Understand car lease deals – car leasing explained!

Philip Hall is a financial professional based out of Raleigh, NC. Having worked for over 15 years on Wall Street he has developed an insider’s view of the financing world, and in this article makes use of that experience to decipher car leasing and help you understand how it really works. 

Ever been confused by car lease deals? Not sure why a $50,000 car might lease for less than a $30,000 car? Been tempted by a lease offer but never been able to find that deal on a car you actually want? Hopefully this article will explain car leasing in terms that a normal human being can understand!

For me the auto industry is one of the least transparent, consumer unfriendly industries in existence. That’s coming from someone who spent most of his career working on Wall Street and having a healthy cynicism for that business, so it’s saying something when I think an industry is as bad if not worse than financial services! It truly amazes me that in this day and age cars are sold the way they are. A car may be the second largest purchase you ever make, and indeed if you regularly update your cars it may end up over your lifetime being the largest expense you have. Yet cars are sold at wildly varying prices by an army of sales people who have no idea what they are selling and are just looking to dupe as many of their customers as they possibly can. And while I happen to think car leasing is a fantastic idea conceptually, it is an area that has allowed car dealers and sales people to obfuscate pricing even further.

Note this post is not intended to compare leasing with buying and the relative merits of each. Rather this post is simply intended to provide a comprehensive explanation of how leasing works.

Car Leasing – The Concept

When you lease a car the basic concept is that rather than you buying the car yourself, a finance company buys the car and you lease it from them. The finance company will charge interest on the entire cost you paid for the car. However unlike a normal auto loan where you also repay the entire principal balance that you borrowed in addition to interest, with a lease you only pay “principal” on the amount that the car will depreciate during the term of the lease. Of course nobody knows what any car will be actually worth in 24 or 36 months time, and so when you lease a car the finance company assigns a “residual” value which is generally based on what they think the car will be worth at that time. Residual values are always set as a percentage of the full manufacturers suggested prices (“MSRP”), and will vary from one model to another and from one manufacturer to another. The residual value will also vary based on the allowed mileage for a lease, with the residual amount being lower the higher the allowed mileage.

So the three KEY things that will affect your lease deal are the price you pay for the car, the interest rate you are being charged on the financing, and the residual value of the car.

Lease Factor 1: Price you Pay

The auto industry, being the beast that it is, has some bizarre terminology to generally hide these concepts from you. The price you pay for the car is called the “Capitalized cost” and any discounts are referred to as the “Capitalized cost reduction”. These terms sound pure wall street and I am guessing derive from terms used in the backend securitization of pools of these loans but the key thing you need to focus on in getting a great deal is paying the absolute lowest price possible for the car. It may sound obvious but people tend to focus on the payment not the price of the car and dealers are well aware of this and play to it. Most dealers would be very happy to work out a lease deal without ever even telling you what you are paying for the car. The bottom line price you pay for the car including all incentive discounts is key to making a lease deal attractive.

Really excellent lease deals come up when cars have significant discounts to their MSRP. While of course this is true of traditional car purchases too, the reason it works particularly well for leases is a car that is selling for say 20% of MSRP may result in something like a 50% reduction in the amount of depreciation it takes during the lease term. It is this leveraged effect that makes really great lease deals.

Lease Factor 2: The Interest Rate you Pay – “Money Factor”

Once again this one gets obfuscated by the industry and for some bizarre reason that I cannot explain is quoted as a “money factor”. In order to convert a money factor to a normal interest rate you multiply it by 2,400. So if the money factor is 0.000125 then the interest rate is 0.000125 * 2,400 = 3%. There is literally no explanation for the use of this term other than to confuse buyers and hide true costs from them. Again the bottom line is you want the interest rate to be as low as possible when leasing a car. Lease rates are generally not negotiable, however car dealers have a reputation for upcharging the interest rate or money factor. Essentially the financing company will publish it’s applicable money factor for a given lease and the dealer can make more money by upselling this. To avoid this, do an internet search to find the current money factors for the model you are looking at. The forums on Edmunds.com have some great resources for this.

Tip: Multiple Security Deposits

“Multiple Security Deposits” or “MSDs” are a little known feature of auto leases that can substantially reduce the money factor, i.e. the interest rate you are paying for the deal. They are not the same as the regular “security deposit” which is money you put down upfront which essentially just pre-pays your lease payment. You really should NEVER put any money down as a security deposit, see my note on that below.

When you put down MSDs they are held by the finance company until the end of the lease and then assuming you made all your payments they are returned to you. Thus they are essentially just like additional collateral the finance company takes (in addition to the car itself) and in return they provide cheaper financing. They are a little quirky in that each MSD is calculated as exactly one monthly payment (so the MSD depends itself on the deal you get in a circular fashion) and each one will subtract a certain amount from the interest, usually down to some minimum interest rates when no further MSDs can be applied.

MSDs are not available with all companies, Google is your friend in working out who, but some that I do know offer MSD programs are Infiniti, BMW and Audi. When they are available they are almost always worth using as the savings you make on the lease payment in comparison to the amount of money you tie up are usually very attractive.

Tip: Regular Security Deposit or Downpayment

Most advertised lease deals assume a certain down-payment to make their numbers work. You know the ads – lease our car for $199 a month, $2999 due at signing. My advice here is very, very simple: never, EVER put down any money on a lease, unless it’s an MSD. Literally all you are doing is pre-paying your payments without anything in return. You are better off putting that money in a bank account and using it to “subsidize” your monthly payment yourself. If you ever want to trade out of the lease, or your car is totalled and the insurance pays off the remainder of your lease balance, unlike MSDs any regular downpayment is lost. There is absolutely no circumstance whatsoever that I recommend you put any money down on a lease.

Lease Factor 3: The Residual Value

The final factor that affects a lease deal is the value assigned to the car at the end of the lease. This is critical because the largest part of your payment is likely going to be the difference between what you pay for the car today and this residual value. The residual values should in theory correspond to what the financing company actually thinks the car is going to be worth at the end of the lease, but often times they are adjusted upwards or downwards depending on how desperately a company wants to sell a given model (the finance companies for auto leasing are generally subsidiaries or affiliates of the manufacturers). So the really juicy lease deals exist when a manufacturer artificially inflates the residual value in order to make lease payments more attractive.

Sidenote: at the end of the lease you have the option to purchase the car from the financing company for the residual value. This make sense – say the car cost $30,000, and the residual was $18,000. During the lease term you pay the financing company $12,000 to cover the deprecation, so if you want to keep the whole car you can pay them the remaining $18,000. This is an example of what I would call a positively biased option – if at the end of the term the actual value of the car is less than the residual value then you can simply turn it in and the difference becomes the problem of the lease company. However maybe there is a glut of supply of the particular model you own and it’s actual resale value is higher than the residual value. Well you now have the option to purchase the car and sell it for the higher value and pocket the difference. This is an option where you have all the upside and the other party – the finance company – takes all the downside. I love financial products that exhibit this positive bias.

What About Taxes?

Sales tax can definitely complicate lease deals and unfortunately each state treats it differently. In some states sales tax is applied to the initial car purchase, and then your payment is just based on the factors described above. In other states no sales tax is applied to the initial purchase but is added on to your ultimate payment. In the worst possible states sales tax is applied to BOTH, making leasing far less viable. You should check how sales tax is applied in your state to understand fully the implications of leasing.

In addition if you do exercise that purchase option at the end of the lease then that becomes another sale. During the lease term the car is owned by the finance company, and when you exercise the purchase option then you basically buy the car from that company for the residual value. At this point sales tax can also be applied to that transfer so you pay the residual value plus sales tax to acquire the car.

Bringing it all Together – What Makes a Great Lease Deal

In simple terms a great lease deal exists when you can buy a car at a big discount to its MSRP, with a low interest rate (“money factor”) and a high residual value. If you can get the trifecta of attractive numbers on all three of those that can lead to some exceptionally good valued lease deals.

Let’s take a look at an example of a deal I saw recently and see what makes it a great lease option. In this case it was the Infiniti Q40. This is a great example that shows how all the factors described above come together to make for a hugely compelling lease deal. For this example I am going to use a fully loaded Q40 which to keep the numbers simple has an MSRP of very close to exactly $40,000. This is a real deal not a fictional example that was posted and discussed in depth on Slickdeals in 2015.

This particular deal worked best for a 24 month lease where Infiniti Finance was offering a base money factor of 0.00039 (i.e. an interest rate of 0.936%, less than 1%) and a 24 month residual value of 64% assuming 12,000 miles driven per year. Let’s compare the numbers assuming you pay FULL MSRP to begin with. For comparison purposes I am going to assume that if you bought the car you finance it using a 4 year loan, and I will simply use the same implied interest rate as the lease rate. In both cases for simplicity I will assume you put zero money down and all fees are paid for out of pocket, and I will ignore sales taxes. I will also round all payments to the nearest dollar.

Full MSRP Cost Comparison – $40k price

Loan payment on 4 year loan purchase: $849 per month

Lease payment on 24 month lease: $626 per month

This is how it looks paying full “sticker” price for a $40k car, something a surprisingly large amount of people who lease end up doing. The lease payment is more “affordable” than the loan payment and that’s what makes it attractive, but the difference is not huge and so in many cases this type of “deal” it may be better to just buy outright.

Reduce Price Cost Comparison – $30k price

The main thing that made this particular deal really attractive is the Q40 was being massively discounted. At the time of the deal the Q40 was coming close to the end of it’s life and was noted to be a car slated for replacement with some new model. And so Infiniti and it’s dealer network were heavily discounting the car to clear the remaining stock off of their dealers lots. At the time this car was being sold for as low as $30k, a full 25% discount to MSRP. Let’s rerun the numbers. The key thing here is that the residual is ALWAYS based off of the MSRP not of the actual price the car is sold so for the 24 month deal the residual at 64% was still $25,600. So the depreciation at a $30k selling price is just $4,400 as opposed to $14,400 at full price:

Loan payment on 4 year loan purchase: $637 per month

Lease payment on 24 month lease: $205 per month

Yes that’s right the base lease payment drops to just $205 per month for a car with a $40k sticker!!! Of course the payment for a loan goes down in exact proportion to the discount, it’s a 25% discount to the MSRP loan level. But because of the leveraged effect on the drop in the depreciation, the monthly lease is just 33% of the original payment despite the car price being 75% of the original.

Further Reduction Through MSDs

Infiniti is one of the companies that accept Multiple Security Deposits. Now in this case the interest rate is already low to begin with so the effect of applying MSDs is not as big as the effect of the upfront discount, but it still shows how beneficial MSDs can be. In this example we take 3 security deposits to bring the money factor down to 0.0009, or 0.22%.

Lease payment on 24 month lease $188 per month

So you would “deposit” 3 x $188 = $564 with Infiniti and save yourself $17 a month or $408 over the 24 month lease. So by tying up just $564 for two years you save yourself $408 – pretty hard to find any investment that would come close to that kind of return over a two year period.

Now at the end of the day my example is over-simplified to not include any fees that get added on such as bank fees the finance company charges, and most critically sales tax which will be an issue for most. But the reality is in this case it was possibly to get a car that would at the very least cost you something in the $640 per month range even when heavily discounted for much less than half of that because of the trifecta of low acquisition price vs MSRP, a low interest rate and a strong residual value.

Bottom Line

The key to getting an excellent deal on a leased car is simple, you need to find an opportunity where as many of the these three key factors are at play:

  • Low purchase price in comparison to the MSRP
  • Low interest rate or “money factor” on the lease financing
  • High residual as a percentage of the MSRP

Some companies allow you to use Multiple Security Deposits or MSDs to lower the money factor. These are invariably a good deal. However never, ever put down any regular downpayment on a lease, always put zero or as close to zero as you can.

Hopefully you found this post a useful insight into car leasing, if so please share it, like it or +1 it in your social media network!


Investing in Wine

This is a reproduction of a post I wrote on my travel blog Milesabound.com several months ago. Although the post did not attract huge amounts of traffic or any comments, I got a LOT of offline feedback from friends that are readers that they really enjoyed this post and thought it was very educational. I have edited and adapted certain parts to bring it up to date with my current views and thoughts. You can read the original post here.

Investing in Wine

One interesting side-affect of all the amazing points earning and burning in this space is that all these first class trips create a whole new group of people with an appreciation for fine wine. Whether it’s the perennial favorite Dom Perignon before take-off, or new champions of the old world like Pontet Canet with that over-cooked steak, or a luscious Icewine to lap up desert with, points flyers have the chance to sample some of the finest wines in the world while relaxing in their cocoon suites at 35,000 feet.

Personally I have had an interest in fine wine that goes back longer than my obsession with miles and points. My wife and I would while away many a weekend back in the UK sipping fine champagne on the balcony of our London apartment, and in the early 2000s a fried of mine introduced me to the delights of Bordeaux and the “en primeur” market of buying wine when it is in the barrel for future delivery a couple of years later when it has finally made it to the bottle. It was back in 2001 when the internet bubble had just popped, and the word from my friend was that the 2000 vintage was being pumped as being “special”. He showed me how wine “futures” as they were also called had gone up in price tremendously in prior years. Sounded great! As I have aged I have become significantly more cynical, but back then I had some money available from some tech funds I had managed to liquidate before the bubble burst, and so I went in and invested several thousand pounds into various Bordeaux Vintage 2000 wines. I did my research and picked my wines, and it turned out to be one of the best investments I ever made. The most expensive wine I bought – the sumptuous Saint-Emillion Chateau Cheval Blanc – I bought for about 150 GBP per bottle (about $225 today) and sold as soon as it was delivered two years later for over double that price. Today that wine will cost you around $700 a bottle. I basically managed to sell around half of what I bought originally to recoup the entire up-front investment and kept the rest in storage. I recently sold most of the remainder resulting in a profit equivalent to around a 12% compounded return over a 10 or so year period. And I still have a few cases left to either sell or eventually have delivered and drink.

I have continued since then to invest periodically in wine, exclusively focused on Bordeaux. Repeating the spectacular success of that 2000 vintage is unlikely but with care and attention it is certainly one of the more interesting alternative assets. So I thought it would be interesting to lay out some of my thoughts in this blog on why I think it can be a good investment, what the potential risks and traps are, and how to go about it.

Why Invest in Wine?

For me the investment thesis behind fine wine is very simple. In any given vintage there is a finite amount of wine produced from any given producer. Taking Cheval Blanc as an example, typically they will release about 6,500 cases per year. Every single year after that some of those cases will be opened and drunk and as time goes by the amount of that wine in supply decreases. As long as you stick to wines with the right level of consistent demand and staying power (more on that later) and is stored correctly (again, more later) then the wine itself is likely improving with age. So there is a natural increase in price both from dwindling supply and increasing scarcity and quality. And best of all, if it really does not work out financially – you can always drink it! That’s more than can be said for a worthless stock certificate of a bankrupt company!

My example above of the 2000 Bordeaux vintage looks at a good success story, but take note that what goes up can and must come down. The chart below show the Liv-Ex 100 index over the last five years (the Liv-Ex index represents the composite price of 100 of the most actively traded wines on the Liv-Ex wine exchange). While there are some impressive gains, things have tapered off significantly. Just be aware that prices can go down as well as up, especially in the short to mid-term.

100 ind

Which Wines Make the Best Investments?

This is a somewhat complex question to answer. I am going to focus on the areas I know well – Bordeaux and, to a lesser extent, Champagne. There are plenty of other regions with investable wines. The Burgundy region of France in particular has a well developed market, but it is far more complex with many multiples of producers often with tiny lots and tiny production levels, that make this more of an experts-only field. There are wines of Italy, California and Australia that can be prized possessions in many collectors cellars. But the top wines of Bordeaux have the longest and most established histories and a rigid classification system that ranks wines in a relatively clear hierarchy. The wines at the top of this hierarchy are the true blue chips of wine investing. While they can be extremely expensive (over $1k per bottle) they have the most consistent predictability in terms of pricing.

To narrow it down further, Bordeaux is generally broken into various regions each of which has it’s own hierarchy system. The two most important are the Medoc region’s 1855 Classification (yes the wines were ranked in 1855 and have not been changed since) and the Saint-Emillion region’s classification, which is updated every 10 years. The details of each, along with the other less important classifications, can be found here at the web-site of the excellent British retailer Berry, Bros & Rudd. The peak of the two main classification systems – the 1855 First Growths and the Saint-Emilion Grand Cru Classes A – are in my view the safest investments in the wine space. They may start off as quite expensive – a case of 2010 Cheval Blanc will set you back around $13,500 wholesale – but their place at the peak of the global wine hierarchy ensure there will be long term demand unlikely to be phased by fashion trends. They remind me of Buffet’s philosophy of investing in businesses with high barriers to entry – it is really, really hard for any wine producer to come up with a new product to compete with these superstars.

As you go further down the classification the system things get a little more interesting. Some second growths sometimes price as high as first growths (Leoville Las-Cases is a great example) but these to me are risky bets, similar to buying the most expensive house on a cheaper street when the real expensive houses are around the block. But where it gets really interesting is in the very lower end of the classification system where some of the wines are produced at standards today that have them pushing the wines at the top. A couple of great examples of this are Chateau Lynch Bages – a fifth growth you will typically find is served in First Class on Cathay Pacific flights – regularly competes with the second growth wines and sometimes even at a first growth level. Lynch Bages 2000 was one of my other stellar investment performers and this is a wine that consistently prices lower on initial release compared to where it may trade with 10 years of maturity. A more recent but similar story is Pontet-Canet which I’ve seen make the list of wines on Emirates first class product. I think these investments are a little riskier, in particular because a big part of the price appreciation comes down to critic reviews (see later for risk factors) but the upside on these kind of producers can be very large. These are also more accessible price-wise, with even the most highly rated wines selling for maybe a quarter or less of the price of the first growths.

Outside of Bordeaux as I say I think Burgundy makes sense for experts only and Champagne I remain to be convinced about. The market for fine Champagne is relatively straight-forward. First of all you would only invest in vintage Champagne. So that means vintage Krug, not the multi-vintage blend they serve on Cathay and Singapore Airlines. Dom Perignon is certainly on the list, but production is so high and I am not convinced there is such high demand for really old Champagne. A few names like Louis Roederer Cristal, Salon le Mesnil might make a list, but I’d see these as speculative and I am not entirely convinced they are great investment products. But with that said, you are never going to be unpopular on New Year’s Eve or Christmas if you have some fine Champagne in your collection.

How to Invest

The best way to invest in my view is buying directly through large brokers/distributors and then having the wine stored professionally. Wine I buy for investment I typically never see expect on a paper statement. In the UK the biggest broker/distributor is Farr Vintners and their very transparent web-site provides a reference point that is useful globally. I have bought and sold through FV and they are a great outfit. Even from here in the USA, I can buy through FV, have the wine delivered to a professional storage service (for example FV’s service with Octavian) and then years later have them sell the wine. The wine won’t have even entered the USA.

I personally prefer to buy wines en-primeur when investing. Sometimes prices can be pushed high by producers testing the market, but on the flip side you will own the wines “from new” and if you hold over the long term, having that strong provenance enhances resale value. On that note always ensure you buy wine in full cases and keep them in the original wood case (you will see the OWC label used sometimes in sales). Owning a wine from the day it was delivered and having proof of it being stored for years or decades in professional storage will ensure when it comes time to sell – or even take delivery – the wine will be in the best possible condition. Resist the temptation to have it all delivered to your home cellar as it will be harder to convince the market later your wine hasn’t been kept in a regular refrigerator for a decade.

Over the years wine investing has become a serious business. Some of the big players like Berry Bros Rudd have offered “cellar club” type investments which if you pull apart are almost akin to wine mutual funds. I know of at least two hedge funds in the US that are dedicated to investing in wines. Given the returns that have been possible I understand the rationale, but for me handing over my money to let someone else do all the buying takes all the fun out it. Plus if it goes wrong that option to just drink it goes out the window!

After your upfront investment, expect to pay around $10-20 per case per year for professional storage. As such there is some additional benefit in investing in the higher end of the spectrum as the servicing cost is a smaller percentage of your investment.

Risk Factors

Investing in wine can be a very risky business. My best advice is to take time to learn about what you are investing in, and go into only with money you can afford to drink away! While not comprehensive at all, I think some of the key risks are:

Correlation to global economies

Wine prices go up when economies do well, generating wealth that stokes demand. My 2000 Bordeaux wine was pumped up by the long bull market of the 2000s. More recent growth has come out of the explosive growth in China. A set-back in any of these economies can and does have an adverse impact on wine prices.

Complex Foreign Exchange Risk

Given demand is global, the price of wines can swing based on swings in currency exchange rates. In simple terms back in 2001 when I bought say Montrose 2000 in GBP the exchange rate was around 2:1. If I sold 10 years later the exchange rate was 1.5:1. So if I’d invested $2,000 and after 10 years sold the wine for what I paid for it, I’d only get back $1,500 because of the fall in the value of currency. Given demand is global, and factors influencing exchange rates are hugely complex, this is a risk you simply have to accept – no way to predict or hedge it. You need to accept that a currency devaluation in say China could have an adverse impact on your wines value.

Wine Critic Ratings

A huge factor in wine pricing is the ratings bestowed upon any given bottle by famous critics. In particular the US critic Robert Parker has immense influence on price. He is the champion of the 100 point ranking system, with 100 being the perfect wine. I have worked in a trading environment and for a trader it’s key to understand the risk you are exposed to if a key variable that influences the price of your assets moves up or down. So in bond trading, traders track a number call “DV01” which is basically how much the trader makes or loses if interest rates move by 1/100th of a percent. Well for wine investors you should track “RP01” – the amount you will win or lose if Robert Parker changes your wine score by 1 point. I read a blog post very recently that highlights just how stark this can be – read and compare the pricing of the 100 point wine versus the 99 point from the very same producer. Literally twice the price!

Of all the risks though this one is the one you can research the best. One important point to note is scores change over time as the critics re-taste the wine as it develops. This has worked for me – where I bought a wine rated say 95/100 and then got marked up to say 99/100 – and against me where the wine was initially rated say 99+/100 (indicating it would be on it’s way to the magic 100) but then a few years later see the demand collapse as it got re-rated 95/100. What I have learned is there is possible upside in wines rated below the high 90s, and very little upside on wines rated close to the 100 mark. So the best wines from an investment perspective are those that are scoring in the mid 90s particularly where they are indicating long aging potential and upside opportunity. And these are also generally great from a drinking perspective too as you avoid overpaying for a wine that may be twice the price because literally one man on the planet thinks it’s perfect.

Beware of Scams

Wine is just one of those products that invites the scam artists. Make sure you deal only with large, well established dealers with easily verifiable presence.

Don’t Be Fooled by Retail Prices

Spend a few minutes comparing wine prices from wholesaler Farr Vintners and retailer Berry Bros Rudd and you might be fooled into thinking you can buy Chateau Lafite 2000 for 1200 GBP per bottle and sell it straight away for 1800 GBP per bottle. In fact you can buy for 1200 GBP but would have to take a 10-15% discount in selling it unless you happen to be a highly respected global retailer with a couple of centuries of history. Never mind what wine sells for at your local wine stores, wine investment is about wholesale prices. The best sources of wholesale prices are brokers like Farr Vintners or trading exchanges such as Liv-Ex.


There is an obvious irony in pointing out that wine is not a hugely liquid investment. It’s not like owning stocks where if you need to raise money you can just log on to etrade.com and sell right away. The sales process can take several months and if you are in a period of low demand you may not be able to sell certain wines at all. Brokers may be willing to buy your wine for cash but at a substantial discount. More likely they will agree to try and sell your wine and take a commission. So do not invest any money that you need access to in the short or medium term.

Note on Taxes

The main note is get a professional tax adviser! None of this should be considered direct tax advice!

With that said it appears here in the US there is a specific flat rate of 28% for capital gains on collectibles which wine falls into. That is not a particularly attractive tax rate versus dividend or regular long term capital gains, but is better than ordinary bond income if you are a higher rate tax payer.

In the UK there is something of a myth that the gains are tax free due to wine being a “wasting asset”. The Inland Revenue issued guidance on this saying if the wine had an expected shelf life of less than 50 years then yes it would qualify as a wasting asset with no taxable gain. One might be able to argue some of the lower end wines or Champagne does not have such a long life, but if you are going for the first growths or any of the better classed growths, that’s going to be a tough argument to make.

Concluding Thoughts

Investing in wine can be fun, rewarding and lucrative, though something that should only be ever done in my opinion with excess funds outside of your core long term financial planning needs. I’ve had fun on flights where I have gotten to try for the first time wines I may actually own several cases of sitting in some cave somewhere in England! And I have made some very respectable gains in my portfolio. But if you are going to jump in, take time to learn about the industry and what drives it. Only invest in assets that are within your circle of competence if you don’t know what you are doing, you will get burned! But let’s face it, it’s hard to think of many assets classes that are as much fun to learn about as fine wine!

Links and Resources

wine-searcher.com is a great resource for finding US retail prices of wine and some price history. They have a great succinct post on wine investing here

Farr Vintners is one of the largest wine brokers in the world, best source for accurate investing prices (all in GBP)

Fine and Rare Wines is another large UK wine broker with good info

Liv-ex is a well developed trading exchange for fine wine with excellent price history and info for members

Cellar Watch is a subsidiary of Liv-ex for individual investors to track their holdings and get price history information

eRobertParker.com is the bible for wine ratings


Philip Hall, Raleigh NC

Hi! And welcome to my blog. This blog will be an outlet for me to share my view on life, the universe and everything that I find interesting or think may  be of interested. I have had some fun blogging before as I write the travel / miles / points hacking blog Milesabound.  That has been a lot of fun and has been very satisfying. But Milesabound is essentially an alter-ego, and this is a forum where I can publish my own views on any topic without feeling the constraint of trying to be any particular niche.

You can find out all about my professional background and history here on Linkedin. I have worked in financial services – yes that’s right I’m a Wall Street type! – for the past decade and a half or more. I got started in financial services on the IT side of things developing various bits of software for a variety of different business groups. But I was always more interested in the business side of things and got my break in late 2005 / early 2006 to join a new business group in the USA and that resulted in my move from London, UK where I had spent most of my adult life to Raleigh, NC along with a hefty amount of commuting to New York City. Since then I have worked in a variety of positions in the financial services space both on the “sell” side (banking side) and on the “buy” side (hedge fund and private equity investing).

You can find me on Twitter where I will likely be posting things I find of interest in my personal and professional life. I try to pass along anything I think may be interesting or worth reading or worth knowing, along with a few random tidbits from what’s going on in my life!

Lastly you can find me on Facebook, though I keep the majority of my profile to anyone who is not a “Friend” on that web site. But don’t be shy and feel free to send my a Friend request!

I look forward to seeing where this blog goes!