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The Future of Whiskey Investment

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The value of rare whiskey has increased by 478%in the last ten years, according to Knight Frank’s Wealth Report 2021. This massively supersedes the value of traditional investment options: Classic cars increased in value by 193%, fine art by 71%, and wine by 127%.

Portfolio Manager, Casey Alexander, believes this is an important time for diversifying your portfolio and now, unlike before, it is easier to gain access to some of the rarest casks of single malt Scotch whisky.

While it is undeniable that markets are now volatile, I would still write the same article regarding whisky cask investments and how they compare to investing in whisky bottles and other physical assets even if this were not the case.

Although the act of buying whiskey casks privately is almost as old as the act of producing  it, the opportunity for investors to participate in this market is a relatively new phenomenon. There are several causes for this, the most important of which are the increased availability of Single Malt Scotch in the 1980s, and the ongoing rise in popularity of whisky as a hobby since the beginning of the twenty-first century. Around this time, a small group of whisky collectors began to amass uncommon bottles, and this market has continued to grow to this day, as evidenced by the growing number of whisky auction sites and the frequency with which they sell.

Despite the scarcity of collectible bottles, it is a reasonably easy market to break into by visiting a specialist retailer, purchasing through an auction or from a private owner, or participating in one of the rare bottling ballots at a launch. Purchasing whiskey casks is a little more complex – and it is strongly recommended that you work with a reliable organisation in this field – but it can provide numerous benefits to investors seeking medium and long-term growth when compared to bottles and other alternative assets.

Let’s start with a bottle investment. Given the expanding global interest in single malt whisky, there are still plenty of smart investments to be made, and the industry’s development and profitability show no signs of slowing down, but a collection of rare bottles isn’t always the greatest option. Importantly, the liquid in a bottle does not age or mature, therefore a 12-year-old bottle of whisky will always be a 12-year-old bottle of whisky, and its value will only rise if the supply of that alcohol decreases, either due to discontinuation or a limited-edition bottling.

Many investors face financial and logistical difficulties, such as auction fees, shipping charges, and storage space requirements. Many investors just don’t have the time or space, either at home or at work, to dedicate a room to their bottle collection and manage the administration of tracking, packing, and shipping bottles, particularly when significant collections can have hundreds or thousands of bottles.

Whiskey casks are a much easier investment since the liquid is often acquired at a younger age and for a lower price compared to when the whiskey is matured. In certain situations, it is even purchased as a new make spirit. Whisky sells best at the ‘Milestone Ages’ of 12, 15, 18, 21, and 25 years old, so keep this in mind while deciding on an exit strategy for your investment.

Holding a 9-year-old barrel until it is 12 or 15 years old, for example, would be a shorter-term investment, with the whisky maturing in the cask and increasing in value throughout this time. We have yet to come across a distillery that sells their 18-year-old single malt for less than their 12-year-old single malt, and casks are no exception. The cask must be stored in a bonded warehouse in Scotland, which removes the need for the investor needing storage space for the cask.

The idea of Bigtime Daily landed this engineer cum journalist from a multi-national company to the digital avenue. Matthew brought life to this idea and rendered all that was necessary to create an interactive and attractive platform for the readers. Apart from managing the platform, he also contributes his expertise in business niche.

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Business

VPNRanks Report Uncovers User Discontent with Majority of VPN Services

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A groundbreaking report by VPNRanks reveals significant user dissatisfaction with the majority of VPN services, showing that 89% of VPNs globally fail to meet user satisfaction standards. This revelation comes at a critical time when digital security is paramount, and the demand for reliable VPN services continues to rise.

The Importance of User Satisfaction in the VPN industry

According to industry statistics from Global Market Insights, the global VPN market size was valued at USD 45 billion in 2022 and is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of around 20% from 2023 to 2032. Driven by the growing instances of cybercrimes and data thefts, coupled with the increasing proliferation of wireless devices and digital infrastructures across industries, user satisfaction remains a critical challenge for many providers. High user satisfaction is essential for customer retention, brand reputation, and long-term success in the competitive VPN market.

“User satisfaction is the cornerstone of success in the VPN industry. In a market flooded with options, it’s the real user experiences that set the leading providers apart. VPNScore helps users navigate this complex landscape by highlighting services that excel in meeting user expectations,” said Muhammad Saleem Ahrar, COO of webAffinity, the team behind VPNRanks.

VPNRanks is a leading VPN review platform that leverages sentiment analysis to provide comprehensive and unbiased reviews of VPN services. Its VPNScore is based on an AI-driven analysis of publicly available user reviews. The platform aims to simplify the process of identifying the best VPN provider tailored to each user’s unique needs.

VPNRanks Untangles Complex Findings on Key Features

VPNRanks evaluated four key features — ease of use, ease of setup, ability to meet user requirements, and quality of support — to identify the VPN companies that excel at customer satisfaction. To determine a final rank for each metric, VPNRanks combined a popularity score, which contributed 20 percent of the total, with a satisfaction score, which contributed 80 percent.

The study sifted through reviews on 93 paid VPN companies to determine the top providers. The VPNRanks report, issued in June 2024, provides rankings for each key feature and overall customer satisfaction. ExpressVPN achieved the top VPNScore — 6.29 out of 10 — for overall satisfaction globally. The next four top companies in that category, listed in descending order, are PureVPN, NordVPN, PrivateVPN, and Surfshark.

By assessing a variety of categories, the VPNRanks study reveals the challenges users face when trying to identify the best option to meet their needs. For example, NordVPN received a nearly perfect popularity score of 9.46 out of 10 but only a 4.7 satisfaction score. PrivateVPN received a satisfaction score of 6.69 out of 10, which rivaled ExpressVPN’s score in that category, but received a popularity score of only 1.23 out of 10.

The global rankings for ease of use illustrate how challenging identifying a quality provider can be. VeePN received a very high satisfaction score of 7.18 out of 10 while receiving a popularity score of less than 1 out of 10. The findings reveal a gap between user experience and market penetration that can effectively keep the best option hidden from the consumer.

The VPNRanks report gives users insight into satisfaction and popularity while providing a balanced assessment via its VPNScore. “Users should choose based on their priorities, whether it’s user satisfaction, market presence, or a balanced option,” the report states.

VPNRanks Shows Providers How to Become More Competitive

In addition to serving as a guide for consumers, VPNRanks also maps out a pathway for VPN providers seeking greater market share. The VPN providers that consistently appear in the top spots on the VPNRanks charts are those that have achieved a balance between popularity and user satisfaction. Those who neglect one or the other cannot keep pace with market leaders.

The report explains that those with high satisfaction scores but low popularity “might be well-loved by their users but need to increase their market visibility to compete more effectively.” Achieving overall success in the VPN market requires balancing user satisfaction with market presence, it advises.

Conclusion

As the need for VPN services continues to grow, businesses can expect to see more providers enter the market, making the task of identifying the best option more difficult. The insights VPNRanks provides stand as a timely beacon, guiding users to providers who can satisfy their needs and support their operations.

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