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Vint Review – Breaking Down the Barriers of Fine Wine Investing

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Most people think about stocks, bonds, and real estate when they think about investing. However, there are plenty more asset classes to dive into, many of which may catch you by surprise. 

One such alternative investment is fine wine, a type of collectible that can offer attractive returns and improve portfolio diversification. 

The term “better with age” is derived from the fact that the quality of certain wines improves with age. Wine investors tap into this improving quality and potential profitability by purchasing and properly storing expensive bottles of this liquid gold. However, the cost is often a barrier to entry, considering that investable collections can cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

That’s where Vint comes in. 

Key Features of Vint

Vint is a startup aimed at breaking down barriers for everyday wine investors by offering securitized and regulated shares of high-end collections. 

The Vint wine investing platform isn’t crowded with features you don’t need, and everything you might need seems to be right where it should. These are the platform’s most important features:

SEC-Regulated Shares of High-Quality Wines

Regulation is an important aspect of investing. A lack of regulation has contributed to numerous market bubbles, scams, and losses over the years. Events like the stock market crash that preceded the Great Depression might not have occurred in a better-regulated market.

While no legal authority regulates wine investments, Vint has found a way to bring regulation into the fray. 

The company securitizes its wine collections by registering them as investment assets and selling shares of each collection. The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is charged with the regulation of securities in the United States, so Vint’s securitized wine collections are effectively regulated by the SEC. 

In registering its wine securities with the SEC, Vint must provide you with all the information you need to make an educated investment. 

User-Friendly Functionality

At first glance, the Vint platform seems pretty basic. But as you start to use it, you’ll likely develop an appreciation for its straightforward structure. Vint doesn’t have any unnecessary bells and whistles that take up space — just what you need strategically positioned where you need it. 

This simplistic approach creates a user-friendly experience and a platform with a minimal learning curve, if any. 

Easy Access to High-End Wine Investments

Historically, wine investing has been possible only for wealthy people with the time and resources to travel to wineries in Napa Valley, Tuscany, or Bordeaux in search of deals on high-quality wine collections. The advent of the Internet removed the travel requirement from the equation, but two major barriers to entry remained before Vint: 

  • The Cost Barrier. A single bottle of high-end wine could set you back thousands of dollars. Some of the best collections to invest in range in price from tens to hundreds of thousands of dollars. The average investor doesn’t have that kind of cash available to tap into. 
  • The Storage Barrier. High-end wines are only valuable if their quality is maintained. Wine must be stored in specific climate-controlled conditions, but most people don’t have a suitable wine cellar in their homes. That’s another major investment that requires ongoing maintenance. 

Vint offers solutions to both of these problems:

  • Cost. Shares of quality wine collections through Vint cost as little as $25, and you can buy a single share at a time. Your wine investments here won’t break the bank. 
  • Storage. Vint stores every bottle of wine in a climate-controlled storage cellar, protecting your investment for the long term. 

Collections Constructed by the Professionals

Investment-grade wine isn’t just a recreational alcoholic beverage that you sip with colleagues, friends, and loved ones from time to time. High-end wines are akin to fine art. Even the most subtle flavor notes can mean the difference between a high-quality, $10,000 bottle of the beverage and a $7.99 boxed wine special. 

Even if you’re a sommelier or you have an affinity for fine wine, it will take daunting research to determine the best investments in the space. 

Vint takes that work out of your hands. 

The company employs a team of professionals in the wine industry to curate and construct collections of significant value. When you purchase shares of one of the company’s collections, you can rest assured that the collections you’re purchasing are of the highest quality. 

Vint does charge a sourcing fee ranging from 6% to 8% for its curation services. However, it’s also so confident in its investment choices that it buys shares of each collection for its own holdings — up to 10% of the total collection’s value.

Current Collections

There are currently two collections available, including:

  • 2010 Decade Collection. Four out of five bottles in the collection received an “Extraordinary” rating (96 out of 100 or above) by Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. The collection features six bottles each of 2016 Domaine Armand Rousseau, Gevrey-Chambertin Premier Cru, Clos Saint-Jacques, 2012 Chateau Mouton Rothschild Premier Cru Classe, Pauillac, and 2016 Dominio de Pingus, Ribera del Duero, Pingus. It also features 12 bottles of 2015 Le Pin, Pomerol and 12 bottles of 2010 Chateau Mouton Rothschild Premier Cru Classe, Pauillac. 
  • Piemonte Collection.  The collection features top wines from the world’s best producers like Vietti and Bruno Giacosa. Bottles range in vintage from 2006 to 2016. All bottles in the collection received an “Extraordinary” rating with scores of 97 or above from Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. 

Liquidity

Alternative investments aren’t as liquid at traditional investments like stocks and ETFs. When it comes to Vint, your investments will be mid to long-term. 

The company’s aim is to sell all shares of a collection and sell the collection when the market’s right, generally within two to seven years. Once the collection sells, shareholders receive their portion of the proceeds. However, there is no secondary market on which you’ll be able to sell your shares if you need access to your funds quickly. 

Educational Guide

If you’re like most people, your knowledge of investing in fine wine is limited. However, as with any other investment, your knowledge of the industry will play a significant role in your success as an investor. 

Vint understands the importance of educated investments, so it takes an extra step to ensure that its investors know what they’re doing when making investments. 

Vint offers a free educational guide to investing in wine that even some professionals may be able to learn a thing or two from. You don’t even have to be a member of the site to access the guide either — it’s available right on the company’s home page. Just type in your email and you’ll receive your copy. 

Advantages of Vint

There are several major advantages to investing in wine with Vint. Some of the biggest include:

  • Broader Access. Before Vint, access to fine wine as an investment vehicle was reserved for the wealthy. Vint’s approach significantly increases access for people who don’t consider themselves wealthy. Indeed, most investors can spare funds needed to get started with Vint.
  • Regulatory Oversight. All Vint collections are securitized and regulated by the United States SEC, helping to ensure you’re not taken advantage of as a beginner wine collector. 
  • Education. Education is important in any aspect of investing, whether you’re investing in traditional assets like stocks and bonds or alternative assets like art and wine. Vint’s focus on education through its guide to investing in wine is a major plus, especially for investors who are new to the asset. 
  • Hard Work Done for You. You won’t have to pick every single bottle in your wine investment portfolio. Vint employs a team of experts to choose the brands of wine that are most likely to increase in value over time, taking the hard work off of your plate. 
  • Compelling Returns. According to reporting by Wine Guardian, wine investments have produced an impressive 13.6% annualized return over a 15-year period. That’s a solid return, considering the long-term annualized return rate of the S&P 500 sits at about 10%. 

Disadvantages of Vint

While there are plenty of reasons to consider investing with Vint, there are also some drawbacks that should be considered before diving in. The most important disadvantages to note include:

  • Liquidity Concerns. When you decide it’s time to exit an investment, someone will need to buy your asset for you to turn it back into cash. Unfortunately, there’s not a line of people waiting to buy shares of high-quality wine collections. So, you may experience delays when you decide it’s time to exit your positions with Vint.  
  • Limited Options. As of April 2022, there are only two collections available for purchase in Vint’s inventory. Several collections were listed but had sold out at this time. The company’s founder told me that Vint regularly rotates in and out of collections. But the fact remains that it’s difficult to effectively diversify your wine holdings when you only have a couple options to choose from at a time.
  • No Mobile App. Everything happens on the go these days. Unfortunately, you’ll have to stay put when investing with Vint because the company doesn’t currently offer a mobile app. 

How Vint Stacks Up

Vint’s biggest competitor is VinoVest. Here’s how the two compare to one another:

Vint VinoVest
Annual Fee None 2.85% on balances below $10,0002.7% on balances between $10,000 and $49,999.99 2.5% on balances between $50,000 and $249,999.99 2.25% on $250,000+ balances 
Portfolios Investors choose from professionally curated collections  A personal wine investment professional builds your portfolio 
Minimum Investment $25 minimum investment $1,000 minimum investment 

Final Word

Vint is a compelling option for investors who are interested in diversifying their holdings with alternative investments. Wine has a strong track record for generating solid gains over time, and prices in the market tend to be more stable than stocks. 

However, while wine investment returns may outpace market returns from time to time, liquidity issues could impact your ability to tap into your earnings at will. The bottom line is that wine is a great diversification tool, but it’s not a substitute for a well-balanced investment portfolio that also includes stocks, bonds, and investment-grade funds. 

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