Amphora boasts one of the finest teams in wine investment, with a wealth of experience in the financial markets. This has enabled us to apply many of the disciplines from these environments to wine investment and to develop sophisticated tools such as MARRVIN. Much wine investment ‘advice’ tends to be purely qualitative, but at Amphora we argue that this is simply not good enough.
A traditional merchant, either by way of luck or judgement, might well be able to point you to a perfectly viable chateau to invest in. But how are they going to engineer the very best return for you? How, for example, will they select the vintage? Our experience is that they will tend to look at the Robert Parker score; the higher the better. But what if that’s already built into the price? And what about the vintage they missed that’s a bargain on a relative basis? Or worse, the chateau that’s a stronger bet overall on a relative basis? Most important of all, how are they going to judge the time to sell? That’s why you need an advisor with expertise in both qualitative AND quantitative analysis.
We also understand that your return will be influenced by your entry and exit prices, and commit to provide you with a discounted entry and premium exit. In other words, we will enable you to trade inside the merchants’ spread.
Which wines should I buy?
Cru Classé Bordeaux and Grand Cru Burgundy represent in excess of 90% of the investment market, and remain the bedrocks of well-balanced portfolios. That said, the Super-Tuscans of Italy are also making very loud noises in wine investment of late, as well as the occasional New World or Champagne, so these now feature more commonly in our portfolios.
Within a balanced portfolio, we will be looking to include a variety of ‘value’ and ‘momentum’ stocks so as to maximise profit potential and minimise risk. All our selections are run through our sophisticated quantitative analysis tools before being given a final qualitative health check by the team
Do I need to be an expert?
Absolutely not. Our experience and expertise is in identifying and sourcing wines which, in our opinion, have strong investment potential. We will gladly provide you with some suggestions based on your requirements.
What are the risks?
Like any traded commodity, wine can go down in value as well as up. The investment wine market is not regulated by the FCA.
Where will my wine be stored?
We will store your wine for you in your own account in a professional temperature and humidity controlled government bonded warehouse. Your wine will be identified via a unique identification number. Whilst held in professional storage, your wines are insured at full replacement value.
Can I take delivery of my wine?
Of course, although you will incur excise duty and VAT which cannot be reclaimed upon resale. We would nonetheless recommend keeping the wine in bond, as it will demonstrate to future buyers that the wine has been stored in optimum conditions, and so ensure its appeal to the widest possible market.
How much do I need to invest?
There is no minimum investment, but it is crucial to invest in unbroken cases from top estates, and these don’t come cheap. In practical terms investment begins from around £2000. That said, one of wine’s great benefits over other asset classes is that the market is broad and deep, allowing diversification and therefore risk mitigation. Balanced, risk adjusted portfolios begin from about £10,000 upwards.
How quickly can I sell?
You can sell whenever you like, as investment grade wines enjoy a ready secondary market. Whilst in modern market conditions it is common to realise impressive short term gains, as a general rule of thumb though we would recommend a hold of three to five years.
Is wine really free from capital gains tax?
Generally yes, as HMRC regard wine as a ‘wasting asset’. However, the rules on this can be complicated and we would recommend consulting a tax expert or financial advisor for clarification.
Is my investment secure?
You will hold full title to your wine, so the fortunes of APM have no bearing on your investment. Annual stock reports will be provided and each of your cases will be marked with your name and account number.
Can I view my wine?
We would be delighted to accompany you on a visit to the bonded warehouse.
What are your fees?
We charge a one-off 15% of the net cost paid at the time of purchase. This covers everything you will need for the duration of the investment.
- Discounted entry – When possible you will pay inside the listed merchants’ prices.
- Transfers, storage and insurance for 5 years at Vine, which is wholly owned by Liv-ex thereafter charged at cost).
- A private account with secure log-in to view the performance of your portfolio with market price provided by the Liv-ex in real time.
- Ongoing reporting and advice.
- Switching / reshaping of portfolio as necessary to keep the sectorial exposure appropriate to market conditions.
- The resale into the secondary market – we have a department which in old stockmarket parlance would be a ‘jobber’ function – the team build relationships with counterparties internationally, to whom we tender clients’ stock at exit. This means we will achieve a considerable premium over the merchants’ bids, which are typically 10-25% below their offer price, market conditions dependant. No fees are charged on exit.