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Irish super-rich hold on to treasure

Monday, June 11 10:52:44

Irish high net worth individuals (HNWIs) hold on average 10pc of their total net worth in treasure assets - which includes items such as precious jewellery, fine art, wine, antique furniture, classic cars and precious metals, according to the latest report in the Wealth Insights series from Barclays.

While this figure brings Irish respondents in line with the global average (10pc) of total net worth held in treasure assets, the level rises to nearly a fifth (18pc) in the UAE. For individuals in Brazil, China and Singapore treasure assets make up, on average, a sixth of their total wealth, whilst those in the UK (7pc), India (3pc) and Qatar (2pc) hold more conservative levels.

Launched today (11 June 2012), the report, Profit or Pleasure? Exploring the Motivations Behind Treasure Trends, provides an in-depth study of investment trends across the world in these 'treasure assets' as well as offering insight into the financial and emotional motivations for wealthy individuals holding these particular assets. The report looks at the value these high net worth collectors place on their possessions, as well as considering questions of social utility around accumulating treasure.

Despite the increased public interest in collectibles and record prices being set at auction, the report finds that investors are far more likely to buy treasure assets for emotional, rather than financial reasons, with only 19pc of treasure held globally for financial motivations. This figure drops to just 12pc in Ireland. A third of the 2,000 wealthy respondents surveyed globally confirmed that they were holding more treasure types today than five years ago.

It found that 73pc of Irish respondents surveyed reported they found it hard to identify items that will remain secure in terms of financial value. This is a notable global trend with nearly two thirds (63pc) of global respondents holding similar views.

Pat McCormack, Head of Wealth Management, Barclays Ireland said: "There will always be both an emotional and a financial component to the decision making process around "treasure assets" but, given some of the difficulties associated with maintaining, securing and liquidating these assets, our study suggests that it is the former that will always pay the greater return. Treasure may, if you're lucky or very knowledgeable, give you a financial return, but buy something you enjoy and it will always give you an emotional return."