How to make money from the booming Chinese market

I'm a regular reader of the site, and I've noticed that the Chinese market is prospering at the moment. I'm keen to capitalise on their spending, can you tell me what I should be buying?  - Sarah McCain, Santa Fe

Well, it's certainly true that the Chinese market is doing exceedingly well at the moment, and has been for the past few years. The booming economy in the country has ensured that there are now well over a million millionaires - and they are prepared to spend huge sums to get the collectibles they want.

Barclays' 2012 Wealth Report confirmed the Chinese interest in collectibles as investments. The country's wealthiest individuals have 17% of their money placed in treasure assets - art, gold and jewellery are particularly popular - compared to just 7% in the UK, and 9% in the US.  

The country's art market has also recently overtaken the US as the world's largest, rising to a 30% share in 2011, according to a report by the European Art Foundation. So art would be a great place for you to start.
Chinese buying is predominately centred on items which originate from their own country. There is a strong sense of nationalism that inspires collectors to invest in pieces that are distinctly Chinese.

Another market which has been boosted by the new Chinese wave of collectors is wine, particularly in Hong Kong, where record prices are continually smashed by those looking to flaunt their new-found wealth. What's more, Chinese collectors generally aren't interested in preserving the bottles in a dusty old cellar somewhere and have been known to pop the cork on their latest purchase to celebrate the purchase itself! This ensures a continuing stream of demand for more wine - excellent news for those looking to profit.

For the sake of brevity I've had to speak in fairly general terms here. Before investing in individual pieces I would strongly advise you to do your homework and consult a collectibles expert before parting with any money - they can help you pinpoint specific areas for investment within the art, stamps and wines sectors. 

Paul Fraser. 

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