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Charted: Luxury Goods Investments vs. S&P 500 in the Last 10 Years

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Chart of luxury goods by appreciation in value over 10 years

Charted: Luxury Goods by Appreciation in Value Over 10 Years

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Some of the world’s ultra-wealthy spend their money on luxury goods such as fine wines, expensive watches, or one-of-a-kind art pieces as a passion, but others consider them investments—and their returns do often end up paying off.

We dive into the 10-year performance of various luxury good classes as of Q4 2023, according to the Knight Frank Luxury Investment Index released as part of the 2024 Wealth Report. The 10-year return of the S&P 500 was included for additional context.

Rare Whisky Bottles Have Outperformed the S&P 500 Since 2013

Knight Frank’s index uses the weighted average of each individual asset, tracking sales of reference brands and pieces for each asset.

AssetPrice Change (Q4 2013–23)
🥃 Rare Whiskey+280%
🍷 Wine+146%
⌚ Watches+138%
🖼️ Art+105%
🏎️ Cars+82%
👜 Handbags+67%
🪙 Coins+56%
🛋️ Furniture+40%
💍 Jewelery+37%
💎 Colored Diamonds+8%
S&P 500+158%

Over the past 10 years, rare whisky (or whiskey, depending on where it was made) has been the best performing luxury asset, appreciating by 280% and even besting the S&P 500.

Numerous sale records have been broken at auctions since COVID-19, with collectors sometimes shelling out millions for a single bottle. In November 2023 for example, a bottle of The Macallan Valerio Adami 60 Year Old (of which only 40 bottles were produced) sold for $2.7 million at a Sotheby’s auction. Before bidding commenced, Sotheby’s had given the bottle a high estimate of $1.5M.

Fine wine and luxury watches were the next two best performing luxury goods by 10-year returns, at +146% and +138% respectively.

At the bottom were jewelry (+37%), such as rings and necklaces, and colored diamonds (+8%), including rare pink and blue diamonds.

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