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Classic Cars Race Off As Best Alternative Investments

It’s no surprise that the biggest spenders on luxury brands are also the places where the wealthiest shoppers go, says a new study.

London is home to a large number of billionaires and millionaires and plenty more from around the world like to shop in the up-market stores around Mayfair, Piccadilly and Regent Street.

But those that spend the most are the Chinese, who account for 29% of all luxury brand spending worldwide, according to a report by brand consultants Ledbury Research and property and lifestyle consultancy Knight Frank.

Luxury brands are not the only shiny must-haves that beckon the very rich.

Alternative investments are becoming more popular, the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index reveals.

Spectacular yields

Over the decade ending December 31, 2014, classic cars delivered the highest yield – a massive 487%, says the report.

Most other precious investments returned far less but still spectacular yields.

Fine art was second in the rankings, with a 252% increase, followed by wine (234%), coins (232%), stamps (195%), jewellery (168%) and coloured diamonds (167%).

The poorest performing alternative investments were Chinese ceramics (69%) and watches (68%), while the worst asset was furniture with a loss of 28%.

Gold and white diamonds are excluded from the index.

“Gold is too conventional and unless it is made into jewellery, sits in a bank vault and white diamonds come in just too many and varied forms to track,” said Andrew Shirley, who compiled the report.

Identical diamonds

“To go on the list, objects have to be passion purchases that the investor desires and admires, not just something bought for an investment return.”

Classic cars have shown the best return against other collector pieces on the index from the start.

A new world record was set for a classic car when $38 million was paid for a 1962 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta.

Porsche collectors came out on top during 2014, while supercars such as the Lamborghini Countach and Ferrari F40 are growing in worth.

Diamonds are becoming more popular.

London jeweller Yana Zaikan explained her clients like to wear their wealth.

“One customer bought three identical diamonds. One is kept in an identical ring at each of their homes in Palm Beach, London and New York,” she said.

Read the full Knight Frank Wealth Report 2015

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