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A couple of days back I was having brunch at a a nice cafe/restaurant, one of those that seem to attract many families with little ones in tow. At the table next to mine sat a lady with two daughters, probably about 7-9 years old. I wondered where her husband was. She looked distant, perhaps he was away on a business trip. At first it seemed hard to tell if she was their mother, as their conversations sounded like that between equals, and not of a typical parent-child relationship. They were free to order as many cupcakes as they wanted, eat whatever, and however much they cared to devour. But what caught my attention immediately was that the mother was sipping a glass of white wine at lunch, and then ordered another promptly after she was done. At which point one of her daughters said:

“You cannot drink too much, if not you can’t drive us home!”

Then I realised, If i ever have kids, there is a high chance that I may become just like the lady, dragging my daughters around for brunch and having prosecco for my first meal. Well at least I hope I would treat my daughters the way she did, talking to them as adults instead of talking down to them.

With the world entering another protracted deleveraging cycle, we are set to enter another decade of low returns. At a recent presentation, a top executive from one of the largest sovereign wealth funds in the world said the typical ‘buy and hold’ strategy for equities would no longer work. Gone are the equities boom of the 80s and 90s. It is no wonder then, that the super rich of the world are increasingly looking at other sorts of alternative investments to park their money.

In the last few years, rare whiskeys have become more highly sought after by investors. Even Johnnie Walker, which isn’t normally associated with top-end scotch, recently sold their ‘diamond jubilee’ collectors’ bottle for $150,000 each. Whiskey could be the new “wine-investing”, and one guy is already planning to open a club in New York for whiskey investors.

The global demand for the potent amber fluid has been steadily rising over the last few years, leading to triple-digit returns for investors and collectors of the top-performing whiskeys, according to Whisky Highland, a firm that provides valuations.

According to the FT, single malt scotch whisky experienced the best gains in value last year and is far more sought after than blends or foreign whisky. Also, for investing stick to solid brand names out there like your Macallans, glenfiddich etc. to minimize risk. For instance, a Macallan Royal Marriage which cost £150 and now sells for around £500.

As a whiskey fan, i’m happy to hear that the next time i go out shopping for scotch, there will be more excuses to get the higher grade stuff. But then again, knowing me, it may be to hard to resist breaking open the bottle instead of keeping them and selling later for a profit.

But not to despair for fans like me. Besides whiskey, the girls’ best friend is also set to become more widely held as a financial investment, with the SEC reviewing a proposal to create the first diamond-backed exchange-traded fund. Will diamonds be the new gold?