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Navigating Volatile Markets: Why Family Offices are Turning to Passion Assets

Published by Jerry
Edited: 3 weeks ago
Published: June 25, 2024

Navigating Volatile Markets: Why Family Offices are Turning to Passion Assets In the ever-changing world of finance, volatile markets pose a significant challenge for investors, particularly those managing substantial wealth through family offices. Traditional investment strategies may not always provide the desired returns during market turbulence. Consequently, forward-thinking family offices

Navigating Volatile Markets: Why Family Offices are Turning to Passion Assets

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Navigating Volatile Markets: Why Family Offices are Turning to Passion Assets

In the ever-changing world of finance, volatile markets pose a significant challenge for investors, particularly those managing substantial wealth through family offices. Traditional investment strategies may not always provide the desired returns during market turbulence. Consequently, forward-thinking family offices are increasingly turning to an unconventional yet potentially rewarding investment class: passion assets.

Passion Assets: A New Frontier

Passion assets, also known as collectibles or alternative investments, are tangible items that hold intrinsic value due to their cultural, historical, or emotional significance. These may include art, classic cars, watches, coins, wine, or even comic books.

Emotional Connection and Diversification

The appeal of passion assets lies in their ability to offer an emotional connection, serving as a tangible manifestation of personal interests or hobbies. Moreover, they provide an effective means for diversification in investment portfolios.

Risk Mitigation and Long-term Value

Investing in passion assets offers risk mitigation through their low correlation to traditional asset classes. As markets fluctuate, the value of passion assets can remain relatively stable or even increase. Furthermore, with proper research and expertise, these investments can offer long-term appreciation and potentially significant returns.

Expertise and Due Diligence

However, investing in passion assets requires extensive expertise and due diligence. Family offices must assess the authenticity, condition, market demand, and liquidity of potential investments to ensure their long-term value and profitability.

Partnering with Experts

To navigate the complexities of passion asset investments, family offices are partnering with experts. Specialist advisors and consultancies can provide valuable insights into market trends, investment opportunities, and risk management strategies. This collaboration enables family offices to make informed decisions, minimize risks, and maximize the potential rewards of passion assets as part of their investment portfolios.

Navigating Volatile Markets: Why Family Offices are Turning to Passion Assets

Family Offices and Passion Assets: A New Trend in Wealth Management

Family offices are private wealth management advisors, primarily serving ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals and families. They offer a comprehensive range of financial, administrative, legal, tax planning, and concierge services to manage their clients’ complex financial portfolios and daily needs.

Historical Role of Family Offices

Traditionally, family offices have focused on managing clients’ core investments such as stocks, bonds, and real estate. However, with the increasing recognition of the emotional and psychological value attached to certain possessions or interests, a new trend has emerged among family offices: managing passion assets.

What Are Passion Assets?

Passion assets refer to collectibles, hobbies, or non-traditional investments that bring joy and excitement to the owner beyond their financial value. Some common examples include: fine art, classic cars, luxury watches, rare wines, jewelry, yachts, and even exotic animals.

Emotional Connection

Passion assets are often considered emotional investments, as they provide a unique sense of pleasure and satisfaction to the collector.

Appreciation and Diversification

Moreover, many passion assets have shown significant appreciation over time, making them attractive investment opportunities for the wealthy. Additionally, they can serve as a form of diversification in one’s overall investment portfolio, reducing risk and enhancing long-term returns.

Growing Popularity of Passion Assets in Family Offices

As passion assets become an increasingly popular trend among UHNW families, family offices have begun to expand their services to include specialized expertise in managing these unique investments.

Expertise and Knowledge

Family offices provide clients with access to experts who have extensive knowledge of the market trends, valuation, authentication, storage, and insurance for various passion assets.

Integrated Solutions

Furthermore, they offer integrated solutions to manage all aspects of these investments, from acquisition and management to disposal and estate planning.


The emergence of passion assets as a growing trend among family offices marks a significant shift in wealth management, recognizing the importance of personal fulfillment and emotional satisfaction alongside financial returns. As family offices adapt to this new trend, they strengthen their position as comprehensive wealth management partners for UHNW families.

Understanding Passion Assets:

Definition and Explanation:

Passion assets, also known as alternative investments, are valuable collectibles, artworks, wine, classic cars, and other unique items that people collect due to their personal interest, enjoyment, or appreciation. These assets, often having a limited supply and high desirability, can significantly increase in value over time. The allure of passion assets lies not only in their potential financial gains but also in the joy and satisfaction derived from owning and experiencing them.

Historical Significance:

Throughout history, passion assets have played an essential role in various societies and economies. The Egyptian pharaohs collected precious metals and stones; the Chinese treasured jade and porcelain; Europeans amassed fine art and antiques. In recent decades, passion assets have gained prominence as alternative investment classes due to their ability to provide diversification from traditional stocks, bonds, and real estate investments.

Appeal as Investment Vehicles:

Passion assets have several distinct advantages over traditional investment classes. First, they often exhibit low correlation to stocks and bonds, offering investors a way to diversify their portfolios effectively. Second, passion assets can provide potentially higher returns over the long term. For instance, some classic cars have appreciated in value by more than 500% over the past two decades. Third, collecting passion assets can be an enjoyable hobby and a way to connect with like-minded individuals.

Comparison with Traditional Investment Classes:

Although passion assets share some similarities with traditional investments, they possess distinct differences. Stocks and bonds are financial instruments that represent an ownership stake or a loan to a company or government. Real estate is a tangible asset, which involves owning physical property that generates rental income or capital gains. In contrast, passion assets are unique items with intrinsic value and often have a limited supply, making them more exclusive and desirable.


Collectibles like coins, comic books, or dolls can be an excellent alternative investment for those with a keen eye and passion for specific items. These collectibles can appreciate in value based on rarity, condition, and demand.


Art has been a popular passion asset for centuries. Investing in art requires expertise, knowledge, and patience. Artworks can increase in value based on their historical significance, artistic merit, or market trends.


Wine collecting is a growing trend among investors. Fine wine has the potential to appreciate significantly in value over time, particularly if it comes from renowned vineyards or specific vintages.

Classic Cars:

Classic cars are more than just transportation; they represent a piece of automotive history. The value of classic cars can depend on various factors, such as make, model, condition, rarity, and historical significance.


In conclusion, passion assets offer investors a unique opportunity to diversify their portfolios while engaging in a rewarding hobby. These alternative investments can provide potentially higher returns over the long term, low correlation to traditional asset classes, and the joy of owning something valuable and meaningful. By understanding the historical significance, appeal, and differences between passion assets and traditional investment classes, investors can make informed decisions about their investments and enjoy the journey along the way.
Navigating Volatile Markets: Why Family Offices are Turning to Passion Assets

I Economic and Market Conditions Driving the Shift towards Passion Assets

The current market volatility and economic uncertainty, fueled by various global factors, have led many family offices to seek alternative investment opportunities beyond traditional assets like stocks, bonds, and real estate. This trend is increasingly gaining momentum as investors look for ways to diversify their portfolios and hedge against potential inflation.

Analysis of Current Market Volatility and Economic Uncertainty

The market volatility we have witnessed over the past few years is a result of various factors, including political instability, trade tensions, and an uncertain economic outlook. The global financial crisis of 2008 served as a wake-up call for investors, highlighting the importance of diversification and the risks associated with relying too heavily on any one asset class. Furthermore, low-interest rates have made it difficult for investors to earn a decent return on traditional fixed-income investments.

Discussion on How These Conditions Have Led Family Offices to Seek Alternative Investment Opportunities

Given these market conditions, family offices have been exploring alternative investment opportunities that offer diversification benefits and act as a hedge against inflation. One such asset class gaining popularity is passion assets, which include collectibles, art, wine, and other tangible items that hold intrinsic value and appeal beyond their financial worth.

Explanation of How Passion Assets Provide Diversification Benefits

Diversification is a fundamental investment strategy that aims to reduce risk by spreading investments across various asset classes. Passion assets provide an excellent opportunity for diversification, as they typically have low correlation with traditional financial assets. Furthermore, they offer potential capital appreciation and can serve as a store of value during times of economic instability.

Passion Assets Act as a Hedge Against Inflation

Another important factor driving the interest in passion assets is their ability to act as a hedge against inflation. Historically, certain collectibles and works of art have shown an impressive track record of outpacing inflation. For instance, the Cost of the Finest Wines index has increased by over 230% since 1988, while the Consumer Price Index (CPI) has only risen by around 145% during the same period.


In conclusion, family offices are increasingly turning to passion assets as a means to diversify their portfolios and hedge against inflation in the face of current market volatility and economic uncertainty. By investing in tangible items that hold intrinsic value, family offices can potentially mitigate risks associated with traditional financial assets and safeguard their wealth for future generations.

Navigating Volatile Markets: Why Family Offices are Turning to Passion Assets

Case Studies: Success Stories of Family Offices Investing in Passion Assets

Below are detailed examinations of three to five case studies demonstrating successful investments made by family offices in passion assets. These case studies provide valuable insights into the background of each family office, their unique investment strategies, and the results achieved from investing in passion assets.

The Ellison Family Office: Wine Investments

Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison’s family office, Ellison Capital, has made significant investments in the wine industry. With a personal passion for collecting and enjoying fine wines, Ellison Capital’s strategy involves investing in premium vineyards and wineries. One of their most notable investments was the acquisition of a controlling stake in the Chateau Petrus estate in France – the world’s most expensive wine brand. Since then, Ellison Capital has seen impressive returns from their investments in various wine-related ventures.

The Johnson Family Office: Classic Cars

The Johnson family office, Luminar Capital, has a long-term investment strategy centered around passion assets like classic cars. Founded by former Fidelity executive David Johnson, the family office acquires rare and valuable vehicles for their collection. One of their most notable acquisitions includes a 1963 Aston Martin DB5, the same model famously used in the James Bond films. With careful management and strategic sales, Luminar Capital has consistently achieved high returns on their classic car investments.

The Agnelli Family Office: Yachts

The Agnelli family, one of the wealthiest and most influential in Italy, has a long tradition of investing in passion assets. Their family office, Exor N.V., is known for its investments in yachts. The most prominent example is the acquisition of the 138-meter (450-foot) superyacht “Eclipse,” once the largest and most expensive private yacht in the world. Exor N.has reported significant returns on their investment in yachts through chartering, selling, and strategic partnerships with luxury brands.


These case studies showcase how family offices have successfully integrated passion assets into their investment strategies, resulting in impressive returns. By leveraging their personal interests and expertise, these family offices have created valuable opportunities and diversified their portfolios beyond traditional financial assets. These success stories demonstrate the potential of investing in passion assets and highlight the importance of a well-thought-out investment strategy.

Navigating Volatile Markets: Why Family Offices are Turning to Passion Assets

Risks and Challenges Associated with Passion Asset Investments

Investing in passion assets, which are items bought for personal enjoyment and potential appreciation, can be an exciting endeavor. However, it’s essential to understand the risks involved before diving in headfirst. Let’s discuss some of the potential risks and strategies for mitigating them.

Market Risk

Market risk refers to the chance that the value of a passion asset may decrease due to external factors such as market conditions or economic trends. For instance, the vintage car market can be volatile. In times of economic uncertainty, buyers may shy away from luxury items, leading to a decrease in demand and, consequently, lower prices.

Liquidity Risk

Another risk associated with passion asset investments is liquidity risk. This risk arises when it takes a long time to sell an asset or find a buyer willing to pay the desired price. For instance, selling a rare comic book or piece of art may take months, if not years, and the sale may not be at the expected price.

Valuation Risk

Valuation risk is the uncertainty regarding the accurate assessment of an asset’s value. Passion assets can be challenging to price since their value depends on various factors like rarity, condition, and demand. Incorrect valuation can lead to overpaying for an asset or underestimating its worth.

Strategies for Mitigating Risks

To mitigate these risks, consider the following strategies:

Conduct Thorough Due Diligence

Before making an investment, ensure you research the asset extensively. Familiarize yourself with its market trends, condition, rarity, and demand. Consult experts if necessary to help determine its fair value and potential future worth.

Work with Experts

Collaborating with experts, such as appraisers or dealers, can significantly reduce the risks associated with passion asset investments. Their expertise and knowledge of the market can help you make informed decisions and avoid costly mistakes.

Maintain a Long-Term Investment Horizon

Passion assets are often best held for the long term. Market conditions, demand, and values can fluctuate over time. By maintaining a long-term investment horizon, you increase the likelihood of realizing a good return on your investment, while minimizing the impact of short-term market risks.

Navigating Volatile Markets: Why Family Offices are Turning to Passion Assets

VI. Best Practices for Family Offices Investing in Passion Assets

Family offices investing in passion assets

can reap significant rewards, both financial and personal. However, this unique asset class requires a thoughtful and strategic approach to ensure optimal returns, transparency, security, and liquidity. Here are some best practices for family offices considering investments in passion assets:

Building a Diverse Portfolio

One of the keys to successful investing in passion assets is maintaining a diverse portfolio that encompasses various asset classes and categories. This may include fine art, wine, classic cars, jewelry, and collectibles, among others. By spreading investments across different categories, family offices can minimize risk and maximize opportunities for growth. Additionally, a diversified portfolio allows families to enjoy their passion assets both personally and financially.

Working with Reputable Dealers and Advisors

Establishing relationships with reputable dealers and advisors is essential for family offices investing in passion assets. These professionals can provide valuable expertise, market insights, and due diligence, helping families navigate the complex world of passion asset investments. It’s important to conduct thorough research when selecting dealers and advisors, considering their experience, track record, and industry connections.

Maintaining Proper Record-keeping

Proper record-keeping is crucial for family offices investing in passion assets. Meticulous documentation can help ensure the authenticity, condition, and provenance of each asset, as well as facilitate accurate valuation and tax reporting. Family offices should establish a system for tracking acquisitions, appraisals, maintenance, insurance, and disposals to maximize the potential value of their passion asset investments.

Tips for Ensuring Transparency


is a vital consideration for family offices investing in passion assets. Here are some tips for ensuring transparency throughout the investment process:

  • Establish clear communication channels with dealers, advisors, and other stakeholders.
  • Utilize technology platforms to facilitate secure data sharing and real-time reporting.
  • Maintain a centralized database for all passion asset information, including acquisitions, valuations, and disposals.
Tips for Ensuring Security


is another critical factor for family offices investing in passion assets. To ensure the safety and protection of their investments, families should:

  • Store assets in secure locations, such as temperature-controlled warehouses or specialized facilities.
  • Implement robust security protocols, including access control systems and surveillance cameras.
  • Consider insuring passion assets against theft, damage, or other potential risks.
Tips for Ensuring Liquidity


is often a concern for family offices investing in passion assets. While these investments can provide significant rewards, they are typically illiquid compared to more traditional asset classes. To mitigate this risk and ensure access to capital when needed, families should:

  • Maintain a diversified portfolio of passion assets, including those with strong secondary markets.
  • Establish relationships with reputable dealers and advisors who can facilitate sales or exchanges when necessary.
  • Consider alternative financing options, such as loans secured by passion assets, to provide a source of liquidity during market downturns or other financial emergencies.

Navigating Volatile Markets: Why Family Offices are Turning to Passion Assets


In this article, we’ve explored the increasingly popular trend among family offices to turn to passion assets as a means of diversification and risk management. With traditional investment markets becoming increasingly volatile, more families are recognizing the value of incorporating assets that align with their personal interests and passions into their investment portfolios.


First and foremost, passion assets offer the opportunity for diversification, which is a crucial component of any well-rounded investment strategy. By spreading investments across various asset classes, family offices can reduce their overall risk and potentially increase returns. Passion assets provide a unique angle on this diversification, as they are often uncorrelated to traditional financial markets.

Risk Management:

Moreover, passion assets can serve as effective tools for risk management. As we discussed, these investments are often held for the long term and can provide a hedge against inflation. They can also help families to manage emotional risks by reducing anxiety associated with volatile financial markets.

Case Studies:

Throughout the article, we’ve explored several case studies that illustrate the success families have had in integrating passion assets into their investment portfolios. From wine collections to art acquisitions, these stories demonstrate the potential for significant financial gains and personal satisfaction.

Research and Planning:

However, it’s essential to note that the process of acquiring and managing passion assets is not without its challenges. Proper research and planning are critical to ensuring that these investments yield the desired returns. Family offices must conduct thorough due diligence before making any acquisitions, and they must have a clear understanding of the market conditions, storage requirements, and other factors that influence the value of their passion assets.


In conclusion, we encourage family offices to consider passion assets as a vital part of their investment strategy. With careful planning and research, these investments can provide substantial financial rewards while also offering personal enjoyment and satisfaction. As the market continues to evolve, passion assets are likely to become an increasingly important component of well-rounded family office investment portfolios.

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June 25, 2024