How Invest Into Wine Began – Part 1

James Pala 2002

Whilst I know that our company is very credible, with a reputation built on hard work and honesty, after reading an article on the company ‘Premier Cru’ and their founder ‘John Fox’ committing huge wine fraud in the USA last year, I felt compelled to write to you about Sure Holdings. How he was able to dupe wine connoisseurs with big fancy offices and lavish parties is very sad. Nevertheless he got 6 and a half years behind bars for his wine ponzi scheme.

It occurred to me, what if our potential customers read these kind of fraudulent activities going on in the wine world and then assume that we would operate in the same manner? How dreadful a thought, that all the hard work and effort we put in to making our clients wine investments safe and secure, can be tarnished by other crooked hoodlums who ruin it for companies who work hard to earn a good reputation.

So I’ve put together a series of emails to explain how we started, why we do what we do and how we do it.  The aim of these short articles is to provide some transparency to you and any potential customer that is thinking or considering to invest in fine wine with us here at Sure Holdings.

Firstly, I’ll begin with how we started….

Sure Holdings has been in business for over 18 years, we originally started as a Malaysian company doing real estate investment in single property investment purchases. At the time, our partners in the company were from the U.K including myself.  In the beginning, I was merely an investor in the business. I later joined Sure Holdings full time as the Managing Director, around 4 years after its inception.

We began Investing in real estate in the UK, Australia and in Malaysia which was very profitable, we did many real estate transactions in U.K. Malaysia and Australia and eventually we remained in Malaysia since the market then was the most aggressive although it had its challenges like any new market.  It was a great market to get involved with, as it presented a reasonably low investment for foreign investors at the time, which made it more affordable to more clients.

Now the minimum level of investment in Malaysia has been increased by the government to 1 million Malaysian Ringgit which makes the deposit amount much higher.

Park View 2002

I have to say that Malaysia was the most profitable for clients, despite the challenges of doing business in a developing country, we eventually realised that we had to manage the properties and renovate them, otherwise it would have made life difficult for clients who lived outside of Malaysia with the local agent’s language barriers and poor service.  We even became mortgage brokers applying for loans with 5 banks to every one client, so as to obtain the best deal for the client. It was a steep learning curve.

We negotiated with developers to obtain a bulk discount for our clients and made lots of bulk property purchases. Although each property was bought individually by each investor, I also invested in the same properties, because the discount was a really good perk for me personally, since I negotiated many of the deals myself.  I knew hand on heart that they were good property investments and I had negotiated the best deals.  We did well over 100 real estate transactions in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia alone.

I will write more about this story as soon as I can. Thanks for reading!

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