Yearly review on Splint Invest assets and market developments
In this blog post, we look at the last year and analyze what led to varying performances in our asset categories. This means considering macroeconomic developments, supply chain challenges, and other drivers that influenced asset performance in 2023.
Strongest Assets Overview:
Albert Willem dominates the top two spots. His artwork titled “We Were All Very Thirsty” gained an astonishing 33% within just 325 days, and “A Difficult Moment during the Driving Test” surged by 24% within just 207 days.
The prices of the Irish whisky bottle “The Devil’s Keep” increased by 24%, securing the third spot. Overall, our indexed asset categories showed the following performance for 2023:
The Splint Invest Index is derived from our data and the Splint Invest portfolio. For representation purposes, the performance of assets released within 2023 is annualized.
The art market in 2023 demonstrated positive growth, overcoming economic slowdown concerns and doubts about the sustainability of auction houses supporting the art market. Throughout history, auction results significantly influenced the market's atmosphere.
Despite facing challenges, September highlighted the market's vitality through eight noteworthy auctions, underscoring the appealing competitiveness of purchasing prints as investments in fine art. While not all auctions met expectations, the overall demand, particularly in the Post War and Contemporary Art sectors, remained strong.
The art price index for prints by Andy Warhol rose by 22%, and for prints by Keith Haring, it increased even more significantly by 51%. Emerging artists achieved robust auction results, often surpassing estimates by over 10 times. Our indexed art portfolio has shown the strongest performance across all asset classes with an increase of close to 26% in 2023.
For decades, LEGO® has captivated the imaginations of both children and adults, nurturing creativity, problem-solving skills, and a sense of wonder. Recently, investors have come to appreciate the substantial value held by LEGO® sets, going beyond their original purpose and yielding significant returns on investment. Passionate investing in LEGO® invokes nostalgia, reconnecting individuals with cherished childhood memories spent building imaginative creations. While financial gain is a factor, the primary motivation behind these investments lies in the intrinsic satisfaction derived from interacting with the asset.
Our investment strategy in this emerging category focused on identifying beloved collector sets before their retirement, acquiring them at the most favorable prices in collector's condition, and awaiting price appreciation post-retirement. To illustrate this approach, consider the introduction of the first Lego® Creator Expert Modular Building, the 10182 Café Corner, in April 2007, with a suggested retail price of €149.99. Investing in this set back in 2007 would have resulted in an annual return of 20.6% until the present day. Currently, the Lego set is being sold for as much as €3,020. This example is not unique, as there are similar cases. The indexed Lego prices of our Lego sets increased by 20.1% in 2023.
Investing in luxury cars serves as an effective strategy for diversifying a portfolio, as evidenced by the fact that 81% of ultra-high-net-worth individuals have incorporated at least one classic car into their investment portfolios. According to the Knight Frank 2023 index, classic cars have demonstrated a remarkable appreciation of 185% over the past decade and 25% in the last year. In collaboration with our partner, TheCarCrowd, we have formulated an investment approach focusing on acquiring cars in excellent condition, available at attractive prices, and exhibiting significant upside potential. Our selection criteria prioritize cars that appeal to collectors, considering unique features such as the last manual h-shifted Ferrari.
In September 2023, we introduced the Ferrari 328GTS from 1988, which has seen a 5% increase in price since its launch, resulting in an annualized growth of 19%. Overall, our indexed car investments have shown a close to 14% increase.
The demand for renowned brands such as Chanel, Hermès, and Louis Vuitton has experienced a notable surge, leading to substantial growth. Iconic models from these brands have seen their prices double over the past decade, transforming them into coveted collectibles. Despite the luxury sector's susceptibility to economic downturns, Hermès implemented another price increase in 2023, ranging from 5 to 10%, consequently driving up prices in the secondary market.
In collaboration with our expert partner, Threads Styling, we adopted a strategy that favors limited edition and HSS (Hard to Secure) bags, considering them generally more secure investments. The standout performer on our platform in 2023 was the Etain Hermès Birkin from 2013 in Clémence leather, achieving a remarkable return of 22%. Overall, the indexed prices of bags on our platform witnessed a robust increase of 12.7%.
Diamonds not only represent valuable investments but also serve as exquisite and coveted items. Their dual nature allows them to be worn and appreciated as jewelry, making them a versatile investment. With their low correlation to traditional asset classes, these gemstones are well-suited for diversification purposes. The monthly volatility for high-quality diamonds (D-FL / D-IF) over the last 5 years has remained below 3%. Hence, our sourcing strategy, in collaboration with our partner, emphasizes focusing on high-quality gems with minimal supply intermediaries.
In 2023, the price of our D-IF 1.91 ct diamond increased by 10% within a mere 234 days, contributing to an indexed diamond performance of 12.3% for the year. This notable increase in value was made possible due to favorable purchase prices. Despite this positive trend, it's worth mentioning that overall diamond prices experienced a decline in value during the same period.
The value of whisky casks is closely linked to the eventual prices of bottles sold to consumers, with consumer tastes and preferences being the primary influencers. The ongoing trend of premiumization in the whisky industry and the increasing preference for single malt over blended whisky continued to boost demand and prices for whisky casks in 2023. Simultaneously, the market for high-priced whisky bottles experienced a decline in 2023 after ten consecutive years of price increases.
Our indexed whisky cask prices demonstrated a 7.7% increase in value in 2023. This indicates that, despite the asset class's inherent stability, investors can still enjoy attractive returns that exhibit low correlation with stock market trends.
Surprisingly, despite being among the most ancient financial instruments, precious metals are frequently under-appreciated and neglected as investment alternatives. They provide an avenue to enhance portfolio diversification and potentially capitalize on the historically varied investment characteristics inherent in precious metals. Due to their physical scarcity and distinctive chemical properties, precious metals possess substantial value, making them an excellent choice for long-term wealth preservation.
The indexed prices of precious metals recorded a 7% increase in 2023. Although silver investments experienced a decline of -4%, the three platinum investments exhibited price increases ranging from 1% to 5% over holding periods ranging from 23 to 167 days.
Whisky bottle investors faced a challenging year, prompting a selective approach in the search for the right bottles, leading to a limited release on our platform. A key factor contributing to the downturn was the market's general overpricing of many bottles. The diminishing price premiums for newer bottle releases without age statements played a significant role, negatively impacting the entire market. The Rare Whisky APEX 1000 index recorded a decline of -9% in 2023.
Despite these challenges, we achieved a 5.5% increase in the indexed whisky bottle prices. The standout performer driving this increase was "The Devil’s Keep," which saw a remarkable 24% rise. However, it's noteworthy that the "The Macallan M Black" bottle in our portfolio experienced a decline of -8% in price.
The fine wine market faced difficulties in 2023, characterized by a lacklustre performance and economic uncertainties. Core market indicators showed little movement, largely attributed to the prevailing cautious attitude among investors and a decrease in demand from Asia. Notably, the Bordeaux market witnessed a significant decrease in prices, particularly affecting some of the most prestigious producers in the last quarter.
While the Liv-ex Fine Wine 1000 index lost -13.7% in value in 2023, we were able to achieve an overall profit of 0.9%.
Nevertheless, despite these challenges, the prospects for 2024 offer optimism for investors, as new opportunities begin to emerge. The stabilization of prices towards the conclusion of the third quarter in 2023 also presents an appealing chance for those investing in wine. The Petrus 2009 bottle showed an increase of 14% within just 171 days.
The rum market remains highly interesting due to the rising global demand. The quality of the spirit is of utmost importance. However, similar to wine and whisky bottles, rum prices fell slightly. Whereas our “Caribbean Rum Collection gained 1%, the Dictador Generations en Lalique lost -1% in value.
The 2023 watch market has continued its downturn with higher-than-usual volatility levels. The peak in 2022 saw Rolex watches being sold at 3x Manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP), while a Patek Philippe Nautilus sold for 5x to 30x MSRP on the secondary market.
Therefore, major price corrections were seen in the market in the previous year and as well in our watch portfolio. The indexed performance of this category is at -4.1%. Some of our models like the Rolex GMT Master II (Ref. 126719BLRO) still increased by 17%.
In 2023, we used as well the chance to invest in truly collectible watches at a lower market price, hence with a high upside potential. Therefore, we added as well smaller brands like Andre Lange or F.P. Journe and brought the first vintage watches to the app.
Navigating the investment landscape in 2024 demands a discerning eye for assets with promising upside potential. Our commitment to your financial success extends beyond traditional avenues, as we, in collaboration with our expert network, persist in uncovering opportunities within existing asset categories. Furthermore, we are excited to announce our expansion into new and intriguing domains. The onboarding process is underway for promising categories such as Private Equity, Comic Art, Sport Memorabilia, Trading Cards, and Sneakers. These additions to our portfolio not only reflect our dedication to diversification but also signify our anticipation of emerging trends, ensuring that your investment strategy remains dynamic and well-positioned for success in the ever-evolving financial landscape of 2024.