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Issue 76 - The best of times

Whisky Magazine Issue 76
November 2008


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The best of times

With rare whisky very much in demand The Whisky Exchange is booming. But is it really such a great time to be investing in whisky? Dominic Roskrow spoke to Sukhinder Singh.

With the money markets in freefall recently two City bankers were discussing the future. “You're shafted unless you're selling something that is good for your health, makes you feel better, or both,” said one.

So whisky's quids in all ways, I thought.

Seems I'm not the only one. With confidence in finance dropping faster than Newcastle United in the English Premiership this autumn it seems that many investors have been casting their nets further afield for a safe bet. For some that's brought rare whisky into shooting range.

So is it really such a good bet?

For The Whisky Exchange, arguably one of the world's leading specialist whisky retailers, the trend is a welcome one because it guarantees a regular procession of cash-rich investors looking to spend, spend, spend.

So perhaps the resigned sigh from Sukhinder Singh is not quite the reaction one might expect when the subject is raised. He's seen and heard it all before, it seems.

“People go on about buying whisky as an investment but they need to be careful,” he says.

“It's very very hard to make money from buying whisky. You have to be prepared to put your money into it for a very long time.

“Think about it. If you buy a bottle of whisky for say £1000, then the retailer probably bought it for £650. He has VAT to pay and his margin. Say in even a year its value seems to have gone up to £1,200. If you want to sell it back to the retailer he must consider his margin and tax out of that £1,200 so he's not...

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