When an opportunity arises from a crisis, you’d better take it

by Mar 30, 2020Thinking outside the bottle, Wine Trading Academy0 comments

Founding member Paulo Pinto has shared with us some pictures of the team's efforts in the development of Alti Wine Exchange. Here, a chat with Adrien de Beaulieu from Chateau Coutet

Founding member Paulo Pinto has shared with us some pictures of the team’s efforts in the development of Alti Wine Exchange. Here, a chat with Adrien de Beaulieu from Chateau Coutet

Greetings from lovely Lisbon, Portugal.

As many of you already know, I’m Breno (if we haven’t been properly introduced).

Talking fine wine investment, I was supposed to be in Italy visiting its first all-woman winery and writing about it. IoSonoDonatella is the first Italian wine launched in Alti Wine Exchange, a beautiful Brunello di Montalcino by Donatella Cinelli Colombini. I’m still hoping I’ll be able to visit before summer, as Montalcino is one of my favorite Tuscan towns.

In this trip I should have also visited the Solaia vineyard, from the Antinori family, and Masseto, owned by the Frescobaldis – in reality, by Marchesi de Frescobaldi. Both were Alti Wine Club exclusive offers for March. I’m guessing should have been fun, but I’ll keep my hopes up for a chance when this is all over. Spero di vedervi presto!

Not that I’m complaining, though. Instead, I’m still in beautiful Lisbon. It’s nice here, the weather is mild. People are indoors (stay home, for God’s sake!), but life will move on. I’m doing fine and hope you are as well!

***

The reason why I’m writing to you today is to present a case for that well-known idea:

When a crisis hits, opportunities arise.

This doesn’t come out of nowhere, nor it’s achieved without hard work. But sometimes we just need to roll with it, right?

***

In 2017, a group of friends with a long history in finance, in shock with negative interest rates, started to work on a financial project with real assets.

At the time they were just a group of people puzzled with the financial concept of negative interest rates, looking for something to mitigate the risk in the financial markets, and so decided to create an alternative exchange to offer fine and rare wines as a real asset for investment.

Everyone involved believed the financial markets were going to correct hard at some point, and that is why they created Alti Wine Exchange – an alternative that was not likely to correct in the same way. Little did they know that a crash was just around the corner, with the excuse of a virus.

They felt strongly that a downturn was coming, because of how easy central banks were (and are) creating money.

They started to learn as much as they could about fine and rare wine. They dedicated time to meetings with attorneys, countless meetings with wine experts, some who talk about wine as impressionist paintings. They met wine producers who treat their business as art, others who understand winemaking process as a science, and with others who are just passionate about their wines.

From this culmination of in-depth research, the Alti Exchange Group was formed at the end of December 2018. In June the first three wines were listed, and today, Alti Wine Exchange has twelve wines listed. Every month, more and more wines are coming.

Paulo Pinto lends a hand after grape-picking at Chateau Coutet

Paulo Pinto lends a hand after grape-picking at Chateau Coutet

***

Because of a virus, the Federal Reserve has cut rates to zero, announced an arsenal of target facilities – bigger than in 2008 – and initiated the broadest Global Swap Agreements with all major Central Banks in the history of the Fed. The US Congress announced the biggest stimulus since the New Deal in the Great Depression in 1930, with an amount of US$ 2.2 trillion, and major stimulus measures across the EU are being prepared as well.

Given all of this, I truly believe the founders above were right in creating an alternative asset platform. It looks like we are getting closer to a defining moment in history, with huge consequences in the economy.

In 1919, during the Spanish Flu, there was very little pandemic planning, and governments had very little sense of obligation when it came to healthcare. After all, they were just coming out of World War One.

Now, people are afraid about their jobs, about their income, about their retirement – and governments and economic institutions are having doubts on how to respond.

We are shaped by our choices. That is why some get rich while others go broke, but all of us also need luck in the lottery. That’s life.

I believe those who got interested by a new market like Alti Wine Exchange – specifically by how they respond to the opportunity – will have more choices and less financial fears.

***

Time to get ourselves ready for the incoming challenges and opportunities.

And a final message: stay tuned, we’ve got some very interesting news coming this week. We’ve already released some savory teasers.

See you!

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