Some people collect luxury goods such as investment pieces. Think of a Birkin bag, art by the legendary Jean-Michel Basquiat or a Rolex. Anything considered timeless or high-quality and that appreciates in value can be called an investment piece.
The luxury market tends to be more resilient than other sectors during economic instability because of high demand, among other factors. That said, is this inflationary period a good time to invest in luxury goods?
BUYING LUXURY GOODS AMID INFLATION
The U.S. Federal Reserve has raised interest rates 11 times since March 2022 in an attempt to cool inflation. Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in 22 years, and consequently, we’ve seen the cost of borrowing increase and spending on nonessential goods decrease.
While Americans have cut back on spending, the demand for luxury goods is still strong. Research by J.P. Morgan shows a 7% year-over-year increase in the luxury goods market in the fourth quarter of 2022, despite significant price hikes.
Luxury brands raised the prices of their products by almost 17% in 2020 and early 2021 in response to lower sales during COVID-19, according to a 2022 study by KPMG International. This change is significant considering typical price increases are 5% to 10%. These price increases didn’t only benefit luxury brands; people who invested in these goods in prior years may have also seen gains.
Gloria H. Gill, a retiree who we spoke to on Facebook Messenger, said the value of her large classic Chanel bag has more than doubled in about seven years. Gill purchased the bag for $4,800 in Paris in 2016. It now has a market value of around $10,000.
“I have sold bags before, but I doubt I’ll sell this one,” Gill said. “It’s listed in my will, and my sons are aware of its high value.”
Luxury goods can sometimes hedge against inflation when they appreciate in value, says William Huston, founder of Bay Street Capital Holdings, which has offices in Los Angeles, New York and Fremont, California.
“These luxury goods, they do protect against inflation, but they don’t outperform the general stock market,” he says.
As with any investment, there are risks. As Huston points out, your money could potentially earn a higher rate of return elsewhere. Also, your item could get lost or destroyed, or it may be difficult to resell.
ASSESS YOUR FINANCIAL FOUNDATION FIRST
Before investing in anything, assess your financial situation. For instance, is your emergency fund well stocked? Keep in mind that possessions are considered “illiquid assets” — not quickly convertible to cash if you need it in a pinch.
Also, saving for retirement comes before investing in luxury goods, says Dora Meyer, a certified financial planner at WellAcre Global Wealth Advisors in Santa Monica, California.
“Make sure you are taking advantage of any tax-advantaged accounts, so your 401(k), your Roth IRAs, before you look at investing in something like this. (And) your HSA,” she says.
Meyer also advises, “Be careful (with) buying on credit, especially in this environment when interest rates are a little bit higher.” And she recommends buying from a reputable source to avoid knockoffs.
INVESTING IN TIMELESS PIECES
Valerie Schwank owns the Fashionista Consignment Boutique in Coconut Grove, Florida, where she buys and sells luxury goods. Schwank has seen a significant boom in her business since the pandemic began and is an advocate for investing in luxury pieces. She recommends buying timeless and high-quality pieces, as they tend to hold their value.
“I always recommend that you buy a staple,” she says. And by staple, Schwank means “the Chanel classic double flap, no-nonsense handbag, which has been around forever.”
Think about factors like the color and materials of items, too. That often differentiates timeless luxury goods from ones that won’t hold as much value over time. Keeping your items in good shape, especially if you plan to resell, is also important, Schwank says.
CALCULATING YOUR POTENTIAL RETURNS
Research how an item has historically performed before purchasing to ensure it’s a worthwhile investment. You can go to luxury resale sites such as Vestiaire Collective, The RealReal and Rebag and check how pieces have appreciated over time.
Huston advises having a financial plan before making a luxury investment. “With the financial plan, you’d be able to see, ‘I’m 30 years old, I’m gonna save $300 a month,’” he says, as an example. That plan can give you context to decide, “‘That’s a meaningful amount of money to me and I can afford that $300, and it’s better for me to save $300 in my 401(k) than to buy a watch,’” he says.
You can also improve your investment returns by negotiating when it comes to items like art, he adds.
“A lot of this luxury stuff is negotiable because again, it’s illiquid” and not easily converted to cash, he says. “So if you find the right person selling the right thing at the right time, you can get it for a really good value because they just want to get some of their money back.”
This column was provided to The Associated Press by the personal finance website NerdWallet. The content is for educational and informational purposes and does not constitute investment advice. Elizabeth Ayoola is a writer at NerdWallet. Email: email@example.com.
NerdWallet: Money management: 4 tips for mastering your finances https://bit.ly/nerdwallet-money-management
Elizabeth Ayoola Of Nerdwallet, The Associated Press
Tense diplomatic relations may not impact trade, investment ties between India, Canada: Experts
NEW DELHI: The tense diplomatic relations between India and Canada are unlikely to impact trade and investments between the two countries as economic ties are driven by commercial considerations, according to experts. Both India and Canada trade in complementary products and do not compete on similar products.
“Hence, the trade relationship will continue to grow and not be affected by day-to-day events,” Global Trade Research Initiative (GTRI) Co-Founder Ajay Srivastava said.
Certain political developments have led to a pause in negotiations for a free trade agreement between the two countries.
On September 10, Prime Minister Narendra Modi conveyed to his Canadian counterpart Justin Trudeau India’s strong concerns about the continuing anti-India activities of extremist elements in Canada that were promoting secessionism, inciting violence against its diplomats and threatening the Indian community there.
India on Tuesday announced the expulsion of a Canadian diplomat hours after Canada asked an Indian official to leave that country, citing a “potential” Indian link to the killing of a Khalistani separatist leader in June.
Srivastava said these recent events are unlikely to affect the deep-rooted people-to-people connections, trade, and economic ties between the two nations.
Bilateral trade between India and Canada has grown significantly in recent years, reaching USD 8.16 billion in 2022-23.
India’s exports (USD 4.1 billion) to Canada include pharmaceuticals, gems and jewellery, textiles, and machinery, while Canada’s exports to India (USD 4.06 billion) include pulses, timber, pulp and paper, and mining products.
On investments, he said that Canadian pension funds will continue investing in India on grounds of India’s large market and good return on money invested.
Canadian pension funds, by the end of 2022, had invested over USD 45 billion in India, making it the fourth-largest recipient of Canadian FDI in the world.
The top sectors for Canadian pension fund investment in India include infrastructure, renewable energy, technology, and financial services.
Mumbai-based exporter and Chairman of Technocraft Industries Sharad Kumar Saraf said the present frosty relations between India and Canada are certainly a cause for concern.
“However, the bilateral trade is entirely driven by commercial considerations. Political turmoil is of a temporary nature and should not be a reason to affect trade relations,” Saraf said.
He added that even with China, India has acrimonious relations but bilateral trade continues to remain healthy.
“In fact, bilateral trade is an effective tool to improve political relations. India must make special efforts to increase our bilateral trade with Canada,” Saraf said.
India and Canada have a strong education partnership. There are over 200 educational partnerships between Indian and Canadian institutions.
In addition, over 3,19,000 Indian students are enrolled in Canadian institutions, making them the largest international student cohort in Canada, according to GTRI.
According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education (CBIE), Indian students contributed USD 4.9 billion to the Canadian economy in 2021.
Indian students are the largest international student group in Canada, accounting for 20 per cent of all international students in 2021.
Benefits of educational partnerships are mutual and hence the current situation may have no impact on the relationship, Srivastava said.
Apple supplier Foxconn aims to double India jobs and investment
Apple supplier Foxconn aims to double its workforce and investment in India by next year, a company executive said on Sunday.
Taiwan-based Foxconn, the world’s largest contract manufacturer of electronics, has rapidly expanded its presence in India by investing in manufacturing facilities in the south of the country as the company seeks to move away from China.
V Lee, Foxconn’s representative in India, in a LinkedIn post to mark Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s 73rd birthday, said the company was “aiming for another doubling of employment, FDI (foreign direct investment), and business size in India” by this time next year.
He did not give more details.
Foxconn already has an iPhone factory employing 40,000 people in the state of Tamil Nadu.
In August, the state of Karnataka said the firm will invest US$600 million for two projects to make casing components for iPhones and chip-making equipment.
The company’s Chairman Liu Young-way said in an earnings briefing last month that he sees a lot of potential in India, adding: “several billion dollars in investment is only a beginning”.
Taiwan election: Foxconn’s Terry Gou taps star-powered running mate
Last month, Foxconn’s billionaire founder Terry Gou said he would run for the Taiwanese presidency in next year’s election, as an independent candidate.
He said the ruling and independence-leaning Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) was unable to offer a bright future for the island and left Foxconn’s board following his decision to run.
The firm operates the world’s largest iPhone plant, in the city of Zhengzhou in Henan province.
Foxconn to double workforce, investment in India by ‘this time next year’
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