Vinovest Review 2022 - Investing in Wine Made Easy
Vinovest is without a doubt our #1 choice when it comes to investing in wine — not only do they make it exceptionally easy to enter the wine market, but they take all the legwork and hassle out of investing in wine. Often times alternative assets like wine are difficult to invest in, however Vinovest makes it exceptionally easy and don’t actually charge a high fee (in our opinion) for the service they provide.
With that being said, while we invest in wine and believe Vinovest to be the easiest, simplest, and best platform for getting exposure to the wine market currently I feel that it’s important to say that investing in wine is in fact an alternative investment.
Alternative investments like wine shouldn’t compose the majority of someone’s portfolio for reasons we covered in our guide to investing in alternative assets, but essentially alternative assets often lack liquidity and have other issues that make them better as a diversification tool as someone’s wealth grows rather than the foundation they base their portfolio out of — so while I love Vinovest I’m not going to put 50% of my portfolio in the wine market through them. 5% to 20% is more than enough for any alternative investment, including wine.
Having said that below we’ll go over why Vinovest is the best platform and way to invest in wine currently in our opinion — to not bury the lead they have low fees, a fantastic interface, secondary-sales (good liquidity), and good historic returns.
Table of Contents
Vinovest Unique Features:
While Vinovest as a platform is quite unique already, as there’s only a few online ways to invest in wine currently, they have the most unique and valuable features currently in our view — likely because they are the biggest platfrom for investing in wine currently. To be clear most platforms allow you to invest in specific varieties of wine and track your portfolios return, however the features below are unique to Vinovest and makes Vinovest really shine as the #1 player in the space.
Actual 100% Ownership & Control of the Wines
While most wine investing platforms and companies do let you buy and invest in wine through them, and you do have rights to the bottles, there’s often times clauses in the agreements you sign before investing that allows them to liquidate your portfolio, specific wines, wine collections, etc, without giving you prior notice or an ability to decline the transaction.
In practice this means that with other platforms, even our #2 favourite in the industry Vint, you could be forced to sell — other platforms like Vint don’t do this maliciously and won’t be selling your investments in wine at a loss on their platform, but due to how they’re structured and how they handle storage, buying and selling, etc, you don’t have full control over your investment with those platforms like you do with Vinovest.
High Liquidity Post-Purchase Trading
Vinovest is one of the only platforms that allows post-purchase trading of your wine investments on the platform. This is a huge benefit as it eliminates one of the biggest downsides to most alternative investments — a lack of liqudity.
With the after-purchase trading on Vinovests marketplace you can sell out any time you want, be it because the bottles went up drastically in price and you want to take profits to invest in new bottles or simply because you want some cash on hand for other investments, taxes, or just a nice vacation for yourself.
The Ability to Taste Your Investments
You might wonder what the hell this could possible mean and how is this at all a unique, positive, feature — well allow me to explain. With Vinovest as you have 100% control and ownership over your wine investments you can, if you so choose, take profits in wine — you don’t need to sell your wine for monetary gains, or only for monetary gains.
For example if you’ve made an absolute killing off buying 200 bottles of a fancy champaign that has more than doubled in price in the past year (like some on the vinovest platform have) then you can choose to get one of the bottles shipped out to you from Vinovest for you to either display in your home as a memory of the good investment, or you can pop it open and see what all the fuss is about and why the wine went up so much in price first-hand.
No other platform offers this from what I’ve seen, and while it’s not really a selling point in terms of investing, it is something I definitely like about Vinovest.
Best-in-Industry Quarterly Reports & Updates
Okay to be fair their quarterly reports are not exactly ‘best-in-class’ — if you are part of wine associations and fancy pancy wine-industry clubs then there’s certainly more detailed reports that provide more information than Vinovest does.
However Vinovest’s reports are better than any other wine investing platform we’ve encountered, most of which provide no updates on the company or wine-related events (weather issues in production-regions for example) or price updates per type, explanations on why certain types of wine are outperforming that quarter, and what to expect based on recent events in the industry.
Vinovests quarterly reports provide what’s needed and simplifies it, only providing what us half-baked wine investors will care to know about and maybe a bit more than that even — so while they’re not exactly the best reports compared to wine associations and clubs they’re great for our needs and the best us non-enthusiasts can reasonably obtain currently.
Vinovest Biggest Pros & Cons:
Vinovest has quite a few unique features as we’ve covered above, but there are also some other pros that are not feature-oriented to the platform, so we thought to make a quick bullet list to give you a summary of them all:
- Great Investment Liquidity
- Best-in-Industry Ownership & Control over Investments
- Relatively Low Fees (covered more below)
- Easiest Way to Gain Exposure to Wine Markets
- Good Historic Returns & Relative Outperformence History
- Allows Non-Accredited Investors (everybody)
- Tax-Efficient Investment Structure
- Allows Almost All Countries to Invest on the Platform
However now there are some downsides to Vinovest that we haven’t gotten into in detail in the article as well — we’ll go more in detail further in the article, but here’s a brief summary of the cons of Vinovest:
- Doesn’t always have offerings for all varieties of wine available at any given time
- Doesn’t offer any noteable sign-up bonus or discounts for new users
- Doesn’t offer non-wine products such as Burbon or Whisky
Overall the cons aren’t really an issue and if I’m being honest it took me some time to really think of some cons to list here — while other wine investing platforms have clear downsides Vinovest really doesn’t.
The only real downside there that’s relevant to most people is that if you sign up and want to self-direct your investments rather than use their managed portfolio plan you will not be able to immediately buy all types of wine (champaign, burgundy, etc) at once without going to the secondary market which will generally be a bit more pricer than fresh offerings. Overall it’s not a big deal, especially as most people are better off doing the portfolio plan in our opinion rather than self-directing.
Vinovest Pricing & Fees Overview:
Vinovest’s pricing is in the form of an annual fee or management fee — while this may seem high if you’re used to investing in low-cost ETFs and index funds for an alternative investment class, especially one that needs proper storage and care to keep the assets in good condition, a 2% to 3% management fee per year isn’t really high as if you were trying to do it in-house on your own you’d likely pay more than this due to the lack of scale you’d have doing it solo.
There’s not much more to say about their fees than that — other than to mention how they compare to their competitors in this regard. Most other wine investing platforms and companies charge a 3% to 5% management fee per year according to our research, and the only other low-cost good platform we’d personally use would be Vint which is similar to Vinovest, however rather than an annual fee they charge an upfront fee of around 8% in most of their offerings.
The fee can be slightly higher or lower than Vinovests as a result, depending on the holding period of the offerrings, but overall it’s quite comparable and due to the superior features and choice Vinovest offers we prefer them currently to Vint when it comes to wine investing.
Vinovest Expected Return & Historic Performence
While the historic return for wine over the last 20 years wine has been around 10% to 12% per year (more when compounded) Vinovest, after all fees, currently has a return around 12% to 14% depending on the portfolio allocation you choose at the beginning from the polls we conducted of other users of the platform — and that’s after accounting for the management/expense fees Vinovest charges.
I’m not really sure if that’s because Vinovest has outperformed the market and has picked exceptionally good wines for us investors or if the market has just outperformed what it historically has in the last few years since Vinovest was started due to rising inflation or interest in wine investing.
Unfortuantely there’s no reliable 3rd-party index to compare the last few years of wine prices to vs Vinovests return so we can’t be 100% sure why they’ve returned more than the historic average in the last few years since inception. If such an index pops up we’ll make sure to compare it to vinovest’s return, but at this point we’ve yet to find such an index — if you find one before we do make sure to let us know about it via our contact page so we can share that here.
Our Experience using Vinovest for The Last Few Years
We started using Vinovest in 2020 shortly after they launched allowing investors to buy their first wine offerings and have slowly expanded our portfolio on the platform ever since — our portfolio in those two or so years (so far) has returned a bit over 30% which is higher than the expected return historically — this could be due to inflation causing wine prices to go up or the outperformance could be explained by an increase in people looking to invest in alternative assets like wine.
However what I did notice is that the majority of the returns came from a few select bottles/series that I bought into, while around half of the bottles I’ve acquired over the years have more or less went sideways or only increased by a few percent, so maybe it’s just I got lucky and bought into the right bottles at the right time.
My takeaway from this is while you can invest in single bottles/lines with vinovest it’s probably better to do their balanced automatic allocation, as if you miss out on the winners, such as the Champaigns this year which in some cases more than doubled in price, your return might not be the best — but with a good diversification the return of wine, historically, has been quite good so a basket of wines is probably the way to go and from here on out I’ll be shifting my portfolio to be more balanced.
Closing Thoughts & Conclusions
Overall Vinovest is our personal favorite and #1 choice for investing in wine — they have the best features an next to no downsides as covered above. With that being said, while Vinovest has been a good investment for us and has returned higher than the S&P 500 for example we still aren’t going to be allocating a large amount of our portfolio to the wine industry or Vinovest.
This isn’t for any reason other than the fact that the wine industry is small and we consider it an alternative investment — and while we love alternative investments and have much of, even most, our portfolio in them we don’t keep the majority in any one alternative investment. Diversification is key when investing, and having multiple sources of income, from many different types of investments, is what helps you become wealthy and stay wealthy over the long-term.
Vinovest Review FAQ's:
Below we’ll cover the FAQ’s we’ve been asked, or encountered, or even had asked ourselves about Vinovest when we first were checking them out and as we used them — If you have other questions feel free to contact us and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can — and maybe even add our answer down below.
How long has Vinovest been around?
Vinovest was founded in 2019 and only began functioning as an investment platform in 2020 when it had it’s first wine offerings made available to the general public and investors like you and me. They quickly expanded from a small team of around a dozen people to 50+ employees in their first few years in business.
Does Vinovest offer any sign-up bonuses or rewards?
As far as we’re aware of Vinovest does not offer any sign-up bonuses or rewards for new users — they do however have a partner program that allows websites like this one to earn a small savings on platform fees or in some cases compensation if people sign up through their special partner links. You can use ours by clicking here, doing so will support us and help us keep these articles up to date and accurate.
Is Vinovest a Good Investment?
Using Vinovest in our experience has been a good investment for us as it’s returned quite well over the last few years — better than the broader wine market has historically, and overall we’re satisfied with our investment in the sector through Vinovest. It’s not our highest returning investment, but it’s a nice investment that returned above average returned and helped diversify our portfolios away from more risky volatile investments.
Is Vinovest (the company) Publicly Traded?
Currently Vinovest is not publicly traded and instead is entirely funded through private funding rounds and the personal capital of the owners and employees of the company who have been encouraged to invest in the business their self — one day we beleive they’ll go public or be acquired, but this is likely still a few years way.
Does Vinovest Provide Insurance?
Yes Vinovest provides insurance built-in to the fees they charge for all wines on the platform — you’ll have no trouble collecting insurance benefits if their storage facilities are damaged, destroyed, or seized for any reason as the wines belong to you and are insured for you and cannot be seized in the case of bankruptcy (on the part of Vinovest) or other issues. Non-invested funds with Vinovest are also insured with FDIC insurance automatically, so you don’t need to worry about it either.