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The best performing investment of 2015 wasn't stocks or bonds — it was whisky

Business Insider UK logoBusiness Insider UK 06/02/2016 wmartin@businessinsider.com (Will Martin)
A resident drinks whiskey from the bottle while in the sea at a beach in Boca Chica May 17, 2010.© Provided by Business Insider UK A resident drinks whiskey from the bottle while in the sea at a beach in Boca Chica May 17, 2010.

Last year kind of sucked for most asset classes. Here in the UK, the benchmark FTSE 100 stock index lost around 5%, while commodities from gold to rice slumped in price across the world.

But one investment that had a bumper 2015 was whisky, which gained nearly 15% over the course of the past year, outperforming almost all of the world's most traded assets.

According to the annual report from Rare Whisky 101, a whisky brokerage, the price of whisky — as tracked by the company's Apex 100 Index — went up by 14.36%.

As the company puts it, whisky “significantly outperformed many other well established asset classes, including wine and gold.” Here's the chart:

whisky© Provided by Business Insider UK whisky

As well as gaining nearly 15% in value, the amount of whisky traded grew significantly. In price terms, 25% more whisky was traded, jumping from £7.64 million in 2014, to £9.56 million last year. The number of bottles traded also increased substantially to 43,458, from 33,998, an increase of more than 27%

Over the course of 2015, Japanese whisky proved incredibly volatile in 2015. The Karuizawa Index, used to track the price of Japan's whisky, soared by 75% in the first three quarters, before dropping by 7% over the final quarter of the year.

Of the distilleries in Scotland — the world's most famous whisky producer — Macallan in the Highland region, was the most traded whisky, followed closely by Ardbeg, from Islay, an island off the west coast.

Rare Whisky also points out that whisky has appreciated massively in the last few years, more than tripling since it started tracking prices in 2008. Here's the chart:

Rare Whisky Icon 100 index© Provided by Business Insider UK Rare Whisky Icon 100 index

Whisky is becoming an increasingly popular investment, with numerous companies trying to get in on the act. In November, online whisky retailer Master of Malt started selling so-called "whisky bonds" — gift vouchers that gain a compound interest rate of 5%.



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