. Based on
the first posting it’s clear that I’m not the lone wino on The Slope of
Hope.  There are some very smart and
knowledgeable wine consumers / collectors here.  I’d like these posts to be approachable to most people, so this
by no means is an exhaustive survey of the wine world.

There are
several indices that track the fine wine market.  Two highly respected are the
Liv-ex 100 and the Wine Spectator
Auction Index
.  The Liv-ex is
Euro-centric, and 90% of the index is comprised of French Bordeaux.  The Wine Spectator Index is comparable to
the Dow-30, since it’s comprised of roughly thirty of the most famous and
collectable producers from Bordeaux, California, Italy, and Portugal.  These are the titans of the field, like
Mouton-Rothschild, Haut-Brion, Joseph Phelps, Mondavi, and Opus One.  Click here for the full list.  If collecting simply for asset appreciation / speculation, consider this list a great starting point.  If you collect with the intent of building a good quality, drinkable cellar, I'd look elsewhere (unless you're a powerful oligarch).

Fine wine index


Like most
asset classes, the fine wine industry suffered a downturn in 2008, dropping 22%.  However, compared to the broader equity
indices and commodities, this seems kind of cute.  Before the correction, the Liv-ex 100 rose 140% since 2005, a
stunning rise. 
under performing equities in 2009, the fine wine market since 2005 remains up
over 100% versus an 8% decline in the S&P 500.

say technical analysis in wine collecting is primitive is an
understatement.  The Liv-ex chart is
released monthly, and the Wine Spectator Index is updated 1-2 times per
year.  Many websites like
Liv-ex, and Cellartracker, will value your cellar and produce charts of
individual bottles, tasting notes, etc.  Many parameters can be graphed such as total portfolio gains and losses.



There is substantial cost involved when selling your wine through an auction house.  A hefty 20% fee is levied to the seller, which means your capital appreciation must be substantial if any profit is desired.  The next post will cover ways the small-fry investor can purchase good wine with low retail markup, and sell their wine with only a 5-6% scalping by the broker.