What's In My Portfolio: Jeremy Howard

by Portfolio Magazine
11 May 2023

Jeremy Howard is the Co-Founder and CEO of Cru World Wine

“The most important, and largest, asset in my personal portfolio is my ownership position in Cru World Wine. I have been part of this business since 2014 when the company was founded. I, along with my other founders, have been and will continue being fully committed to the growth of the business. I am in the privileged position of being able to manage my investment in a very 'hands on' way. My approach is always to build for the long-term, so this means minimal dividends paid to date, and most of our accumulated profits re-invested into the business. 

Compared to other industry players, we focus investing mainly in technical development, instead of marketing. We are building what we believe is already the world's most sophisticated platform for the acquisition, trading, and management of fine wine and spirits. By constantly looking to build the most user-friendly platform, clients will naturally gravitate towards it.

In addition to my position in Cru World Wine, I also have sizeable holdings in physical fine wine, which has been a fantastic investment for me over the past three decades. I tend to stick to 'blue chip' names, as these are likely to have the best liquidity and broadest global appeal when it comes to selling off.

In terms of Cru World Wine, I am proudest of the growth we have achieved since we started in 2014, growing across Singapore, Hong Kong, and now in over seven different markets. From almost nothing, this year we will have a turnover of over S$80 million, without any acquisitions or taking in additional capital post our seed funding. It gives me great satisfaction whenever I hear clients in Singapore or Hong Kong say they have started a collection of fine wine for the first time because they liked our research or found our platform easy to use.

There is a huge lack of understanding about how good fine wine/whisky is as a store of (intrinsic) value, and how easy it is to acquire and managed. If more people knew, for example, that since 1989, fine wine has handily outperformed the S&P 500 in price appreciation, with far lower volatility, then people wouldn't just sit up and take notice, they would fall off their chairs! Getting the message out there about what a fantastic store of value fine wine has been for almost 35 years is one of our key missions. We are making progress, but there is still widespread unawareness of fine wine playing an important role as an alternative asset in client portfolios."